The Easy Way To Change A Shower Head

By Alex Williams | Bathrooms

Jul 14

install shower headWhether you have an old shower head that just isn’t performing like it used to or you’ve just moved into a new home with a really terrible shower head, one thing is for certain – you can change it out and install a new one on your own. In fact, installing a new shower head after changing out from an old one is both quick and easy.

So, once you have found the best shower head for your home, it’s time to get that thing installed for a great shower experience tonight. Before you get started, know that replacing a shower head is basically just removing the old and putting up the new one. In some instances, a few additional steps will be needed, but for most people this is one of the easiest DIY projects for the bathroom.

DIY Shower Head Installation: Materials Needed

A lot of people expect to buy a new shower head and have everything in the package that is needed to get it up and functioning in the bathroom. While most of what you need is included in a showerhead kit, there are still a few items and tools that you’ll need for the installation.

Though the exact tools needed can vary by what you are installing, for most basic shower head installations, you should be fine with the list of tools and other materials listed below.

  • the new shower head (and any included components)
  • slip-joint pliers
  • adjustable wrench
  • washcloth
  • blanket
  • pipe thread tape

Once you have gathered these items, you will be ready to move on and actually prepare to get this thing working in your shower.

Preparing To Install A New Shower Head

Before setting to work, you will want to gather everything that you need (if you have not already done so) and prepare the area for the project.

You will want to take your washcloth and put in the drain. This is done so that if you drop a small piece during the installation, you don’t have to worry about it falling down the shower’s drain.

With the blanket, you will just want to lay it down on the tub floor or shower floor. This is important because it will protect the floor in case you drop the wrench, pliers or a part of the shower head. Then you won’t have to worry about any damage or cracks on the floor.

You can also turn the water off, if you are concerned about water escaping during the change. Honestly, this has never really been something that I’ve done when changing out a shower head, but I know that it gives some people piece of mind.

Now, you’re reading to get started!

Step-By-Step: Replacing A Shower Head

1. Remove the old showerhead – try to do this by hand first just by simply turning the showerhead counterclockwise. If it comes loose, then you won’t need the wrench for it. But, if you cannot get it free with just your hands, then here is what you do:

  • Put tape around the jaws of the pliers so that you do not damage the finish of the shower arm. Use the pliers to grip the shower arm.
  • Take your adjustable wrench and use it to loosen the shower head by turning counterclockwise. This will loosen it so that you can remove it.
  • Brush off any rust or mineral build-up. You may also need to remove the old tape if it doesn’t look too good and replace it with your pipe thread tape.

Step 2: Wrap the threads – once the old shower head is off, you can apply new pipe thread tape. Wrap it in a clockwise direction around the shower arm’s threads two to three times. Use your fingers to push the tape down into the threads for the best results.

Step 3. Install the new shower head – how you do this depends on the type of shower head that you have. Look for your type of shower head below to see how to proceed.

For a fixed mount shower head:

  • Add the shower head to the shower arm by screwing it on in a clockwise direction. Do this by hand and then tighten it up with the wrench to secure it in place.
  • Turn the shower water on and watch for any leaks.
  • If you see any leaks, either the shower head needs tightened or you need to apply more tape.

For a handheld shower head:

  • Add the shower head to the shower arm by screwing it on in a clockwise direction. Do this by hand and then tighten it up with the wrench to secure it in place.
  • Take the shower hose and connect it to the mount and the shower head.Use your hand to tighten the connections.
  • Place the shower head in the mount.
  • Turn the shower water on and watch for any leaks.
  • If you see any leaks, either the shower head needs tightened or you need to apply more tape.

For a combo fixed mount shower head with a handheld shower head:

  • Take the water diverter included in the showerhead kit and attach it to the shower arm. Tighten by hand.
  • Place the fixed-mount shower head on the end of the diverter and screw it in a clockwise direction. Tighten by hand.
  • Use the manufacturer’s directions to properly attach the handheld mount.
  • Connect the shower hose to the handheld unit and the diverter. Tighten the connections by hand.
  • Place the handheld shower head in the mount.
  • Turn the shower water on and watch for any leaks.
  • If you see any leaks, either the shower head needs tightened or you need to apply more tape.

If you are more of a visual learner, see if the video below helps you get through this little project.