How to change a shower head.
Ready for a DIY upgrade? Replacing an old showerhead for a new showerhead is a project you can easily do in an afternoon in a few simple steps. And it's a great way to refresh your bathroom without spending a lot of money.
We've outlined some of the most common methods — from easiest to most difficult — so you can choose the one that makes the most sense for your situation.
Before getting started...
- For your safety, only work with dry and stable surfaces. Your shower should be dry too to avoid any tumbles.
- Whether you use your hands or an adjustable wrench, don’t force anything. You can cause damage to your shower arm, leading to costly repairs.
Let’s dive in!
1. Remove your existing shower head.
The first step in the process is turning off your faucet and unscrewing your existing shower head. There are a few ways to do this.
Use your hands.
You can skip any tools if your bathroom's existing shower head turns easily. Just hold onto your old shower head and unscrew it in a counter clockwise direction.
Try the vinegar method.
If untwisting the shower head with your hands doesn't work, try the vinegar method. This technique is particularly good for loosening up tough mineral deposits on your old shower head.
Here's how it works:
- Fill a plastic bag with white vinegar.
- Wrap the bag around your old shower head so that it’s completely immersed. Focus on the connector between the shower head and wall arm. This part should be totally submerged.
- Use rubber bands to secure the bag to your shower arm.
- Wait about 2-3 hours. (Maybe binge a home makeover show.)
- Remove the bag.
- You should be able to unscrew the shower head with your hands by turning it counter clockwise.
Use a wrench.
If your shower head is extra stubborn, you may need to get tools involved. Older shower heads can be particularly stubborn due to corrosion.
For this method grab the following items:
- An adjustable wrench
- A pair of pliers
- A washcloth (to avoid scratches)
First, put the cloth over your existing shower head. Next, get a wrench and unscrew your shower head. Turn the neck of the showerhead counterclockwise to remove it. Be careful not to turn the pipe in the wall. Doing so can cause major damage to your plumbing. To avoid any issues, use a towel or a set of pliers to hold the extension arm in place.
2. Clean the shower arm.
Now that you've removed your old shower head, take a moment to clean the thread end of the extension arm. This will help your new shower head go on smoothly. Use an old toothbrush to remove any mineral deposits or corrosion. You can also use a CLR solution or white vinegar to give the thread end a good soak. Dry the thread thoroughly before moving on to the next step.
3. Apply thread tape.
If your new showerhead comes with thread tape, also called Teflon tape or plumbers tape, apply it to the thread end of the fixed mount. This will create a watertight seal and help prevent any leaks. While this step isn't always necessary, it can make installation easier, especially when you're working with older plumbing fixtures.
To apply the tape:
- Cut off a small strip of tape (about 12 inches).
- Start at the bottom of the shower arm threads of the shower head arm and wrap the tape clockwise.
- Each layer should cover half of the previous layer as you wrap up the threads.
- Continue until you reach the end of the threads.
hai tip: Don’t want to deal with applying thread tape? With the hai smart showerhead, you can skip this step altogether. hai offers an innovative solution that allows you to upgrade your shower experience without the hassle of calling a plumber. Unlike traditional showerheads that require plumber's tape for installation, the hai smart showerhead can be easily installed by anyone, without any tools. All you need to do is remove your old showerhead, attach the hai clamp to your shower arm, and twist. This not only saves you time and money (no need to call that plumber!), but it also means you can enjoy the benefits of a smarter shower experience right away. When we say easy install, we mean it.
4. Install your new shower head.
Now it's time to attach your replacement shower head. Make sure to read your product's instruction manual for any special steps. Some new shower heads may require a wrench for installation. Others, like hai smart shower heads, only require your hands for this simple task.
Hand tighten or use a wrench to screw on your new head. Turn your shower head clockwise until it feels secure. Then turn it an extra quarter turn to make sure it's snug. Be careful not to over tighten it. Doing so can cause damage to the shower arm or shower head.
5. Test for leaks and low pressure.
Once you've installed your new shower head, turn on the water to test for any drips. Check around the neck of the shower head and the connection point to the shower arm. If you see any leaking, turn off the water and try to carefully tighten your shower head a little bit more.
If the water pressure seems low, remove the head completely and check for any debris or mineral deposits that might be clogging the shower head. You may also need to re-clean out your shower arm's threads to remove any buildup. Once your issues have been fixed, turn on the faucet and check the water flow one more time.
Congrats! You've successfully swapped out your old shower head for a shiny new one. We hope installing your quality new fixture was quick and easy! Now, enjoy your upgraded shower experience.