Replacing a shower head is a do-it-yourself plumbing project that most homeowners can successfully tackle. Maybe you want to upgrade to a new, eco-friendly water-saving shower head. Maybe you want to add some style with a LED shower head. Or maybe your shower head is old and deteriorated and you just need a new one. Whatever the reason, we’re here to walk you through the process step-by-step.
Step 0: Gather Your Materials
Before we get started, you should gather all the tools and materials you’ll need. Grab a tarp, a few towels, some Teflon tape, an adjustable wrench, and your new showerhead. If you don’t have have any of these things, pick them up at the nearest home improvement store.
Step 1: Turn off the shower
This sounds obvious, but we’re serious. Make sure your shower is as off as off can be. Turn the knobs as far as they’ll go. If you don’t, you might get sprayed or at least dribbled on in the next steps. You could also turn off your water entirely, though that isn’t necessary.
Step 2: Lay down your tarp or towels.
Place your tarp or towels directly into the tub or shower floor. Make sure you have something directly under the shower head and covering the drain. Your towel or tarp will catch small pieces that fall off before they go down the drain.
Step 3: Remove the existing shower head.
Wrap a towel around the shower arm’s base. Use something to hold the towel in place while you unscrew the showerhead. Take another towel and wrap it around the showerhead. Grip its base with your adjustable wrench.
Use the wrench to turn the head counter-clockwise and unscrew it from the arm. Once it’s unscrewed, clean the shower arm’s threads with another towel (or rag). If you really want to clean things up, you could scrub everything down with an old toothbrush.
Step 4: Tape the shower arm threads.
Wrap your teflon tape around the threads of the shower arm clockwise two or three times. Press the tape into the grooves as you go, wrapping it as tightly as possible. You want it to embed properly to create a seal and embed the tape in the threads. Make sure you’re wrapping clockwise, so you don’t undo the wrapping when you screw in the showerhead.
Step 5: Screw on the new showerhead.
All showerheads attach to shower arms pretty much the same way whether they’re fixed, mounted, or hand-held. Place the new shower head onto the now-taped arm. Twist it clockwise into place. Wrap both the arm and the head in a rag, cloth, or towel. Use the adjustable wrench to tighten the showerhead onto the arm as much as you can.
Step 6: Turn the water back on to test the new showerhead.
Twist the knobs to let the water flow. Check for any drips or leaks. Make sure the water pressure is what you expect. If you noticing leaking, unscrew the showerhead and apply additional tape to the arm. Screw the showerhead back in as tightly as possible and try again.
Tackling plumbing projects solo isn’t for everyone. If you’d rather have a professional take care of installing your new showerhead, that’s no problem. Just give the pros at Mike Diamond a call. We’ll send someone out ASAP to address this or any other plumbing needs you have.