Changing the shower head in your bathroom seems like it should be pretty straightforward. This job only requires a couple of tools and some elbow grease. However, get it wrong, and this can be a frustrating experience that will take you much longer than need be. Other than the new shower head, all we need are some rubber gloves, adjustable wrench, Teflon tape, and a can of WD-40. Here are some simple steps on how to change shower head and transform the look of your bathroom.

1. Choose the Right Shower Head

Before we can talk about how to change shower head, we need first to choose the right shower head. Not all shower heads are created equal, they function differently in addition to how they look. Perhaps all you want is just to update the old shower head for a modern twist. This would definitely give the bathroom a fresh new design.

Consider that even though the show head is visually appealing, it can function differently too. Some new products are only low flow shower heads that were only created to save water. Then there are other shower heads that reduce exposure to chemicals in the water by having a built-in filter within the head. Choose the shower head that best suits your needs.

2. Remove the Old Shower Head

The most challenging part of how to change shower head is removing the old one first. If this is the first time you are changing the shower head, you should consider some hurdles first. Chemical build-up and hard water crust could have created a seal that makes it impossible to twist the head off the pipe. If the shower head appears stuck, spray some WD-40 on the connection point. This will allow it to loosen the seal.

Place your adjustable wrench on the edge of the shower head, give it a few tugs in a counter-clockwise direction, but don’t try to force the issue. One tip for getting more power is to grip the the wrench by its edge. As a result, you will increase the torque and can make removing the old shower head easier. Be very careful with how much force used. That pipe in the wall could be damaged if you twist too hard.

3. Clean the Shower Pipe

Once the old shower head is removed, you might see the remnants of what was causing the trouble loosening it from the pipe. The threads of the pipe must be clear and free of any debris. Therefore, use a small toothbrush or toothpick to scrub away things like old rubber gasket pieces, sections of plumbers tape or buildup of hard-water crust.

It is important to remove all these particles. That’s because any obstruction in those threads will allow that high-pressure water to start leaking from the connection point of the shower head. Once all the remnants are removed, spray a rag with your WD-40 and rub it over the threads to get any remaining particles out of the way of your new shower head connection.

4. Preparing the New Shower Head

teflon thread seal tape applied on one thread

Perhaps the most important step in how to change shower head is preparing the pipe to accept the new shower head. Countless homeowners have simply installed the shower head right out of the box.Unfortunately, they then discovered the pipe began leaking as soon as the water was turned on. Before we can connect the new shower head to the pipe, those threads need to be treated with some Teflon tape.

The Teflon tape, known as plumbers table, is a white caulk-like material that does not have a sticky side. Hold down one edge at the tip of the pipe, then begin wrapping it around the threads and then all the way back. Smooth the tape into the threads with your fingers. It will create the perfect seal between pipe and shower head so not a drop of water can leak.

5. Install the Shower Head

Now that we have prepared the water pipe with plumbers tape, it is time to install the new shower head. Although each shower head is different, the process for placing them on the pipe is similar. Gently hand-twist the new shower head on to the pipe until it is tight. Continue twisting clockwise. At some point, you won’t be able to move it anymore. In this case, a wrench is not necessary to tighten your new shower head.

If the instructions call for tightening the last few twists with a wrench, a 1/4 turn should be fine. Be sure not to over do it. One word of caution, that wrench will scratch the fine surface of your shower head. Place a rag or cloth over the edge of the shower head connection. Then tighten it to avoid damaging your shiny new shower head.

6. Check the Shower Head for Leaks

shower head in clean bathroom with tub bath

The final step on how to change shower head is simple. Turn on the water and check for any leaks. If there are no leaks, congratulations on installing the shower head without any issues.

However, if you see some leaks, try to hand-tighten the shower head a 1/4 turn more, then turn the water back on to see if that fixed the leaking problem. In the event that the new shower head is leaking quite a bit, turn off the water and remove the shower head.

It could be that you didn’t use enough of the Teflon tape, or maybe it bunched up because you did not press it deep into the threads before screwing on the new shower head. Remove the plumber’s tape you applied earlier, and start again. Nonetheless, this time apply pressure to the tape each time it wraps around the threads. The goal here is to get the tape down into the threads, so the shower head slides over it and creates a waterproof seal.

Final Word

These steps on how to change shower head are a breeze as long as you have the right tools and take the time to follow the directions carefully. The entire process of replacing the shower head should not take more than fifteen minutes unless the old shower head is difficult to loosen.

Image source: 1, 2, 3

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