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How to change a shower head quickly and without hassle

Is your shower head old and tired and not spraying as well as it used to?

Is it turning what could be a great shower into an average or bad one?

Don’t put up with it any longer, get one of the best shower heads and replace your old one today. It’s easy with the right know how.

Replacing a shower head is usually just a matter of unscrewing the old one and screwing on new one.

Tools & equipment you’ll need;

  1. Groove joint pliers

  2. Adjustable wrench

  3. An old tooth brush or steel wool (to remove old pipe thread tape)

  4. Two rags or cloths (to protect fittings from damage whilst installing)

  5. Your new replacement shower head

  6. Pipe thread tape (to ensure that there are no leaks)

groove joint pliersadjustable wrenchold tooth brushcloth ragsnew shower headpipe thread tape

Steps

  1. The first step is to remove the old shower head. Use the groove joint pliers with one of the rags or cloths on the shower head arm. Be careful not to scratch or crush any of your shower fittings with your pliers. Whilst holding the shower arm with your groove joint pliers use the adjustable wrench to loosen the old shower head. Once loosened you can remove the old shower head by hand, turning the head counter clockwise.

    As a kid I was always taught “Lefty loosely, righty tightly.” Meaning if you turn a fitting left or counter clockwise it will loosen; and if you turn a fitting right or clockwise it will tighten.

  1. Now that you have removed the old shower head, use the old toothbrush or steel wool to clean away the old pipe thread tape. Make sure you remove all the old tape and that the screw thread is clean, otherwise you will not have a good seal for your new shower head and it may leak.

  1. With the old pipe thread tape gone, wrap a length of the new pipe thread tape around the shower arm pipe thread. Go around the thread two or three times. Be sure to wrap the tape on in a clockwise (right) direction, this will stop the tape unraveling when the screw the new shower head on in a clockwise (right) direction. If you were to put the tape on in an anti-clockwise (left) direction it might come undone when you screw the shower head on in a clockwise (right) direction and cause leaks.

  1. With a good seal of pipe thread tape you can now screw on the new shower head by hand until the new head is a snug fit. Finish tightening the new head using the adjustable wrench and groove joint pliers. Remember “righty tightly” here. Also remember to use your cloths or rags to prevent scratches and dents.

  1. You’re all done! Well done, you deserve a great shower for all your hard work.

Pro tips:

  1. If your shower arm are is quite high you might find it easier to install the new head using a ladder. Be careful when using a ladder in your bathroom; ensure the shower floor is completely dry (we don’t want any slips!)

  2. The above video shows a nice clean and dry shower head. When changing yours, you’ll likely have a little bit of water leakage if the shower was used in the last day or two. This is fine, just be aware you might get a little wet, and make sure you wipe any spills to prevent any slips.

  3. If your shower head is very stiff and difficult to unscrew, try using a small spray of WD-40. For old and rusted shower fittings, spray the offending tight thread with a quick dose of the WD-40 lubricant. Wait for a few minutes, and then the head should come off like a charm.

  4. If you have a more complicated shower head system, such a sliding wall mounted hand held shower head unit, you’ll need a few more steps. To mount a hand held shower head unit you’ll need a special drill bit to go through your shower tiles and special wall mount brackets that are spring loaded. All good hand held shower brackets will come with detailed instructions and usually come with the spring-loaded bracket. Always make sure the seal between any new fixtures and the shower wall is waterproof, you will need to use some bathroom silicone caulk to make sure.

  5. The process to replace an old shower arm is mostly the same. Simply remove the arm in addition to the head (and use a Stanley knife to remove the existing silicone caulk). You can check out TheTwinPlumbers guide here on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTZgibOKvTg

  6. When installing the new arm to the wall ensure the seal between the shower arm fitting and the wall is watertight. You will need to use some bathroom sealant.

  7. If all this DIY bathroom installation is beyond your skill set, then you can simply call up your local plumber who’ll be more than happy to help you out.

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