How to Change a Shower Head

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A leaky shower head can cost you extra money on your water bill each month. By fixing a leaky shower head, you will not only lower your water bill, but also prevent costly water damage to your home. If you are not mechanically inclined, you might think changing a shower head is difficult. But, in fact, it’s a simple process that should only take a few minutes if you have the right tools and knowledge.
In the following article, Part 1 reveals how you can remove your old shower head and Part 2 describes how to properly install a new shower head.

Part 1 of 2: How to remove the old shower head

Materials Needed
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Channel locks
  • Towel
Before you can install a new shower head, you need to remove the old one. The following section details the process for removing the old shower head.
Step 1: Turn off the water. Start by making sure that the water faucet in the shower is turned off all the way.
Luckily, you do not need to turn the water off via a shutoff valve in order to change a shower head. This is because the water does not run all the way to the shower head unless the faucets are open, allowing water to travel to the shower head.
If you expect debris, such as rust or grime, to come out of the old shower head, lay a towel down in your tub to keep it from going down your drain.
Step 2: Remove the old shower head. Next, remove the old shower head.
You can do this by wrapping a towel around the base of the shower arm to prevent scratching the pipe’s finish.
Then, use a pair of channel locks to grip the towel and shower arm. This immobilizes the shower arm to prevent you from twisting it and doing damage.
Finally, use an adjustable wrench to loosen the shower head with one hand while holding the shower arm immobile via the channel locks with the other hand. Continue to turn the shower head until it comes free.
Step 3: Clean the threads. Clean the threads at the end of the shower arm to remove any remaining Teflon, rust, gunk, or debris.
You can use an old toothbrush for this purpose if needed.

Part 2 of 2: How to install the new shower head

Materials Needed
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Channel locks
  • New shower head
  • Teflon tape
  • Towel
Once you have the old shower head removed, you need to install the new one. The section below walks you through the shower head-installation process.
Step 1: Apply the Teflon tape. Apply Teflon tape to help keep the shower head tight and prevent leaking.
Wrap the Teflon tape counterclockwise around the threads at the end of the shower arm. Make sure to wrap the tape around the threads at least two to three times, pressing the tape into the threads when you are finished.
Step 2: Install the new shower head. Wrap a towel around the shower arm to protect the finish.
You should also use channel locks to grip the towel and shower arm to prevent it from twisting while you install the shower head.
Twist the shower head on by hand until it is tight.
Step 3: Check for leaks. Turn the water on to the shower head to see if it leaks.
If it does, turn off water, remove the shower head, and apply more Teflon tape.
Retighten the shower head before turning on the water and checking for leaks again.
Use an adjustable wrench to make sure the shower head is on tightly, but make sure not to overtighten it.
Keeping your shower heads in good working order saves you on your water bill, as well as helps prevent damaging leaks. When changing a shower head, make sure to take the proper steps to protect the shower arm’s finish when using tools during the process. Also, use Teflon tape to prevent water leakage and make sure not to over tighten the shower head during installation.

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