Cost to Install or Replace a Showerhead

Final Thoughts

The process of how to change a shower head depends on the type of shower head you choose. While replacing one with the same type may be very simple for even beginning DIYers, installing one that will be placed in a different location or offers technology features can require some plumbing and electrical work and may require the help of a professional.

To ensure that your new hardware works properly and water flows freely in the long run, clean your shower head at the first sign of clogging or lower water pressure in order to keep scaly buildup at bay. You can either use a cleaner or unscrew the head and put it in the dishwasher. Whatever maintenance approach you choose, just make sure to regularly clean it so you’ll have a refreshing shower for years to come.

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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.

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4. Screw on the replacement shower head

Next simply line up the shower head with the shower arm or hose and screw it on in a clockwise direction. There’s no need to use any tools, it will be tight enough once you can’t turn it anymore.

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.

2. Clean the shower arm or hose

Once the old head has been removed, check the shower arm or hose connection for rust, debris or limescale build up and give it a thorough clean. Pay special attention to the rubber washer inside and replace it if there are any signs of damage.

HAVING TROUBLE REPLACING YOUR SHOWERHEAD?

Call one of our licensed plumbers at Roto-Rooter to come out and have your showerheads replaced professionally if you run into issues following the steps above. If you have questions or concerns regarding scheduling service to have your showerhead professionally replaced, or need consultation regarding a new showerhead purchase, contact the plumbing experts at Roto-Rooter today. We are available to you 24/7, when you need service most. Our showerhead replacements can be done quickly and efficiently—just call 800-768-6911 to learn more.

Warnings

  • Be careful not to break the seal where the pipe connected to the shower arm attaches to the piping system. This will cause a water leak, which may damage the house and cause mold to grow.

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How to Replace a Showerhead

Supplies Needed

  • Pliers
  • Wrench
  • Clean soft cloth
  • Plumber's tape
  • Shower arm
  • Flange (often comes with shower arm)
  • Showerhead

Step-by Step Directions

Whether you're simply switching showerheads or getting a new shower arm, too, these five steps will make it a smooth transition.

removing existing shower head with wrenches Credit: Jacob Fox

Step 1: Loosen Up

Turn off the water supply to the shower. If you're keeping the shower arm, wrap a cloth or plumber's tape around both ends of the arm to protect it from scratches. Grip the shower arm with pliers while using a wrench to turn the nut counterclockwise.

using wrench on showerhead pipe white tiled wall Credit: Jacob Fox

Step 2: Out With the Old

Unscrew the showerhead. Remove the screw holding the flange in place, then remove the flange. Unscrew the shower arm using pliers at the base.

If the showerhead is stuck, soak the cloth in white vinegar, wrap it around the nut on the showerhead, and let it sit for a few minutes to loosen mineral deposits.

wrapping white tape around shower head pipe Credit: Jacob Fox

Step 3: Prepare the Arm

Wipe around the hole in the wall to remove grime. Tightly wrap five layers of plumber's tape clockwise around the end of the shower arm that goes into the wall. It's important to wrap the tape in the opposite direction of how the arm will twist into place.

sealant tape over shower head pipe Credit: Jacob Fox

Step 4: Secure Connection

Attach the end of shower arm into the pipe in the wall, turning clockwise. (Because you wrapped the tape clockwise in Step 3 as well, it's now turning counterclockwise, making a tight bond.) Replace the flange. Wrap three layers of tape around the exposed end of the shower arm.

woman attaching chrome rainfall shower head Credit: Jacob Fox

Step 5: Finish the Job

Screw the showerhead into place by hand. Protect the showerhead joint with a cloth or tape and then tighten with a wrench, turning clockwise, to prevent leaks and water-pressure issues.

Why Should You Replace the Showerhead?

If your existing showerhead is leaking, damaged or lacks the features you want from your shower, installing a new showerhead makes sense. Not all shower-related problems stem from the head, however. In some cases, you’ll need a new line or valve to improve water pressure.

If you’re not sure what’s causing the problems you’re experiencing with your shower, consider talking to a plumber. Some repair jobs are simple enough for general contractors to handle or for an enthusiastic DIYer to take on themselves. Others are best left to the professionals.

Before you spend money, take a look at your existing showerhead. You may be able to clean or repair it instead of purchasing a new one. Limescale buildup in a showerhead can cause a lot of flow-related problems that are easy to fix.

If you still have the documentation for your existing showerhead, check to see if it came with a limited lifetime warranty. With luck, the fault you’re experiencing will be covered, and you can get your shower working at full performance without spending a lot of money.

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Project step-by-step (3)

Project step-by-step (3)

Step 1Remove the Old Showerhead Using a pair of plumbing pliers, remove your old showerhead by turning counterclockwise (to the left) on the coupling that connects the showerhead to the shower arm. (See photo.) Pro tip: Prevent scratching your new showerhead by covering the jaws of your pliers with tape. Step 2 Apply Plumber’s Tape Wrap the threads of the shower arm with a few rotations of plumber’s tape. (See photo.) Note: Some showerheads don’t require plumber’s tape. Check with the manufacturer specifications. Do It Right, Do It Yourself!

Step 3 Install the New Showerhead Fit the female coupling of the new showerhead onto the threads of the shower arm, then hand-tighten, turning it clockwise (to the right). Tighten the showerhead coupling another quarter-turn using a pair of plumbing pliers. (See photo.) Turn on the shower and check for leaks.

Originally Published: September 29, 2021

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