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How to Change a Shower Head

shower head

If your shower head has a leak, is damaged, is full of lime or is calcareous, sometimes the best way forward is to replace it. Or sometimes you just want to change it because you’ve found a better new shower head that you want to buy.

So how handy are you? Do you like to DIY around the house or do you prefer to call a pro to help you out?

Before you take that decision and hire someone to do this, hear me out. Changing a shower head is so easy that even my 2 old baby girl could do it. Let the pros to do something else – we are going to change this shower head ourselves!

How long is this going to take you ask? Well, if you are really sloppy, maybe 20 minutes 🙂 But really, this is a 10 minute DIY job.

So let’s get started.

What tools do you need

  • Adjustable wrench (spanner)
  • Wire brush (or a normal toothbrush)
  • Teflon tape
  • Some cloth

As you can see you don’t need fancy tools like we need for our other DIY projects like skill saws, laser levels, or drills. You might already have all these simple tools in your garage.

How to replace the old shower head

Adding teflon tape when changing a shower head

  1. Take your adjustable wrench and proceed to unscrew the shower head. Once the shower head is removed, we need to take out the old teflon tape and look for the old rubber as well. This is important. Sometimes the rubber has worn off so much that you find it inside the pipe. So don’t forget to check for the rubber and remove it in order to replace it with a new one!
  2. Now, with the wire brush or the toothbrush, whichever you have, we clean the pipe threads so we can remove the old teflon.
  3. When you are satisfied, roll the new teflon tape a few times around the pipe threads and add the new rubber into the pipe.Note: sometimes the rubber becomes integrated into the shower head, so you don’t need to worry about it.
  4. Just roll the teflon tape few times around the threads and we are ready to install the new shower head. Important: Make sure you are installing the thread sealer CLOCKWISE.
  5. Now is when you are going to need those cloths mentioned earlier. And the reason for using them is because you don’t want to scratch your brand new shower head. You will be disappointed if you do!
  6. You screw the shower head into position by hand, until you feel you can’t do it manually anymore.
  7. Then you put the cloth on top of your fixture so you don’t scratch it as we said and start tightening up. Be careful and don’t tighten it too much! Honestly, spin the wrench a only a quarter of the way. That’s all. These thing are really easy to break.

Installing a handheld shower head to your existing shower

If you want to install a handheld shower head, you need to ensure the  shower head you buy is compatible with your existing shower system.

Some systems have a ball at the end of the pipe, that will not allow you to install just any kind of shower head.

So, after you’ve checked it’s ok and compatible … you’re good to go.

And what we need now is a handheld shower head mounting bracket. We are going to install this bracket onto the shower arm. The good thing is that for this kind of installation you don’t need teflon tape since the mounting bracket has a built-in rubber washer.

Again, we screw the mounting bracket by hand, until we feel that we can’t anymore. And maybe screw it with the wrench VERY LITTLE! When you screw the mounting thread just make sure to leave it in a position where the pipe threads are facing down.


How did you find that? Not too difficult was it?

Here’s a quick recap:

  • Choose what kind of shower head you are going to install.
    • normal shower head
    • handheld shower head
  • Remove the old shower head.
  • Clean the pipe threads with a brush.
  • Wrap the teflon tape around the shower arm threads.
  • Screw by hand your new shower head (or screw the mounting bracket if you go with the handheld shower head).
  • Use a cloth to protect your fixtures from being scratched when you are doing the last adjustments.
  • REMEMBER TO BE GENTLE or you’ll break your shower before using it.
  • Lastly, check for leaks.

Now that you know how to change a shower head, you can go ahead and replace that old shower head you’ve been wanting to get rid of – maybe even buy one of those fancy shower heads with LED lights or the ones that play music!

If you have any comments or if there is anything we can assist you with, don’t be shy and leave a comment below. We’ll do our best to help you out.

About the author: Adrian is the Director of his own construction company and a blogger at ninjaDIY. He enjoys talking about building, construction, gadgets and machinery. In his spare time he loves to talk about motivation and help people be more confident in all aspects of life.

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