Your shower head is one of the most used items in your household, but many people overlook it. It’s not uncommon for people to leave their shower heads alone without replacement or cleaning for years or even decades. You may believe that replacing your shower head is unnecessary, however there are several benefits!
Save Money on Your Water Bill
Old shower heads commonly leak due to tiny cracks, old Teflon tape or grime and rust creating gaps. Even if the leak is slow, you could be wasting hundreds of gallons of water every year because of your outdated shower head leaking.
Additionally, older model shower heads from over a decade ago have a higher flow rate than modern models. Newer models provide strong spraying power while also reducing the amount of water used by up to 60 percent. Depending on the current state of your shower head and the efficiency of your replacement, you could save hundreds of dollars annually on your water bills.
Improve Water Pressure
Even if your shower head is only a few years old, its age, design and the buildup of calcium deposits, rust and other grime can cause a drastic decrease in water pressure. You’d be amazed how powerful your shower’s water pressure can become just by replacing and updating the shower head.
An ugly and outdated shower head can maar even the nicest of bathrooms. Shower heads come in a myriad of styles, colors and designs to suit any bathroom’s décor, and more are being developed every day. This is especially beneficial if you’ve recently renovated your bathroom or are planning to do so in the near future.
In addition to shower heads evolving rapidly in the area of design, they’re also constantly being improved in regards to their features. Several years ago, shower heads would typically only offer a regular spray option and possibly a massage feature.
However, modern shower heads also now have a wide variety of spray options such as pulse, waterfall, rain, mist, whirl, full-body and more. There are even smart shower heads that monitor water usage and play music.
If you have a traditional single spray shower head, you might want to trade up to a more modern design for improved functionality. Detachable shower heads allow you to enjoy the spray of a regular shower and then detach the shower head to rinse hard-to-reach places. It’s especially useful to install these shower heads in homes with pets as it makes bath time much easier.
Sliding pole shower heads allow you to adjust the height of the shower easily, making them great for homes with children and people of varying heights.
Overhead designs provide a wide spray directly overhead, allowing for an easier full-body rinse.
So, Here’s How to Replace Your Shower Head
Replacing a shower head is a fairly simple DIY project that can be done in about a half hour. Once you have selected a new shower head and ensured all of the parts are accounted for, you can get started.
Step One: Gather All Necessary Tools and Items
In order to uninstall your old shower head and install a new one, you’ll need some supplies. Grab a few old towels, an adjustable wrench and Teflon tape. It’s also a good idea to get a sturdy step stool to allow for better reach.
Step Two: Prep the Area
Spread a towel over the floor of the shower or tub to help prevent damage to the tile and stop any small parts from falling down the drain. If a step stool is necessary, place it in the shower or tub and make sure it doesn’t slide around.
Step Three: Remove the Old Shower Head
Ensure that the water is turned all the way off. Tighten the knobs as much as possible without breaking them. It’s not necessary to turn off the main water supply for the shower, but be careful not to nudge the knobs while you’re working.
The old shower head might be loose enough to unscrew by hand, but if it’s not, grab an adjustable wrench and fit it to the end of the shower head. Wrap a cloth around the neck of the shower and the shower head to avoid scratches.
Slowly but firmly, turn the shower head counterclockwise until it is removed. Set the old shower head aside in either a large plastic bag or on another towel to prevent excess water from going everywhere.
Step Four: Clean the Neck
The threads on the neck of the shower are likely loaded with grime, old Teflon tape, and plumber’s putty. Clean all of that out with a damp rag and an old toothbrush. Don’t scrape out any grime with a screwdriver or other metal tool as this might cause damage to the threads.
Step Five: Apply Teflon Tape to the Threads
Wrap Teflon tape to the threads on the neck. You’ll need to fully wrap the threads about three or four times. Anything less than that might not make a sufficient seal, but anything more might make it too tight to screw the shower head on. Apply the tape in a clockwise motion to prevent the tape from becoming unraveled as you screw on the new shower head.
Step Six: Attach the New Shower Head
Place the new shower head onto the threads of the neck and screw it on clockwise. Get it as tight as you can with your hands first and then securely tighten it with the wrench. Wrap the nut on the shower head and the shower neck with a cloth to prevent scratching.
Step Seven: Turn the Water On
Finally, turn the water on and ensure that the shower head works. Leave it running for a few minutes to ensure that there are no leaks. If there are leaks, you might have to remove the shower head and apply a thicker coating of Teflon tape to the threads. However, if there are no leaks, you’re good to go.
Enjoy Your New Shower Head
Now you’ve got a brand new shower head that hopefully runs correctly. If you’ve found yourself scratching your head at any step in the process here, or you’re running into any issues with installation, call your favorite plumbing repair company today!