Replace a shower head

How to Replace a Shower Head

Whether your shower head is broken or you’re giving your bathroom an upgrade, it’s important to know the right way to install one.

There are plenty of reasons why someone may want to replace their shower head. Some people want to save more water; others may be looking to give their shower a facelift. Whatever the reason, knowing the right way to change a shower head is essential to ensure you get the best results. Our step-by-step guide will walk you through everything you’ll need to know to replace your shower head.


What You’ll Need to Replace Your Shower Head

  • Slip-Joint Pliers
  • Adjustable Wrench
  • Stepstool or Ladder
  • Electrical Tape or Towel
  • Plumber’s Tape
  • Replacement Shower Head


Step 1 – Make Sure the Water is Off

You probably don’t want to get sprayed with water when you go to replace your shower head. Though you don’t have to turn the water to the house off, it’s important to check and make sure the faucet handle is in the off position. Even if it’s on just a little, you could end up in the splash zone!


Step 2 – Remove the Old Shower Head

Before you install a new shower head, you’ll have to remove the old one. It may be possible to easily remove the shower head by hand. Give your shower head a counterclockwise turn. If you remove it this way, fully unscrew the shower head and proceed to the next step.


If your shower head is a little more stubborn, you could use the slip-joint pliers and adjustable wrench to remove a shower head. Use the pliers to grip the shower arm and the wrench to loosen and unscrew the shower head. In order to protect the finish of your shower arm from the pliers, use electrical tape or a towel as a barrier around the arm.


Step 3 – Clean and Prep the Shower Arm

After removing the old shower head, there may be leftover dirt, tape, or mineral deposits on the shower arm threads. Take a damp towel or old toothbrush and give the arm a clean to get it ready for the next steps to replace your shower head.

Step 4 – Wrap the Threads with Plumber’s Tape

Once you’ve cleaned the shower arm, you’ll want to wrap the threads with plumber’s tape. Wrapping the threads of your shower arm will help create a watertight seal, reduce friction, and prevent the connection from sticking.


Start at the base of the threads with the plumber’s tape and wrap clockwise until reaching the end of the threads. Wrapping clockwise prevents the tape from coming undone when screwing in the new shower head. Each layer should cover about half of the previous layer as you wrap. Smooth and press the tape into the threads as you wrap to ensure a tight finish for your new shower head.


Step 5 – Attach Your New Shower Head

Connecting your shower head may slightly differ depending on its type; remember to read any instructions that come with the product. Line up your shower head and screw it clockwise onto the threads. You may need a wrench, depending on your shower head. Turn the shower head until it feels tight to the threads.


Step 6 – Check for Leaks

The final step is to check your work once you replace the shower head. Angle the shower head away from you and turn on the water. If you notice a leak, you may need to tighten the shower head or add more plumber’s tape to the threads. If the shower head’s water pressure seems low, inspect the threads and the new shower head to make sure none of the parts are damaged.


Though it is a simple process to replace a shower head, other plumbing problems may not be as easy to handle. In those hard-to-handle situations, give Mason Pro Services a call! Our expert plumbers have all the experience to solve your plumbing problems.