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How To Replace A Shower Head

There are a couple of excellent reasons that you might be considering replacing your shower head. The most common reason for this simple DIY project is that your current showerhead is corroded and not functioning well. But even if it still seems to be doing its job well, you should think about replacing a showerhead that is over five years old. The biggest reason for this replacement is to take advantage of the water conservation that is now federally mandated. All showerheads must limit flow rates to 2.5 or fewer gallons per minute. And there are some that limit water usage to only two GPM.

Consider The Function Of A New Showerhead

Old style shower heads did little more than distribute water in a small cone. But new showerheads offer features such as massage settings, large rain shower patterns, and even handheld wands. Upgrading to some or all of these new features is easier and more cost-effective than you might think. And it is far easier to bathe a small child or even your furry pet using a wand. Get the most bang for your buck and treat yourself to new features and functions.

Now that you know the why of a shower head replacement project, your next question is to understand the how-to portion. Your first assignment is to purchase a new shower head. This does not need to be an adventure that will break the bank. You can find some great fixtures that offer many features and functions, starting at around $25! This list will help you round up all of the other items that you will need for your showerhead replacement:

  • An adjustable wrench or channel locks
  • Teflon Tape
  • A tarp or old towel
  • An old pieces of cloth or a shop rag


Make sure that your shower valves, the handles or knob, are turned off completely. There is no need to turn off the house water, as long as your shower valves are working correctly.


Lay the tarp or old blanket over the shower floor. This step will protect the surface in case you drop a tool or the showerhead. Make sure that the drain is also covered to avoid any potential blockages from small pieces of debris falling into the drainpipe. If your tarp or towel does not cover the drain completely, a few pieces of tape can be used to cover it securely.


To remove the existing showerhead, wrap the rag or shop towel around the base of the showerhead. The grip with the wrench or channel locks to unscrew the showerhead. Be careful as you unscrew the showerhead so that you do not damage the threads on the showerhead arm.


After the showerhead is removed, carefully wipe the threads of the shower arm to clean them. If they are covered in debris or grime, a small brush can be used for cleaning. Be sure to remove rust, grime, and old Teflon tape to ensure a good seal when you install the new showerhead.


Once the threads of the shower arm are clean, wrap 2-3 layers of new Teflon tape over the threads making sure to wrap in the direction of the threads. Press the tape into the grooves of the threads before attempting to attach the new shower head.


Twist the new showerhead onto the shower arm by hand, being careful not to cross the threads. Once the showerhead is hand tight, wrap the cloth around the base of the showerhead, then tighten with the wrench or channel locks.


Turn on the shower knob or handle to check for leaks. If there is a leak, turn off the water and apply a layer or two of additional Teflon tape and reinstall the showerhead.

If you decide that a shower head replacement is not a project that you are comfortable taking on, a single call to (214) 388-8838 is your simple solution. A Flow Plumbing licensed plumber can quickly and cost-effectively replace your worn showerhead for you. No job is too small or too large, and we are always available to meet all of your plumbing needs.

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