Stepping into the shower and seeing an old and corroded showerhead is not something pleasant. Plus, are you really cleaning yourself when all that yucky and dangerous gunk on the nozzles are contaminating the otherwise clean water? The good news is swapping your showerheads is a beginner-friendly DIY repair!
Your dirty and worn-down showerhead is due for a replacement! We present a guide to swap out your old showerhead for a new one, allowing you to renovate your bathroom and give it a new look. This guide is a quick DIY solution to replace the old showerhead in your bathroom without any expertise in plumbing or a specific set of skills. Of course, that’s not even the best part. With this method, you will save money by not hiring a plumber too.
Table of Contents
What You’ll Need When Replacing Showerheads
For any job, big or small, there are specific tools required. While some of these tools might be resting in your tool shed, some of them will have to be purchased from the nearest hardware store. The right equipment is necessary to get the job done and get it done right. Without the right tools, swapping your showerheads will be trickier than it is supposed to be.
1. Brand-New Showerhead
Speaking of showerheads, you will need one. Now with brands expanding the scope of aesthetically pleasing designs, there are many options to choose from. You can get a showerhead with a magnetic docking system or a high-pressure 6-setting handheld showerhead. Some even have built-in filters, and others don’t. The decision is all yours.
2. Shower Hose
The shower hose is an accompaniment to the showerhead. These come in many designs, are built of different materials, and also vary in length. It is best to shop for this at the same time as the showerhead.
3. Wall Elbow
The wall elbow connects your shower gear to the wall and controls the water pressure. It can also assist in changing the direction of the spray.
4. Wall Flange
The wall flange is what holds together the equipment against the wall. It comes in different shapes but is most commonly in a circular shape.
This tool is used to twist and turn things to loosen or tighten them. This tool is suitable to change a showerhead and will come in handy.
6. Vise Grips
This tool is also helpful in this process. Mainly used to tighten and loosen bolts, this would be helpful to place the fixtures.
7. Masonry Bits
These drills pierce through the cemented or concrete walls. This will help make room for the fittings of the fixtures against the wall.
8. Teflon or Tape
The use of tape is self-explanatory. This might be lying around in your house, so after a quick search, keep this nearby while working.
There will be some drilling and, therefore, some cement and debris. Keeping a rag will collect all the debris and provide your knees with a cushion against the bathroom floor.
There could be splashes of water, so wear something comfortable and have towels handy.
How to Install a New Showerhead
1. Ready the Tools for the Showerhead Installation
Before getting started with fixing your showerhead, you should have all the materials required when swapping showerheads. If you are missing some equipment, you can go to your nearest hardware store or order them online.
2. Turn the Shower Off
No one wants to be soaking wet before even starting the job. This is the simplest out of all the steps and is essential before beginning. If the shower is not off, you may experience leaks and will be left to clean up a bigger mess. If the shower leaks despite being turned off, you will have to replace the washer and O-rings. This job is for the experts, so it is advised you call a plumber for that. You can also shut off your home’s main water line.
3. Lay Down the Towels and Rag
Lay down the rag on the bathroom floor, so it catches all the debris from drilling. You can, alternatively, also lay down towels to catch the dirt and absorb any water from leakage.
4. Cover the Drains
Ensure that the shower drain is covered, so any falling debris does not clog it. You can cover it with a rag or just put a bucket on top of that area.
5. Remove the Old Showerhead and Fixtures
Once the essentials have been set and there is no leakage from the old showerhead, it is time to get your hands dirty. First, take out the old system of fixtures. This is done by wrapping a towel around the base of the shower arm and removing it manually from the showerhead.
Next, take your wrench and remove the wall elbow. Hold the towel firmly in place around the base as you unwind the wall elbow with the wrench. Once done, you should uncork the showerhead from the shower arm. Use the wrench and move it in a counterclockwise motion.
6. Clean the Parts
Once all the parts of the showerhead’s body are removed, take some time to clean them using soap and water and then pat them dry. If any of the screws unbolted from the old fixtures’ dismantling are rusted, remove them using vise grips and replace them with new ones.
7. Apply Teflon Tape
The shower arm or the hose is the link that connects the wall elbow in the wall and the showerhead, which is exposed and visible. Apply a coat of Teflon tape around the shower hose by wrapping it around it several times.
This tape seals the hose tightly with no risk of it becoming loose later. Ensure that you wrap the hose in the direction that the wall elbow will be unwinded, which is generally clockwise.
8. Fixing the New Fixtures
Before you start fixing the new showerhead, you will need to drill holes into the walls. If it is apparent that the dimensions of the old holes aren’t the correct configurations, then drill and adjust the holes.
Next, insert the required plugs into the holes, and then screw into them with the new wall flange and wall elbow.
9. Install the New Showerhead
Connect the new showerhead into the taped shower hose by twisting it in its place with a clockwise motion. Make sure that all fixtures are tightened to remove the risk of any leaks. Do not overtighten the showerhead to the point that it breaks.
1O. Connect All Parts
Once the wall parts are fixed and secured, and the outer body is connected, it is time to connect the two and seal them together. Put the wall flange over the pipe and then seal in the wall elbow. You can use tape to avoid any slips during the tightening process. Once all parts are attached, you have your flexible showerhead ready! You can sell the old parts at a junk station or take them to the hardware shop to see what can be done with them.
11. Testing the Showerhead
Once your new showerhead has been installed, it is time to give it a test run and see if the job you’ve done has been done the right way. If you see water escaping or leaking, check if all the fixtures are sealed and re-iterate the steps to ensure they were done properly. But if you follow through with these instructions, you will have a new showerhead ready to use!
The Benefits of Swapping Your Showerheads
Installing a new showerhead can change your shower experience, revamp the look of your bathroom, and help you save water and money. Swapping your showerheads takes a little time but is worth the effort, so if you’ve always wanted to do the job for quite some time, go ahead and use this guide to change your bathroom for the better!