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    Changing a shower head

    How to do it without the help of a plumber

    Alex | Oneflare

    One of the best ways to update and increase the functionality of your bathroom is with a new shower head. An updated shower head can create a more modern and contemporary setting in your bathroom. If you have some DIY experience, installing replacement shower heads is simple, affordable, and straightforward enough to do yourself without needing a professional plumber. Changing a modern shower head and hose can allow you to save more money on your shower bill and improve your water pressure. It can also allow you to utilize more features and take quicker showers if the pressure is higher than the last shower head.

    What tools and materials are required?

    • A stool or ladder
    • Shifting spanner
    • New shower head
    • Soft jaw pliers
    • Thread tape
    A new shower head can make a bathroom more modern / Source: Protek Design

    How to change a shower head

    1. Unscrew the existing shower head – If you want to know how to replace a basic shower head, start by unscrewing the detachable shower head after shutting off the water. You don’t need to turn off the main water supply, but the tap needs to be in the off position. Using a shifting spanner will make it easier to remove the shower head if any corrosion is present. Turn the neck of the shower head counter-clockwise to remove it altogether. You can also remove it with your hand while using pliers on the pipe that connects to it. Consider protecting the pipe with soft jaw pliers and even a soft cloth.
    2. Clean the area – When you want to learn how to replace a shower head, you’ll need to be ready to clean the parts. Remove any dirt that is present on the threaded extension pipe once the shower head has been removed. You can use items like a wire brush, damp paper towel, or even an old toothbrush to thoroughly clean the small crevices. It’s essential to wash and dry the threads before you add any thread tape.
    3. Thread tape – Once the parts are clean, you can use durable tape to ensure each layer covers half of the layer that is already present when you wrap the threads. Start at the base and move clockwise and use the same sequence until you get to the end of the threads.
    4. Fix the new head in place – It’s important to read the instructions on the new shower nozzle in advance to determine if you need any special tools to install it. You may be able to use your hand to screw it clockwise onto the threads. When changing a shower head, do not tighten it too much to avoid breaking anything.
    5. Test it see if it works – Once the shower head is in place, turn the water back on and look for any leaks that may be present. You may need to tighten it more if any water is squirting out the sides. The rubber seal may also need to be adjusted or replaced. Turn off the water again before you make any further adjustments. Keep in mind that there may be some slower water pressure initially as the shower head is in place the first few minutes.

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    How to replace a removable shower head (a shower head with hose)

    When you want to replace a removable shower head, you’ll need to position the new flange before winding it two turns with plumber’s tape. Turn it clockwise and secure it with a shifter.

    What to do about a leaking shower head 

    If you notice that your shower head is leaking, you’ll need to start by shutting off the water supply. Use a large towel to cover the bottom of the shower and the drain. Use your hands to unscrew the shower head, but have a crescent wrench or pliers on hand if it has a firm and tight seal. You can replace the washers or rubber o-rings if they look like they’re old and dingy. If they’re relatively new, you can rewrap the threads with Teflon tape to seal any gaps with the piping and shower head.

    A rain shower head / Source: Buildtech Homes

    How to hire a plumber

    • Check their licensing and qualifications: Look into the background of the plumber you plan to hire to determine if they have a valid license and can be trusted. Ask about their background and experience in the industry to ensure they’re qualified to complete shower plumbing tasks.
    • Ask for references: Consider asking the professional for a few references to ensure you can contact their former customers and inquire about their experience. It’s important to know if other customers had a positive experience and recommend the services to other people. 
    • Read reviews: Most reputable plumbers in the local area are well-known in the industry and have reviews posted online. Reading reviews will give you a chance to get an idea of their reputation and how satisfied former customers are with the services. Keep in mind that most professionals have a few negative reviews, but it doesn’t mean they don’t perform quality work.
    • Get a quote: Avoid hiring the plumber who provides you with the lowest quote, which means they may have a lack of experience or cut corners with the work. The quote should be fair but also competitive in the industry.
    • Get everything in writing: Once you agree to hire a plumber, be sure to get everything in writing to avoid confusion or complications with the shower head installation. Writing a contract with the rates they plan to charge can allow both parties to be on the same page and can avoid disagreements since you always can refer back to the document. It can also protect you legally as the customer if the work is not up to standard.
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