How to Install a Shower Head


For those who have never replaced a shower head before the thought of doing it yourself may sound intimidating. Don’t worry though. Changing a shower head is almost as easy as changing a light bulb. Anyone can do it.

Why change your shower head?

There are a few reasons. The first and most obvious reason would be if the existing shower head is damaged and leaking. Those of us with more sediment and minerals in their water supply may encounter internal clogging or corrosion. Or maybe you simply want a different spray pattern for your showers.

Actually choosing a new shower head can be a bit of a chore. There are so many options out there. From rather large rain simulating to very tiny water saving shower heads. The shower head I went with is an inexpensive shower head that has just a couple spray settings.

Removing the old shower head

The first step is to remove the old shower head. There is no standing water pressure on this connection so long as the shower faucet is off. No need to turn the house water off for this job. To remove the shower head unscrew it counter clockwise from the shower head arm. If it doesn’t unscrew by hand you will need to use a pair of pliers to help remove it. Be careful not to accidentally unscrew the actual shower head arm from the wall though. If you think it might start turning you can use another pair of pliers to hold it steady as you remove the shower head. To protect the finish you can use a rag underneath the pliers.

hgmm shower head (1)

Install the new shower head

When installing a new shower head you need to make sure the threaded connection to the shower head arm is sealed. This can be done two ways. The first is pipe thread seal tape only if a rubber washer is not included with the new shower head. Wrap a few loops around the threads in the clockwise direction before installing the shower head. If you find water leaking out of this joint after the installation is complete you can always wrap more pipe thread seal tape onto the threads until enough is built up to stop the leak.

hgmm shower head (2)

The second way to seal this connection is if your new shower head came with a rubber washer. The vast majority of new shower heads will come with a rubber washer.

hgmm shower head (3)

To install the new shower head screw it clockwise onto the shower head arm. Tighten it up as much as you can by hand and give it one quarter turn with a pair of pliers.

hgmm shower head (4)

To prevent the pliers from scratching the new shower head use a rag between the pliers and the shower head.

Install a shower head

With the new shower head installed turn the water on and check for any leaks. If the connection is leaking remove the shower head again and either add more pipe thread tape or make sure the rubber washer is properly in place. That’s it. Replacing a shower head is one of the easiest repairs or upgrades that can be done around the house.


  1. I went to change my shower head, but found out the ball end was soldered onto the supply neck pipe. The soldered ball held the threaded collar from coming off. Had to replace the supply pipe with one threaded on both ends. Not a big deal; but caught me by surprise. Just something novices should be aware of.


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