There’s no specific timeline for replacing a shower head as it largely depends on its quality, frequency of use, and maintenance. However, on average, a shower head might last 6-8 years. Visible signs of wear and tear, inconsistent water flow, or a buildup of mineral deposits usually indicate that it’s time for a replacement.
Let’s learn how to replace a shower head yourself!
How to Replace a Fixed Shower Head?
- New Shower Head
- Adjustable Wrench or Pliers
- Plumber’s Tape
- Soft Cloth
- Vinegar (optional for cleaning any mineral deposits)
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Time Required: Approximately 30-60 minutes
- Use an adjustable wrench to loosen the old shower head. Protect the surface with a soft cloth if necessary to avoid scratches.
- Once loose, unscrew the shower head by hand in a counterclockwise direction and remove it from the arm.
- Clean the shower arm threads to remove any old tape or residue. If there are mineral deposits, a gentle scrub with vinegar can help remove them.
- Apply the plumber’s tape around the shower arm’s threads clockwise. This helps create a good seal for the new shower head.
- Screw on the new shower head by hand at first. Make sure it’s aligned correctly and going on straight to avoid cross-threading.
- Once the shower head is hand-tight, use the wrench to tighten it further. Again, protect the finish of the shower head with a soft cloth.
- Test the new shower head by turning on the water. Check for any leaks at the connection. If there’s a leak, turn off the water, remove the shower head, apply more plumber’s tape, and repeat the installation process.
- Remember, do not over-tighten the shower head, as it can lead to damage. The goal is to make it snug but not overly tight.
How to Replace a Hand-Held Shower Head?
Replacing a hand-held shower head involves unscrewing and removing the old shower head from the hose using an adjustable wrench. After cleaning the threads and applying the plumber’s tape, the new shower head is screwed onto the hose by hand and then tightened slightly with the wrench. Lastly, the water is turned on to check for leaks at the connection. This process typically takes less than an hour and requires basic DIY skills.
How to Replace a Fixed-Mount and Hand-Held Combo Shower Head?
To replace a fixed-mount and hand-held combo shower head, remove the fixed and hand-held shower heads using an adjustable wrench while protecting the surface to avoid scratches. After cleaning the threads of the shower arm and hose and applying the plumber’s tape, you can install the new fixed and hand-held shower heads. Finally, you’d check for leaks and make sure the connections are snug but not overly tight. This process generally combines replacing a fixed shower head and a hand-held shower head.
Signs that your Shower Head Needs Replacement
Decreased Water Pressure: If your shower’s water pressure has significantly decreased, it could be due to a blockage or damage in your shower head.
Constant Dripping: A shower head that constantly drips, even when turned off, may indicate a problem with the shower head’s internal parts.
Visible Rust or Mineral Deposits: Over time, mineral deposits or rust can build up on your shower head. If cleaning doesn’t solve the issue, it’s a clear sign the shower head needs replacing.
Inconsistent Spray: If water is spraying in various directions or some nozzles are not working, the shower head might be damaged or clogged and need replacement.
Frequent Leaks: If your shower head regularly leaks around the connection to the pipe, despite efforts to fix it, this could be a sign of a damaged shower head.
Age: If your shower head is very old and hasn’t been replaced in many years, it might be time to replace it, even if it seems to be working fine. Newer models can offer better water efficiency and features.
Benefits of Timely Replacing a Shower Head
Improved Water Efficiency: Modern shower heads are designed to conserve water while providing a satisfying shower experience. Replacing an old shower head can help reduce your water usage.
Enhanced Shower Experience: Newer shower heads often come with multiple spray settings and features, allowing for a more personalized and improved shower experience.
Lower Utility Bills: Using less water can save on your monthly water bill. If your hot water usage decreases, you could also see savings on your energy bill.
Better Health and Safety: Over time, shower head can harbor bacteria or become corroded. Regularly replacing them ensures you’re not exposing yourself to potential health risks.
Home Value: Keeping fixtures updated, including shower heads, can maintain or even increase the value of your home, especially if you’re planning to sell.
Prevents Damage: A leaking or malfunctioning shower head can damage water over time. Replacing it timely can help avoid costly repairs.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I replace the Shower Head?
The lifespan of a shower head varies depending on its quality, how often it’s used, and how well it’s maintained. However, as a general rule, you might want to consider replacing your shower head every 6-8 years or sooner if it shows signs of wear and tear, reduced water flow, or mineral buildup.
Can I DIY replace a sliding bar Shower Head?
Yes, you can DIY replace a sliding bar shower head. It typically involves removing the old unit from the sliding bar and hose and replacing it with a new one. You may need some basic tools and a plumber’s tape, but the process is generally straightforward. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Is it better to hire a professional to replace shower panels or technology-enabled Shower Heads?
It might be better to hire a professional to replace complex shower panels or technology-enabled shower heads, especially if the replacement involves electrical connections, advanced plumbing skills, or modifications to your bathroom structure. A professional can ensure the installation is safe and correct and may also provide a warranty.