Introduction: How to Replace a Shower Head and Arm

Picture of How to Replace a Shower Head and Arm

There are many instances in life when there will be something you don't like. In this case there is an issue with your shower specifically with the shower head and arm. I recently chose to replace my shower head because I wasn't happy with the water pressure. To change the shower head and arm it was just a matter of being careful and following these steps. With the instructions below you will be able to easily change a shower head and arm in less than seven minutes. It is not recommended to use trial and error when dealing with bathroom fixtures. This job is for adults or high functioning teens.

Step 1: Does It Need Replacing?

Picture of Does It Need Replacing?

If your shower head is rusty, really dirty, and leaking or dribbling it probably needs replace.

Step 2: What You Will Need:

Picture of What You Will Need:

A new shower head and arm (only if it needs replaced or you want a new one)

Channel lock pliers or Monkey Wrench

Flat head screw driver.

Teflon tape.

CLR cleaning solution

Old towel or rag

Step 3: Removal of Shower Head

Picture of Removal of Shower Head

Remove the old shower head by using the channel lock pliers or monkey wrench. Be sure to turn the pliers counter-clockwise to loosen the old shower head. (Tip: Right is tight, left is loose.)

Step 4: Removal of Shower Arm

Picture of Removal of Shower Arm

Remove the shower arm by turning it by hand counter clockwise. Check the quality of the putty or teflon tape on the old shower arm. If it is not uniform on the threading of the shower arm make sure you remember to apply putty or tape to the new arm. (Tip: Using teflon tape is less messy)

Step 5: Preparation for New Parts

Now that both the shower head and the arm are removed you can begin preparation for the new shower arm.

Step 6: Applying Teflon Tape

Picture of Applying Teflon Tape

Apply teflon tape to the threading of the shower arm by wrapping it around the threads, go all the way around 3 or 4 times depending on the quality of the Teflon tape. (Tip: see step 6 for more details)

Step 7: Installing the New Arm

Picture of Installing the New Arm

Start reinstalling the new shower arm by going clockwise by hand until it is tight, then put painters tape around the arm and tighten the arm with the channel lock or monkey wrench. The painters tape around the shower arm prevents the pliers or wrench from making scratches or marks on the new shower arm. There are two different ways to apply the shower head.

A: You can install the shower head two ways. The first andway is to place the shower head into the shower arm before the arm is installed in the wall this saves some time and allows you to make sure that the shower head threads are straight before you install the shower arm. Apply Teflon tape to the threading on the shower head then screw into the shower arm by turning the shower head clockwise into the threading shower arm.

B: The second way is to apply the shower head is to first place Teflon tape around the threads on the shower head and then place the shower head onto the shower arm by turning the shower head clockwise after the shower arm is already in the wall.

Step 8: See This Step If ONLY Replacing the Shower Head

If you plan on only replacing the shower head then just remove the old shower head using the pliers or wrench. Check the shower arm for a plastic seal that would have been left over from the old shower head. (Tip: use a flat head screw driver to check for the seal. DO NOT USE YOUR FINGERS)

Make sure you clean the Shower arm threads because there will be calcium buildup on the threads. Use a rag with some CLR cleaning solution on it to clean the threads before applying the new shower head.

Step 9: Finished, Now Make Sure There Are No Leaks

Picture of Finished, Now Make Sure There Are No Leaks

If you find a leak, remove the shower head, re-tape the threads of the shower arm, and re-install the shower head. Repeat this process until no more leaks are found.

Now that you have finished with all the steps in the process you should have a brand new shower head with satisfying water pressure or a sleek new look. Again there should be no leaks. Congratulations!

Step 10: Tips & Tricks

Make sure the water is off.

If you are unable to stop the any leaking if it happens call a professional plumber.

Comments

tomatoskins (author)2015-03-25

This looks great! I've been thinking of doing a project with shower heads lately. This is a great resource for me. Thanks for sharing and welcome to the community!

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