For Gold, Peace, and Freedom


How to Install a Shower Head

September 2nd, 2009

shower-head-install.jpgIf you’re getting ready to install a new shower head but are afraid of tackling the job, do not despair! Installing a new shower head is a relatively simple affair. By following these simple steps, you should be up and running with a new shower fixture attached in just a few minutes.

Tools you will need:

  1. A set of channel lock pliers
  2. a towel or rag
  3. surface cleaner safe for plastic


  1. Teflon thread-sealing plumber’s tape
  2. the actual shower head


  • Turn off the water supply. You may not need to shut off the water source to the tub, but it doesn’t hurt to do so just to be sure that you don’t end up soaking wet.
  • Using the channel lock pliers, gently grasp the end of the old shower head where it attaches to the water pipe that comes out of the wall. Turn the shower head’s threads counter-clockwise and loosen the old head until it pulls free.
  • Wipe the threads on the water pipe completely clean, making sure they are totally free of debris or dirt. If you leave anything in the threads, you run the risk of there being a leak.
  • Wrap the threads of the pipe in a single layer of the Teflon tape, wrapping it clockwise around the threads from the front to the back. This tape helps seal the new shower head to the water line and prevent leaks.
  • Tighten by hand the new shower head around the water supply’s threads until tight. DO NOT USE EXCESSIVE FORCE. Use the pliers to gently finish tightening the head to the pipe – do not apply too much force because you can break the attachments or strip the threads. You could also crack the water supply line or the shower head. If you break the water supply line or strip its threads, you will be looking at a job of cutting out or replacing the supply line, either immediately or the next time the shower head needs replaced.
  • Slowly turn on the water supply and pull the diverter so the water will go to the shower head. Slowly turn on the cold water and test that the fitting doesn’t leak.

Your new shower head is now ready for years of use.

W. Thomas Payne is a freelance writer, photographer, and general handyman with words who likes to roam the back roads of America looking for the slightly different, the bizarre, and the fun that can be found in those ‘off the highway’ locales.

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