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How To Change a Shower HeadJanuary 2nd, 2023 by
Changing a shower head is a simple and cost-effective way to update the look and feel of your bathroom. Whether you’re looking for a new design or simply want to upgrade to a more efficient head, this task is something that most homeowners can do themselves with a few basic tools. In this article, we will walk you through the process of changing a shower head, from turning off the water to testing the new head for leaks. We will also cover the pros and cons of doing the installation yourself versus hiring a professional plumber. By the end of this article, you will have the knowledge and confidence to change your shower head and give your bathroom a fresh new look.
How Do You Change a Shower Head?
Changing a shower head is one of the easiest home improvements you can make. Other than the new head, you only need a few tools and supplies.
Estimate Time: 2 hours or less
Tools & Supplies:
- Step ladder
- Adjustable wrench or pipe wrench
- Wire brush or an old toothbrush
- Teflon tape, also called thread tape or plumbers tape
- Replacement shower head
Once you gather these tools and supplies, it’s time to begin the replacement process.
1. Shut Off the Water Supply
Locate the water shut-off valve and turn it off to stop the flow of water. Most valves are located in an access panel outside the bathroom or under the sink. After turning the valve off, turn on the shower head to drain the pipe. Do not move on to the next step until the water stops flowing.
2. Remove the Old Shower Head
Next, use the wrench to remove the old shower head. Turn it counterclockwise until the head comes free. This is only of the only difficult steps, and it can take a lot of force to remove the head, especially if it is very old.
3. Clean the Shower Arm Threads
The shower arm is the pipe that comes out of the wall and attaches to the shower head. Before you can change the head, you need to clean the pipe threads at the end of the shower arm. Start by peeling off as much of the old Teflon tape as possible. Then scrub it clean with either a wire brush or an old toothbrush. The pipe threads should be completely clean before proceeding.
4. Wrap the Pipe Threads with Teflon tape
Now, wrap the pipe threads with new Teflon thread tape. The thread-sealing tape creates a watertight seal to prevent leaks. Cut a piece of tape about 4 inches long, which is enough to go around the pipe three to four times. Start at the top of the threads, closest to the wall. Wrap the tape clockwise around the threads, stopping just before the end of the pipe. Run your fingers around the threads to press the tape in firmly.
5. Screw on the New Shower Head
Then screw on your new shower head, turning it clockwise on the pipe threads. Start by hand threading it on, then use the wrench to tighten it down. It should be firmly tightened, but you do not need to go crazy. Be careful not to over-tighten it, because this will strip the threads and cause leaks.
6 Turn On the Water and Check for Leaks
With the in shower head installed, turn on the water and check for leaks. If you have a leak, try tightening it a little more. If it continues to leak, remove it completely any apply more Teflon tape.
How Much Does It Cost To Change a Shower Head?
The average cost to replace a shower head yourself is $25 for a basic model and $135 for a higher-end unit. Most of the cost is the new head itself, but you may also need a few tools or supplies.
Basic shower heads can cost anywhere from $10 to $30. In contrast, a high-end models with multiple settings can cost anywhere from $50 to $200 or more. Teflon tape usually costs a few dollars. An adjustable wrench will range from $12 to $20, depending on the size and features.
If you choose to hire a professional plumber to install the new head, the cost will be higher. You can expect to pay about $100 more for expert installation, not including the cost of the head.
Pros and Cons of Replacing a Shower Head Yourself
There are several pros and cons to changing a shower head yourself rather than hiring a professional plumber:
- Cost savings: By doing the installation yourself, you will only need to pay for the cost of the new head and any necessary tools or materials, rather than paying for the plumber’s labor and service fees.
- Sense of accomplishment: Completing the task yourself can give you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
- Lack of experience: If you lack experience or knowledge in plumbing, you may have a hard time understanding the instructions or troubleshooting any issues that may arise.
- Risk of leaks: If the installation is not done correctly, it can lead to leaks and water damage, which can be costly to repair.
- Risk of injury: Although unlikely, you can injure yourself if you are not careful.
In short, you can save some money by changing a shower head yourself. But it’s important to weigh the pros and cons and determine whether you have the experience and knowledge to do the job safely and properly.
Pros and Cons of Hiring a Plumber To Change Your Shower Head
There are several pros and cons to hiring a professional plumber to change a shower head:
- Expertise: A professional plumber has the experience, knowledge, and tools to make the change quickly and correctly. This minimizes the risk of leaks or other issues.
- Time-saving: A plumber can complete the task more quickly than you would be able to do it yourself, and you don’t have to spend time researching how to do it and then doing it.
- Warranty: A professional plumber may offer a warranty on their work, which can give you peace of mind and protection in case of any issues with the installation.
- Cost: Hiring a professional plumber can be more expensive than doing the installation yourself. You’ll have to pay for the plumber’s labor and service fees, in addition to the cost of the new shower head and any necessary materials.
In conclusion, hiring a plumber to change a shower head can save time and ensure a proper and safe installation, but it can be more expensive than doing it yourself.