Over time, showerheads become outdated or clogged with mineral deposits. At that point, a new showerhead can be installed. While a plumber can always help, this is something that most anyone can handle with ease. When the time comes to replace a showerhead, you have an excellent opportunity to go with something more high-tech.
New showerheads are designed to produce gentle pulsations to more vigorous massages. All have a flow rating, which is the number of gallons of water sprayed per minute. To save on energy, a water-conserving showerhead is ideal. Known as low-flow showerheads, these produce only 2.5 gallons per minute compared to 8 gallons per minute for more conventional models.
Preparation and Installation
The information below is for a handheld showerhead, which is extremely popular.
- Before doing any work, an old towel should be placed on the bottom of the tub or shower. This provides protection against scratches on the fiberglass or porcelain material.
- To direct water in various directions or to attach two showerheads to one water source, an adapter kit is needed.
- The old showerhead must be removed. Typically, adjustable pliers work well, but to prevent the metal from getting scratched, they should be wrapped with a small rag. Twisting in the right direction will loosen the old showerhead, which then just unscrews. Any remaining Teflon tape or plumber’s putty should be removed using a small amount of paint thinner.
- If an adapter will be used, this is attached by following the manufacturer’s directions as part of the kit.
- Teflon tape should be applied to the shower stem threads. After the new showerhead is installed, the tape prevents water leakage. It is important to wrap the tape in the direction the new showerhead will be tightened so it does not peel off.
- The diverter is then attached to the shower stem, tightening it firmly by hand. Although a wrench can be used, the diverter should never be tightened too much. With the right washer in the neck of the showerhead, this is attached to one diverter neck and tightened.
- After the showerhead has been installed, Teflon tape should be applied to the other diverter neck, followed by attaching the hose extender that includes the handheld attachment to the free neck on the diverter.
Of all the steps, applying Teflon tape in the correct direction is the most important. Otherwise, there is a strong chance the new fixture will leak the first time used and the leak will worsen as time goes on.