Replace shower head

Weekend How To: Replace Your Showerhead To Save Money

You’ve been searching for ways to cut down on your bills—small sacrifices you can make to save big bucks. Or just any bucks at all. So, for starters, you’ve turned off the running faucet while you brush your teeth and the glowing light when you leave a room. And you’ve cut your shower time and temperature to such an all-time low that the mirror doesn’t even fog-up anymore. Good for you. But as you stand under the barely lukewarm water with no overhead shower light on, you still want to do more, but what? Look up. When was the last time you changed your showerhead? You can save thousands of gallons of water per year—equaling a nice chunk of change for you—just by replacing it with a newer, WaterSense model. Want to learn how? It only takes about five minutes. Read on…

What’s Needed:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Slip-joint pliers
  • Teflon tape (also called plumber’s tape)
  • Electrical tape (optional)
  • A showerhead bearing the WaterSense label (found on most new showerheads)
  • Cloth rag

What’s Not Needed:

  • Handyman skills. This DIY is so super-simple you really can do it yourself.

Step 1: Prep

Be sure to block the drain with a cloth to prevent any parts from falling into it. Then place a blanket down to protect the tub while you work.

Step 2: Remove The Old Showerhead

Wrap the jaws of the slip-joint pliers with electrical tape OR place a towel around the shower arm to prevent scratching the finish. Next, grip the shower arm with the pliers. Using an adjustable wrench, carefully unscrew the old showerhead, turning it counterclockwise. Once removed, clean off all the old gunk, rust, and sealant from the threads on the shower arm.

Step 3: Wrap The Threads

Wrap Teflon tape (also called Plumber’s Tape) 2-3 times, clockwise, around the shower arm. Don’t wrap any higher than the threads to avoid seeing the tape once the new showerhead is installed. Press the tape firmly into the threads.

Step 4: Look For The Washer

Locate the threaded connection on the new showerhead and be sure the rubber washer is in place.

Step 5: Install The New Showerhead

Thread the new showerhead—bearing the WaterSense label—onto the shower arm, turning clockwise. Tighten the fixture with the tape-covered pliers, but not too tight—1/4 turn at a time should do the trick.

Step 6: Check For Leaks

Turn on the water and cross your fingers. If there’s a leak, keep tightening the showerhead until the dripping stops. You might have to remove the new showerhead and apply additional Teflon tape before you try again.

Step 7: Relax

Treat yourself to a hot shower. Your new showerhead maintains minimum flow for maximum power, so don’t worry about that extra water pressure that feels heavenly on your back and scalp. The new, less-is-more showerhead is still saving you money. Now that’s a reason to sing in the shower.