It's a bit funny how we tend to overlook the things we use most often. The excess dripping of a showerhead, for instance, might go unnoticed day after day. When we do become aware of the problem, fixing it can get demoted to the bottom of our to-do list—after all, it still works, right?
This weekend, make it a priority to treat yourself to a more enjoyable shower, lower heating bill, and good feelings from helping out the environment. Installing a low-flow showerhead can be an inexpensive repair (showerheads range anywhere from $10 to $200) that is too easy not to do.
What you'll need:
- Replacement low-flow showerhead
- Teflon tape (thread seal tape)
- Ten minutes
Firmly turn off your shower faucets—this should be a dry process from beginning to end. Next, unscrew your old showerhead. The neck of the showerhead should be flat where it meets the wall pipe—this is meant for your wrench. You may find it's a bit reluctant to unscrew, particularly if it's been in use for many years. After its removal, clean the wall pipe's threads of any residual Teflon tape or pipe compound.
Tightly wrap your new Teflon tape clockwise around the wall pipe's threads four or five times. Applying the tape in a clockwise direction will make sure the showerhead won't work against the tape seam when you tighten it during installation. Avoid wrapping the tape above the threads, as it will show after the showerhead is installed. It might be a small thing, but it'll irk you later.
If your new showerhead comes with a rubber washer, place the washer inside the showerhead and hand-tighten only. Over-tightening (as is prone to happen with a wrench) will force the washer into the wall pipe, creating all manner of trouble.
If your showerhead doesn't come with a washer, tighten it firmly with a wrench. Be careful to avoid cross threading the new showerhead with the threads on the wall pipe—this is particularly easy to do with aluminum, since it's a fairly soft metal.
Not too hard, right? Go enjoy your new shower!
Until next time,
The Home Know-It-All