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Installing A New Showerhead

When you want to get the best out of your shower experience, think about changing your showerhead. Install a new and improved showerhead and let the amazing cleansing experience begin!

Posted in Bathrooms over 11 years ago, 0 replies

If you feel pressure in all situations of your life except when in the shower—you might need to buy a new showerhead. That’s right, simply combining a new showerhead with great water pressure can expose your body to an amazing shower experience on a daily basis.

It’s unbelievable how many people settle for shower dribble when with a quick twist of a wrench to remove an old showerhead, you can have gushes of cleansing water raining all over you. And showerheads are relatively quick and easy to install too. After about an hour of installation work, you could be bathing under a Niagara-like waterfall while singing as if the shower is the stage for your very own concert.

Costs

When it comes to cost, your basic showerheads are pretty inexpensive. The fancier ones with all the gizmos and gadgets will cost you more. But both are very affordable. Prices for a low-flow showerhead can range from less than $5 to more than $100 for the high-end designer styles.

The difference in price for a particular showerhead is not an indication of how good the water stream will be. The price difference is more indicative of the features the showerhead has with it, the materials it is constructed from, and the showerhead’s finish. For example, you can purchase a brass or chrome fixed showerhead for as low as $20, and for just under $10 you can purchase environmental friendly, i.e. water-saving showerheads.

Types of Showerheads

There are two main types of showerheads: fixed and hand-held. Fixed showerheads are mounted permanently to the wall of your shower. Hand-held showerheads often hang onto a wall-mounted bracket by a clip, swivel or bar, and the unit can then be taken out and held in hand. The flexible hose that accompanies hand-held models is fastened directly onto the shower arm, onto a diverter valve (a device that changes the direction of water flow from one faucet to another) between a customary showerhead and the shower arm, or onto a deck-mounted diverter valve on a bathtub.

The Fixed Showerhead

Although fixed showerheads are mounted onto the wall, you can purchase an extension arm. The arm will allow you to swivel the showerhead so that it can be adjusted to any height and in any direction that will work for you. You can also add a massaging unit to your fixed showerhead or add a supplementary showerhead on a movable riser to complement the fixed showerhead. This way you can have a fixed showerhead overhead and one you can adjust yourself by sliding it up and down a permanent pole to an ideal position above head.

Another option you can use to complement your fixed showerhead is to install a sunflower showerhead. Sunflower showerheads are about 8 inches or more in diameter and create a rainfall-like flow. They are a stylish, and they cost around $50.

The Hand-held Showerhead

Hand-held showerheads are more versatile than fixed showerheads. They provide all the benefits of a fixed showerhead and more. For one, a hand-held showerhead allows you to direct the water flow in any direction you want because you can remove it from its fixed, wall-mounted cradle and reach those hard-to-reach places.

Hand-held showerheads can actually be more cost effective too. Think about how much water is wasted in the shower as you stand off to the side to lather up before you rinse off. Because a hand-held showerhead unit can be sprayed directly where you want it, you actually use less water. And because you can hold the unit closer to your body, water has a shorter distance to travel, which means the water doesn’t cool in the air as much, and you can take a shower with a slightly lower temperature than you would with a fixed showerhead. Lower temperature can translate into a lower water bill.

Tips For Buying Showerheads

1. Look for low-flow showerheads for energy savings. The low-flow head uses less water than the government standard water flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute at a standardized pressure of 80psi. Using a low-flow showerhead means greater energy savings for the consumer.

2. Low water pressure (pressure less than 80psi) can greatly influence the efficiency of your shower. If you’re in a home that has low water pressure, purchase a showerhead model that is specifically designed for low water pressure use. And also look for showerheads that have a cut-off valve. Cut-off valves permit you to momentarily cease the flow of water while you lather up or shampoo your hair, which significantly cuts down on the amount of water wasted during each shower.

3. A good shower hose is a great companion to a new showerhead. A large bore hose is good for low water pressure because its wider diameter allows for less friction so that the water can travel through easier. Conversely, if you have high water pressure you should use the small bore shower hose so that water is pumped under pressure to the showerhead. Always check the quality of the finish of the hose before buying, as good quality hoses are usually made of stainless steel or brass.

4. Showerheads come with different spray patterns. From wide, round showerheads that offer a torrential rain-like feel to spherical showerheads that offer sharp sprays or fine mists. And many showerheads offer a combination of spray patterns. Try to find a showerhead unit that allows you to easily change the spray pattern even if your hands are soapy.

Easy showerhead installation

Often, the extent of installing a new showerhead is removing the old one from the shower unit and replacing it. Even having to replace an old shower arm is not that hard of a job. Most showerheads come with simple step-by-step directions to follow.

Sometimes you can remove old showerheads by unscrewing the inlet pipe by hand to avoid marring the pipes. Other times you’ll use an adjustable wrench. The directions usually entail you to wrap the threads of the inlet pipe with pipe-wrap tape before putting on the new head.

Step 1

Remove your old showerhead with a strap wrench. If you don't have one, use an adjustable, open-end wrench or adjustable pliers. A good tip to removing an old showerhead is to use two wrenches. Use one wrench to keep the stem in place and one to unscrew the old head. And to remove the old showerhead without marring the finish on the nut, wrap a cloth, thin towel or masking tape around the stem before loosening it.

Step 2

Seal the connection between the stem and the showerhead by wrapping the threads on the shower arm with Teflon tape or pipe-wrap tape.

Step 3

Screw the new showerhead onto the threaded stem and tighten with a wrench or by hand. Make sure you do not over tighten the new showerhead when screwing it into place. A simple half turn past finger tight will seal the joint.

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Help in uninstalling old shower head

Step 1 remove the old shower head - I cannot remove th old head even with 2 wrenches. I have used WD 40 for several days hoping to loosen the connection with no result. The harder I try the more the part out of the wall wants to turn rather than the part I want to remove. What do I try now as I do not want to cause a problem behind the wall?

Thanks for any help.

fran

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