How to replace or switch a shower head that is not working? (AVOID Doing This!)

If you have tried removing the lime scale from your shower head with vinegar and that didn’t work, it might be time to replace it. This will restore the water flow and you can enjoy a great shower. Let’s see how this can be done.

Replacing your shower head is a relatively easy task, but it doesn’t come without some potential pitfalls. If you’re not careful, replacing your shower head can turn into a major project. However, it doesn’t need to be so daunting when you know what to expect and how to replace a showerhead on your own.  Here is everything you need to know about replacing a shower head in your home.


There are many different types of showerheads available on the market today. The most common types are overhead showerheads and handheld showerheads. 

Tools Needed for Shower Head Replacement

When you’re replacing a shower head, you must bring the right tools with you. These tools include a towel, wrench or adjustable wrench and pliers. 

In some instances, a Phillips screwdriver and Hex key are also useful for removing the old shower head’s housing.  

How to replace an overhead showerhead

The first step is to get ready to change the shower head. This means setting up the workspace and collecting the required supplies. 

 Start by clearing the workspace and removing any nearby clutter (such as shampoo bottles).

We start off by closing the water supply valve. If you don’t have one nearby, you might have to close the main water supply valve. Once this is done, we can drain the water from the pipes. This is done by opening the shower faucet and nearby faucets.

Disconnect the old overhead shower head

When you’re ready, remove the old showerhead and its housing. You can usually do this with a wrench. In some instances, you will have to remove a screw from the housing before you can remove the showerhead. Once this is done, you can take the wrench to turn the showerhead counterclockwise. This might take some power. Don’t use too much force as you can break the water supply pipe. 

If you notice that it is stuck, you can use a plastic bag and fill it with vinegar. Use a rubber band to tie this to the connection between the showerhead and pipe. Let this rest for 24 hours so that the vinegar can remove some of the dirt. You can also use a lubricant spray such as WD40 to try and get things loose. You can use the towel to make sure that this doesn’t drip on your shower pan.

Be careful that the showerhead doesn’t fall in your shower pan as this can make it crack! You can ask someone to hold the showerhead while you unscrew it. 

Install a new overhead shower head

The next step is to install the new shower head. Be sure to use the correct type of shower head connector to attach the new shower head. You can find the correct type of connector by taking a look at the model of shower that you have. This can often be found on the website of the manufacturer. When in doubt, you can always send them a picture to get an idea of the model that you have. 

 To install the new shower head, you can turn the shower head clockwise. You might have to add some Teflon tape around the threads of the pipe before you do this (it depends on the type of shower head that you have, check the manual of your). It is possible to tighten it with a wrench but be careful not to scratch it. This can damage the coating on the showerhead and make it rust. Don’t overtighten the shower head as this can break the connector.  

If you are changing your shower, you have to make sure that the water pressure in this location is high enough. A lot of people install a rain shower but come to the realization that this requires more water. In some instances, you can install a pump but you might have to upgrade your water pipes. A plumber can help you to widen these pipes so that you have enough water for this type of shower.

How to replace a handheld showerhead

We start off by closing the water supply valve. If you don’t have one nearby, you might have to close the main water supply valve. Once this is done, we can drain the water from the pipes. This is done by opening the shower faucet and nearby faucets.

Remove the handheld showerhead

Take the shower head and place the head on the floor of the shower. Now we are going to follow the hose toward the shower valves.

Find the connector. This is a metal nut that is typically wider than the hose. It connects the hose and the shower valves. Try to turn this part counterclockwise by hand and see if it comes off. If this doesn’t work, we will have to use a tool. Add your wrench to this piece and turn it counterclockwise. The connector should come off. Make sure that it doesn’t fall in your shower tub as it can cause some damage. Some water might come out of the showerhead so have a towel handy.

If you want to reuse the showerhead, it can be a good idea to use a rubber strap wrench. Showerheads have a coating that makes them rustproof. If you scratch the coating, it will start to rust soon after this. A standard wrench can scratch the fitting (or connector) and let it rust.

Installing a new handheld showerhead

Installing a new handheld showerhead is quite easy. Just make sure that the new connector has the same size as your current one. Most showers use the same size but some don’t. It should fit with your current holder as well so that you don’t have to replace this. 

 That is it! You now have your new shower head and can use it for years to come. 

Take-aways on how to replace a shower head

Now that you know how to replace a shower head, you’re ready to get started. This job can be completed in under an hour, and it doesn’t require any special tools. Before you know it, you’ll have a brand new shower head that works better than the old one.

We have discussed how to remove a tub spout HERE.