How to Take a Shower Head Off

Replacing a shower head simply requires unscrewing the head from the pipe. Click here to review the steps.
Written by Matt Terzi
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Taking a shower head off is as simple as unscrewing it from the shower pipe. You can usually do this with your bare hands. 
But what about not-so-plain shower heads? It can take a little extra work if you’re dealing with something like a fixed mount and handheld combo. 
We’ve got you covered. Here to review how to remove a shower head and how to install a new one is the
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How to take off a shower head without a wrench

Removing a shower head is as simple as unscrewing it. Most shower heads screw onto the shower pipe, so all you need to do is unscrew it and it should come right off. (Keep the old mantra of “righty tighty—lefty loosey” in mind: twist left to loosen and right to tighten it up.)
Similarly, most shower head replacements don’t require any special tools. But there will be some instances where the process won’t be as simple as unscrewing the old one and screwing on the new one.

How to take off a shower head that won’t unscrew

If the shower head isn’t budging and won’t unscrew, you might need to use a rag and an adjustable wrench to get it loose.
This method is pretty straightforward, too. Wrap the rag around the connecting nut (the bit that screws), then put your adjustable wrench over the rag. Use both to loosen the nut.
Why use a rag? It protects the nut from scratches from the wrench teeth. This is especially important if it’s a plastic nut or if the nut is made from something more malleable than steel (i.e., copper).
If you’re still unable to unscrew the shower head, it’s likely that mineral deposits have built up between the nut and the threading on the shower pipe. 
In this case, gather a plastic bag, a few rubber bands, and some white vinegar. Put the vinegar in the bag, slide the bag up over the shower head and the nut, and use the rubber bands to hold it in place. Give it a few hours (or leave it up overnight), then remove it and try again. It should come loose more easily now.

How to install a new shower head

Once you’ve managed to take off your old shower head, it’s time to install the new one. And it’s just as simple as removing the old one—just screw it on.
Take a second to look at the shower pipe’s threading to make sure it looks clean. If there are mineral deposits built up, apply the bag of white vinegar as described above. That should get rid of the mineral deposits and make for an easier installation.

Hand-held and combo shower heads

Not all shower heads are as simple to install as a standard fixed one. The nicer shower heads with hand-held heads or the combos with fixed heads and hand-helds can be a little confusing when you first open the box.
Hopefully your fancy shower head came with an instructional packet. If not, though, consult a photo of how it looks finished to guide you. Here are the general steps to follow:
  • Screw the connector nut onto the shower pipe as you would with a fixed shower head
  • There should be a connection spot for the hose that runs to the handheld head. Connect the hose to both the connection nut and the handheld unit
  • If it’s a combo, find the place to screw in the fixed head and screw it in by hand
Pro Tip Most new shower heads include washers. Be sure to use them if they’re included. Washers protect the shower head and lengthen its lifespan. They also make it easier to remove the shower head later on.

Does home insurance cover showers or shower repairs?

A shower head replacement isn’t really worth phoning up your insurance provider. You’ll find new shower heads for sale for under $20, and even some high-quality combo units for under $50. But what about a leaky shower or problems that require more in-depth repairs?
If your shower has been damaged by a
peril named in your policy
, your shower repairs should be covered (minus your deductible and up to your policy limit). 
However, if the damage results from simple wear and tear or neglect on your part, or if the shower is especially old, insurance companies won’t cover the cost of repairs. 

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Cleaning a shower head involves the same steps as removing mineral deposits from it. 
Fill a plastic bag with white vinegar and fasten it to the shower head with rubber bands, or remove the shower head and put it in a bowl of white vinegar. Let it sit for a few hours or overnight, then give it a nice rinse and it should be all set.
Shower heads just unscrew and screw back on. With a handheld shower head, you just need to properly attach the hose to the connector nut and the handheld unit using the provided washers. This usually only takes a few minutes.
Which shower head is best boils down to personal preferences. Take your time to read professional and owner reviews to find a shower head that’s affordable, high quality, and aesthetically pleasing to you.
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