Cleaning and Replacing a Shower Head

If you are like most people there are few things that are looked forward to as much as a relaxing shower. But as time goes shower heads, like everything else, wear out or fill with sediments. Cleaning or replacing the shower head is a simple task that requires only a short amount of time and little plumbing skill.

If you are looking to clean your existing shower head of sediments from minerals in the water or rust and corrosion in the pipe these are the steps to follow. Remove the shower head from the shower arm (the piece coming out of the wall) by unscrewing it. Be careful not to loosen the shower arm as it unscrews from the wall as well. Take care to not ruin the finish of the nut by using a properly fitting adjustable wrench (not pliers). Use masking or duct tape to cover the jaws of the wrench to reduce the chances of scratching the finish.

Once you have the shower head removed you will need to clean it. Some shower heads are easily disassembled (and reassembled) and some are not. Use your own judgment regarding your comfort with this process. If you do disassemble it you can then use pocket knife or similar object to scrape and visible deposits out of the head. Use a cotton swab to complete this process. If you do not disassemble the head, use an old toothbrush to clean into the head as far as possible. Pour water into the shower head and quickly swish it around and pour it out of the back of the shower head.

Use a toothbrush or small pin to clean the holes on the front of the shower head. When you are finished cleaning the shower head, wash the front of the shower head under a strong flow of water. This will remove remaining debris and also wash larger sediments from the inside out of the back. Soak the shower head overnight submerged in vinegar to complete the cleaning process.

If you have decided to replace the shower head, simply go to a hardware, department, or home improvement store and pick out a new one. Various models to choose from are available. Consider the low flow models that now use smaller amounts of water to achieve high pressure and use substantially less water than older models. Once you return home with you selection, it is simply a matter of screwing the new head onto the existing shower arm.

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