DIY

A step by step guide to swapping your shower head

The forecast is for a clean showerhead swap!
Loading the player...

Is your leaky showerhead driving you psycho? Replacing a showerhead doesn’t have to be murder. If things are looking old and tired, and there’s water spraying out of the perished hose, there’s no need to call in a professional! This is a quick DIY fix that even a complete beginner can master.

Replacing a flexible shower hose and head is as easy as unscrewing the old and screwing on the new – you don’t even turn off the mains water! Plus, the cost is only around $160 for main fitting. 

Gather your supplies

  • Replacement hand shower with flexible hose
  • Wall elbow to suit
  • Wall flange to suit wall elbow
  • Multigrips
  • Vise grips
  • Masonry bits
  • Teflon or plumber’s tape
  • Rags

How to replace a showerhead

Step 1

Turn off shower taps. If shower continues to drip, a plumber may need to replace washer and O-rings in tap head. If there is no leakage, remove the old hose from wall elbow using multigrips.

Before

Step 2

Remove the wall fitting or wall elbow by hand. Pick off old plumber’s tape and clean thread on pipe protruding from wall. Undo screws holding rail brackets. If screws are rusted, drill out screw head with 2mm then 4mm drill bits, remove fitting, then remove old screws using vise grips. Pull out old plastic plugs, or cut them flush with or below tile surface.

Step 3

The new shower fitting should let you adjust bracket positions to cover old screw holes. If you can’t use old holes, drill new ones. Stick masking tape to tile and mark position of hole (tape will stop masonry bit skating across tile before it bites). Drill 6mm holes as needed. Insert plugs into holes and screw on bracket bases.

Step 4

Push brackets and rails onto bases. Adjust rail to suit, then, using an allen key fasten with 2 machine screws supplied.

Step 5

Wind Teflon or plumber’s tape 7 times around thread, in same direction you’ll be winding on wall elbow. Place matching flange over pipe for a neat installation, then wind on wall elbow by hand until tightly sealed. If it doesn’t seal, remove and wind on more tape. Attach hose to elbow using rubber seal provided, then attach handset to hose. Hang hand shower in cradle on rail. With your flexible shower in place, you may find that the old tap handles need to be replaced too – a cinch. Just take an old tap handle to the shop, to ensure new ones are same fitting. Otherwise you’ll need to do major plumbing work, such as replacing tap head and spindle.

You might also like: 

How to repair a broken bathroom or kitchen tile

17 fixes for the most annoying home problems

Related stories