Installing a shower head pipe is an easy, DIY project that anyone can do. Here’s how to get it done right and have your beautiful, functional shower head pipe and arm up and running quickly!
First, wrap the threads on your new shower arm clockwise with PTFE tape. Doing this ensures that they do not cross-thread when installing into the wall.
Tighten the Fitting
When installing a shower head pipe, it is essential to tighten the fitting securely. Doing so will prevent leaks and keep the pipe from corroding or breaking.
To begin, wrap several loops of plumber’s pipe-seal tape around the threads on your fitting. Be sure to wrap it clockwise so that it will not loosen as you tighten it.
If the fitting appears loose, try using a lubricant such as WD-40 and applying one or two more wraps of plumber’s tape. If that doesn’t solve the problem, you may have to try taking out and trying again with another fitting.
Before you remove the fitting, clean its threads by scraping away old plumber’s tape or other debris on it. Additionally, check for mineral deposits and signs of deterioration.
Once the pipe is clean and dry, attach the shower head flange onto its fitting in a clockwise direction. Be sure to tighten until snug but do not overtighten for fear of damaging your pipe.
Once you’ve done this, test the connection for leaks. If water comes out of the fitting, turn it off and tighten with adjustable pliers until there is no more spray.
Repeat this process until you get it perfect. This is the best way to guarantee there won’t be any leaks later on.
Alternately, you can splice in a new section of pipe and install a push-in drop ear elbow to fix a leaky shower pipe. However, this option may prove costly if the original section was damaged.
Another way of fixing a leaky shower arm is to replace it with another model. There are plenty of models on the market that can fix a faulty shower arm, including ones that add a handheld unit onto an existing model.
Installing a hand-held showerhead requires temporarily replacing the existing showerhead by wrapping loops of plumber’s pipe seal tap around its threads (see above). Then screw a hand-held base onto that shower arm and tightening by hand. You may want to test for leaks before installing the new showerhead.
Install the Flange
A flange is an integral component of the shower that covers the hole where the head pipe attaches to the wall. Utilizing this simple component gives your shower a finished appearance and makes it more appealing for guests.
Installing a shower flange is relatively straightforward, though you will need the appropriate tools. Begin by shutting off the water to prepare the wall for installation of the flange.
Next, remove the existing shower head. This is easier if it is not coated with scale. If it is, soak it in vinegar for a few minutes to soften it and make removal easier.
Once you’ve taken the old shower head off, apply thread sealant to its threads and screw in the new one. Doing this is essential for avoiding leaks and damage to your wall.
If you are installing a clip-style flange, unclip it and spread it apart to fit in the shower arm. Alternatively, wrap the end around the end of the shower arm before sliding it into the wall and tightening against the pipe.
Once again, secure the flange with plumber’s tape. This step is essential as it secures both threads together and makes the pipe waterproof.
Wrap the tape 3 to 5 times clockwise around the flange of your gun in order to secure it into place and ensure it stays put as you tighten it into the wall.
Once the flange is installed, tighten it manually by hand. If you are uncertain of your ability to do this yourself, hire a professional plumber to finish this step for you.
Finally, apply caulk to the flange. This will safeguard internal components of your shower and keep water spray from damaging walls.
Once the flange is securely fastened to the wall, turn on the shower and check for leaks. If any appear, tighten the flange as soon as possible; otherwise, caulk again to further secure its connection in place.
Install the Shower Head
If your shower head is old, broken, or in need of replacement, installing a new one doesn’t have to be an arduous DIY project. All that’s required are some basic tools and some common sense to get the job done – and soon enough your water will be running perfectly as before!
Start by taking your old shower head apart and inspecting its hose connection for cleanliness and free from rust, limescale or debris. If not, give it a good cleaning and replace any damaged rubber washers if necessary.
Next, unscrew the shower arm from its pipe with a wrench. Do this slowly and carefully so you don’t break the plastic connecting nut or damage threads behind the wall. If it won’t come loose easily, apply metal lubricant to its threads for extra lubrication.
Install the Shower Head – When installing your new shower head, wrap the threaded end with plumber’s tape or compound (depending on whether it has a rubber washer). Twist the showerhead clockwise until it fits securely, and then twist a second time for extra grip.
Seal the threads on a shower arm using Teflon tape – You should have some plumber’s tape on the old shower head pipe, but it may need to be removed. Next, using an old rag and toothbrush, scrub away any gunky residue or corrosion that could prevent a tight seal.
Once again, wrap some plumber’s tape around the exposed shower arm threads several times, covering half of each layer. Avoid wrapping more than two thirds of the threads since this will make it more visible when attaching the shower head onto the arm.
Once you insert the shower head onto the arm, use an adjustable wrench to tighten it securely until no water can leak from its hose connection. Be sure not to tighten it so much that it breaks the plastic collar nut.
Check for Leaks
A leaky shower head can waste a significant amount of water and raise your water bill, as well as damage tiles and other surfaces. Furthermore, it could lead to mould and mildew growth in the bathroom due to inadequate ventilation.
Before you can fix a leaky shower head, you must first determine its source. This can be done by noticing a damp spot on the wall and then tracking it back to its source.
When the leak is hidden behind a wall, it may be difficult to detect and may take some effort to locate. Nonetheless, it’s essential that you attempt this as soon as possible.
First, turn off the main shutoff valve at your water meter (if there is one). Doing this will prevent further water loss and should make finding the leak easier.
Once you identify where the leak originates, it’s time to get to work. You’ll need a few tools in order to locate and then fix the leak.
Depending on where the leak is, it could just require replacing an old washer or O-ring, or require more substantial repair work. Either way, you’ll have to take apart your current shower head and install a new one.
Once the old shower head has been taken apart, you should clean it thoroughly to check for mineral deposits that could be causing your leak.
If there is any mineral deposit on the shower head, you can usually remove it using a mixture of vinegar and water. This will help dissolve the deposits and restore the shower head back to its original condition.
Next, wrap the threads on your pipe stem with Teflon tape (or plumber’s tape) to prevent water from seeping out. Use six to 10 inches of this tape but be careful not to overdo it as over-tightening could allow water to seep from the joint.