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How To Install a New Shower Head, Without Loosing Your Head

Posted 03-16-2009 at 05:58 AM by faucetman886



As many of you that follow my blogs know, I am retired and disabled and have sang the praises of my TOTO ADA height toilet that makes life so much better for an ole guy like me. It seems like such a simple thing yet it does make so much difference on a day to day basis as to the quality of my life which has suffered considerably since becoming ill. In this regard I recently acquired another device that has improved my daily life and comfort, a simple item that most of us probably take for granted and never think about changing or exploring the wide variety on the market. I got a new showerhead. All of my life I have just taken a shower in the many homes I’ve owned and paid no attention whatsoever to the device that the water was coming from. I vaguely remember years ago someone giving me an aftermarket “massaging” shower head that I could never figure out how to use and never had installed and it became what these days people refer to as a “regift”. In other words I gave it to someone else. In my current condition I suffer constantly with stiffness, tightness and general joint pain all caused by just being as old as dirt and additionally due to the Parkinsons disease. I had read an article that said a “whirlpool” bath would give me some relief but I don’t have the financial resources for a new bath tub plus I live in a rental so it would be unfeasible to install a new bath tub. With these thoughts in mind my best friend of 42 years, Mike Hennecy, came up with the idea that maybe a new “hand held” massaging shower head would do the trick for me and he got me one and installed it. I now have to admit that if I could install a flat screen TV and a microwave in my bathroom I would just stay in there. I have the great comfortable toilet and a shower head that makes me feel wonderful. Thankfully my laptop computer is o a WIFI, another new fangled device that I have recently discovered, so I am already set up for having the computer in the bathroom with me. That’s probably too much information for you readers because you now will imagine that I am sitting on my TOTO toilet writing this article. That will just have to be kept as our little secret.
As it ends up replacing my old shower head was probably the easiest thing I could have done to improve my bathroom both in utility and esthetics. It was particularly easy for me because Mike installed it while I watched! It occurred to me, while I assisted, by staying out of his way, that my readers might need to know how to do it yourself. I watched what Mike did and report here now the 4 easy steps to replacing your existing shower head.
1. Read up on shower heads, ask friends and shop around to choose the device that will work best for you.
2. The most difficult part of this process is removing your old shower head. The shower head is usually mounted on a slightly curved piece of chrome or plated pipe which seems to just miraculously appear from out of your shower wall. In reality this pipe is probably simply screwed into another pipe hidden in the wall and the head is then screwed onto the end of this pipe. If not careful while trying to unscrew the old shower head you will unscrew the pipe instead and then you will have a real problem. To keep this from happening you must use 2 wrenches, one to hold the pipe in place, the other to unscrew the shower head. A great trick to keep from scratching your pipe and making it easier to hold on to is to wrap the pipe with an old belt or piece of scrap leather and use this to isolate your wrench from the pipe. If you wet the leather it will hold even better. With your pipe then securely held in place use your other wrench to remove, counter clockwise, the old shower head and install the new one. I know this will go against everything you DIY’ers out there believe but you should also read the manufacturers instructions for installing the new shower head to make sure they haven’t included some sneakiness into their product. Go ahead, bite the bullet and read and follow the instructions.
3. Now you are ready to install the new shower head. Wrap the pipe threads with Teflon pipe tape and screw the new head on, hand tightened should be adequate but if after checking for leaks you may want to tighten it with your wrench. Remember that just as you did when removing the old head you will still need to keep the shower pipe immobilized. You may want to use the leather trick on the new head also to keep from scratching it if you use the wrench.
4. Make a visual check to see that the head is on straight, that it doesn’t leak and works as it should. These shower heads come with an adjustment device built into the shower head that allows you to change from a soft misting shower to a hard pulsing feel. Play with this adjustment and see what you think will work best for you. Now you’re ready, try it out. You will wonder, as I did, how you’ve done without it all of your life.
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