If you find it difficult to adjust the shower head or you have to sit to take your shower, you'll find that a hand-held shower will help. You'll have better control of the water flow whether you sit or stand. With a few simple tools, you can install your own hand-held shower in an afternoon. Here are the steps to easily complete this DIY project.
Supplies You'll Need for This Project
- Channel lock pliers
- Old rags for clean up
From the plumbing supply store:
- Plumbing tape
- Hand-held shower - For the greatest flexibility, purchase a model that comes with a long vertical slide-bar that attaches to the existing shower plumbing. The hand-held shower slides into a bracket on the vertical bar so you can position the shower to where it works best for you.
- Make sure the water is turned off to the shower.
- Make sure the shower floor or tub is dry so you don't slip.
- While holding onto the pipe that comes out of the wall to the shower head, rotate the old shower head counterclockwise to remove it from the pipe.
- Set the shower head aside to use later.
- Clean the plumbing tape from the threads on the pipe.
- Find the vertical slide-bar in the new hand-held shower kit.
- Slide the bracket on the end of the slide-bar onto the pipe from which you removed the shower head.
- Push the bracket along the pipe until it is against the wall and the slide-bar hangs straight down the wall.
- Tighten the bracket until it is secure.
- Wrap some of the plumbing tape around the threads of the pipe coming out of the wall.
- Find the T-connector at the end of the flexible hose on the hand-held shower head.
- Screw the connector onto the pipe over the plumbing tape. This connection only needs to be hand tight.
- Wrap some plumbing tape around the threads on the other end of the T-connector.
- Screw the old shower head onto the connector until it is hand tight.
- Attach the bracket that holds the hand-held shower head to the vertical slide-bar.
- Slide the hand-held shower head into the bracket.
Turn the water on slowly and see where it comes out. A button on the T-connector diverts the water from the regular shower head to the hand-held shower and back.
Problems You May Encounter
If you have any of the following issues, you'll want the help of a local plumbing services company to finish the project:
- The old shower head is welded onto the pipe coming out of the wall. This was a design used in very old homes. The plumber will replace the pipe with a new threaded one that will accept your choice of shower heads.
- If the old shower head has a metal base and is corroded, it may be stuck on the pipe so you can't remove it. The plumber can try to force the shower head off. If that doesn't work, they will replace the pipe coming out of the wall completely.