Replacing a shower head

A bad shower head is more annoying than you might think. It’s something we use every day, but it amazes me how many people will put up with a rubbish shower head for years. You wouldn’t put up with a crappy text editor for that long, would you?

It takes 10 minutes to replace, so lets get started!


You only need two tools for this: - adjustable spanner (wrench for our friends in the US and Canada) - knife or flat head screw driver

You may notice instead of a spanner, I’m using a rusty pair of vice grips. The photos below were taken at a family member’s house… possibly the only house I’ve found without a spanner.


  • Old shower-head


    Here is the shower head we are going to replace.
  • Not using a spanner


    Turn the nut at the base of the shower head in a counter-clockwise direction (lefty-loosey, righty tighty!). Use the spanner for this, not the vice grips pictured.
  • Removing stuck trim


    The trim piece is usually stuck on pretty well with a combination of rust and 10 years of soap. A butter knife or flathead screw driver will come in handy to remove it.
  • Taping it up


    Wrap some plumbers tape around the pipe to get a good seal. Your new shower head probably comes with some plumbers tape.
  • Screwing the fitting in.


    Put the new trim piece over the pipe, then screw the new shower fitting on (in a clockwise direction). Hand tighten it. If it feels secure and doesn't leak, hand tightening is fine. Otherwise lightly tighten with your spanner (if you do this, put a bit of masking tape on the shower fitting first - so you don't scratch the chrome finish).
  • Admiring the finished item.


    Ta-Da!. Check for leaks, then have a well deserved beer/Coke/RedBull.