Replacing a Shower Head Is Easy, Do-It-Yourself Task

By Adrian Sainz
Associated Press
Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tired of that leaky, single-stream shower head left over from the Nixon administration?

Just pick up a wrench and change the shower head yourself, because replacing it is one of the easiest chores around the house.

Homeowners can find a wide variety of shower heads, from water massagers to hand-held versions, costing from about $20 to more than $150.

With a wrench and some thread tape, most of them can be changed in a few simple steps, if you follow the product instructions carefully.

"The most common thing among consumers is that people don't know that this is easy," said Mark Knurek, senior product manager for Moen. "They think there is something they have to do behind the wall, that they have to install a new arm in."

Shower heads can get lime buildup that affects water flow, and older shower heads may not be up to current low-flow guidelines, said Amy Matthews, host of two shows on the DIY Network.

Turn off the water supply to the house, or at least to the shower, before working on the shower head, Matthews said. "You also would want to turn on the shower handles and let whatever is sitting in the pipes drain out so you don't have any extra leakage while you're working," she said.

Another piece of advice: Be careful when working with copper pipe, which is relatively soft and flexible. It could get damaged if you use too much muscle.

"You have to work slowly and gingerly with your wrenches," Matthews said.

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