New showerheads are more efficient than older ones and are available with a variety of nifty features — different spray types, massage mode, wands that nest into fixed heads, rainfall heads, slide bars to adjust the height, etc. But these benefits don’t do you any good if you can’t get that old calcified showerhead off the pipe. If you’re having trouble getting that ancient thing off of there, here are a few pointers.
To start off, you might want to shut off your water supply to avoid a rusty mess. If you don’t know where your main water supply valve is and how to shut it off, this may be a good opportunity to do so. It’s often located near where the water supply enters your house, or near your water meter. Turn it clockwise to turn it off.
Once the water is shut off, cover your tub with plastic (a tarp or a garbage bag will work) or cardboard to protect the finish in case anything falls, like the old showerhead or some rusty shavings. These things can ding or discolor your tub’s finish. You can use a shipping envelope or a shopping bag to cover up and protect your bath faucet.
You can now use a pair of pliers or an adjustable wrench to remove the showerhead, but use some plumbers tape or electrical tape to reduce the risk of creating metal shavings. This also gives you a better grip, and protects the old showerhead in case you want to give it to Goodwill, keep it for a spare, or use it in another shower. Remember to twist the showerhead counterclockwise, when facing it. If it loosens up, you can finish loosening it by hand. If it doesn’t budge, try the next step.
Fill a one gallon plastic bag with vinegar. Tie it around the showerhead and let it soak overnight. This will dissolve rust, calcium and other minerals. The next day, the showerhead should come off easily. Clean the pipe threads with steel wool and vinegar to keep all that corrosive stuff from damaging your new showerhead. Now you can install your new showerhead, but if you want to ensure against leaks, wrap some plumbers tape around the pipe head first. Now you’re free to enjoy your brand new showerhead!
If you need a plumber, call All Star Service and Repair. We have over 60 years of combined experience providing residential plumbing services in Salt Lake County. We do drain cleaning, sewer line repair, trenchless sewer cleaning, whole-home repiping, you name it. We’re confident we can pinpoint the problem and recommend the best course of action using high-tech plumbing inspection equipment. Then, we’ll draw on years of knowledge and training to repair your pipes correctly the first time around. Call us today at (801) 305-3876 or contact us online to schedule the services you need in Salt Lake City, Sandy, Murray, Provo, or Orem.