How to fix a shower headA common plumbing fixture in a home, showers are a modern convenience that provide clean water for bathing activities while using less water than a traditional bath. While showers typically don’t require much maintenance beyond regular cleaning and periodic replacement of deteriorated sealant, some components can require repair or replacement as they age, such as a shower head.

Shower heads can come in a wide variety of different shapes and sizes including fixed heads, adjustable heads, hose shower heads, and waterfall heads. While every type has their own unique parts, they all connect to the water distribution pipe for the shower in the wall or ceiling. This connection can become loose, leading to not just a loose shower head but also potential leakage.

Fix loose shower headIf your shower head is old and no longer works properly, replacing the shower head with a new head may be the best solution. To do this, locate the small round nut that connects the shower head to the stem that protrudes from the wall. Using pliers, gently grip the round nut and turn it counterclockwise to loosen the old shower head from the stem. If this nut is stuck to the stem, try soaking it in vinegar for a few hours to loosen up any old mineral deposits. Once the old head is off, you are ready to install your new shower head. Screw the new shower head onto the shower stem by turning the nut clockwise and gently tighten the nut with pliers until it is secure.

If the shower head stem itself is loose, this may require securing the stem and pipe with expanding foam. First, pull the trim ring away from the wall using pliers or a screw driver. This should expose the hole in the wall where the shower stem is protruding through. This hole is often cut too big during installation, which can allow the shower stem to move excessively. After putting masking tape around this hole to minimize excess spray foam from sticking to surfaces beyond the hole, apply the expanding foam into the hole all the way around the pipe and protruding slightly outside of the hole. Allow the expanding foam to cure and then trim off any excess foam with scissors or a utility knife. Install the trim ring back into place and check the shower stem to ensure that it is now secured.