Not sure which shower head is best for you? Learn about the most important features and how to shop for shower heads. Read reviews from users on low flow, high pressure, rain, hand held and massage shower heads from Waterpik, Grohe, Oxygenics, Hansgrohe, and more.
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How to Install Water-Saving Shower Heads? Water-saving shower heads have a fine spray that uses 2.2 to 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm), rather than the 3.5 to 5.5 gpm flow of older shower head models. Follow these steps to check and replace inefficient shower heads.
Check your existing shower heads to see how much water they use. Hold a plastic bucket under the shower head and fill it to the 1-gallon mark while checking the second hand on your watch. Divide 60 by the number of seconds it took to flow one gallon from the shower head to get the gpm output.
Buy water-saving shower heads for any units that flowed a gallon in under 20 seconds. Look for the gpm rating on the shower head packaging and make sure it’s 2.5 gpm or less. You can buy pulsating or fine spray shower heads in low-flow design.
Hold the shower water pipe firmly and use an adjustable wrench on the flat sides of your old shower head to loosen it by turning it counter-clockwise. Unscrew the old shower head all the way by hand and set it aside.
Remove old white thread sealing tape from shower pipe threads. Wrap threads of shower pipe clockwise with new pipe thread tape starting at the open pipe end and overlapping about half a width of tape.
Thread new shower head onto end of shower pipe and turn clockwise until hand tight. Turn on shower head to check for leaks. If water drips from top of shower head, carefully tighten the new shower head with an adjustable wrench, turning about ¼ to ½ turn clockwise
How to Install a Low-Flow Showerhead? Showerheads eventually wear out or become clogged with lime deposits. When this happens, they generally work poorly and look worse. This is the perfect time to replace the head with a newer, low-flow model.
Low-flow showerheads can save you a tremendous abount of water if you’ve been using an older water-wasting head. The new heads are designed to deliver comfortable–sometimes even forceful–spray but use a maximum of 2.5 gallons of water per minute.
Installing a new showerhead is usually just a matter of unscrewing the old one from the existing shower arm and screwing on the new head. If the existing arm ends in a ball joint, you’ll have to remove and replace the arm–also an easy job.
Most showerheads come with easy-to-follow instructions for installation. Some old heads will unscrew from the inlet pipe by hand, for others you might require the help of an adjustable wrench.
For a particularly balky head, you might need a large pliers or a small pipe wrench to hold the inlet pipe (put a rag between the jaws so you don’t scratch the finish) while you turn the head counterclockwise.
Before screwing on the new shower head, wrap the threads of the inlet pipe with pipe-wrap tape. You can usually just turn the head clockwise by hand and then finish the last quarter turn with an adjustable wrench. Again, protect the finish on the head from damage by wrapping it with a rag before using the wrench.
Note that some low-flow showerheads come with a water-restricting disc or button inside the valve. This can be removed for a more powerful spray, but doing so eliminates the water-saving benefits of the low-flow head.
Removing calcium build up from a shower head or hand held shower
For high calcium build up on a shower head or hand held shower head, unscrew the shower head from the shower arm or the hand held shower head from the shower hose. Soak the face of the shower head or hand held shower head overnight in a solution of 50% white vinegar/50% water. Rinse thoroughly and dry with a soft, clean cloth. Brush off any remaining mineral deposits if necessary.
Caution: Never use harsh chemicals, heavy duty cleaners or abrasives when cleaning your shower head.
Cleaning the rubber spray tips on a shower head or hand held shower head
Rub your thumb over the rubber spray tips on the face of the shower head or hand held shower head to remove mineral deposits and dirt, then rinse off.
Removing water spots from a shower head or hand held shower
To remove water spots from a shower head or hand held shower head, rinse in warm water and immediately dry with a soft, clean cloth.