Tips For Maintaining Your Showerhead

by Grace Motley

Showerheads rarely leak because they are not subject to high water pressure. Maintenance of showerheads generally consists of unclogging holes blocked by mineral deposits in the water. Some newer showerheads that are made to restrict water flow are  build into the unit, meaning you have to buy a new one. However, if you have an older shower head, you can take it apart the clean out mineral deposits.   

What You Will Need   

To take a shower head apart you need to have a few tools handy. Most of the items you need you are common household tools.   

  • Pipe wrenches  
  • Rags  
  • Vinegar  
  • Toothpicks  

Steps To Clean Mineral Deposits  

Cleaning the shower head so that the water flows freely is simple, so you shouldn't need any assistance form a plumber.  There are several simple steps.   

  1. Place a rag over the showerhead arm and then grasp it with a pipe wrench.  
  2. Place a second rag over end of the arm where the showerhead is attach and grasp it with a pipe wrench.  
  3. Exert pressure on the second pipe wrench to remove the head.  
  4. Clean the removed shower head by soaking it and all its parts in vinegar.  
  5. Use a toothpick to unclog any holes that do not come clean during the vinegar soak  
  6. Reassemble the showerhead if you took it apart while cleaning.  
  7. Use the wrenches and rags to attach the head back onto the arm.  

Using Add-On Devices  

While you have the shower head, you can add on a device to restrict water flow, a temporary shutoff valve, or a anti-scalding device.   

You can buy these add-ons at your local hardware of plumbing supply store. Carefully follow package directions that show you step-by-step how to install your  add-on devices.   

Some states require that showerheads that conserve water. So if you don't already have one, you can install a water flow restrictor. You should find out if your state is one for them and add this device on after cleaning the head.  Most showerheads made before the early 1990s most likely need a low-flow device added.   

Anti-scald devices are a must have for home with children, elderly residents or people with diabetes who could possible get burned by hot water in the shower.   

If your showerhead is old and you'd like to replace the whole unit, you should contact a plumber who can do the job for you. Replacing an entire showerhead system takes more skill than most homeowners have. Visit professionals like Three Rivers Plumbing for more information.