When planning to remodel a bathroom with new shower fixtures, a shower head installation is usually at the top of the checklist.
Installing a shower head is relatively simple provided you have the tools, patience, time, and do-it-yourself experience with home maintenance repairs.
However many homeowners don’t have these skills and make these 5 mistakes when trying to install a shower head, shower arm and flange, on their own.
Frustrated they can’t finish with 100% satisfaction, or worried their mistakes will result in future problems, they call our professional plumbers in Los Angeles to the rescue.
1. Not using the right tools and materials
If you don’t use the right tools and materials, you will increase the likelihood of making a mistake during a shower head installation. Therefore we recommend you have all the following tools and materials to be on the safe side, especially if you accidentally break or lose an important shower head part.
Tools: adjustable strap wrench, channel-type pliers, pipe wrench, drill, glass & tile bit, mallet, screwdriver, rags or cloths, utility knife, felt-tip pen
Materials: masking tape or teflon tape, masonry anchors, replacement O-rings, heat-proof grease, thin wire or paper clip, old toothbrush or wire brush, Clorox swipes, silicon caulk
2. Applying too much force
When removing the shower arm from its fitting behind the shower wall, you don’t want to apply too much force while turning it counter clockwise, or you run the risk of stripping the fitting’s threads.
The same goes for replacing with the new shower arm. Too many times we’ve seen homeowners apply too much force while turning it clockwise to tighten it to point straight down in the elbow fitting. They damage the fitting which may, in turn, result in slow leaks (drips) behind the shower wall and floor because the fitting is not connected snugly to the shower arm.
Applying too much force when attaching the shower head to the shower arm y twisting clockwise can possibly damage the threads on both parts.
3. Buying various shower head parts & accessories that don’t fit
You don’t want to make the mistake of trying to match various shower head parts and accessories that don’t fit each other. For example, you don’t want to buy that ultra-modern shower arm without making sure it fits your existing elbow fitting behind the shower wall without requiring additional parts or custom modifications.
The same holds true if you buy a shower head from one manufacturer and a shower arm from a different manufacturer.
Make sure you understand the pros and cons when choosing shower head types and styles. There are 2 basic shower head types: fixed and hand-held. Each type has many different styles and features to deliver a specific shower experience. You might also consider water efficient shower heads with the WaterSense® label.
4. Forgetting to turn off the main water line shutoff valve
You would think this is obvious, but many homeowners forget to turn off their main water line before beginning a shower head installation. Don’t make this mistake! Know how to find and shut off your main water line shutoff valve. It’s generally located where the water line from the water meter enters your house.
You usually need to turn the valve ¼ to ½ clockwise to shut it off. You would reverse this procedure to turn it back on after completing the shower head installation.
5. Adjusting the wrong water pressure
Assuming your remodeling bathroom plans do not include installing a new water heater or adding new water lines, there should be no need to adjust your water pressure service after a shower head installation. However some homeowners think they need to increase their water pressure level after installing a low-flow shower head. Avoid this mistake. You run the risk of damaging your water supply pipes and shower fixtures!
To be on the safe side, leave your water pressure at the same level it was before you installed your new shower head and call us.