Installing Low-Flow Showerheads

by April Reinhardt
(last updated June 13, 2014)

Here is an illustration of how much water you could save if you switch to a low-flow showerhead. Place a two-quart pan on the shower floor, and position it to catch water when you turn on the shower. With the water on full stream, count how many seconds it takes to fill the pan. If it takes fewer than fifteen seconds, then you could benefit from installing a low-flow showerhead. Some people might worry that they won't have enough water pressure to rinse shampoo from their hair if they switch to a low-flow showerhead. Choose a model that has various settings that restrict the flow in certain areas to create higher water pressure. It's just like placing your thumb over the end of your garden hose to create higher-pressure flow.

Basically, there are two steps when it comes to installing a low-flow showerhead; remove the old one, and install the new one. Here's how to do each:

  • Remove the old head. No matter what your old head is made of—metal or plastic—it has to be twisted off of the metal water pipe that comes out of the wall. Don't just grab the head and start twisting, however, since you could cause damage to the water pipe behind the wall. Instead, anchor the pipe by first placing an old rag around it, with several layers of duct tape. Grab the pipe and hold it steady with a large wrench or pliers, and twist the showerhead counterclockwise with your other hand until it is free of the pipe's threads. Once the head is off of the pipe, clean the pipe's threads and remove all old thread tape.
  • Install the new head. Always follow the instructions on the package of the new showerhead. If you have a donated head with no instructions, these steps will help. Wrap the pipe's threads with pipe tape, two or three laps. Some heads come with a rubber washer. Insert it onto the head and then screw the head onto the pipe. At first, tighten by hand slowly until you meet great resistance. Most showerheads are plastic, so don't over tighten because you could crack the head. Turn on the water to check for leaks. If you have leaks, tighten the head a little more by hand.

Most low-flow showerheads deliver pulses of water instead of a constant stream, thus saving water. If you enjoy a hard stream of water while showering, look for a hand-held low-flow showerhead that has changeable patterns. Most of those types of showerheads deliver what feels like more water pressure because of restricting water within the hole patterns.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

MORE FROM APRIL

Treating First-degree Burns

Exercise good judgment and common sense when treating first-degree burns at home. Know the varying stages of first-degree ...

Discover More

How to Pick Men's Formal Shoes

Instead of buying them, you may choose to rent men's formal shoes for an elegant evening affair. Visit a reputable tuxedo or ...

Discover More

Creating an Energy-Efficient Home

If you stop to think about it, there are plenty of ways to improve your home to make it more energy-efficient. While some ...

Discover More

Find the Right Tool Right Away Finally, a homeowner's set that includes all the tools needed to complete basic DIY projects at an affordable price! The tools are stored in a molded case for security and portability. Check out Stanley 65-Piece Homeowner's Tool Kit today!

More Home Improvement Tips

Remodeling Bathrooms

Is your bathroom looking run-down and out of date? Remodeling can allow you to update the room for a great new look.

Discover More

Unclogging a Toilet

Clogged toilets are, unfortunately, a fact of life. Learning to quickly unclog a toilet is an extremely useful skill.

Discover More

Refinishing Bathroom Cabinets

The next time you are in the mood for remodeling your bathroom, look into refinishing instead. Refinishing bathroom cabinets ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is nine minus 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)