You have moved into a rented apartment. Unfortunately, the bathroom fittings are not to your liking, especially the shower head. All renters know that there are only a few changes that you can make in your rental apartment without your landlord’s permission.
That brings us to the question, “Can you replace the old shower head with a new one?”
As a renter, you should ideally be able to change the shower head without any problem. However, you should always check your lease to see if there are any shower head rules. Also, it is recommended that you seek permission from your landlord before making any upgrades to the bathroom or the house, in general.
If you have been thinking of changing the shower head in your apartment, then this guide is for you.
- Can You Change the Shower Head in a Rental Apartment?
- Can You Change Shower Head in Your Apartment Without a Plumber?
- When Should You Replace the Shower Head?
- Precautions to Follow When Changing a Shower Head
- What Are the Different Types of Showerheads?
Can You Change the Shower Head in a Rental Apartment?
First, are you allowed to change the shower head in your apartment? How do you find out? You can check the rental agreement, of course. If your rental or lease agreement does not have anything against such changes, you may be able to change the shower head in your bathroom.
So, how do you check the lease agreement for such rules? Read your agreement carefully to see if it says anything about “shower,” “plumbing,” or “fixtures.” If your landlord has given you a digital copy of your lease agreement, it will be much easier to check the lease. All you need to do is use the search bar to search for the terms related to shower head rules. So, you could type in “shower” or “plumbing” in the search bar to see if something comes up.
Go through all the clauses in the lease to see if there are any shower head rules. You may find the legal language a little difficult to understand. Therefore, it is always wise to ask your landlord before making any such changes.
A word of advice. Even if you change the old showerhead to a new one, do not discard the original shower head. Always ensure to reinstall the original shower head before you move out.
Can You Change Shower Head in Your Apartment Without a Plumber?
If you have never used any tools in your life, it is best that you hire a plumber to install a new shower head. However, if you are comfortable using tools and confident about your DIY skills, you can easily replace the old shower head on your own.
Here are the steps to change a shower head:
Step 1: Get a Shower Head of Your Choice
The good news is that a variety of shower heads are available in the market. So, you can pick any one according to your preference.
Are you worried about the size of your new shower head? Don’t worry. All shower heads are installed using universal fittings in the US and Canada. So, whatever size you pick, you would be able to install it without any hassle.
Step 2: Gather the Required Tools and Materials
If you have to install your new shower head, you will need some tools and materials. In case you don’t have the necessary tools already, you may want to get them first. Don’t think that investing in these tools will be a waste of money. You can use these tools for many other DIY projects around the house.
So, what are the tools needed to remove and install a standard shower head? You will need the following:
- Pliers or wrench
- Plumber’s tape or Teflon tape
- Channel-lock pliers
You will also need a small cloth during the installation. You can save a lot of time by buying the new shower head and tools together if you don’t have them already.
Step 3: Take the Old Shower Head off
Once you have the new showerhead and your tools ready, you can begin the installation process. You will need to start by taking the old showerhead off first before you can install the new one.
Start by holding the shower arm firmly to secure it. It is the pipe that comes out of the wall. To secure the shower arm, you will need to place a cloth around the pipe and clamp it down using channel-lock pliers. This will hold the shower arm in place. If you rotate the shower arm, you may cause it to leak, and you want to avoid that at all costs.
Once the shower arm has been secured firmly in place, you can unscrew the old shower head. Before removing the old shower head, place a rag at the base of the shower head. Now use your adjustable wrench or pliers to move it in an anti-clockwise direction and remove it from the shower arm. Be careful while removing the shower head because you do not want to dent or damage it in any way. After all, you will need to re-install the original shower head when you move out.
Step 4: Clean the Shower Arm
For making the shower head installation as neat as possible, you will first need to clean the pipe threads of the shower arm. Use your brush to clean any dirt that may cause the pipe to leak. The idea is to get the dirt off so that your new shower head fits in securely.
Step 5: Wrap Your Teflon Tape
Before placing your shower head, wrap the Teflon tape first. Wrap at least two to three layers of Teflon tape so that your shower head does not leak after installation. You must try and get the Teflon tape as close to the pipe’s end as possible. However, not all shower heads require Teflon tape. Be sure to read the instructions that come with your shower head before you start the installation process.
Step 6: Install the New Shower Head
To start with, align the end of the shower arm to the base of the new shower head. Now, screw it in clockwise. If you cannot tighten the shower head with your bare hands, use your pliers. Don’t forget to place a rag over the new shower head before placing the pliers so that you don’t scratch it.
Step 7: Test out Your Shower Head
You should test out your new shower head to ensure that there is no leakage. If you find water leaking, you may want to check the shower head. Most of the time a leak in the base can be fixed by tightening the shower head or re-doing the Teflon tape. However, if the water is not coming out properly, there could be many reasons for it. For instance, you may have a clogged pipe because of which you are not getting adequate pressure.
If everything seems fine, you are ready to have an incredible shower experience with your new shower head.
Step 8: Save the Priginal Shower Head
Be sure to store the original shower head some place safe once you take it off. You should keep it under the sink in the bathroom or any other place. Cleaning the shower head before storing is a very good idea.
When Should You Replace the Shower Head?
How often should you replace your shower head? Ideally, every six to eight months. However, if your new apartment has hard water, you may need to change the shower head more often.
If you notice the below signs, it is time to replace the shower head:
Leaking or Dripping
Does your shower head leak or drip? If water drips from your shower head even when it is turned off, it is a problem. Chances are that your shower head could have come loose. Or, the problem could be the Teflon tape. You may need new Teflon tape to seal the pipe and to rectify the problem. Another reason for the leakage could be that the washer inside the shower head is damaged.
If the dripping persists even after you have fixed these problems, then the issue definitely lies with your shower head. You should consider replacing it.
Low Water Pressure
If you feel that the water pressure is not enough, it could be because your shower head is clogged. The hard water in your new apartment could also be causing mineral deposits. There could also be other debris that may be clogging the shower head, creating low water pressure. Cleaning your shower head should rectify the issue. If it does not, you need to change the shower head.
Mold usually grows in places with lots of moisture. They can also grow in your shower head. Do you see black gunk on your shower head? If you do, you may have a mold problem.
A moldy shower head is an unsanitary one, and you surely do not want one in your bathroom. Also, plastic shower heads tend to get moldy more easily than metal ones. If you are getting a new shower head, consider buying a metal one.
Everyone wants to have a great showering experience, which means that you should have a shower head of your choice. For example, you may like to use a handheld shower head for your shower. However, your apartment may only have a standing shower head. In that case, you may want to change the shower head to one of your choice.
You may even want to install a low-flow shower head that saves water or a high-pressure shower head for an amazing shower experience.
Does your apartment have a really old shower head? Do you think it clashes with the rest of the décor of the bathroom? If you don’t like the way the shower head in your apartment looks, there is no harm in replacing it with one of your choices.
Precautions to Follow When Changing a Shower Head
All your family members want and deserve an amazing shower experience. With an old or dirty shower head, you may not be able to enjoy the shower as much as you want to.
Replacing is a shower head is pretty easy, even for beginners. However, there are a few precautions to note.
Don’t Buy the Wrong Shower Head
Yes, almost all shower heads are fitted with universal fittings. However, that does not mean that you can get just about any shower head for your bathroom. The right shower head should be able to fit onto the shower arm in your bathroom.
Is your shower arm wall-mounted or extending overhead from the ceiling? If it is extending from the ceiling, a wall-mounted shower head may not work. Also, you may want a shower head with a hose attachment. Whatever the case may be, ensure that you get the right shower head for your situation.
Turn off the Water
You do not want water to leak as you work to replace your showerhead. That’s why, before you begin, ensure to turn off the water. Your shower knobs should be turned off and secured tightly. It is not really necessary to turn off the water supply. Just the shower knobs will do.
Cover the Drain to Prevent Debris From Falling in
You may have a lot of dirt and debris falling down when you remove the old showerhead. You do not want any of these bits falling into your shower drain. There is a simple solution for that. Just place a towel or tarp over the drain to protect the rug or shower floor from falling dirt or tools. You could even put tape over the shower drain to ensure that nothing from the towel falls into it.
Clean the Pipe Threads on the Shower Arm
Most shower heads are quite easy to remove. You can start unscrewing them with one hand, and then screw the new showerhead in the same way. However, before you start installing your new showerhead, ensure to clean the pipe threads of your shower arm.
You may have some old tape there that you want to replace with new Teflon tape. There could also be dirt or corrosion. Use a brush to clean the threads as that would give you a good seal when you attach the new showerhead.
Wrap Teflon Tape Clockwise
When installing a new showerhead, you may need to wrap Teflon tape or plumber’s tape around the shower arm threads. Ensure that you only wrap the tape clockwise. Otherwise, the tape will loosen as soon as you tighten the new showerhead. It will compromise your seal and cause leakage.
Ensure that the Showerhead is Screwed on Tightly
When you install the new showerhead, double-check to ensure that it is screwed on tightly. You have to be very careful, ensuring that you are screwing it down without cross-threading, or else you may damage the threads and eventually cause leakage.
Test out the showerhead for any leaks. If you do see leakage, you may need to undo the whole process and repeat it with extra care.
What Are the Different Types of Showerheads?
When it comes to shower heads, there are tons of options to choose from. Here are some of the most popular ones.
Standard Shower Head
The standard shower head is the commonly used one. The neck of the showerhead does not move and stays fixed to the wall at all times. It may be able to move up and down slightly, but not that much. These shower heads are easy to find and quite inexpensive. You can find them in multiple stream settings, and you can pick one according to what you like.
- Easy to install
- Very common
- Many options available
- Does not move much
Handheld Shower Head
Handheld showerheads are attached to the waterline with a hose. You can take them off their mount and move them as you want. If you need to sit while taking a shower or suffer from mobility issues, the handheld shower could be a great option for you. They are also an excellent option for pet owners. Washing your pet dog or cat in the tub becomes a lot easier when you have a handheld shower head.
- Best option for seated showering
- Multiple options available
- Harder to install
Dual Shower Head
A dual shower head gives you the best of both worlds as it comes with a fixed shower head as well as a handheld one. Some of these allow you to use both at the same time, and in others, you can only use one at a time. A dual shower head is also an excellent option for those with mobility issues or for those that like to sit and shower. Since you are getting two shower heads in one, it can be a bit costlier than other models.
- Extremely versatile
- Great for seated showering
Waterfall Shower Head
Do you like the rain? If you do, then this shower head gives you the same feeling of walking in the rain. The SparkPod shower head in a luxury modern chrome look is one of the most popular ones in this category.
The waterfall shower head is usually large with lot of holes to imitate high pressure rain. Since a lot of water is needed to mimic high pressure rain, the rain shower head is not very water efficient. Also, they only come in one setting.
- Simulates rain
- Can be mounted on the ceiling or on walls
- Required much more water than other shower heads
- One setting only
Massage Shower Head
Have you ever wondered what a rain massage would feel like? If you want a pulsating massage while you shower, you may want to get this shower head. They come with multiple settings, delivering a fabulous showering experience.
Massage shower heads are available in different options, such as fixed, handheld, and dual. You can pick one that suits your requirements the best. If you suffer from chronic knots or back pain, the massage shower head could provide a lot of relief by loosening tight muscles.
- Multiple head types
- Multiple settings
- Low water efficiency
High-pressure Shower Head
Nothing is more satisfying than a shower with good water pressure. If your apartment has low water pressure, getting one of these showerheads could be a wonderful option. They work by concentrating the water in the pipes so that it can be delivered with more pressure.
In fact, most modern showerheads are trying to do the same. In the future, there may not be a separate category for high pressure showerheads.
- Good option for plumbing with inadequate water pressure
- Low water efficiency
Low flow Shower Head
If you want to save money on your water bill or become more eco-friendly, you should try these low-flow shower heads. Most of these showerheads come with a gpm label, which is gallons per minute. It stands for the amount of water that your shower uses in one minute.
An average shower head uses about 2.1 gpm. However, low flow shower heads are available in as low as 1.25 gpm. You will also find options in 1.5 gpm, 1.75 gpm and 2.0 gpm. However, if you opt for a low gpm, you may also have lower water pressure.
Replacing your conventional 2.1 gpm shower head with a 1.5 gpm one will save at least 28% of water. This could make a big difference in your water bill, while also helping the environment.
- Highly water-efficient
- May cause lower water pressure
- Single setting only
LED Shower Head
Yes, you heard that right. Shower heads also come with LED lights, but they are not your party-type lights. The LED lights are placed around the water jets and they may change color from one shade to another. Some shower heads may even be able to sense the water temperature and change the color of the lights according to that. The coolest thing is that the LED lights work off the water pressure. You do not need to spend money on batteries.
If your bathroom has low light, these LED shower heads could be a wonderful idea. They can also be a great addition to the kids’ bathroom.
- No batteries needed
- Good for low light
- Aesthetic benefits only
The navy shower head is another great option for those looking to conserve water. It comes with a on-off switch on the side of the head, allowing you to turn off the water flow in the middle of your shower. Say, you want to shampoo your hair. You can turn the shower on to wet your hair and then turn it off so that you can apply shampoo to your hair. The on-off feature can save a lot of water for the planet.
- On-Off switch
- Conserves water
- Low water pressure
- Single setting only
If you don’t like the shower head in your new rented apartment, you can definitely change it.
However, before you do so, be sure to check your lease terms and seek permission from your landlord. Installing a new shower head is quite easy and you can do it all on your own.