Installing a handheld showerhead is an easy way to upgrade your shower experience. With a handheld showerhead, you can direct the water where you want and easily switch between different spray patterns. Follow these simple steps to install a handheld showerhead in your shower.

What You’ll Need

  • Handheld showerhead
  • Teflon tape
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Pipe wrench (optional)

Before starting, make sure to purchase a handheld showerhead designed for your existing plumbing. Consider the look, feel, settings, and hose length you prefer.

Turn Off Water Supply

The first step is to turn off the water supply to your shower. Locate the shut-off valve for the shower and turn it clockwise to stop the flow of water. This prevents water from spraying out when you remove the old showerhead.

If you don’t have a shut-off valve, turn off the main water supply to your home.

Remove Existing Showerhead

With the water turned off, unscrew the connecting nut holding your old showerhead in place. You can use an adjustable wrench or locking pliers.

Twist the showerhead counter-clockwise to unthread it from the pipe. Set the old showerhead aside.

Examine the shower arm (the pipe) protruding from the wall. Make sure the threads are not cracked or damaged. Replace the arm if needed.

Apply Teflon Tape

Wrap Teflon tape around the threaded end of the shower arm 3-4 times. This creates a tighter seal when you screw on the new showerhead.

Turn the tape clockwise as you wrap the threads. Avoid covering the last 1-2 threads.

Attach Mounting Bracket

Many handheld showerheads use a mounting bracket that attaches to the shower arm first.

Screw the female end of the bracket onto the shower arm threads. Tighten it with your adjustable wrench. Position it appropriately.

Make sure any seals or washers are in place before tightening.

Connect Handheld Unit

Now you can attach your new handheld showerhead to the mounting bracket.

Make sure any washers are seated properly. Thread the connecting nut onto the bracket and tighten by hand.

Don’t overtighten. The connection just needs to be snug and watertight.

Check Connection Points

Before turning the water back on, check that all connections are tight. Give each joint another quarter turn with your wrench if needed.

Make sure the new showerhead can move freely and hold its position.

Turn Water Supply Back On

The final step is to turn your water supply back on. Turn on the shower valve slowly to check for leaks.

Let the shower run for a few minutes to clear any debris in the line. Adjust the temperature as needed.

Your new handheld showerhead is ready to enjoy! Adjust the settings and direct the nozzle as desired for a customized shower.

FAQs About Installing a Handheld Showerhead

How do I remove an old showerhead that’s stuck?

If your existing showerhead is stuck, try wrapping a rag around it to improve your grip. You can also use a pipe wrench for extra leverage. Apply penetrating oil and let it soak before trying again.

What if my shower arm threads are damaged?

Damaged shower arm threads need to be replaced. Turn off the water supply and remove the old arm. Bring it to the hardware store to match the threads and length. Use Teflon tape when installing the new arm.

Should I use pipe dope instead of Teflon tape?

You can use pipe thread sealant, but Teflon tape typically provides a better seal. Make sure the tape covers only the first few threads. Too much tape can cause the showerhead not to sit properly.

How do I adjust the bracket mount position?

Loosen the connecting nut on the bracket, rotate it to the desired angle, and retighten the nut. Check that it holds securely before turning the water back on.

How tight should the showerhead be?

Tighten the connecting nut by hand first. Then use a wrench to tighten it another quarter to half turn past hand-tight. Do not overtighten. The connection just needs to be snug.


Switching to a handheld showerhead is an easy upgrade that can make your daily shower more enjoyable and convenient. With the right tools and safety precautions, it can be installed in less than half an hour. Pay attention to the existing plumbing and use Teflon tape to create a tight seal. Adjust the bracket mount for optimal positioning. Take your time and double check for leaks before enjoying your new handheld showerhead!