How to Change a Shower Head & Extension Pipe

Updated July 20, 2017

Change the old shower head in your bathroom for a quick and easy update to decor and function. It's amazing the difference that a new shiny shower head will make in the overall appearance of your shower area. Shower heads come in many styles and many price ranges. You can spend more than £650 on a new shower head with a fancy finish, but many attractive shower head designs sell for under £65 (see Reference 1).

Unpack your new shower head and follow any manufacturer's instructions to assemble. Make sure you have all the pieces and you're happy with the new shower head before you begin to remove the old shower head and extension pipe.

Turn off the water. It is not usually necessary to turn off the entire house water supply as long as you can effectively turn off any water to the shower head at the faucet. Just make sure the water is off or you will make a huge mess when you unscrew the shower head or extension pipe.

Remove old shower head by turning counterclockwise. If the shower head is old and corroded, it may take a little work and the help of a wrench to start the job. Use a towel for a better grip on the shower head. Remove the old extension pipe by turning counterclockwise. An old and corroded extension pipe may require a wrench to unfasten. Wrap a small towel around the pipe to gain a better grip.

Use Teflon tape to seal threads on both ends of the new extension pipe. Wrap your Teflon tape in a clockwise direction (looking at the end of the pipe) so the tape will not unravel when you screw the pipe into its fitting.

Replace the extension pipe by inserting it into the wall opening until you find the pipe opening behind the wall. Turn the extension pipe clockwise until tight, then continue another quarter turn. Make sure the bend in the pipe points down. Replace the shower head by screwing it on the extension pipe. Turn to the right to tighten.

Turn on the water and check for leaks. If you find any leaks, turn off the water and retighten all fittings.


Choose a shower head with a finish and style that matches the other fixtures and faucets in your bathroom. Choose a low-flow shower head to reduce water usage by as much as 30 per cent without reducing performance (see Reference 2).


Follow all manufacturer's instructions for assembling the shower head.

Things You'll Need

  • Shower head
  • Extension pipe
  • Wrench
  • Towel
  • Teflon tape
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About the Author

Tate Higgins is a writer, teacher and outdoor guide. He lives in South Carolina and works on rivers around the country. He graduated from Clemson University and Colorado State University. His work has recently appeared in literary magazines including Phoebe and The Southeast Review.