The DIY Rain Shower Head Guide

I have a love affair with my shower. One week I want pulsating shower heads (multi-function) and the next a rain shower head. The issue is that I can’t have both, so one shower has one head type and the other has another head type.

It works well for me.

When you’re going to buy a rain shower head, you’ll find that there are generally two types:

  1. The first type attaches to your current shower arm.
  2. The second type is attached to the ceiling in the bathroom.

The second option is very nice and convenient, but it also requires a bit of plumbing know-how, so it is a project I recommend hiring a plumber to complete.

Rain Shower Head FAQ

A few of the most common questions regarding this shower head type are:

  • Will I need to install new piping? Unless you’re having a separate water pipe installed, more heads will attach to the existing shower arm.
  • I have low pressure, will I have enough pressure? The rain shower head requires sufficient water pressure to provide the best power possible.
  • Will my water bill go up? Most users do not notice a difference in their water bill after installing a rain model.

One of the biggest differences between a rain shower head and a normal shower head is that the rain type is really meant to be above your head. This can be a difficult process especially if you’re taller since your shower arm is like too low to have clearance for your head.

This can be overcome with ease, and we’ll see how in a minute.

Remove the Shower Head

Removing the current shower head is a necessity whether you’ll be installing a new shower arm or not. Removing is done by:

  1. Using channel-locking pliers to remove the shower head by gripping it with the pliers and turning counter-clockwise.

That is all that you need to do. If you plan on leaving your current shower arm in place, dry all of the threads well with a towel before proceeding. You’ll also be able to skip the “installing a new shower arm” section of this article.

Installing a New Shower Arm

Shower arms are what your current showerhead attaches to. These arms look like they’re firmly in place in your shower’s wall, but they can be removed with a simple twist in most cases. Now, not everyone will need a new shower arm, but taller uses will want to install a new arm.

This is done by first removing the old shower arm.

How? Simply turn it to the left (counter-clockwise) and it will unscrew. This should be done with caution as you never want to break the shower arm in the process. Gently turn the arm until it comes out.

The new shower arm can be installed by hand by simply screwing it into the existing thread by turning it right (clockwise). You want it to be in the right position and snug against the wall.

Note: An extended shower arm that either goes up (to provide more head clearance) or that goes out further is preferred. Many “S” shaped shower arms work well for taller users.

Install the Rain Shower Head

Once the arm is in place, you’ll want to install the shower head. First, before installing, wrap Teflon tape around the shower arm threads. This acts as a sealant and will prevent water from seeping out between the threads.

Now, simply:

  1. Tighten the shower head turning it clockwise (right) into the shower arm threads.
  2. Using the channel-locking pliers, continue tightening the shower head so that it’s a snug fit.

After you’re done, turn on the water to test the new head. If you notice any leaking, more Teflon tape may be needed or you may need to tighten the showerhead further.