DIY Home Repairs Simple Projects

Low Pressure Shower Head

Years ago when we first bought the bungalow the water situation was hard.  Literally, we had such hard water that you had to take a pick axe and hard hat to take a shower.  So when we had the opportunity to get a water softener we jumped on it, no questions asked.

Fast Forward five years and I still don’t regret the water softener.  It has made life so much better, especially where cleaning things is concerned.  Now all anything needs is gloves and elbow grease.  But one of the functions of the water softener is that it breaks up hard water.  Overtime hard water deposits that have collected in the pipes begin to break free and flow through the  pipes.  The result: clogged faucets and shower heads.

When we remodeled the bathroom we replaced all the pipes in the house.  The only plumbing fixture untouched was the water heater itself.  And like all the old plumbing it is a bedrock of calcium scale deposits.  Now and again small chunks of scale break free, rush through our pipes and lodging themselves in our faucets, which causes low or nearly non-existent water pressure.

Fixing such problems doesn’t take a lot of time or tools, it’s just a quick two minute project.  Yesterday, while enjoying my regular early morning shower, the pressure suddenly died and I was left to rinse off under a drizzle.  So today I’m fixing the low pressure shower head problem.

1st:

Locate tools:

Small pipe wrench, some Teflon tape, and depending on the faucet, tweezers.

#2

Next, using the pipe wrench, twist off the shower head.

#3

With the shower head off, flush out the pipes.  This is an important step because sometimes there is some ninja scale build up waiting in the pipes for its turn to rush into the shower head and hijack the water pressure.  Best to flush these ninja hijackers before re-installing the shower head.

#4

And since your there, why not wrap the threads of the connection with new Teflon tape?

#5

Okay, let’s clean out the offending calcium-ninja and get this over with.  Because the shower head’s opening is so tiny and the outlets so many, I find it best to snag the offensive object with a pair of tweezers.

Do you see the white tooth-looking thing in the center, that’s the stealthy water ninja that ambushes a pleasant morning shower and turns it into a nightmare.

So tiny, but so offensive!

#6

After removing the obvious particle from the shower head I like to flush out the system under the sink by running water over and through it.

#7

Then it’s back into place.  Tighten with the pipe wrench to just tight enough, this will happen again and nothing is worse than stripped threads.

#8

Finally, test!

Ah, there is nothing like washing under a warm waterfall in the morning.

This whole fix is 2 – 5 minutes and worth every second.  Not to mention the cost that a plumber would charge.  It translates into sink faucets too, just unscrew the filter on the faucet and rinse away the ninja-calcium-build-up that’s bedded on the mesh.

I’m now going to take my much deserved, hot, pressure-filled shower!

–Cath

4 Comments

  • Let me say, I found you on a search for low pressure shower head problem. You were top of the list, and reading this has totally alleviated my stress. Everything fits exactly – I have a water softening system, and NEVER knew this could happen. I can’t wait to try it, and now, I’m going to bookmark your site (I too have a little bungalow style house). Thank you so much!