Shortly after purchasing our mobile home, I realized that the shower was only spraying out half of the holes in the showerhead. Furthermore, the shower had developed a steady drip, drip, drip. Considering the bathroom was adjoining my bedroom, the frequency of this steady drip could best be compared to some form of fiendish torture. If I didn’t want to risk revealing more than my name, rank and serial number, I needed to act fast.
If you’re experiencing some anxiety about replacing the showerhead in your mobile home, take a deep breath and relax. Replacing your showerhead is one of the easiest and least expensive mobile home repairs you can do yourself. Just follow these easy steps and we’ll get it done in a snap.
Does Your Showerhead Really Need Replacing?
Not sure you want to spend the money on a new showerhead or happy with the one you have? In many cases, you can extend the life of your showerhead simply by cleaning it. In order to do this, you need some rubber gloves and a cleaning solution that will remove lime build up. I usually use Lime-Away for the job, but there are other products you can try as well.
Remove your showerhead by twisting it off in a counter clockwise direction (remember “Lefty Lucy, Righty Tighty“). You may need a wrench to grip the base of the showerhead tightly enough to get it started, particularly if you haven’t changed the showerhead for a while and you have a lot of sediments built up on it.
Once you’ve removed the showerhead, don your rubber gloves and put the stopper in your sink. Start by squirting some of the cleaner down inside the showerhead and then around the outside of it. If you have a lot of sediments, you’ll usually see it bubble up a bit. I also recommend leaving the showerhead to soak in the solution for a little while if your showerhead is really plugged. Any excess sediments can then usually be cleaned off with an old junk toothbrush that you don’t plan on using anymore.
In many cases, this will extend the life of your showerhead and save you money. Just be sure to read the directions on the solvent container and avoid using this on any plastic parts, as the dissolving agent will often eat away and weaken plastic pieces, potentially leading to future drips and breakages.
Choosing a New Showerhead for Your Mobile Home
Once you’ve decided to put a new showerhead into your mobile home, the next question you need to ask yourself is whether you want a standard style of showerhead or if you’d like to get a handheld showerhead. There are pros and cons to both varieties, which we will touch upon here:
Standard showerheads: These are the most common showerheads found in mobile homes. While they may seem fairly straightforward, there are a wide variety of different standard showerheads to choose from. Some standard showerheads have different settings that can create a light spray of water or pulsating streams to work on sore muscles. Standard showerheads are usually the least expensive variety of showerhead as well, with nice chrome versions running $15-20 for the mobile home.
Handheld showerheads: While standard showerheads may be the cheaper alternative, handheld showerheads can prove to be more cost-efficient over time. By allowing the user to direct the flow of water where they want, it’s usually easier and quicker to get completely rinsed off using a handheld showerhead. Additionally, the water stays warm longer, encased in the hose until it reaches the user. Still, the handheld showerheads aren’t for everyone – the hoses can be somewhat cumbersome to deal with and they seem to be more prone to drips and mildew.
The bottom line is deciding which kind of showerhead best suits you and going that route. Chose what you’d enjoy most. When properly maintained, a showerhead can last you for years.
Installing Your New Showerhead
Make sure to clean off the pipe extension, ensuring that it’s free from any old tape or sediment buildup. Metal pipes can be carefully cleaned with a little of the lime remover, but be careful to rinse it thoroughly, particularly if you’re installing a plastic handheld showerhead. Also make sure it’s dried off well before continuing.
Most new showerheads come with a small roll of white pipe tape but, if yours doesn’t, be sure to pick some up at the local hardware store before you tackle this job. When you’ve ensured the threads of your shower arm are clean and dry, wrap them with a layer of the pipe tape. This will help create a good seal between your shower arm and the showerhead, so don’t skip this step. The good news is that it doesn’t take much, so you can always save your excess tape for future jobs – just make sure the threads are covered with a layer of tape.
Ensuring you keep the showerhead straight and in-line with the shower arm, screw it slowly on the shower arm. You may want to use the wrench to ensure that you get it tightened snugly against the shower arm, but be careful not to over-tighten. Remember, at some point, you will want to be able to take the showerhead off again, so you can keep it clean and working like new.
Once that’s completed, congratulations – you should have replaced your showerhead and are all set to put it to good use. Go and enjoy the fruits of your labor and take a nice hot shower – you’ve earned it!
Personal experience as a mobile home owner