Asked on Aug 7, 2013

Help removing old shower head

Sharon StoffelWoodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.comStraight Nails Construction


I've been wanting to replace my shower head, but for the life of me I can't get the old one off. It's just a super basic one and it's seemingly stuck on. I've tried WD-40, and even bought a pair of channellock pliers to try to get it off. I'm afraid if I pull too hard I'll break the pipe or strip the outside.
Suggestions greatly appreciated!
5 answers
  • KMS Woodworks
    on Aug 7, 2013

    I've pulled some complete with the supply arm / elbow. A new elbow is not too pricey and often needs to be change to match the "finish" of the new head anyway. For some really stubborn jobs I have cut the head off near the head and then used a large screwdriver stuck in the supply elbow. This give some extra leverage and allows the hardness pipe dope to break free at the connector in the wall.

  • Try soaking the fitting in CLR or other Calcium/Lime/Rust breaker. Pour in into a cup or glass or container deep enough to to cover the fitting and let it soak for a while.

    • Ellen Manuszak
      on Aug 9, 2013

      @Midlantic Contracting LLC / Midlantic Electric Inc Thanks, I'll give that a try. I really don't want to break the pipe since I have a rental apartment.

  • I assume this is in a wall that is tiled? If it is sheetrock, then you can use KMS's advice, remove the wall and parts, replace, and retape to finish the walls. But if there is tile around this, you have a bit more breathing room. For stubborn extention arms, try finding the largest tool that will fit inside of the arm itself. This will provide leverage to break this seal, and allow you to remove. And believe it or not, sometimes, if you try and "tighten" just a bit, this breaks the seal, then allows you to unscrew and out of the elbow. You will have to buy a new extention, but as KMS says, you want the finishes to match anyway.

    • Ellen Manuszak
      on Aug 9, 2013

      @Straight Nails Construction The wall is definitely not tile--either sheetrock or drywall, I'm honestly not sure. Will try the tip on tightening to break the seal.

  • I would call the management office. If they installed a special low flow head there may be a tiny screw that prevents the tenants from removing these shower heads and if that is the case, your not allowed to do this. Do you pay for your own water? Or does the landlord? if they do, this may be the case why you cannot remove it. They do not want tenants to use more water.

    • Ellen Manuszak
      on Aug 9, 2013

      @Woodbridge Environmental Never would have thought of that, but makes perfect sense. I'll get in touch with my landlord.

  • Sharon Stoffel
    on Nov 9, 2015

    Try wiping the connection repeatedly with a cloth or paper towel soaked in olive oil. It has worked me on a couple separate occasions. Good luck.

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