Why You Need to Replace Your Shower Head - Every 6-Months!

This is not my opinion, this is the recommendation of medical and scientific experts that have documented a Recommended Cleaning and Maintenance regiment - in response to the serious threat that some disease-causing bacteria can grow in shower heads and infect the lungs of at risk patient groups. Go to the following web article for more details: http://www.abc2news.com/dpp/news/region/baltimore_city/how-to-clean-the-bacteria-out-of-your-shower
The purpose of this post is to inspect and disassemble a shower head that is over 6-months old to determine if there are any signs of the biofilm clusters (bacteria) that the experts are warning us about. I have provided pictures throughout the disassembly process to record the observations.
Please note that my readings tell us that the white and pink crust in - and on - the shower head are not "hard water scale" - they are actually biofilm with additional contaminants stuck to its fatty protective layer that create clusters. It is tiny parts of these bacteria clusters that break loose and become atomized into droplets as they are shot out of the shower head. These bacteria contaminated droplets are inhaled right into your respiratory system as you breathe in the shower.
Not too surprisingly, my experiment shows first-hand that there are plenty of clear indications of biofilm and bacteria clusters from the outside of the shower head to the very inside of the shower head. Actually, even further because the shower head adapter, the metal shower neck pipe, and the connection hose also showed significant bacteria contamination.
I conclude that the experts' recommendation for us to replace shower heads at six month intervals seems completely reasonable. In addition, they recommend a monthly vinegar soak of the shower heads for maintenance.
I replaced this hand-held shower head with an inexpensive hand-held shower-head model - since they are basically a consumable now. I feel sorry for people who bought beautiful fancy shower heads and assemblies, because they have a tough choice between their significant dollar investment and breathing bacteria everyday.
I hope this information is helpful to you.
Stay safe, Matthew
Plastic Hand-Held Shower Head, hose, and adapter. More than 6-months old - but not quite a year old.
Tell-tale signs of red bacteria and biofilm crust on the spray-head face. Do not let it get this far by performing monthly vinegar soaks.
Bad News - there is a clear build-up of biofilm crust in the shower neck pipe. I had to replace it too.
The shower head adapter was full of biofilm crust - as shown stuck to the rubber o-ring.
Even the teflon tape that was exposed between the shower-head handle and the hose shows red bacteria contamination.
This photo shows the shower head partially disassemble and there is definitely biofilm crust that is growing between the rubber seal o-rings.
There is no shortage of biofilm crust fragments coming loose as the shower head is further disassembled. We certainly do not want these bacteria fragments being sprayed on us and all over our shower and tubs.
A look at the most internal areas in the shower head spray mechanisms.
This bacteria contamination that has found in the inner core of the shower head is concerning - to say the least.
And not to leave a stone unturned - I cut open the shower hose at the bottom loop area where water would sit. It is not entirely easy to see; however, there is biofilm crust lining the bottom of the inner hose.

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  • Pearl Pearl on Sep 23, 2016
    Never heard of such a thing. Can upi take off head and soke in a solution of b;leach?
  • Rhea Thomas Rhea Thomas on Nov 10, 2016
    If there are contaminants inside the shower head parts, what about inside all the pipes in your house?