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How Can You Prevent Your Shower Head From Getting Clogged?

You may have an issue with hard water or corroded galvanized supply pipes that cause your shower heads and faucet filter screens to become clogged. A clogged shower head will reduce water flow or concentrate the flow through a limited number of clear holes in the shower head, causing the water to spray in a harsher pattern against your skin. Clogged filter screens on your faucets will also impede water flow, as well as cause small jets of water to shoot out horizontally instead of vertically.

You may also notice water shooting in multiple directions from your shower head. The holes in the shower heads, as well as in the faucet screens, become partially blocked, increasing the pressure of the water while changing the direction of its flow. You can solve both of these issues with minimal expense and plumbing skills.

Adding a filter to your shower head

It's very simple to install a filter to the supply pipe of your shower. The only plumbing supplies you will need are a shower filter and a roll of Teflon tape, which is a thin plastic ribbon used to seal threaded pipe connections. You will also need some white vinegar to clean the shower head. You should perform this task in the evening after everyone in the home has showered, because you will need to soak the shower head for several hours to clean it.

Removing your shower head.

You will begin by turning your shower head in a counterclockwise direction until it becomes detached from the supply pipe. Place the screen of the shower head in a bowl of white vinegar overnight. This will loosen the mineral deposits that are clogging some of the openings in the screen.

Installing the shower filter

The filter will have both a male (threads outside) and a female (threads inside) connection, and the end of the supply pipe will have a threaded male connection. Wrap a few layers of Teflon tape in a clockwise direction around the threads of both male connections.

You will then twist the female connection of the filter onto the male connection of the supply pipe, and turn it by hand until it is snug.

Replacing the shower head

Remove the shower head from the vinegar and run water through the head to clean off the vinegar and remove the loosened mineral deposits from the screen. You may need a plastic scrubbing brush to remove stubborn deposits.

When the screen is clean, twist the female end of the shower head in a clockwise direction onto the male connection of the filter and tighten it by hand until snug. You can then turn on the water for several minutes to remove any additional vinegar smell of mineral deposits. You should notice a smoother and gentler, but fuller,  flow from the shower head. Your skin and hair may also reap the benefits from the cessation of the constant bombardment of minerals from hard water and/or rust from old galvanized pipes.

Replacing faucet screens

Faucet screens are tasked with trapping mineral deposits and other contaminants before they can flow from your faucets. Sometimes they do their job too well, and become partially blocked. While you can add a water filter to your faucet in the same manner as adding a shower filter, you can also choose to simply replace the screens.

You will need to buy new faucet screens at your local home improvement store, and you may need an adjustable wrench to remove the screen housing cap, which screws onto the end of your faucet.

Removing the housing cap may initially require a wrench, but if you need a wrench, wrap a rag or similar item around the housing cap to avoid scratching it with the teeth of the wrench.

You will twist it in a counterclockwise direction until it is removed, pop out the screen with a blunt object (your finger can do it ,but you may be cut), and push a new screen into the housing cap. Twist the housing cap in a clockwise direction onto the threaded end of the faucet until it is snug. Turn on the water and you will marvel at the improved flow and the simplicity of the task.


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