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Why Is My Shower Head Clogged?

There are many reasons for a clogged shower head, and fixing it can be as easy as ABC if you know how to go about it. However, it is very important to know the cause of the blockage so that solving the problem will not be difficult. Here are some of the causes of a clogged shower head.

You Have Hard Water in your House

When we say that a sample of water is hard, it means that its calcium and magnesium levels are high. Some of the signs you will discover with hard water are white mineral deposits on your dishware, stiff laundry, limescale accumulation on appliances, soap that does not lather up, among others.

Also, hard water causes the accumulation of scale on pipes as well as water heaters. When water pressure moves the scale to the faucet, it leads to trapping of the scale behind the wire or plastic screen of the shower head.

Other Debris Clogs Your Shower Head

Debris Clogs Your Shower Head

Even though accumulated limescale deposits remain the major type of debris that can block your shower head, other debris types that are not connected to water quality can cause the issue.

For example, if you have copper water supply pipes at home, they can corrode and this can lead to the formation of scale in the pipes. If the condition deteriorates, it can lead to pinhole leaks in the pipes, and you will be left with no other option than to replace the pipes.

Besides, there can be degradation of the rubber gasket between the pipe and shower head. This can lead to the accumulation of small rubber particles on the filter screen.

Also, there can be degradation of other parts of the shower head causing them to fall apart as time rolls by. This is another cause of blockage which many people may not notice.

Your Shower Head Comes With a Flow Restrictor

Some brands and models come with a built-in flow restrictor, which helps in reducing water and energy usage. These flow restrictors are plastic disks and are very effective for lowering water usage but your water pressure will suffer for it.

The good news here is that you can easily remove flow restrictors if you discover that they contribute to your clogged shower head.

Related Post: How to Fix a Leaking Shower Head?

How to Free a Clogged Shower Head

Free a Clogged Shower Head

It is very easy to clear a clogged shower head even if you are a beginner. You only need to get the right tools and materials so that you will be able to get the most satisfactory result. What’s more, you won’t spend too much time with this task once you master the procedure.

Things You Will Need

  • Channel-lock style wrench
  • Clean rag
  • Old toothbrush
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Latex or nitrile gloves
  • Teflon pipe tape
  • Disposable plastic container
  • Old towel
  • Calcium, lime, and rust remover solution
  • Fresh water, both warm and cool

Step-by-step Guide

Here are the steps you need to take when you want to clear your clogged shower head. It is very important for you to follow the steps properly so that you won’t have issues getting the most satisfactory result.

Step 1: Remove the Shower Head

You should use your hand to take off the shower head. To get this done effectively, turn the top part of the shower in an anticlockwise direction. You should not attempt to turn the head because it is devised to rotate.

If your hand cannot remove it, use a wrench to turn it off gently. Before using the wrench to remove it, use a rag to wrap the top section so that you don’t damage it.

Step 2: Dismantle the Shower Head

Place the towel on a table, and dismantle the shower head. It is important for you to note that you may not be able to dismantle the cone part of the shower head.

However, you should not have any problem dismantling the ball joint area, which is connected to the pipe so that you can easily see the gasket and screen.

Step 3: Remove the Flow Restrictor (Optional)

This is an optional step because of government regulations. Flow rates are regulated in some areas, and you need to be sure that it is possible for you to remove your flow restrictor.

Removing is not so difficult, you only need to lay your hands on a piece of needle-nose pliers. Use this tool to grab the flow restrictor by the side before pulling it out.

Related Post: How to Clean a Shower Head?

Step 4: Clean the Shower Head Parts

Wear the nitrile or latex gloves, and prepare a solution of lime, rust remover, and calcium in a container. Thereafter, you should pour warm water of equal amount to the solution. Put the shower head as well as all the parts you have removed into the solution.

Step 5: Soak the Parts in Solution

You should allow the parts to soak for about two minutes, and you can follow the recommendation of the manufacturer.

Step 6: Rinse and Brush-Clean

Pour the solution out of the container, and rinse the contents with fresh, cool water. Use the toothbrush to clean the gasket, screen and the flow restrictor, if you are willing to reinstall the restrictor.

You should then knock out the shower head gently on the towel so as to enable other debris and limescale fall out.

Step 7: Reassemble the Shower Head

Set up the shower head again, and fix it back to the shower arm. You should wrap the threads on the arm with the Teflon tape before you screw it back into the main shower system.

Step 8: Try the Shower Head

Turn on the faucet so that you will be able to test the water flow. If this process does not solve the clogging problem, it is advisable to get in touch with your plumber.

Step 9: Post-Project Cleaning

It is very important to get rid of the gloves, toothbrush and container used for this project. You can use the towel again, not for bathing or skin contact, but make sure that you wash it properly.

This is due to the fact that the lauramine oxide and lactic acid in the solution are irritants.


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