Some people wonder if it is possible to add a hand held shower head to an existing shower arm. Yes, it is possible, this article will provide you with information on how to add a handheld showerhead.
The process of adding a handheld shower depends on the type of adapter kit. There are different types of adapter kits including a standard fitting kit, a cross-tee diverter fitting, and a tub spout diverter valve. But this should not worry you as we shall provide the procedure for the three adapter kits.
How to Add a Hand Held Shower Head Using a Standard Fitting?
With this, the handheld shower is attached to the old shower arm replacing the old showerhead. Depending on the model, the handheld showerhead can be mounted to the wall bracket or screwed to the end of the shower arm.
1. Mount the showerhead base.
The first step is to remove the old shower head, and then using a plumber’s tape, wrap it around the shower arm threads for several loops. Then, screw and tighten the handheld showerhead base using your hands onto the shower arm.
2. Attach the hose.
The next step is to add the hose. Using the same plumber’s tape, wrap the cross-tee nipple, usually at the base of the showerhead, for several times. Then screw the hose on to the cross-tee nipple and tighten using your hands.
3. Check for leaks.
Then, switch on the water to check for leaks. In case there is any leakage on the connections, then carefully tighten the joints using an adjustable wrench. Note, to protect the finish, use a piece of heavy cloth between the wrench and the hose.
4. Mount the bracket.
This is the last step and involves mounting the wall bracket. For this part, use the manufacturer’s guidelines on how to mount the wall bracket.
How to Add a Hand Held Shower Head Using a Cross-tee Diverter Fitting?
This is a more versatile method of adding your hand held shower head. This method involves adding the handheld showerhead and leaving the existing showerhead in place. Generally, this method involves the addition of a diverter tee-fitting with two outlets and connecting the existing showerhead onto one outlet while the other is connected to the handheld showerhead.
1. Install the cross-tee fitting.
The first step is to remove the existing showerhead from the shower arm, and then cleaning the shower arm threads. Wrap the plumber’s tape severally around the shower arm threads, and then fix the cross-tee fitting onto the threads and tighten using your hands.
2. Mount the old showerhead.
On the cross-tee threads, wrap the plumber’s tape for several times, and then fix the old showerhead onto one of the two outlets of the diverter, and fasten using your hands.
3. Attach the hose.
This step involves fixing the handheld showerhead hose onto the other diverter outlet, usually the outer outlet, and tighten using your hands.
4. Check for leakage.
This is the final step and involves the checking for leakages, to confirm successful installation. To check for any leakage, switch on the water. In case there is any leakage on the connections, then carefully tighten the joints using an adjustable wrench. Note, to protect the finish, use a piece of heavy cloth between the wrench and the hose.
How to Add a Hand Held Shower Head Using a Tub Spout Diverter?
This method is applicable where there is no existing showerhead. It involves the use of a tub spout diverter. Generally, the process involves the use of a new spout with a diverter to replace the original tub spout.
1. Uninstall the existing tub spout.
The first step is to remove the existing tub spout so that you can replace it with the new one. Usually, there are two types of the spout, slip-on and threaded, with different ways of removal.
For slip-on, the spout has a hex-head setscrew. To remove, loosen the screw using an Allen wrench and slide it off through the pipe nipple.
For threaded, the spout lacks a setscrew. To remove, use the channel-lock pliers to unscrew the spout until it moves out through the threaded nipple.
2. Install the new tub spout.
The new tub spout should have a similar method of attachment to the old model.
For slip-on, move the new tub spout through the stub-out pipe and fasten the setscrew using an Allen wrench.
For a threaded one, use a plumber’s tape to wrap clockwise onto the threads on the pipe nipple, and then screw the new spout to the stub-out pipe.
3. Mount the handheld bracket.
The next step is to mount the handheld showerhead bracket onto the wall as directed by the manufacturer.
4. Attach the handheld shower hose.
On the spout’s nipple, wrap the plumber’s tape and attach the hose.
5. Check for leakage.
Finally, just like the other methods, check for any leakage.