How to Remove a Shower Head Without a Wrench

From time to time, you need to remove your shower head to replace it with a new one or to enhance its performance. However, it can be very frustrating, especially when removing a stuck shower head without a wrench. Luckily, there are other effective ways of maneuvering this problem.

You can substitute a wrench with other appliances to remove your shower head including a twine, belt, duct tape, hands, and solvents. All these methods will remove your shower head and prepare you for the next step of maintenance or replacement. Use a penetrant like WD-40 for a stuck showerhead.

This post will help you discover various hacks for removing a shower head without a wrench and explain why your shower head gets stuck. Dive in!

How to Remove a Shower Head Without a Wrench

There are multiple hacks for removing your shower head without a wrench including the following:

Method #1: Use a Belt

Your waist belt can serve as a decent solution for a strap wrench. You can easily create some tension, but there is less leverage available. Here is how to remove your shower head using a belt:

  1. Attach the belt by putting its end through the buckle. This will give you a choice of the direction you want the belt to face.
  2. Coil the belt within the shower head’s base where it meets the pipe, with the belt’s end facing the opposite direction of where you want to twist the shower head connector. Typically, this implies that the end of the belt is pointing in the clockwise direction.
  3. Detach the belt from the buckle as you try to tighten the loop around the pipe connector.
  4. Pull the belt’s end to establish firm contact with the shower head.
  5. If necessary, wrap the belt around your wrist to acquire additional grip.
  6. Pull the belt anticlockwise with a simultaneous strong force that unscrews the threads.

Be careful not to damage your belt in this process. If the shower head is stuck, add some WD-40 to it, wait for a few minutes then try again.

Method #2: Use a Duct Tape

Duct tape is one of the common household items you have in the house. In addition to attaching items, you can use it as a DIY wrench by using the following procedure:

  1. Tear a piece of about 12 inches long duct tape, being careful not to stick it on your skin.
  2. Slice the piece at its center to create two strips.
  3. Create a layer of the two pieces by sticking one piece on the glue-free side of the other.
  4. Wrap up the sticky side around the shower head in an anticlockwise direction until you leave about 6 inches of the tape. If you need a larger end to grasp, you can wrap less of it or cut a longer piece of the tape.
  5. To remove the shower head, pull the duct tape in an anticlockwise direction. You will notice your shower head connector turning until you can freely remove it using your hands.

Duct tape is quite strong and can turn even very tough showerheads.

Method #3: Use Your Hands

In other cases, you can remove the shower head without using any tool. Actually, many manufacturers recommend that you use your hands to remove shower heads to avoid damage. 

If the shower head doesn’t turn at first, you can remove it by unscrewing the fitting behind the wall. This is practical, and it shouldn’t cause any leak. It also allows you to remove the shower head and arm comfortably.

Reinforcing your hand strength: In a nab, without using any tool, you increase your hand strength by using a towel. You simply need to wrap it around the showerhead and try unscrewing it for a second attempt. In most cases, this will be more effective in removing an old shower head.

Method #4: Use Solvents

In most cases, you cannot remove the shower head using your hands due to the buildup of rust or scale. When such things build up on your showerhead threads, they can stick it and make it hard to remove.

Bear in mind that scale and rust are two different things. You will require various solvents to dissolve them. Fortunately, none of these chemical solvents is expensive:

  • White Vinegar: Cover your shower head with a plastic bag full of white vinegar. Ensure everything, including the connector, is fully dipped. You can hold the plastic bag in position using various rubber bands. Allow the vinegar to act on the surface for multiple hours. The vinegar is quite effective in removing the scales on your shower head threads, making them easy to remove using your hands.
  • WD-40: You can use WD-40 and other spray lubricants. You will only need to spray on the connection and allow about 10 minutes for it to act on the surface. In most cases, this will be enough to loosen the connection on the shower head and allow you to remove it using your hands. If this doesn’t work, you will need to attempt an approach that will dissolve the scale that the lubricant can’t remove.

Both of these solvents can also be used to clean the showerhead and you can use this chance to clean it.

Method #5: Use Twine

Although you can remove your shower head using twine, you need to use it as a last option. Typically, twine can easily rough your hands, especially when you are a starter. Also, thin twine can break as you try to start to pull it. 

However, twine can also work well using the following approach:

  1. Cover around the base: Start wrapping twine at the shower head within the connector. Attempt this step about 5-15 times as much as you can to prevent the twine from sliding loose.
  2. For thin twine: If you are using thin twine, you might need to consider folding it in half. This will establish a double-reinforced thread of twine you can work with.
  3. Establish a grip: Tie your twine’s free end into a loop. Then, place something strong such as a stick or a bar, into the loop. You will require something that will give you a proper grip and cannot break under tension. If your loop has enough space, you can use something more significant such as a broom handle.
  4. Pull: Now, with your established grip, you can twist it anticlockwise to remove the showerhead. 

The handle will be a good idea since it will offer a better grip while protecting your hands from being cut by the twine.

What Makes a Shower Head Stuck?

Mostly, your shower head may get stuck due to the accumulation of rust and scales. When rust and scales form within the threads of the connector, they can create problems with removing your showerhead. If this happens, you will need to dissolve them using solvents such as white vinegar and WD-40.

However, you can prevent their buildup by applying lubricants to the shower head connector before installing a showerhead and twice a year. This will protect this surface from contact with water and oxygen which cause rust.

Summary

It may seem challenging to remove your shower head without a wrench. Fortunately, there are various practical methods to remove it without damaging and harming yourself. As we have discussed, you can use your belt, twine, solvents, hands, or duct tape. 

All these hacks will serve as a suitable substitute for a wrench. Now, choose the most effective approach to removing your showerhead for your next repair or replacement.

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