Among the key fixtures in your bathroom is the shower. Have you ever stopped and pondered what holds your shower in place? What ensures it doesn’t fall off when hanging up there? Of course, it’s the showerhead thread.
The standard thread size for shower heads in the US and UK is ½-inch. While you may see abbreviations such as the NPT (National Pipe Thread) for the US and BSP (British Standard Pipe) for the UK, they all refer to the ½-inch thread. Most countries use the ½-inch thread but some use ¾- or 1-inch threads.
Most people don’t give much thought to the thread, but If you are hands-on and like to handle such installations, you get to work around it. For example, the thread must be well worked out to ensure that you don’t have the shower water dripping on the joint.
In reading this post, you’ll learn of the standard shower head thread size in different parts of the world.
What is a Showerhead Thread?
A showerhead thread is the opening at the end of the shower pipe that holds it together with the showerhead. Look at your shower arm or the line that drips your shower water. It has some concentric grooves on end. That’s the showerhead thread.
In some quotas, the thread is referred to as the pipe size. The thread has a male and a female ending on either side.
A showerhead thread is key as it’s the part that holds the showerhead in place. By rotating the end clockwise, you ensure that the female and male edges are firmly held in place.
Simply put, your shower would leak all through without the thread, which is costly. The shower head thread should be a consideration when installing a stand-up shower.
Standard Shower Head Thread Size
Different parts of the world have adapted to using standards for showerhead thread size. For instance, the standard shower head thread size is ½ inch in Canada.
The standardization makes your work easier when you plan on replacing your showerhead. All you need to know is how to fix it and the energy necessary as you rotate it clockwise to fit.
Now, let’s look at how different parts of the world compare in the shower head thread size.
The USA has the standard shower head thread size of ½ inch. The standardization means every shower head thread manufactured and used in the USA measures a ½ inch.
The standard size means you don’t need to worry about the size when replacing your showerhead, as they are uniform in the entire US. All you have to care about is the style and appeal of your showerhead. How well does it align with your preferences?
Here, the thread size is classified as NPT meaning the National Pipe Thread. So, don’t get alarmed when you are in the hardware shop and hear them call out ½ inch NPT.
The style and material of the showerhead may differ, from brass to aluminum, but the size of the thread remains the same
The UK also has a standardized shower head thread size of ½ inch. That makes it easier for you to shift places and plan to give your bathroom a makeover. You’ll only have to repeat the procedure as the thread size is the same.
The only difference is that the thread size is referred to as the BSP. These abbreviations stand for the British Standard Pipe. So then, the shower head thread size is referred to as ½ inch BSP.
3. The rest of the world
The rest of the world seems to toe the line as most use the ½ inch size thread size. For instance, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, and Europe all have the ½ inch thread as the standard size.
However, when buying your fittings online from other countries, take time to be keen on the thread size as it may differ or be incompatible with your other fittings.
There exist other sizes of showerhead thread, such as the ¾ inch and 1-inch thread sizes, in some parts of the world.
In very old homes, you may also find a differing thread size. You can remove the shower head and replace it with a standard one to avoid complications in future. Remove the shower head by hand or, if it fails, using a pair of pliers or a wrench.
Are all showerheads the same size?
A short answer to this question is that world over, most showerheads measure ½ inch. That goes for both NPT and BSP standards. Depending on the bathroom type, you may find other fixtures with the same or different threads.
Most showerheads are the same size. However, here are a few size exceptions to the NPT and BSP standards:
1. Old Homes
Before the standards came into place, the older homes featured different sizes of showerheads. Especially in the USA, the homes featured a ball-end shower arm. These arms aren’t compatible with the NPT ½ inch shower head thread.
If your home has such a shower head, then it becomes hard to comply with the NPT and BSP sizes. In this case, you must look further for the ball adapters by shipping them from another country.
Or, you may engage a professional plumber to work around your old shower fixtures and bring them to modern times. Another option is to find a manufacturer to sort you out with the ball shower.
2. Luxury Shower
The fittings may differ from the NPT and BSP standards when you opt for the fancy shower. For instance, if you go for the rainfall showerhead, you will deviate from the common standards.
First, because such shower heads are fixed to the ceiling and not to the wall. Secondly, they require special size fittings to install.
3. Hose Type
Most shower hoses are compatible with the NPT ½ inch thread standards. However, you may find some pipes featuring a ¾ inch thread. Avoid it at all costs.
Such shower hoses will give you extra work when fixing your standardized showerhead. First, you need to find a connector to adjust the flow from ¾ to ½ inch featured on the showerhead.
Ideally, you should aim to have all your shower fittings from the same manufacturer. That way, you will get the much-needed fit, as the fixtures will have zero size variations.
Does the size of the Shower Head Affect the Thread Size?
The universally acceptable thread size is the ½ inch one, which means most showerheads automatically fit the threads.
However, when it’s time to replace these fittings, you better be sure of the size. To verify the size, measure the diameter of your shower arm and how long it extends from the wall. Then, take these measurements to the store as you buy a new head.
Something else you need to be sure of when buying the showerhead is whether the exposed thread is male or female. The head you buy should feature the opposite. In short, if the exposed end is female, get a shower head with a male end and vice versa. It makes it easy to fit as you rotate clockwise.
With that in mind, you only need to worry about whether the shower head you buy suits your style preference.
The acceptable shower head thread size in most parts of the world is ½ inch. Therefore, the BSP and NPT abbreviations for the standards shouldn’t worry you as long as they measure up.
Standardization makes it easy to work around your bathroom fittings to your preferred style without much hassle. It also makes it easy to do the installation yourself without incurring the extra costs of a plumber.
When it’s time to replace your showerhead, take the old one with you to the store, it clears things up while reducing your margin of error and the back-and-forth trips to the store.