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How to Install a Rainfall Shower Head: Basic Plumbing 101

how to install a rainfall shower head
Written by Callum Strempel

Rainfall shower heads have become so common here in the states that it’s hard to even imagine a household without them.

If you’re a homeowner that needs to renovate their shower and wondering about the right approach, you are at the right place.

This article will try to provide a step-by-step tutorial on how to install a rainfall shower head from the scratch.

We’ll also talk about the things you need to keep in mind beforehand.

Without wasting any more of your time, let’s jump right in.

Things to Consider Before You Installing a Rainfall Shower Head

  • If you don’t plan on making any adjustments to your existing shower stall or bathtub, the diameter of the shower head might be too large for your shower setup.
  • Therefore, ensure that the diameter is small enough so the water does not splash onto your floors when you turn the shower on.
  • Measure the height your rainfall shower head will require. It will require two or three extra inches of height compared to a normal shower head. You can calculate this by measuring the height of your existing shower head from the ceiling and adding the necessary inches.
  • Check if the water pressure in your bathroom has sufficient force. If it is weak, then you might want to purchase a shower head with existing adjustable water-flow functions.

How to Install a Rainfall Shower Head: In-depth Guide

Install a Rainfall Shower Head

Wall installations

Tools required:

  1. Shower Head
  2. Terry cloth
  3. Teflon Tape
  4. Adjustable wrench or pliers
  5. High chair or ladder


  1. Remove the existing shower head. Use an adjustable wrench to rotate it counterclockwise if you are unable to do so by hand.
  2. Clean the shower arm and make sure all the debris and old Teflon tape are removed.
  3. Check to see if the shower arm is in good condition. If it is corroded, you should purchase a new one to facilitate the best water pressure for your rainfall shower head.
  4. Apply the new Teflon tape in a clockwise motion starting from the bottom and working your way up toward the threads of the shower arm.
  5. Ensure that the new rainfall shower head lines up with the threads and hand-twist it into place.
  6. Tighten the shower head by using an adjustable wrench. Place a terry cloth on the threads so that you do not accidentally damage them while using the wrench. Be careful not to over-tighten the shower head as it is vital to avoid this.

Check For Leaks:

  • Turn on the shower to see if the water leaks. If it does, unscrew the shower head and apply more Teflon tape. Tighten it into place again using a wrench.
  • If further leaks continue, it is possible that your shower arm is old or the threads in it have become damaged or corroded. In this case, the shower arm should be replaced.

Ceiling installations

Tools required:

  1. Rainfall Shower Head
  2. Shower arm
  3. Terry cloth
  4. Teflon Tape
  5. Adjustable wrench or pliers
  6. High chair or ladder
  7. Crimping tool
  8. Crimp ring
  9. Conversion fitting
  10. PEX (polyethylene – a flexible plastic pipe used specifically for water lines)
  11. 90-degree fitting


  1. Remove the pipe and drop the ear by removing the screws around them.
  2. If the shower valve contains a screw-on fitting, the PEX has to be connected using a conversion fitting. After putting the crimp ring on the PEX, make sure to put the conversion fitting in it as well. Crimp the ring on securely using a crimping tool.
  3. Ensure that the Go side of the crimping tool is the one that goes on the crimping ring instead of the No Go side.
  4. In order to drill a hole for the PEX to go through, find the appropriate position by measuring the distance to the middle of the shower valve from the wall stud. Carry the measurement to the middle of the top plate and drill through the mark.
  5. Apply Teflon tape all around the shower valve fitting.
  6. Insert the PEX pipe into the hole on the top plate. Secure the pipe by using a wrench to twist it into place.
  7. Adjust the length of the PEX pipe according to your needs by cutting it.
  8. Add a 90-degree fitting to the area you cut in the previous step.
  9. Attach a PEX pipe that is cut according to the length of the shower enclosure.
  10. Add a drop ear elbow to the end of the PEX.
  11. A cross brace needs to be inserted between the ceiling joists right above the drop ear elbow. Cut the length of the cross brace accordingly and adjust it into place.
  12. Screw the drop ear elbow to the cross brace.
  13. To prevent the vertical pipe from shaking, place a pipe clamp on it. Secure it against the cross brace where the initial drop ear was placed.
  14. Position a 3-inch pipe with a cap into the drop ear to test for leaks. If there are no leaks after turning on the water, close up the wall and ceiling. Take out the cap after all the repairs are finished and the water is turned off.
  15. Apply Teflon tape around the threads of the new shower arm and secure it into the drop ear elbow. Using a wrench, tighten it into place.
  16. Secure the shower head into the new shower arm. Afterward, remove the excessive Teflon tape.
  17. Lastly, check for leaks at the shower arm and head connections by turning on the water. Add more Teflon tape if there are any leaks and secure the connections tightly with a wrench.

About the author

Callum Strempel

Licensed Plumber

Hi, I’m Callum, a full time plumber with a plumbing license issued by my state. So far, I’ve spent nearly a decade and a half installing and fixing a wide variety of plumbing components and units. My profession inspires me to talk about the kitchen and bathroom (and the plumbing system) so confidently and knowledgeably that I offer my free consultations to help neighbors and fellow homeowners every now and then. As I enjoy installing faucets, sinks, showers, and fixtures, I love to see people enjoying services from those components for years to come. So, I write every week to inform you and others. Will you mind going through some of my articles on this website?

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