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I was installing a new shower head (Brand: Niagara Earth), and apparently overtightened it, cracking the washer in the process. Unfortunately, it seems to be a specialty type of washer that has an integrated aerator screen, so I can't just buy a new one in Home Depot. What can I do to stop the water from squirting out of the joint? (Teflon tape and pipe compound didn't work; the threads are not tight enough.)

Any ideas?

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I have noticed this problem with newer shower heads, it seems the companies are saving money by skimping on the washers (or they just have never installed one of their own shower heads, so they don't know that they are awful). –  Tester101 May 25 '11 at 12:12

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

As long as the shower head inside diameter is a standard size (which I imagine it is), you really should be able to find a washer with a built-in screen at your local hardware store (although I haven't tried myself so I could be wrong).

And still if you can't find one then you can just go with a standard washer without the screen. (And maybe you could remove the screen from the broken washer and place it underneath the new standard washer that you just inserted.)

I think the screen in a shower head is not so much for aeration as to prevent contaminants from getting into the shower and interfering with the various spray patterns.

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