The shower head in my master shower just suddenly stopped spraying. Now the water just comes out, but not in a spray. I know that's not very clear, but I don't know how to describe it. Its pretty old, but has always worked great. How can I tell if its the shower head, or a valve, which is what my husband thinks

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Has the total water flow decreased? – Daniel Griscom Jan 18 '19 at 0:01
  • a picture is worth a thousand words ....... add one to your question – jsotola Jan 18 '19 at 4:27

Most shower heads are easy to unscrew. If you can do so, take it off, examine the head and see how much flow you have with no head in place. Don't unscrew the supply tube inside the wall! Unscrew the shower head from the supply tube.

When you screw it back on, usually you don't need pipe dope or Teflon tape on the threads because the usual head has a rubber seal that the end of the supply tube presses on. Over time the seal may be hardened and lose the ability to seal.

Does this head have a knob to change the spray pattern?

  • The rubber seal honestly isn't great; I wouldn't recommend relying on it. Also, a lot of shower heads can be disassembled without messing with that joint at all, which would be preferable. The actual method will vary by model. – user3757614 Jun 17 '19 at 4:38

Schmutz in showerhead holes.

This happened to me. Schmutz had come down the pipe (it was blue!) and occluded holes in the shower head. They rinsed out ok. We had to do that periodically until whatever was giving rise to these blue particles was used up.

If you have particulate matter from old pipes or hard water it could do the same thing.


Soak in CLR , Wink or Iron out. These are the brand names of cleaners to clear, shower heads and sink screens. Works great if you have hard water or rust stains in tub. Has many uses.Should be done monthly.

  • Hi, Robert. Would you explain what "CLR", "wink" and "Iron out" are? Thanks. – Daniel Griscom Jun 17 '19 at 4:03
  • They are the brand names of cleaners. That you use to clear shower heads ,and sink screens. Just take them off and let it soak . Should be done if you have hard water – user101687 Jun 17 '19 at 5:00
  • Thanks; keep up the good work. – Daniel Griscom Jun 17 '19 at 10:44
  • ..FWIW I think white vinegar may also work – elrobis Jul 17 '19 at 15:41

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