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How Often to Replace Your Showerhead & 6 Signs it Needs to Be Replaced Now

Shower heads are one of the items that we just kind of live with in the bathroom…

…but should we regularly replace it as we do with our favorite towels?

The answer is…it depends!

There is no denying that most folks think that shower heads need to be replaced, but where there is disagreement is on how frequently you should be doing so. While shower heads may not go bad per se, their performance can deteriorate over time due to clogging, corrosion, and other factors.

General Guidelines on When to Change a Shower Head

While we’ll go over signs that your shower head will need to be replaced below, here are some general guidelines that you can use:

Cleaning FrequencyWater HardnessShower Head Build QualityWhen to Replace
No cleaningHardPoor Craftsmanship6 to 12 months
Some cleaning (every 1 – 2 years)NeutralGood Craftsmanship2 to 3 years
Regular cleaning (every 6 months)SoftGood Craftsmanship7+ years

6 Signs You Need a New Shower Head

Here are some signs that you may want to change out your shower head sooner rather than later:

1. You’re Not Getting Enough Pressure

Let’s be honest; no one likes a low-flow shower.

There’s nothing worse than having to stand in the shower and waiting for enough water to wash your hair or body thoroughly.

However, before buying a new showerhead, we recommend trying to give it a thorough cleaning. The most effective way to clean it thoroughly is to detach the shower head from the shower arm and then soak it in CLR. After soaking it for several minutes, use a stiff-bristled brush to remove any deposits. If this doesn’t remove any clogged deposits, then it might be time to buy a new shower head.

2. Your Shower Head Is Leaking

So, shower heads could be leaking either due to a faulty valve behind the wall or worn-out seals and gaskets within the shower head itself.

If you have confirmed that the valve is not the reason for the leak, then you’ll have no choice but to get a new showerhead. Modern shower heads are designed to be water efficient and, depending on the brand and craftsmanship, should last for many years. There are plenty of great brands available at any major home improvement store.

3. Rust & Corrosion

If you have noticed rust around the shower head, then you definitely need to replace it. Rust is a sign that the shower head has become corroded; this can damage and stain other fixtures (or the wall) and can also create a health hazard for you or your loved ones.

Fortunately, most modern models feature a rust-resistant finish that’ll prevent this from happening again.

4. It Has an Outdated Design

Sometimes the main reason to replace a shower head is simply that it is outdated. If it is old, has a poor design, or just doesn’t quite match your bathroom’s aesthetic, then it’s time to upgrade. There are lots of great designs to choose from, including rain-style showerheads, handheld showerheads, and adjustable ones (we go over all the types here). All you need to do is find one that meets your needs and fits into your bathroom’s décor.

5. New Home

Whether you just moved into a new home or apartment, you may find that the shower head provides a completely different bathing experience compared to your previous one.

For example, some homes may have an aerated shower head that combines air with water to reduce their monthly water bill. However, these shower heads can feel spiky and unpleasant compared to their laminar counterparts.

6. Poor Water Quality

Do you feel like the water coming out of your shower head is not really clean or healthy? Or perhaps you want to remove the chlorine that your local water treatment plant adds to clean the water before it hits your or your loved one’s skin?

If this is the case, then you should definitely change your shower head or consider adding a shower filter to the mix. Many of the recent models come with onboard water filters that help to trap debris, minerals, pharmaceuticals, and other materials that can be found in your water supply.

Note: shower filters do require regular maintenance and changing of the onboard filter cartridges.


Whether we like it or not, shower heads do need to be replaced eventually. Luckily changing your shower head is fairly easy and doesn’t require any special tools or skills. In fact, we put together a guide on how to replace a shower head that you can check out here.

We hope this article gave you an understanding of when you should replace your shower head and what signs to look out for.

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Frank Harmenstein

From humble beginnings as a plumber and handyman, Frank Harmenstein has emerged as a leading authority on shower heads, a title he has earned through years of dedication and hard work. With over two decades of experience in the plumbing industry, Frank has developed an unrivalled expertise in the installation, maintenance, and repair of shower systems. His passion for shower heads has led him to write extensively on the subject, sharing his knowledge and insights with readers around the world.

Born and raised in a small town, Frank's interest in plumbing was sparked at an early age by his father, who was a respected plumber in their community. Inspired by his father's dedication to his craft, Frank pursued an apprenticeship in plumbing and soon discovered his niche in the world of shower heads. He quickly gained a reputation as a skilled handyman who could fix any shower-related issue and provide expert advice on selecting the perfect shower head for any bathroom.

After years of honing his skills and knowledge, Frank decided to share his passion for shower heads with a wider audience by becoming an author.