How do I fix a bathtub hand shower head that is detached from faucet?
February 22, 2015 6:45 AM   Subscribe

The hand shower head in my bathtub got yanked out of the wall somehow (pic of shower head, pic of fixture attached to wall tile). Is this something I can replace with any sort of hand-held shower head I find at a convenient Home Depot/Bed Bath & Beyond/etc? Or are there specs I need to know about the existing plumbing before I buy anything?

I don't know how the thing got broken - a cleaner did it one day when I was out, and since I'm a shower person & the shower is completely separate from the tub, I just left it broken. But I'm going to have some visitors from out of town next month, so I need it to be functional again.

I'm not much for DIY home repairs, and I'm going to be calling the electrician/plumbing service guys soon anyway to have them install a dimmer switch in the spare room & see if they can fix another light switch that has gotten stuck in the off position. So, am I ok to buy something like this to have ready for the repairman to install? Or are the fixtures fine, and I just need to get a replacement hose?
posted by oh yeah! to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
That looks REALLY specialized, you may need to order a part. Find out the manufacturer, see if there's a name imprinted on any parts of the mechanism.

You may need to go to a specialty plumbing store to order parts, but you can try taking the shower head and hose to Home Depot to see if they can provide a generic replacement part.

Based on the picture, it seems that there's just a coupling missing from the hose part.

You may need to have a plumber come in to take care of this. It will be money well spent. A true professional should be able to source the correct parts and will be VERY speedy in repairing the item. I find that handymen can do an 80% kind of job and it take them longer with weird stuff like this.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:58 AM on February 22, 2015

Are you sure that isn't just a compression fitting? Did you unscrew the piece where the hose should attach?
posted by slkinsey at 7:00 AM on February 22, 2015

Taking a second look at your pictures, it looks like the hose broke away from its fitting. Just unscrew the end of the hose from the wall, unscrew the other end of the hose from the shower head, take both to a good hardware store and say, "I need one of these." It is almost certainly a standard part.
posted by slkinsey at 7:04 AM on February 22, 2015 [3 favorites]

Yeah, something similar happened to me a few weeks ago, also with a handheld shower head. The solution in my case was to hand the broken parts over to a relative who is a tool and dye maker. He made replacements for the parts that were broken. Unless you're related to a tool and dye maker, I think you'll have either get a new shower head or contact the manufacturer of the one you have. Incidentally, before having the epiphany about my relative's usefulness in this situation, I contacted the manufacturer or my shower head. I never heard back. YMMV.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:38 AM on February 22, 2015

slkinsey has it here.

Unscrew what you can from the wall and take it in to Home Depot. Ask the first orange aproned person you see for help and they'll help you get what you need.

If the hose is broken it may be worth just getting a whole new showerhead, that one looks pretty old anyway. You can get some pretty nice ones for under $30, and some very nice ones around the $50-$60 range. I've got a multifunction Waterpik that was probably around $20. Anyway.

As long as none of the plumbing inside the wall is damaged, this is an incredibly easy fix and I have every confidence you can do it yourself with some tips from the Home Depot person and reading the instructions.

Don't forget a roll of Teflon tape!
posted by phunniemee at 8:00 AM on February 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

this is an incredibly easy fix and I have every confidence you can do it yourself with some tips from the Home Depot person and reading the instructions.

Yeah, no - like I said, I am not a DIY type and am going to be getting a someone to come in and deal with the unrelated electrical work, so, I mostly just wanted to check with the hive mind on whether a replacement shower head would come with all the necessary parts in the box, so that it can be taken care of in one visit. Sounds like it will.

You may need to have a plumber come in to take care of this. It will be money well spent.

Yes, I can deal with snaking hair out of the shower drain on my own, but for leaks & things that require water shut-off and/or the use of wrenches, I'm calling a pro. (Living on the second floor of a multi-unit building, I don't want to be the cause of anyone else's ceiling leak.)
posted by oh yeah! at 8:53 AM on February 22, 2015

You shouldn't have to shut off any valves or use any tools. All of the mid-cost shower heads are designed to be simple twist on twist off. We live in truly amazing times!
posted by phunniemee at 9:46 AM on February 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Literally all you should have to do is screw the new hose into the wall on one end and the shower head on the other end. No water shutoff will be required. If it were, water would be coming out of the wall right now. If you're comfortable snaking water out if a drain, you got this.
posted by slkinsey at 10:24 AM on February 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

Nthing those who've said this is a piece of cake. This type of fitting doesn't even require the teflon tape mentioned upthread, it's just screw the old fitting off and screw the new one on. It's literally like changing a lightbulb except that it requires a bit more force, and a wrench to apply said force.
posted by jon1270 at 10:37 AM on February 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

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