How To Install Water Softener Shower Head

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A water softener shower head is a great way to improve the quality of your water and make it softer. But installing one can be difficult, especially if you’ve never done this before.

It’s not as hard as you think. We will show how easy it is to install a water softener shower head by following these simple steps.

You don’t need any special tools or skills for this installation process – just follow our instructions and we promise that everything will go smoothly – let's get right into it.

water softener
Image Credit: Kitchen Infinity Photo

What is a water softener shower head?

A water softening showerhead is a special type of shower head that uses silver ion technology to reduce the effects of hard water. It works by replacing ions in your water with some other harmless ones.

The ions you are used to – magnesium, calcium, and iron – which make up 50% of all minerals in tap water get replaced by softer ones such as sodium or potassium. Therefore, the term ‘softener’ comes from changing these mineral levels in your water so it becomes more pleasant and easy to use for everyday activities like bathing or even washing dishes. 

Even if you don’t drink water straight from the tap but instead have a filtering system attached to it (like a Brita filter), using this device will still help you save money and time.

The benefits of using a water softener

If you use a regular shower every day, you probably don’t even notice how hard your tap water is, which can be very damaging to your skin and hair. It causes flaking, itching, discoloration, brittle nails, and damaged strands of hair – all while robbing it of its natural glow (which is why you might notice the difference after a vacation overseas).

It also corrodes your pipes, so it’s best to get yourself a water softener shower head or at least use one for bathing. Also, choosing a water softener shower head from the best in 2021 is also a good idea. Such a shower head will make your hair and skin look healthier, improve its texture and shine, and it will remove minerals from your bathwater as well – which is very useful if you have an open-plan bathroom since these minerals tend to accumulate there.

It also helps save money. You don’t need any special filters for the water coming out of this device, but they are still highly beneficial. When you are researching to buy a softener for your showerhead, make sure to check if it comes with filters it not. The silver ions act like magnets that attach themselves to positively charged particles in the water before removing them completely.

This way they negate their effects, so you aren’t wasting money on buying mineral blockers or drinking water when you can have a better solution.

How to install a water softener shower head

You have two options when it comes to installing your new device – you can either fix it onto an existing shower arm or fit it on a hose.

Installing it directly onto the pipe in the bathroom  is more complicated but if you are unsure about how to do this, we recommend following the steps in this article. What you need to do is unscrew the old head and screw in a new one together with the necessary adapter (which should already be included in your purchase).


Make sure that there is enough room for drilling, otherwise you might end up damaging the threads of your pipe which will require professional help to repair. Once you’ve got the new fittings, turn on your shower and bring the temperature to around 20 degrees. Holding your arm against the pipe, find a suitable location for drilling (close enough to the wall but not so close that it might be covered by tiles when you put up your tiles). 

Then make a small mark at this spot using a pencil. Take off your drill and attach these bits:

– Drill bit

– Drill/Bit Adapter (the large part)

Turn on your drill and then screw in the adapters firmly until they fit tightly onto the threaded adaptor that is attached to your shower arm. A slight vibration indicates that everything is properly screwed in place – just don’t overdo it. Now bring out your shower head and carefully screw it on top of the drill pieces.

Turn off your water and check that the water is flowing through your new device – if any leaks occur, tighten all three parts a bit until they fit tightly together.

Can you attach a water softener to a hose?

After deciding on what type of water softener shower head suits you, some people consider attaching it to an existing hose. There are different methods of doing so (depending on the model) but they all involve using fittings and adapters to make the unit fit tightly together.

The easiest way would be to attach a male connector with a 90-degree elbow pipe which will allow you to position your device at any length needed. We advise against using tape since this can cause permanent damage.

How much do water softener shower heads cost? 

They typically start at around $10 but we recommend getting something in between for better quality. If you get one that is too cheap, you might end up with a broken product that leaks and breaks easily – not to mention that this might cause issues with your shower’s performance. 

On the other hand, if you go too expensive you might just be paying for extra features – so choose wisely.

Do water softener shower heads work? 

Yes, they do. They are affordable and easy to install. All you need is a drill (or an electric screwdriver), bit holder (drill adapter), and stud finder – we recommend using a cordless drill so that you don’t end up accidentally damaging the threads of your pipe.

Those who just want to enjoy softer skin and shinier hair without getting messy with adapters or drilling small holes in walls should opt for installing it onto their existing hose instead (which can be done by removing the old head and attaching your new device on top of your existing hose).


How much water do softener shower heads save?

A standard unit will usually save at least 3,000 gallons per year. This might not seem like a lot but if you have a large family and/or live in an area that has hard water – it can make quite an impact on your wallet (and the environment). 

Depending on your budget and needs, there are different options available: from those who need something simple and cheap to others who want something advanced that comes with many useful features – here’s a list of the best low pressure shower heads in 2021.

Final thoughts on how to install water softener shower head

In conclusion, this is a simple process that doesn’t require much knowledge and isn’t messy. If you opt for drilling a hole in the shower head, make sure it’s placed carefully (do your measurements first) to avoid causing any leaks or cracks.

The method with adapters and fittings is easier but also requires some expertise because if done incorrectly can cause damage that might be permanent – so do your homework before you proceed.

Dino Paccino

Dino Paccino

Dino is a lifelong writer and home improvement specialist. He enjoys bringing cutting-edge information on home renovation and remodeling to Kitchen Infinity.

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