How to Install a Shower Filter (Step-By-Step Guide)

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Shower filters offer a convenient way to shower in clean, chlorine-free water. In this guide, we’ve outlined the steps to take to install a shower filter on your existing shower arm.

📌 Key Takeaways

  • To install an inline shower filter, remove the existing shower head, then clean and tape the threads. Install and flush the new filter, then attach the shower head onto the filter.
  • To install an all-in-one showerhead filter, follow the same steps as above, but discard your old showerhead.

🧰 Installing An Inline Shower Filter: Step-By-Step Process

Inline shower filters are filters that sit on top of the shower arm, underneath your existing shower head.

Follow the below steps to install an inline shower filter on your shower arm.

Step 1: Gather Your Tools & Equipment

The first step is to gather the tools and equipment you need to install the filtration unit. These are:

  • The showerhead filter unit and filter cartridge
  • Cleaning cloth
  • A bucket
  • Channel locks
  • Plumber’s tape

Step 2: Remove Your Existing Shower Head

Once you’ve gathered your supplies, remove your current shower head from the shower arm.

You should be able to unscrew the shower head with your hands. If the shower is stuck, loosen the nuts attaching the showerhead with channel locks.

Twist the showerhead in a clockwise direction until it comes fully loose from the shower arm. Place the showerhead to the side while you continue with the shower filter installation.

If you plan to install a new showerhead with your filter, you can throw out the old showerhead. Check with your local recycling center to see if any of the parts can be recycled.

Removing the shower head

Step 3: Wrap The Threads With Plumber’s Tape

Use a cleaning cloth or an old towel to clean the exposed threads and remove any debris, mold, and existing plumber’s tape.

Wrap the threads with Teflon tape or plumber’s tape. This will prevent leaks by creating a watertight seal between the shower filter and the shower arm.

Step 4: Install The Shower Filter

Next, attach the shower filter to the shower arm via the included nut. Rotate the unit in a counterclockwise direction to tighten it in place on the shower arm threads.

The shower filter should be securely attached with hand-tightening, but you can use a pair of pliers or channel locks to give the nut another quarter-to-half turn if necessary. Just make sure not to overtighten – this could damage the filter casing.

Aquahomegroup filter shower head instllation

Step 5: Flush The Filter

A new inline shower filter may contain particles of carbon and other debris that have become loose during manufacturing or transportation.

To flush these particles out of the filter media, switch on your water and let it run through the unit for 5-10 minutes, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Some manufacturers advise flushing for 5 minutes with cold water, then 5 minutes with hot water.

Step 6: Reattach The Showerhead

Finally, reinstall the showerhead on the inline filter. Screw the showerhead in place, hand-tightening the threads. Again, you may give a quarter-turn or a half-turn with a pair of pliers or channel locks, being careful not to overtighten.

If you’re installing a new showerhead, you might need to flush water through the showerhead to remove debris from inside the unit.

Aquahomegroup shower filter installed

Step 7: Check For Leaks

The installation is now complete – but before you put away your tools, check the filtered shower unit for leaks.

Switch your water on full and inspect the water pipe that connects to the showerhead. If you notice water running from the connection, switch off the shower and tighten the showerhead again. Use more Teflon tape to seal the threads if necessary.

🚿 Installing A Shower Head Filter: Step-By-Step Process

Shower head filters are filters attached to a dedicated shower head, and replace your existing shower head.

To install a shower head filter, follow these steps:

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

First, gather the supplies you need to install your shower head filter, including:

  • Showerhead filter unit and filter cartridge
  • Cleaning cloth
  • A bucket
  • Channel locks
  • Plumber’s/Teflon tape

Step 2: Remove Your Existing Showerhead

Untwist the old showerhead in a clockwise direction. Put it to one side. You can check to see if it’s recyclable later.

If you struggle to hand-loosen the showerhead, use a pair of pliers or channel locks.

Step 3: Wrap The Threads With Plumber’s Tape

To ensure there’s a tight, gap-free connection between the shower filter and the shower arm, clean the threads on the shower arm and remove any existing Teflon tape, then wrap the shower arm with new Teflon tape.

Wrapping the threads with plumber's tape

Step 4: Flush The New Filter

The shower head water filter manufacturer will instruct you on how to flush the filter in the user manual. Usually, it’s more convenient to do this before you install the unit at your shower arm.

Hold the water filter underneath your bathroom cold water faucet and switch on the tap so the water flows through the unit. Wait for 5 minutes, then put the filter under your hot water tap and repeat the process for another 5 minutes.

Check to see whether the water is clear. If it isn’t, keep flushing the unit until there’s no more cloudiness.

Step 5: Install The New Shower Head Filter

Once you’ve flushed the new shower head filter, you can screw it onto the shower arm. Line up the nut on the shower head with the threads on the shower arm, then twist in a clockwise direction to attach the unit.

You might be able to get a tight connection if you simply hand-tighten the showerhead filter. Otherwise, use pliers or channel locks to give the unit another quarter-to-half turn.

Culligan wsh-c125 installation process

Step 6: Check For Leaks

The last step is to switch on your shower and check that no water flows out of the connection between the shower arm and the showerhead filter.

If you notice anything, further tighten the shore water filter by another quarter-to-half turn.

Related content:

❔ How to Install Shower Water Filter: FAQ

Can you add a filter to any shower head?

Yes, you can add an inline shower filter to the majority of shower heads. Most inline shower water filters are universal and fit on most shower arm threads. This shower filter type is your best choice if you want to keep your existing shower head – but keep in mind that shower filters reduce flow somewhat, which might be an issue for certain types of shower heads, like rainfall showers.

Which way does a shower filter go in?

Your shower water filter should be labelled to show which direction water will travel through. If you have a shower arm that angles downwards from an elevated spot in your shower unit, install the filter so that the direction of water flow is pointing in this same direction from the shower arm. You probably won’t be able to install the filter the wrong way due to its design.

Can you install a shower filter on a handheld shower?

Yes, there are a few types of shower filter units that are designed specifically for installing on a handheld shower. Just make sure you buy a filter that’s made to fit on a handheld shower hose, not a regular shower arm, as the two filter types aren’t interchangeable.

How often should you change shower filter?

Most showerhead filters last 6 months. After this, the filter’s ability to remove harmful chemicals and other contaminants will reduce, and you may start to notice issues with your hair and skin again. Make sure to change your shower filter on time so that it can continue to remove contaminants effectively.

  • Brian Campbell
    President & CEO, CWS, CWR

    Brian Campbell, a WQA Certified Water Specialist (CWS) and Certified Water Treatment Representative (CWR) with 5+ years of experience, helps homeowners navigate the world of water treatment. After honing his skills at Hach Company, he founded his business to empower homeowners with the knowledge and tools to achieve safe, healthy water. Brian's tested countless devices, from simple pitchers to complex systems, helping his readers find the perfect fit for their unique needs.

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