A loose showerhead that moves around, whether sliding down or falling forward, is an annoyance that can possibly become dangerous. You can hit your head on the moving showerhead, which can then cause you to slip and fall.
If your showerhead is moving around, then your shower has some obvious issues that need to be taken care of. This problem will likely worsen over time, and you will begin noticing that just your water pressure alone will be enough to move your showerhead.
You will likely be wondering what is causing your showerhead to slide down or fall forward and what can be done to fix it?
We created this article to help answer those questions and give you a solution to this annoying and potentially hazardous problem.
Why Does My Shower Head Keep Sliding Down or Falling Forward?
Wall Mounted Showerhead
Your pipes and their corresponding fittings help create a steady structure that holds your showerhead.
However, loose or severely damaged pipes will have a ripple-down effect that will cause your showerhead to move around.
The shower’s stem or extension pipe directly connects to your showerhead and is most likely the cause but other pipes further down the line can also be to blame.
Your shower pipes are held firmly in place by a backing which is usually made of wood.
If your backing was installed improperly or has simply worn out over time, your pipes would become loose. Then loose pipes lead to a sliding shower head.
Backing gives out for many reasons. Usually, mold eats away at it, but termites and natural disasters are other probable causes.
There are small U-shaped brackets that fit over your pipes and then are screwed into the backing to keep your shower pipes steady and firm, reducing movement.
If these screws become loose, your backing will fail to do its job, and your showerhead will wobble, slide down and fall forward.
Your Showerhead’s Opening Is Too Large
The opening in which your showerhead protrudes from the wall can be too large for the pipes that connect to the rest of your plumbing. This large opening allows for a greater possibility of movement.
While a large opening does not cause a showerhead to move, when combined with the other causes on this list, a large opening allows your showerhead to slide or fall further than it would with a smaller opening.
Showerhead on the Slide Bar
If you have a shower rail system installed there is a clamp that controls the height of the showerhead.
Sometimes this clamp seemingly fails which causes the showerhead to slide down. Many who inspect or even take apart this clamp find that nothing is wrong. Often these clamps are either poor quality or end up getting affected by water.
Showerhead Is Too Heavy for a Holder
Another common complaint about shower rail systems is the showerhead will fall forward. In a shower rail system, your showerhead sits in the holder.
In most cases, if your showerhead is falling forward it means it is too heavy for your holder to handle.
How Do I Stop My Shower Head From Sliding Down or Falling Forward?
- Adjustable Wrench
- Plumbers Wrench
- Waterproof Expanding Foam
- Insulation Tape
- Cable Ties
Tightening Loose Pipes
Begin by inspecting your pipes, beginning with those closest to your showerhead and moving further away.
You can tighten some pipe fittings with an adjustable wrench, but you are best off using a plumber’s wrench.
Tighten any loose fittings you find and be on the lookout for damaged or rusted plumbing.
Loose pipes beyond your bathroom will likely have no effect on a moving showerhead.
Any pipes that are severely damaged should be replaced.
Replacing Bad Backing
By following the pipes from your showerhead, you will find the backing attached to the wall behind your shower.
Inspect this backing for any type of cracks, wood rot, termite damage, or mold.
If your backing is in bad shape, you should replace it.
First, unscrew the U-brackets that connect your pipe to the backing, then use a hammer to remove the nails that attach the backing to your structure’s wooden studs.
You will need a screwdriver or screw gun to remove the backing if you have metal studs.
Measure the old backing and purchase a new piece of plywood as your backing it shouldn’t need to be any more than an inch thick.
Install your new backing where the old backing used to be, and make sure to screw or hammer the backing directly into your studs.
Afterward, attach your pipes to the backing with your brackets.
Tightening Loose Screws
Over time, the screws attached to your brackets that hold your pipes to the backing can become loose.
This fix simply requires you to check all the screws with a screwdriver and tighten any that are loose.
If you have some screws that are stripped, you can drill them out and replace them with new ones.
Sealing Off a Large Showerhead Opening
Be mindful that while you can remove expanding foam, it does take some effort and can make replacing your shower stem or expansion pipe more difficult.
Begin by following the manufacturer’s instructions given with your waterproof expanding foam.
Spray the foam into the showerhead’s wall opening.
You will likely want to have some rags ready to wipe off any excess.
You will then have to wait for your foam to expand and fully dry to give your showerhead a solid structure to rest on.
If the foam has fully cured, you can use a cover plate or small pieces of tile for a seamless look.
Stop a Shower Rail’s Clamp From Sliding Down
Start by inspecting and taking apart the clamp of your shower rail system. Inspect the clamp for any debris or obvious damage.
If your clamp is damaged or otherwise malfunctioning you should purchase a replacement clamp.
If your clamp seems fine you can use insulating tape threaded across the clamp’s block (which is what the clamp attaches to). A few layers of tape will give the clamp a more stable surface to attach to while allowing you to still adjust your showerhead.
You can also attach cable ties to the bottom and top of the clamp after you have adjusted the showerhead to your desired height.
Be mindful that these cable ties will keep the showerhead from sliding down but you will have to remove them to adjust the showerhead again.
Fixing a Showerhead Holder
Perform a close-up inspection of your showerhead holder looking for any damaged or loose parts.
Showerhead holders often have plastic teeth that interlock to keep the showerhead in place. Over time, moving or adjusting the showerhead will wear them out.
Also, try to disassemble the showerhead holder and retighten screws that clamp the holder onto the slider bar.
If there is no obvious damage to the showerhead holder and the screws are properly tightened, it is more likely that the showerhead is just too heavy for it and you will need to get a lighter showerhead.