Thus, for the first time in years, I ventured into the wonderful world of plumbing. Last time I had to mess with plumbing, it was installing some new faucets down in Rancho Mirage and it's an area in which I have no excess of confidence. In this instance, I was faced with a showerhead backed with a charcoal filter installed on a free-hanging length of galvanized pipe back in the 70's sometime.
Managed to get the shower head off without major adventure, then discovered that every set of channel-lock pliers in the house had gone missing. Charcoal filter is 4" wide cylinder with no place for a normal wrench to do its little hexagonal magic.l Spent 45 minutes searching and cursing before admitting defeat.
A trip to the hardware store and some dollars later, I had a great whopping big set of channel lock pliers - I anticipate finding a pentagram formed of the missing pliers in the morning. After a bit of pondering, figured out how to use the channel lock without bending my bad shoulder out of shape and successfully extracted the charcoal filter that was splattering loose bits of antique charcoal all over the place (including into the old shower head which was packed solid, explaining the diminished water flow). Wrapped the threads on the exposed pipe in teflon tape, dialed the new shower head on, gritted my teeth and did my best to stay out of potential lines of fire....and turned on the water.
The damn thing worked on the first try. Some days it's the small pleasures.