How to Fix Shower Faucets

Danielle Bonk

Leaking shower faucets should never be ignored by homeowners due to the large amount of wasted water and sky-rocketing water bills that occur as a result. Fixing a leaky shower faucet is easy, and anyone can do it with some simple household tools. The first step is to assemble the needed supplies. Some supplies, such as replacement parts may have to be purchased at a local plumbing supply store or online. Since there can be several different types of replacement parts—depending on the given type of shower faucet—make sure to either bring the old or worn out part to the store, or write down the exact type beforehand. Here is a list of essential tools and materials needed for the job:

  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Teflon tape
  • Old cloths or rags
  • Any replacement parts (new washers or faucet handles, etc.)

After purchasing the correct parts and assembling the tools needed to repair your leaky shower faucet, turn off the water supply to the shower. This can be done by the shut-off valve, usually located inside a panel behind the shower, or at the main valve near the hot water heater. If there is no shut off valve near the shower, shutting off the main water supply to the entire house may be necessary.

Next, turn the shower faucet on to let the excess water drain out of the pipes. Then, cover the drain with an old rag or towel to prevent small parts from being lost. Now, find the faucet handle screw. Oftentimes, a cap or more elaborate decorative covering is placed over top of this screw. If so, use the flat-head screwdriver to remove it gently. Throughout the process, remember to place all removed parts to the side in the order they’re removed. This will ensure that they are easily replaced in reverse order at the end. Once this is accomplished, loosen the screw with the screwdriver, and remove the shower faucet handle. It should come off relatively easily.

Examine the rubber washers or gaskets in your shower faucet for any ware and damage. Many shower leaks are caused by worn washers. If there is a black residue surrounding the area, the washers need replacing. Remove them, clean the mineral build up from the area, and set the new washers in place. Replace the o-ring as well. It may take some effort to push it into place. Make sure to measure the new o-ring to confirm the correct size. If the washers are still good, the leak may be caused by a damaged cartridge. If this is the case, pull off the retainer clip or use an adjustable wrench to remove the nut which locks the cartridge into the body of the valve. Then, pull out the cartridge with pliers. The cartridge can either be cleaned with an old toothbrush or replaced. Be sure to place the new cartridge in the exact same way the old one was found.

Next, use the Teflon tape to wrap the pipe threads. Completely cover the threaded area twice with the tape. Then tightly turn the shower head back on. Return each part back to its place, making sure to do so in reverse order. Lastly, turn home repair contractorthe water supply back on and test the shower faucet. If any leaks still persist, go back and review each step carefully.

In order to fix a leaky shower faucet, a little research and skill is necessary. You can also consult a home repair contractor to get professional advice or assistance. The whole process will take patience and some trial and error techniques. But, with the right tools and know-how, anyone can repair shower faucets with relative ease.

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