The do it yourself resource for homeowners from home improvement professionals.

How to Replace a Shower Handle

Plastic and metal shower handles can crack and stop working. Even if your shower handle is still functioning, it might look dingy or be harboring mold underneath. Every time you take a refreshing shower, you have to look at that old handle with stains. You’ve probably tried to scrub it clean, but it still looks scuffed and worn out. You may begin to wonder how to replace a shower handle.

You might think that you have to replace the whole shower faucet system. The thought of that job could discourage you because you don’t want to open a wall or redo pipe connections. A new faucet from a reputable brand is not cheap either. Luckily, none of that is necessary unless there is an actual issue with the faucet. Learning how to replace a shower handle is actually an affordable DIY project. Alternatively, if you live in the Delaware Valley and are ready to turn your bathroom into the modern oasis you’ve always dreamed of, PJ Fitzpatrick is available to replace your bathtub or to convert your old bathtub into a luxurious shower. Contact us today for more information and to request an estimate!

Replace Single, Double, or Triple Shower Handles

Before starting the project, you need to buy a replacement handle. Most showers have a single handle. This type is the quickest and easiest to fix. Single handle shower knobs usually slide right off the stem valve once you remove the set screw.

However, a shower with two or three handles might have handles screwed onto faucet stems. Threaded faucet stems need to be wrapped with thread sealant tape before you screw on the new handles. A single handle that slides directly onto the internal stem valve will not need tape.

How to Replace a Shower Handle Directions

  1. Shut off the water supply to the shower.
  2. Spread a rag over the drain to prevent a loose screw from falling down the drain.
  3. Look for the set screw that holds the handle in place.
    1. It is often covered by a plastic plate that you can pop off with a fingernail or screwdriver tip.
    2. The set screw may also be on the underside of the handle and hard to see.
  4. Remove the set screw.
  5. A single handle should slide off now. You may need to pry it off if it is corroded.
  6. A handle screwed onto a threaded stem will need to be unscrewed.
  7. You may need a wrench to grip the handle and turn it.
  8. For a stubborn handle, get a faucet handle puller.
  9. If using a faucet handle puller, fit the arms behind the faucet handle.
  10. Turn the knob on the handle puller to exert outward pressure on the stuck handle.
  11. Remove the screw or screws holding the trim plate behind the handle.
  12. Slide off the metal sleeve covering the handle assemble.
  13. Now is a good time to clean off any corrosion or gunk on the parts.
  14. Scrub the parts with an old toothbrush.
  15. If you have threaded faucet stems, remove old tape and wrap with new thread sealant tape.
  16. Put the trim plate or plates back on.
  17. For a slide-on handle, fit it onto the stem valve.
  18. For threaded handles, screw them onto the taped stems.
  19. Insert and tighten the set screw to keep the handle in place.
  20. Turn water on and test the handles.

Tools & Materials

  • Screwdriver
  • Old toothbrush
  • New shower handle
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Faucet handle puller
  • Rag
  • Teflon tape

Professional Shower Upgrades

A new shower handle does not solve a leaking faucet. If your faucet drips, you need a new stem valve or faucet. If you think that your shower needs more help than new handles, PJ Fitzpatrick has a professional bath team. Shower remodels are one of our core services. We’ve updated baths throughout the Delaware Valley and South Central Pennsylvania for over 4 decades. Talk to us about getting a new shower today.

Need help with this project?

We have trained professionals that can help. Contact us today. 1-877-246-4354

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