How to Repair a Shower Valve

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How to Repair a Shower Valve

The shower valve in a home determines water flow and water temperature. Components of the valve can wear out over time or suffer damage through regular use. This can cause water flow to become irregular, or it may create uncomfortable or even dangerous temperature spikes. Fortunately, it is possible to perform repairs on a shower valve yourself. You need a few basic tools to perform repairs, such as pliers and a screwdriver. You also need a replacement valve cartridge. These items are available from hardware shops, plumbing supply shops, and online sellers like those on eBay. Learning to repair a valve yourself can save money and help you quickly get the shower back into working condition.

Tools and Supplies

There are a handful of tools needed to repair a shower valve properly. You may already have some of these in your home, such as screwdrivers, although others you may need to make a special purchase for.

Tool

Function

Screwdriver

Removes screws from shower handle and trim plate

May need Phillips and flathead

Hex screwdriver

Removes hex screws, if necessary

Replacement valve cartridge

Replaces damaged cartridges to fix leaks

Pliers

Removes the valve cartridge

Cartridge puller

Provides a stronger grip than pliers

Available for specific brands and models

You may also need something to cover the drain in the shower to prevent the loss of screws. Acloth or towel is sufficient for this purpose.

Locate the Valve

Your shower valve is located behind the handle or handles you use to turn the water on and off. To reach it, you need to remove the handle and possibly the trim plate.

Remove the Shower Handle

The specific method for removing the shower handle varies by manufacturer, so you may need to try a few different approaches. Most commonly, you must remove a screw on the exterior of the handle. This may be located on the underside of the handle or beneath a cover on the very end of the handle. You may need a Phillips screwdriver or hex screwdriver for the screw. After you remove the screw, you can either slide off or twist off the handle.

Remove the Trim Plate

Depending on the design of the faucet, you may also need to remove the trim plate to access the valve. The trim plate covers the hole in the wall where the handle is. The trim plate normally has screws on either side of the handle. Remove these screws to reveal the valve.

Turn Off the Water Valves

Before performing any type of repair work on the valve, you need to turn off the water. If your valve contains water stops, you can do this directly from the valve. Water stops typically appear to either side of the valve, and you can adjust them with a screwdriver. If you do not see any stops, or it is unclear how to use them, you can choose to shut off the water main to the home. This is typically located in the basement or outside in a utility area. Once you have turned off the valves or the water main, ensure there is no water by attempting to turn on the shower.

Replace the Cartridge

The most common problem with a valve is the cartridge. Fortunately, this is also the easiest part of the valve to replace yourself. The cartridge rests in the centre of the valve and is typically accessible from the shower. A pin on the top of the valve holds the cartridges in place. Remove the pin, and then pull the cartridge out using either pliers or a cartridge puller.

Identify the Appropriate Replacement Cartridge

An easy way to be sure you replace the old cartridge with the same item is to save the cartridge for a comparison. This way, you can look at the cartridges side by side. It is also possible to compare images and measurements of a cartridge online.

How to Buy a Shower Valve on eBay

You can purchase replacement valves andcartridges from the sellers on eBay. Begin a search for the item you need by entering keywords into the search field, and refine listings by clicking on category links. Try shopping on eBay Deals to find items with free shipping from top-rated sellers.

The most common problem with a shower valve is a faulty cartridge. The methods for accessing and changing out the cartridge vary between shower faucets, so it may require some trial and error. However, with a bit of work and a few household tools, you can easily repair the shower valve yourself.

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