That annoying drip coming from the shower head is more than a mere nuisance. It can mean a significant increase in your water bill over the course of a year. The problem with most dripping shower heads is actually located in the shower valve. The repair of this part is relatively complex and involves a host of plumbing skills.
Once sufficient access has been gained, the old shower valve is removed by cutting the four pipes that connect the various water supplies and outflows. Next the various pipes that will connect to the old pipes and the new valve must be soldered together. Soldering is not a difficult procedure but there are some significant do’s and don’t involved so that the finished connections do not leak. It is highly recommended that an inexperienced DIYer use a plumber for this portion of the repair.
Once the pipe connections are made to the new valve and the other pipes, the faceplate and shower handle can be reattached. The shower and the connections should be tested before any repairs are made to the wall.
Cost Comparison between a DIY and Professional Shower Valve Installation
A skilled DIYer with the proper knowledge and tools can definitely replace a shower valve but the task will probably take the better part of a day. As a professional plumber can install one in less than two hours, the replacement cost is not particularly expensive.
All in all, a DIYer can spend 4-6 hours and about $135 replacing a shower valve while a pro can install one in under 2 hours for about $375 – $575. This price does not include repair to the sheetrock wall. In addition, with a professional plumber, the homeowner can be assured that all relevant building codes have been followed.