Replacing a shower valve is a moderately difficult plumbing challenge in every case and especially difficult if you do not have the necessary, specialized tools for some of the more difficult-to-remove valves.
- In any case, the replacement of a shower valve starts, like every other plumbing repair, by turning off the water at the main.
- Next turn on the shower to drain any water in the pipes.
- Next, use a screwdriver or your nail to pop off the plastic cover in the center of the valve that needs to be changed. Removing this little cover will allow you to undo the screw that holds the handle in place. Also remove any other parts that are held on by the handle.
- Next, use a pliers to remove the U-shaped retainer clip that holds the valve in place. It should easily slide up or to the side. Then with a vise grip or locking pliers, remove the valve stem by pulling straight out from the wall.
- Next, use a squirt bottle or damp cloth to clean any residue inside the valve cavity and coat the threads with some plumber‘s grease.
- Next, replace all the parts in reverse order – valve stem, the retainer clip, any mounting covers, the handle itself and its cover – and the repair should be complete. We would recommend following the manufacturers diagram that will come with the shower valve.
- Lastly, turn on the water to test the functioning of the handle.
As mentioned, the replacement of a shower valve can be quite daunting without the proper knowledge, experience and tools. Any professional plumber can remove and replace a shower valve stem in less than 30 minutes. In many cases, the cost of a professional plumber is more than made up for in reduced aggravation, time and effort.