How to Remove a Shower Handle

Remove a shower handle, and replace it just as easily. Shop a home improvement store to locate the exact handle needed before beginning the project, and make certain it will fit the existing faucet assembly. Find out the name of the faucet manufacturer, and use it when searching for the correct handle. A more attractive or useful handle may necessitate the replacement of the entire faucet. You can replace the entire assembly yourself.

  • Faucet handle or faucet assembly
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Faucet puller
  • Masking tape
  • Pliers
  • Shower socket
  • Faucet seat tool
Turn off the water supply to the faucet by locating the hot and cold water line to the shower, which is generally located in the basement. Turn off the main water line to the house if you cannot locate the water line to the shower.

Turn on the hot and the cold water faucets to drain them of water

Remove the decorative cap on the faucet handle by slipping a flathead screwdriver under it and popping it off.

Remove the screw from the faucet handle. Remove the handle by pulling it straight out from the fixture. If the handle is corroded or rusted to the fixture, try to remove it by levering it from the base of the faucet with slow, steady pressure. Do not use undue force as the internal mechanism or the faucet may be damaged. If stuck, use a faucet puller, available at home improvement stores.

Locate a handle at a home improvement store that is exactly like the existing one. If only the handle is being replaced, repeat the above process in reverse.

Replace the entire existing faucet assembly, if necessary, by first wrapping tape around the flange into which the handle fits and unscrewing it counterclockwise. Remove the threaded flange nipple in the same way.

Remove the stem that fits into the nipple by placing a deep socket over the bonnet, which is the nut at the base of the stem. Once the nut is removed, the stem will come off. A shower socket is available at home improvement stores if a deep socket is not available.

Use a faucet seat tool to remove the existing faucet seat. The faucet seat tool is available at home improvement centers. Match up the new parts with the existing parts, and install the new parts in reverse order of the steps shown above.

Turn on the water supply to the shower. Air and water, under pressure, may be expelled through the faucets until the lines clear.

Tips and Warnings

  • Locate all tools and parts needed before beginning the project.
  • Begin the project early in the day so that if delayed, the work won't interfere with nighttime bath routines. Place a small amount of petroleum jelly on all threaded parts to protect against corrosion.

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