Usually, a broken shower handle stem equals water leakage, and the long-term result is an unnecessary costly water bill. So, it makes financial sense to learn how to fix a broken shower handle stem as soon as detected.
Start by turning off the water supply and covering the drain. Then pull out the shower handle and trim plate and soak them in vinegar. After that, take out the broken valve stem and install the new one. Lastly, return the trim plate and shower handle as they were.
But given that the above process can be a little detailed, I’ll explain the individual steps to enable you to get started. We’ll look at the exact things to do to ensure you fix your broken shower handle stem and stop the leakage.
In addition, we’ll look at how to fix a broken shower head, shower handle/knob, and valve.
How to Fix a Broken Shower Handle Stem?
Generally, here are the eight steps for fixing a broken shower handle stem:
Step 1 – Turn Off Water Supply
It’s vital to stop the leakage and protect yourself from soaking wet before starting the fix. In that case, you should turn off the water supply. You can shut the shower supply only or do it from the main to shut all valves in your house.
Step 2 – Cover Your Shower Drain
It’s crucial that you protect the screws from running down the drain. For that reason, you should cover the drain with a piece of cloth or towel. You’ll need to set aside a small container to hold the screws you remove.
Step 3 – Pull Out the Shower Handle
Before removing the broken valve shower stem, you must remove the handle. In this case, you’ll need to unscrew the handle, preferably with a wrench or screwdriver.
Consider getting the PROSTORMER Magnetic Screwdriver Set. The 79-piece multipurpose kit features different screwdrivers, Allen wrenches, screwdriver bits, and many other tools you may need for your plumbing and DIY projects.
Step 4 – Take Out the Trim Plate
Once the shower handle is out, the trim plate is next. Usually, the trim plate is screwed onto the wall using a pair of screws. So, you’ll need to unscrew the plate and put the screws in the container you set aside.
Once the trim plate loosens, pull it out and set it aside.
Step 5 – Soak the Trim Plate and Handle in Vinegar (Optional)
Vinegar is an effective anti-grime agent. You can use it to remove grime and anything else that could cause clogging. Note, nonetheless, that this step is optional. It’s only applicable if the trim plate, handle, or both are blocked.
You’ll, however, need to remove caulk around the trim plate before you can soak it in vinegar. Overall, you can soak the two (trim plate and shower handle) for several hours or until the grime gets off.
Step 6 – Pull Out the Broken Valve Stem
You can now take out your faulty shower handle stem. But before you do it, you should remove the valve clip holding it using pliers.
You may find a retainer nut instead of a valve clip in some cases. So, you’ll need to loosen it with a wrench.
Once the stem is loose, gently take it out but if it’s too hard to pull out, consider spraying it with an effective rust remover such as Iron Out Spray Gel.
Step 7 – Replace the Valve Stem
You must replace the broken valve stem with a new one. You can find a replacement valve stem locally or online. If you don’t know what to get, take the broken valve stem to the nearest store to ask for a replacement. Remember, if you get the wrong valve stem, it won’t fit.
Step 8 – Reinstall the Trim Plate and Shower Handle
Once you replace the valve stem, the next thing is to put back the trim plate and shower handle. You’ll need to screw the trim plate first and apply fresh caulk.
Remember to wipe off the excess caulk to allow you to fit the shower handle properly. So, the handle comes as the last step. Once you do all the above steps, you can turn the water on to test for leakage.
If the problem is not fixed, you should redo it or ask for a plumber’s help.
Other Shower Fixes
How to Fix a Shower Head That Broke Off?
A shower head is just as important as the shower handle stem. So, you must also fix it urgently when it breaks off. But before we can get to the fix, here are the supplies you need for the job:
- New shower head
Now, here are the steps for fixing your broken shower head:
Step 1 – Turn off the water supply
Save yourself from soaking wet and wasting water by first turning off the shower water supply. You should also wipe the showerhead dry first before you start working.
Step 2 – Take out the broken shower head
Go ahead and unscrew the showerhead from the main pipe using a wrench. Remember to protect your hand by wearing gloves. Also, remember to turn the wrench anticlockwise if you want to loosen the showerhead.
Step 3 – Fix the new shower head
It’s essential to find a suitable showerhead replacement and fix it. Usually, showerheads come with adapters. So, you’ll need to fix the adapter onto the showerhead before fitting the showerhead onto the shower.
First, tighten the new shower head on the pipe with your hand and test for leakage. If there is no leakage, tighten it gently but firmly using an Allen wrench. Avoid overtightening it not to break something.
Step 4 – Turn the water supply on
After completing the above three steps, turn on the shower to test the new shower head. In most cases, the above DIY process works.
However, if the new shower head doesn’t work, the problem could be the piping or water pressure and not the showerhead.
So, check to see if the pipe is clogged and if the water pressure is normal. If something is wrong, fix it.
How Do You Fix a Broken Shower Handle?
We’ve seen how to replace a shower handle stem. Now, let’s talk about how to fix the shower handle itself if it’s broken and not the valve stem.
Essentially, there are two approaches to this.
a. First Approach – Temporary Fix
If your shower handle is only slightly broken but not worn out, you can seal the cracks. For you to do that, you’ll need to use a plumber’s tape or epoxy sealant, depending on the extent of the breakage.
- The Plumber’s Tape Option
Consider taping up the shower handle with a plumber’s tape if the source of the leakage is around the bottom of the shower handle. But first, you must retighten the shower handle before re-taping to ensure that the leakage is not because of a loose connection.
- The Epoxy Option
If there are small visible cracks on the shower handle, consider sealing them with an epoxy sealant. In that case, get an epoxy kit such as the Devcon Epoxy Bathtub Repair Kit and use it to seal the cracks.
This is a temporary fix, which means the leakage problem may recur sometime in the future.
b. Second Approach – Long Term Fix
If the broken handle damages the valve, the first approach won’t work. In such a case, you should consider replacing the stem valve, and you can use the DIY guide I shared earlier (the one for the broken shower handle stem).
How to Fix a Broken Shower Valve?
Let’s now talk about a faulty valve. The only practical fix is to replace the shower valve in such a case. You can know if your shower valve is broken if it constantly leaks.
Overall, here are the steps for replacing a broken shower valve:
Step 1 – Turn the water supply off
Prevent further water leakage by turning off the shower water supply or the main water supply valve.
Step 2 – Cover the drain
Use a piece of cloth or dry towel to cover your shower drain to prevent the screws from escaping down the drain. Remember to set aside a container to hold the screws to avoid losing them.
Step 3 – Remove the shower handle/knob and trim plate
Unscrew the shower handle/knob and the trim plate and set them aside. Remember to put the screws in the container and if the knob or trim plate looks loose, soak it in vinegar.
Step 4 – Remove caulk
If there is a layer of caulk around the shower trim plate, remove it. You can scrub it using a utility knife.
Step 5 – Take out the broken valve
Enlarge the hole that appears after removing the trim plate to enable you to remove the broken shower valve. You’ll also need to remove the clip or bolt holding the valve. In that case, you’ll need pliers and a wrench to address both issues.
Step 6 – Fit in the new shower valve
Go ahead and install the new shower valve.
Step 7 – Put everything back
Consider returning the trim plate as it was before applying caulk around it. After that, screw back the shower handle before turning on the water supply.
How Do You Replace a Broken Shower Faucet Handle?
You can replace a broken shower faucet handle using these steps:
- Turn off the water supply and cover the shower drain using a piece of cloth
- Unscrew the trim plate and remove caulk around it
- Unscrew the faucet handle and set it aside
- Find a replacement shower faucet handle and fit it in place
- Return the trim plate and apply fresh caulk before turning on the shower water
How Do I Repair a Shower Valve Stem?
You cannot repair but replace a shower valve stem. In that case, you can do it by getting it out and finding its replacement. And for you to access the faulty shower valve stem, you must remove the shower handle and the trim plate.
Closing Remarks on How to Fix a Broken Shower Handle Stem!
Now you know how to fix a broken shower handle/knob, handle stem, valve, and showerhead. So, the next time you face any of those issues, you should go ahead and use the above DIY guides to address them.