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How To Fix A Leaky Shower Faucet Single Handle (Fixed!)

Shower faucets are available in a range of stylish models that neatly cover the screw that keeps the handle in place. Unfortunately, a leaking faucet will surely irritate you by inflating your water costs, thus compelling the need to know how to fix a leaky shower faucet single handle.

You may repair a leaky shower faucet single handle by finding the screw and exposing the valve. After cutting off the water supply and opening the valve, you’ll have to check for the cartridge. A defective washer, O-ring, or other components could cause leakage, so fix the damage or replace the cartridge.

This post will show you how to fix a leaky shower faucet single handle.

How do you fix a leaking single handle shower faucet?

How To Fix A Leaky Shower Faucet Single Handle (Reasons & Fixes)

The table below gives a rough idea of what could trigger leaking in your shower faucet single handle and how to fix it.

 ProblemRecommended Solution
 1. Faulty cartridgeReplace the malfunctioned cartridge.
 2. A malfunctioned O-ringCheck out worn-out O-rings and replace them with new ones.
 3.A worn-out valve seatClear the sediment buildup. Replace the worn-out valve seat.
 4.Broken washersInstall the new washer correctly and ensure it is the perfect size.

1. A Faulty Cartridge

According to a TLC plumber, a damaged cartridge causes 90% of the shower leakage that comes from the shower faucet. The cartridge starts and stops the flow of water via the tap.


  • Using pliers, grasp the valve stem and pull the malfunctioned cartridge out. Note the cartridge’s position before removing it so you can replace it in the same manner.
  • In most cases, the manufacturer designed the cartridge for effortless removal. But if it functions for years, the O-rings could fuse to the valve housing, making a cartridge extractor necessary for this process.
  • Use the extractor that the faucet’s maker recommends.

2. Malfunctioned O-Ring

It is a compact disc connected to the stem screw that holds the faucet handle in position. O-rings can wear out or become loose, and this might be the reason for a leaky faucet single handle.


Examine the O-rings for deterioration. Replace the broken O-ring with a new one; this will help avoid water leaking.

3. Worn-out Valve Seat

The valve seat may be the source of a leak from the faucet’s spout. The valve seat joins the spout to the tap.

Sediment can accumulate and erode the seat, triggering a leak.


  • Take off all the springs and gaskets from the valve housing using a flat-head screwdriver.
  • Use a flashlight to check inside the valve housing and identify the screw securing it in place. Unscrew it with a valve wrench with a compatible head.
  • Thread the wrench into the valve housing and connect the head with the screw.
  • To remove the screw, start turning the wrench in the anticlockwise direction.
  • If you can’t loosen the screw, lubricate the valve seat and try again after a few minutes.
  • Insert a replacement valve seat and line it with the valve wrench in the tap housing.
  • Tighten it by rotating it clockwise with a suitable amount of force. Over-tightening can cause the wrench to slide and harm the screw head.

4. Broken Washers

Broken washers are a typical cause of a leaky faucet. Washers rub up against the valve seat, where they may eventually wear out as a result of friction, hence causing leaks.

Leaking can occur when you install the washer incorrectly or use one with the wrong size.


  • Cut off the primary water supply to your home.
  • Detach the index button by prying it off with the screwdriver.
  • Unscrew the handle and remove it. If you are using a lever handle, start by removing the set screw with an Allen wrench or screwdriver, then remove the handle.
  • Loosen the cam nut to access the ball assembly and the plastic cam.
  • Turn the cam nut anticlockwise to remove it. Remove the cam gasket and the plastic cam to expose the ball.
  • Detach the ball from the faucet by lifting it out.
  • Check for two rubber seals and springs and use needed nose pliers to remove them.
  • Clean the inside of the faucet body to remove the mineral accumulation. Alternatively, use plain vinegar.
  • Get your new ball assembly and start by installing the seals and the spring.
  • Place the ball back into the faucet assembly.
  • Align the notch and peg on the ball assembly to achieve proper installation.
  • Install the replacement plastic cam and gasket cam on top of the ball.
  • Put the cam nut over the plastic cam and tighten it.
  • Ply the handle on the handle adapter, turn the water back on, and check for leaks.
how to fix a leaky shower faucet-single handle Delta

How To Fix A Leaky Shower Faucet Single Handle (Step-by-step Guide)

The following easy-to-follow steps will help fix your leaking faucet handle:

Step 1: Cut Off The Water Supply To The Shower

  • Turn off the water supply to the shower.
  • Pry the handle covering off using a small pocket knife to uncover the underlying handle screw. You can now remove the handle screw.
  • Loosen and pull the handle screw out to disconnect it.

Step 2: Remove The Handle

  • Unplug the faucet handle and keep it somewhere secure.
  • Turn off the water at the control valve or the fittings’ cutoff valves of your house.
  • Turn your faucet on and off to check its status.
  • Next, disconnect the handle from the faucet body. If the handle still clings, try using a hair dryer to steam it.
  • If you still can’t get it off, use a special handle puller (a low-cost tool available from plumbing home improvement stores or wholesalers).

Step 3: Remove the Cartridge Clip

  • Pull out the stop tube to disconnect it.
  • Remove the cartridge retaining clip with an awl or a little screwdriver.
  • Let go of the handle washer, then use pliers to loosen the cartridge stem and pull it out to finalize the removal. You may need a special cartridge puller if it gets jammed.

Step 4: Remove The Hex Screw

  • Extract the hex nut and the hex screw from their respective positions until you see the threads.
  • Place the puller above the cartridge stem, aligning the tool ears with the cartridge slots, then turn to release the cartridge stem. Nearly every single faucet manufacturer uses a different method for connecting the cartridge to the faucet system.
  • Examine and remove any springs or clips you may have.

Step 5: Remove The Old Cartridge

  • Insert the cap into the old cartridge ears and twist the cartridge from the case.
  • Pull it out with pliers.
  • If you can’t get the old cartridge out, you’ll need to employ a cartridge puller. Make sure the one you purchase is compatible with your faucet.
  • Make sure the one you purchase is compatible with your faucet.
  • Look for the manufacturer’s name on the faucet’s rim or handle. If you are familiar with plumbing parts, you can identify the model and brand from an image.
how to fix a leaky shower faucet single handle Moen

Step 6: Tighten The Hex Nut

  • When removing the cartridge, wiggle it free from its slot.
  • Carry the old unit with you to a home improvement store or a plumbing supply shop to guarantee that you receive an exact new cartridge.
  • Tighten the hex screw by hand until it gets to its lowest position.
  • Use one hand to tighten the hex nut while the other pulls the cartridge puller handle.
  • If the cartridge will not come out, keep the puller handle sturdy while tightening the hex nut to complete two rotations.
  • You can remove it by extracting the cartridge out of the faucet assembly.
  • Buy a replacement cartridge identical to the original, position it correctly, and reassemble the components.

Final Thoughts On How To Fix A Leaky Shower Faucet Single Handle

Leaking faucet handles can cause significant harm to your bathroom walls and other structures, besides producing incremental electricity costs. The problem could stem from malfunctioned O-rings, valve seats, washers, or mineral buildup in cartridges.

As a result, understanding how to fix a leaky faucet single handle using solutions discussed in this post might assist you in averting such issues in the future.

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