3 Reasons Your Shower Faucet Won’t Turn Off All The Way (Fixed!)

So, you have just had a long, refreshing shower after a long day and are now ready to step out of your bathroom, only to realize your shower faucet won’t turn off all the way.

Don’t let your shower keep dripping as that wastes water and will raise your water bill; Keep reading for detailed and practical solutions…

You likely have a malfunctioning cartridge, a damaged faucet stem, or a damaged handle if your shower faucet won’t turn off all the way. Fortunately, you can effortlessly fix this problem by tightening the handle, getting new ridges, or replacing the cartridge.

This simple plumbing issue should not prevent you from enjoying those warm or cold showers. Moreover, act swiftly before the problem turns into a significant problem that will render your shower useless.

Why is my shower still running when turned off?

Shower Faucet Won’t Turn Off All The Way (Reasons & Fixes!)

Here is a summary of why your shower faucet does not turn off all the way and how you can solve the issue.

 ProblemRecommended Fix
 1.Faulty cartridgeReplace the malfunctioning cartridge with a new one
 2. A cracked faucet handleTighten the screws of the handle
 3.A damaged faucet stemRemove debris and install new ridges

1. A Faulty Cartridge

An issue with the shower cartridge is one of the most common things that would make a shower faucet not turn off entirely.

The cartridge is essential in your shower because it regulates how much cold and hot water comes out of the faucet, so it’s important to ensure it’s always in good condition.

The faucet not wholly turning off is a clear sign of a damaged cartridge.


Your shower cartridge will suffer wear and tear after using it for an extended period. In that case, you will require a replacement to solve and avoid issues resulting from a worn-out cartridge.

Before you start the process of replacing your shower cartridge, gather the materials below.

  • A replacement shower cartridge
  • A vice grip
  • A screwdriver

Now that you have everything you need, follow the steps below:

a) Shut Off The Water

You don’t want water flowing into your shower while replacing the cartridge, so turn off the bathroom’s main water supply valve. Confirm that the water isn’t flowing by turning on the shower faucet to see if the water will flow.

b) Close The Shower Drain

If you have a shower/bath combo, plug the bathtub drain. However, if it is not, place a cloth or towel over your shower drain.

c) Remove The Handles Of The Faucet

Unscrew the faucet handle’s screws with a screwdriver.

d) Remove The Screw Keeping The Cartridge In Place

Use the same screwdriver you used above to unscrew the screws securing the cartridge. Slide off the screw after loosening the plastic turning device and the cartridge.

e) Remove The Clip Keeping The Cartridge In Place

Pull out or unscrew the chrome sleeve if it’s present, then remove the retaining clip with a tiny screwdriver. Keep the clip in a safe place because you will need it when installing the replacement cartridge.

f) Remove The Cartridge

Depending on the kind of cartridge you have, you will either easily remove it using pliers or need a cartridge-pulling wrench designed for specific faucet brands to complete the task. You can also pull out the cartridge with vice clamps.

Ensure you work carefully and avoid applying excessive pressure to prevent damaging the pipes. Furthermore, pay attention to the orientation of the cartridge when removing it because you will need to place the replacement, in the same manner to avoid reversing the cold and hot sides.

g) Lubricate The New Cartridge

Apply the special lube the new cartridge came with to its inside to facilitate smoother installation.

Shower faucet won't turn all the way to hot

h) Insert The Replacement Cartridge

Put the new cartridge into the body of the faucet, making sure you use the same orientation the old cartridge used. You must ensure the cold and hot sections are in their rightful positions.

Once you ascertain everything is as it should be, insert the retaining clip, followed by the handle and the escutcheon. Insert the screws and tighten them accordingly to make sure your faucet is well secured.

i) Restore The Water Supply

Turn back the main valve to allow water to flow into your shower.

j) Test The Shower

You must test your work before putting your tools away by turning the faucet on and off to ensure the water doesn’t flow when the faucet is turned off.

2. A Cracked Faucet Handle

Your shower faucet can malfunction if the handle comes loose, preventing it from stopping the water flow when turned off. The stem inside the handle lets the water come out of the showerhead via the faucet.

A cracked or worn-out handle will not grip the stem, rendering turning the water off impossible.


Replace the cracked or worn-out handle with a new one.

3. A Damaged Faucet Stem

Take time to examine the ridges of the stem tip and the washers for damages. It’s imperative that the stem is in excellent condition.

The function of a stem washer in the faucet is to seal the water off when you turn off the shower handle. Unfortunately, this component tends to wear off after a while because it’s rubber-made.


  • Stop the water flow by turning off the main valve.
  • Gently pull the handle or use a wrench to remove it.
  • Examine the stem for issues. The stem has ridges which you should check for signs of wear and tear.
  • Clean the stem to remove debris and other deposits with an old toothbrush, then wipe it dry.
  • Wrap the tip of the valve stem with a couple of layers of seal tape, then press the handle over the stem into and out of the stem. Alternatively, rotate the shower handle over the faucet stem and let it lock into place.
  • Replace the ridges if they are worn out.

While this will solve your problem, it’s a temporary fix, so you will eventually have to get a new faucet handle.

Delta shower faucet won't turn all the way to hot


1. Why Won’t My Shower Faucet Turn All The Way Off?

Your shower faucet will not turn all the way off because the cartridge, stem, or handle is damaged. You must troubleshoot it to get to the bottom of the issue before solving it. 

2. How Do You Fix A Faucet That Won’t Turn Off All The Way?

Depending on what’s causing your faucet not to turn off entirely, you can either replace the cartridge, tighten the handle, clean the stem, or replace the ridges.

Final Remarks

Hopefully, you now know what to do if your shower faucet won’t turn off all the way. This knowledge will help you save water and money and continue using your shower without any issues.

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