Shower Handle Broke Water Running (3 Reasons and Fixes!)

So, is your shower handle broke, water running, and you don’t know what’s wrong? Well, the reasons might surprise you and the fixes even more.

Often, shower handles break because of rust, which causes friction between the parts and weakens them. But still, some shower handles break because they feature low-quality materials or due to rough usage. The fix, however, is to repair or replace them.

So, I’ll explain the impact of rust and the other factors on the life of your shower handle. Moreover, I’ll share the replacement and repair fix to help you choose between them depending on the condition of your shower handle.

The idea is to fix your broken shower handle and stop the running water. Doing so will save you unnecessary water bills and give your shower a decent look.

Let’s get started! 

How do you turn off a shower with a broken handle

3 Reasons Your Shower Handle Broke; Water Running

Now, here are three possible reasons why your shower handle broke and water keeps running:

1. Rust Attack

Rust remains the primary reason why most shower handles give in to breakage. The Iron Oxide coat (known as rust) builds up over time following contact of metallic parts (iron parts) with water on air.

Rust typically creates friction between the metallic parts that it attacks and wears down. So, often, rust attacks the ball valve, which is the most sensitive part of the shower handle. It, however, doesn’t happen so often.

2. Poor Shower Handle Material

Some shower handle materials are more susceptible to breakage than others. For example, while materials like brass, bronze, and nickel can stand up against rust and rough usage, iron oxidizes over time, thus likely to break.

Even stainless steel can rust, especially if it’s cheap stainless steel. Other less durable materials include zinc, zinc alloy, and plastic. Though the materials may not rust, they aren’t solid to hold up for long. So, they quickly give in to pressure.

3. Rough Handling

If you mishandle your shower handle, the chances are that you’ll break something at some point. The possibilities are even higher if the handle material is low quality or a case of poor fitting. Usually, the rougher you handle your shower handle, the more vulnerable it becomes.

shower handle won't turn water on

What to Do When the Shower Handle Breaks and Water Cannot Stop Running

Once your shower handle breaks and the water continually runs, your goal should be to fix it as quickly as possible.

Ordinarily, you’ve two options; repair it or replace it:

How to Repair a Broken Shower Handle Whose Water Won’t Stop Running

Before anything, here are the supplies you’ll need to repair your broken shower handle:

  • Piece of cloth
  • Flat screwdriver
  • Philips screwdriver
  • Epoxy kit

The Process

Now, here are the steps to repairing your broken shower handle:

Step 1: Water Turn Off

Start by turning off your water supply from the main. That’ll protect you from soaking once you start working on the shower handle. You can find the main shut-off valve somewhere outside or in your basement.

Alternatively, you can shut off the shower supply valve.

Step 2: Handle Removal

Lay the piece of cloth on the ground to hold your screws. Then, use a flathead screwdriver to uncover the hidden screw on the shower handle and unscrew it using a Philip screwdriver.

Remember, you can use an Allen wrench if you don’t have a Philips screwdriver. Once the handle is loose, pull it out and set it aside, ready for repair.

Step 3: Handle Repair

This is where the epoxy kit comes into use, and you can get the Ames True Tamper 3010600 Epoxy Kit if you cannot find one locally. 

The essence of an epoxy kit is to enable you to seal up the breaks and cracks and prevent water leakage.

Just follow the kit manufacturer’s instructions, and you’ll be able to fix the broken handle.

why is water coming out of my shower handle

Step 4: Handle Reinstallation

After sealing up the source of the water leakage, you should go ahead and reinstall the shower handle. Ensure you tighten it well before returning the cap as it was.

How to Replace a Broken Shower Handle Whose Water Won’t Stop Running

A replacement is usually an option when the shower handle break is extensive and non-sealable. And when it comes to doing a replacement, you can opt for a brand-specific shower handle or a universal option.

Of course, the priority should be going for a brand that matches your broken shower handle. But if you cannot find one, you can go for a universal shower handle.

Other than a new shower handle, you’ll need these supplies:

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Allen or hex wrench or Philips screwdriver
  • Handle puller (optional)
  • Piece of old cloth

The Process

Now, here’s how to replace your broken shower handle:

Step 1: Working Area Preparation 

Start by laying a piece of old cloth on the bathroom floor to hold the screws and prevent them from flowing down the drain.

Step 2: Handle Removal

Uncover the hidden screws on the shower handle by gently lifting its cover with a flathead screwdriver. Then use a hex wrench or Philips screwdriver to unscrew the shower handle.

If the Phillips screwdriver doesn’t fit, consider using a hex wrench. So, it’s best to have both. Once the handle is loose, pull it out. But if it looks stuck, consider tipping it gently back and forth until it loosens up.

Alternatively, you can use a faucet handle puller like the Eastman 45121 Faucet Handle Puller.

This heavy-duty handle puller will enable you to pull out the old shower handle almost seamlessly. It’s physically strong, scratch-resistant, and durable.

shower handle water running

Step 3: Handle Replacement

Usually, the new shower handle will fit if it is a match or a universal fit. So, go ahead and position it and then screw it tight in place.

Usually, screwing it clockwise makes it tighter while anticlockwise loosens it.

Step 4: Recapping

Lastly, return the cap as it was once you finish screwing the replacement shower handle.

Essential Considerations When Fixing a Broken Shower Handle

While fixing a broken shower handle is all DIY, it could be a slightly dangerous or expensive undertaking if you don’t know what to do precisely.

That brings us to these important considerations:

a) Wear Protective Gear

Plumbing jobs often involve a bit of welding and cutting, which can be dangerous. Even trained plumbers wear safety gear, and so should you.

Some of the most vital personal safety equipment are glasses, masks (if you must do some drilling work), and thick rubber gloves.

b) Turn Off the Water Supply

I’m sure you wouldn’t want to soak wet when fixing your shower handle. You also wouldn’t want the water to flood your bathroom floor.

For that reason, you should turn off the shower water supply, preferably from the main. You can locate the main house water supply in your basement or somewhere within the compound.

c) Only Handle Projects You Understand or Have a Guide For

It’s risky trying to do a plumbing job you lack knowledge, experience, or an excellent guide.

You may worsen the issue or even hurt yourself in the process. It’s better to call a professional plumber when the job is beyond your control.

Besides, a professional plumber will get the job done quicker and more expertly, and you might even save money in the end.

d) Check Condition the Valves

Sometimes, a broken shower handle affects the valve. So, if you don’t inspect the valve, you may end up fixing or repairing the shower handle but fail to stop the water from running.

So, remember to check the condition of the shower valve as the valve is usually attached to the shower handle. If the valve looks worn out, consider replacing it.

Remember that shower valves are often not interchangeable. So, it’s good to get an option that matches your existing shower valve. But if the valve is only clogged up, you can try soaking it in white vinegar. The vinegar solution will loosen the clog.

e) Don’t Forget the Internal O-Rings

While checking the condition of the valve, don’t forget to check the state of the O-rings. If the O-rings are degraded, the water will leak even after fixing the shower handle. So, replace the O-rings if they are degraded.

f) Follow Up On the Repairs

This is very important when doing DIY jobs. You must ensure that you did an excellent job by checking on the condition of your shower handle every so often.

If you notice something wrong, consider fixing it or call a plumber for help.

People Also Ask

1. How Do You Turn Off a Shower with A Broken Handle?

You can turn off a shower with a broken handle in two ways. You can only shut off the shower valve to turn off the shower water only. Alternatively, you can turn off every valve in your house by shutting off the main valve.

2. Why is My Shower Handle Leaking?

Water is coming out of your shower handle because the handle is broken or loose. It could also be that the O-rings or valves are worn out or clogged. So, you also have to check them and address the issue accordingly.

3. What to Do When My Shower Won’t Turn Off?

If the shower doesn’t turn off, the chances are that the valve cartridge is faulty. Usually, the cartridge’s job is to control the amount of water that comes out of the shower faucet. So, if it’s defective, the shower water won’t turn off.  

4. What Happens if The Knob to Your Shower Breaks?

If your shower knob breaks, turning off the shower may be tricky. In most cases, you won’t be able to turn off the shower properly. So you may leave the water running, resulting in flooding on the bathroom floor and high water bills.

Closing Remarks On Shower Handle Broke Water Running!

Now you know what could break your shower handle and cause the water to run continuously. Given the cost implication of such an event, you should fix it immediately, and above is an expert guide you can use.

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