How to Repair a Tub & Shower Valve

If the faucet valve for your tub and shower malfunctions, use the steps here to make the repair.


Up next in Bathroom Repair (13 videos)

Learn how to fix many bathroom plumbing problems yourself with the step-by-step instructions in this Howcast video series about bathroom repair.

You Will Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Stem wrench
  • Replacement parts
  • Sketch (optional)
  • Packing nut washer (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Turn off water

    Turn off the water to the bathtub and shower at the shut-off valve. Let any remaining water flow out of the faucet.

  2. Step 2

    Remove the cap and screw

    Remove the cap and screw from the faucet handle using a screwdriver, and take off the handle and escutcheon.

  3. Step 3

    Remove stop tube and cartridge

    Remove the stop tube and cartridge with pliers if you have a washerless faucet. Washerless faucets use a single knob to control hot and cold water.

  4. Make a sketch of how parts fit together as you disassemble them. This will make it easier to reassemble the parts.

  5. Step 4

    Remove valve stem

    Remove the valve stem if you have a compression faucet with an adjustable wrench. If the stem is recessed, use a stem wrench to remove it.

  6. To fix a leaking compression faucet, first try replacing the packing nut washer just under the escutcheon.

  7. Step 5

    Get replacement parts

    Take any damaged parts to a hardware store. Make sure you get the right replacements.

  8. Step 6

    Replace damaged parts

    Replace the damaged parts, reassembling the faucet valve with the new parts in the opposite order in which you took it apart.

  9. The Romans began developing the town of Bath in present-day England as a spa in the first century C.E.