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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.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • TIP: Make a sketch of how parts fit together as you disassemble them. This will make it easier to reassemble the parts.
  • 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.
  • TIP: To fix a leaking compression faucet, first try replacing the packing nut washer just under the escutcheon.
  • Step 5: Get replacement parts Take any damaged parts to a hardware store. Make sure you get the right replacements.
  • 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.
  • FACT: The Romans began developing the town of Bath in present-day England as a spa in the first century C.E.

You Will Need

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

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