Running water from shower head

When you need to replace your shower faucet, you may want to do it as a DIY project. But before you start trying to remove the faucet, you need to ensure you have the right tools for the job.

Furthermore, while the steps on how to replace the shower faucet are not too difficult, you still need to keep in mind the difficulty of this type of DIY project is considered advanced. So, to help you decide if you want to tackle this project yourself or call a professional local plumber, review our no-hassle how to replace a shower faucet step-by-step guide.   

Common Shower Faucet Problems

  • Leaking Shower Head – The gaskets and seals in the shower head housing can wear out, become loose, crack, or break. When they do, the shower head will leak. 
  • Leaking Faucet Handle – There are also gaskets and seals in the faucet handle that can wear out and allow water to leak from around the handle. 
  • Clogged Shower Head – The shower head can become clogged from a build-up of limescale, calcium, and other mineral deposits, especially if you have hard water.
  • Low Water Pressure – Water pressure can be reduced from clogged shower heads. However, there are some other things that could cause this problem, including closed valves, damaged mixing valves, or an incompatible shower head. 

Need help fixing common shower faucet problems? Call the plumbing experts at Larkin Plumbing today. 

Step-By-Step Guide to Replacing Your Shower Faucet

Before you begin, ensure you fully understand the extent of work you will need to do to replace your shower faucet. You will also want to conduct some research and review the installation instructions that came with your new faucet to determine if this project is something you can handle.  

1. Prep the Work Area

You will want to place a towel over the shower drain to prevent small parts from going down the drain. Next, put another towel in the shower or next to it, and lay out all your tools. 

2. Shut Off the Water

If there is an access panel on the shower or tub, remove it to see if there is a shutoff valve. If there is not, then you will need to shut off the water to the entire house. After turning off the water, confirm it is shut off by opening a faucet closest to where the water comes into your home and leaving it open.

Plumber installing showerhead

3. Remove the Old Shower Head

Most shower heads screw onto the pipe coming out the wall. Place a rag over the connection and use a pair of pliers to loosen and remove it. It should loosen by turning it counterclockwise or to the left. 

Related: Shower and Tub Installation & Repairs Las Vegas

4. Remove the Old Shower Handles and Tub Faucet

Shower faucets are removed differently depending on the make, model, and style you currently have installed. Some have removable covers over the faucet handles you can pop off with a small screwdriver. Others can have a set screw underneath the handle you can remove with the correct size Allen wrench. 

Once you have removed the cover or handle, you can access the parts and components below. These parts will either pull out or unscrew. Continue to remove parts until you reach the shower valve – the plumbing pipe that sticks slightly out of the wall.

The tub faucet can be removed using a rag and channel locks and unscrewing it counterclockwise. However, check to see if there is a set screw that needs to be removed before unscrewing it. 

Please note: You may have to replace the shower valve and other plumbing supply lines in the wall when your new shower faucet is incompatible with your old one. Many people often defer to their local plumber when they want a new shower faucet with a different plumbing configuration than their current one due to the difficulty of the work that needs to be completed

5. Install the New Handles and Tub Faucet

Review the specific installation instructions that came with your new shower faucet. Some faucets will use the existing faucet cartridge, while others will come with a new cartridge. If yours has a new cartridge, remove and replace the old one. Then, push it firmly into the valve until it is snug, and tighten the nut using a rag and channel locks

Next, install the sleeve or cover over the handle valve following the manufacturer’s instructions. Put any trim pieces, like the escutcheon piece, and secure in place. Now attach the handle and secure it in place by tightening the set screw. If there are faucet covers, install those over the opening.   

If the current adapter is not compatible with the new one, you will need to remove the current adapter and replace it. Screw the tub faucet onto the adapter until it is tightened and lines up correctly. Install the set screw if the new faucet has one. 

6. Install the New Shower Head

Start by wrapping some Teflon tape clockwise around the threads on the plumbing pipe where the head attaches. Next, screw on the shower head and hand tighten. Use pliers and a rag to continue tightening. 

7. Turn on the Water and Check for Leaks

After turning the water back on, allow the faucet you left open to run for a short time before shutting it off. Next, check for leaks around the shower head and faucet handles. If there are any leaks, tighten the appropriate part. Lastly, turn the faucets on to ensure water flows correctly from the shower head and tub faucet. 

Benefits of Hiring a Local Plumber to Install a Shower Faucet

Local plumbers are experienced in repairing and replacing shower faucets. They have access to the tools necessary for this plumbing job. Furthermore, they often stock a wide range of faucets, so you can choose a similar model or a new one to give your shower or tub a new look. 

Additionally, you can save time and money when you are not entirely confident of your ability to install a shower faucet or encounter problems where you need to call a local plumber for help anyway. 

No-Hassle Shower Faucet Replacement

Plumber working on shower head

Replacing a shower faucet can take between two and four hours to do on your own, provided you do not encounter any issues or problems and follow our step-by-step guide. But, if you would rather have a professional plumber install the faucet for you, contact the most trusted plumber in Las Vegas, Larkin Plumbing, today.

We have a wide selection of new shower faucets and would be happy to help you pick a new one for your home. If you prefer to DIY the replacement, stop by our plumbing supply store to get your new shower faucet. 

From shower faucet replacement to 24/7 emergency plumbing services, you can count on Larkin Plumbing day or night to fix your plumbing problems. Schedule service today