When you have a dripping shower faucet in the bathtub you want it stopped pronto. A shower faucet dripping incessantly is an annoyance and wastes water. Fixing a faucet that won’t turn off is a relatively easy repair. You can learn how to repair a dripping shower faucet with our tutorial.

Many showers and baths use a cartridge-style faucet and have a single handle. That’s the type of faucet we’ll discuss here.

Assemble Your Plumber’s Tools

To repair a dripping cartridge-style faucet you’ll replace the old cartridge. You’ll need the following tools and supplies:

  • an adjustable wrench
  • a 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • a pocketknife or cartridge puller
  • a replacement cartridge
  • plumber’s grease
  • rags

Steps to Fix a Dripping Shower Faucet

Before you begin, make sure the faucet is not a ball faucet. A ball-type fixture has a rounded casing under the handle.

Set the Stage

  1. Find the shutoff valve for the shower. Turn it off.
  2. If you can’t find the fixture valve, turn off the water to the whole house.
  3. Test that the water’s off by turning the faucet.
  4. Cover the drain with a rag or towel.
  5. Set out another towel to hold the parts from the disassembled faucet. Place the items on the spare towel in the order in which you remove them.

Remove the Handle

  1. With your pocketknife pry off the handle cap to reveal the handle screw.
  2. Loosen the screw and pull off the handle.
  3. If the handle is difficult to remove, give it a shot of hot air from a hair dryer. If the handle is stubbornly attached, use a handle puller. You can get this tool from a hardware store.

Remove the Cartridge

  1. Pull off the stop tube.
  2. Look for a clip or spring. Remove it by prying it loose with a screwdriver.
  3. Slip off the washer on the handle.
  4. Turn or twist the cartridge stem and use pliers to pull it off.

If the cartridge won’t come off, you’ll need to buy a cartridge puller. At the hardware store, ask for a puller made for your brand of faucet.

Replace the Cartridge

  1. Take the old cartridge to the hardware store and buy an exact match.
  2. Working in reverse order from how you removed the old cartridge, install the new one.

We’re Here to Help

Turn the water back on and enjoy your new drip-free shower faucet. Minor repairs such as this are easy for those who are handy around the house. If home repairs are not in your job description, give us a call. Meticulous Plumbing is happy to make small or big repairs. Contact us for a free estimate.

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