How to Fix a Leaky Shower Faucet

How to Fix a Leaky Shower Faucet

A leaky shower faucet is more than annoying; it’s expensive. Your money is going down the drain in the form of higher water bills. Fortunately, most leaky shower faucets can be fixed in a few DIY steps. 

Use this guide to learn how to fix a leaky shower faucet.

Gather your Tools 

You’ll have to turn off your water supply before you fix a leaky shower faucet, so gather your tools and materials before you begin. That way, you won’t have to go without water longer than necessary. 

This is a list of supplies you might need, depending on the cause of the leak and what kind of shower faucet you have:


  • Phillips-Head screwdriver
  • Slotted screwdriver
  • Wrench or Cartridge Puller
  • Needle nose pliers


  • Faucet repair kit with replacement parts  
  • Shower faucet cartridge or stem
  • Old towel or rag

Step #1 – Turn Off the Water Supply and Open the Faucet 

Turn off the water to the shower faucet. You may have to turn off the water to the entire house if you don’t have a shut-off valve only for the shower. Open the shower faucet to release the pressure and let any water that is still in the pipes drain out.

Step #2 – Prep your Work Space

Put a rag or old towel over the shower floor or your bathtub to protect it in case you drop any tools or parts. Also make sure you cover the drain so small parts can’t fall down it.

Step #3 – Remove the Handle Cap, Handle and Faceplate

If your shower handle has a cap over the screw in the center of the handle, pry it off with a flathead screwdriver and put it aside for later. Unscrew the handle and remove it. Next, remove the decorative faceplate behind the handle and take it off the shower wall. Look behind the faceplate to find the metal sleeve over the shower valve. Pull it off or unscrew it. 

Step #4 – Remove the Locking Clip

If your shower valve has a locking clip, you’ll see it on the top of the valve. Not all valves have locking clips. If yours does, pull it off with needle nose pliers. 

Step #5 – Remove and Replace the Cartridge

Put a wrench over the metal stem of the faucet and use it to grip the nut at the base of the stem. Unscrew the nut and set it aside for later. Using your wrench once again, loosen the cartridge and remove it. If the wrench doesn’t do the trick, we recommend using a cartridge puller.

If you don’t already have a new cartridge, take it to the store with you so you can buy an exact replacement. If you already have a replacement part, put the new cartridge on the empty valve and tighten it with the wrench.

Step #6 – Reassemble and Test your Shower

Replace the locking clip, if your valve had one. Then replace the valve sleeve, faceplate, shower handle and cover. Turn the water supply back on, open the faucet and let the water run. If you still have a leak, you may need to call a professional plumber – if not congratulations! You’ve fixed your leaky shower. 

Get Super Terry Today!

If you are not confident in your ability to assess and repair the problem, it may be more beneficial to search online for a “licensed plumber near me”. Super Terry is available for 24/7 services in the Pittsburgh area, whenever you need us!