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Having shower faucet parts on hand can be convenient when your faucet breaks. With regular use, some faucets will have issues sooner than others, but the good news is that many of these problems are remedied with simple parts.
Repairs to your shower faucet can take anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes, and most repairs will need few tools to complete. Even with minimal plumbing experience, homeowners can repair their shower faucet promptly.
Why Keep Spare Parts on Hand?
When your faucet breaks, it will be in the form of a leak or even a piece such as a handle breaking off. It is also possible that you replace your whole faucet. But many repairs can use standard shower faucet parts.
These kinds of problems seem to happen at the least convenient time and fixing your faucet will frequently require at least one trip to the hardware store. Since these stores sometimes have limited hours, you can save yourself some time and stress by keeping a few parts on hand. Shower faucet parts are not usually expensive, and they certainly cost less than a plumber.
It is also possible for your tub spout diverter to break from repeated use, and this is also a natural repair that you can do yourself. Once the water is turned off to the broken faucet, making repairs is relatively simple.
Note The Brand Name
You may notice that your shower faucet is stamped with a brand name, and this may be important when going to stock up on replacement parts. Make sure to note the brand name and attempt to locate more information such as a model number to find the proper parts for your faucet.
Once you have gathered that information you can either order parts online, or venture to your nearest hardware store to locate the shower faucet parts you need. Some replacement parts will claim to be universal but be sure to compare those parts to the name brand replacements to confirm.
Keep A Few Simple Tools Handy When Shower Faucet Parts Need Repair
In addition to shower faucet parts, keep a few simple tools to make repairs even more relaxed. A Phillips screwdriver, flathead screwdriver, and pocket knife are a great toolkit to keep along with your stash of replacement parts.
An optional tool that you may want to pick up when buying your replacement parts is a handle or cartridge puller. These specialized tools are not required but they can make the job of replacing certain faucet parts more comfortable, and they will work for most faucets found in the home.
In some instances, you’ll be able to use an adjustable wrench, so it’s not a bad idea to have one of those on hand as well. Just note that if you are having difficulty with the wrench, it may be best to splurge on the specialized too to avoid damaging the faucet itself while performing the repair.
What Parts of The Faucet Could Break? Can I Still Use My Faucet?
Some examples of parts that may need to be replaced in an older faucet include:
- Rubber O-rings
While these parts are readily available at local hardware stores, if you have an unusual or particularly old faucet you may end up needing specialized parts specific to your brand. While some shower faucet parts such as O-rings will be widely available and are not brand specific, other components such as cartridges and stems may be more difficult to locate.
Repair Kits Needed
Simple repair kits for your shower faucet start at around $2-3 and increase in price based on the shower faucet parts that you need for your repair. Many parts are sold for specific brand faucets such as Delta or Moen and may not work for every faucet brand.
Whether or not you can still use your faucet will depend mainly on what the problem is, and how that problem affects the overall function of your faucet. Since faucets control pressurized water, a leak may be a minor dribble or may spray up to a few feet.
Check Your Shower Faucet Parts
Before deciding whether your faucet is still serviceable, look around the faucet, including the service panel in the wall behind where the faucet is mounted, to determine if there are any leaks or puddles of water forming. If you see no visible holes, then you may be able to continue using your shower faucet until you can get it repaired.
More often than not it seems, a broken faucet will lead to the point that the water connected to it must be turned off to prevent water damage and puddles of water from forming. When your faucet is leaking this much water, it is probably a good idea to try and repair it as soon as possible.
Locate The Water Supply
Some shower faucets will connect to pipes that have conveniently located water shut offs. You can frequently find these on the opposite side of the wall from where the shower faucet is mounted. And there will typically be an access panel there.
Once you have located the access panel and removed it. You should see the back side of the shower faucet parts. And where they connect to water that provides water to your shower. If you can locate the water shut off valves here. Then turn off the water just to your shower so that you can perform repairs.
If you cannot shut off the water from here. Then locate the nearest water shut off valve before attempting to repair. Every home may have a slightly different location for where these valves found. But the water shut off valves themselves will typically look very similar.
Recommended Shower Faucet Parts to Keep on Hand
Cartridges and O-rings are small and inexpensive parts to keep on hand. But what you’ll need will depend on the type of faucet that you have. Single and double handled faucets may require different parts. And tub spout diverters will also need different shower faucet parts to perform repairs.
Here’s How to Repair a Leaky Shower Faucet:
Single Handed Faucets
Failing valve cartridges are found in single handle faucets and act as a control mechanism for water. These cylindrical parts also use O-rings and are part of the handle mechanism of the faucet.
Replacing a valve cartridge takes about 15 minutes and requires few tools. But first, you’ll need to have the right replacement cartridge on hand. Once you have the correct replacement cartridge, you’ll be ready to turn off the water and begin the repair.
To get to the cartridge, you’ll need to remove the handle by removing some screws. And you may need to remove the decorative front cap from the unit as well. To avoid damaging the surrounding area. Work a screwdriver around the border of the lid gently to encourage it to come off.
It is possible that the cartridge will only need new O-rings. And having at least one O-ring kit on hand is always a good idea. The packages are very cheap, easy to find in hardware stores. And typically come in a variety of different sized parts that are suitable for use.
Two Handle Faucets
If the faucet has two handles, it needs more than one replacement cartridge, O-ring or other replacement shower faucet parts. Keep in mind that parts are also specific to the make. The faucet and universal pieces may not always fit.
Repairing a two-handle faucet takes longer than a single handle faucet. Since there’s more than one handle to remove and additional screws to contend with. All in all, repairs can range from 20 minutes to an hour. And cost of the parts may increase depending on how many you need.
If remove cartridges from a shower faucet and replace the O-rings. Be sure to coat the O-rings in a small amount of petroleum jelly. To ensure a good seal and O-ring is protected to some extent from water. Although O-rings are very durable, the petroleum jelly can help extend useful life and prevent future faucet leaks.
Tub Spout Diverters
If water is still spraying out of the tub spout while you are showering. You may have a faulty tub spout diverter that could use replacement. This project should take about 15 minutes to an hour, and the cost is usually less than $30.For old tub spout diverters, you may want to consider keeping a spare on hand. So that you can perform the repair without having to take a trip to the hardware store.
Replacing your tub spout diverter will require a few more tools than shower faucet repairs. But the process can still be performed by beginners with some helpful directions. Screwdrivers, a pocket knife, flashlight, channel locks, and a socket wrench are all useful tools to have on hand.
The tools required for this repair are not unusual, and the extra supplies are also inexpensive.