How to Replace a Faucet Stem on an Outdoor Shower

An outdoor shower.
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 15-45
What You'll Need
Faucet stem
Socket wrench
Allen wrench
Plumber's putty

If you have a pool, a dog, or rambunctious kids, an outdoor shower can come in handy. If the faucet stems have broken, though, you will need to make some repairs. Otherwise, you may find the shower constantly leaking or that hot water refuses to stay on. In the past, people may have recommended fixing the unit. But they are actually quite cheap to replace altogether.

Before you begin, make sure you purchase the appropriate shower stem. These units can be purchased at home improvement stores for as little as $15. If you are unsure what type of stem you need, do Steps 1 and 2 and bring your current stem into a store and have a sales associate help you find a replacement unit.

Step 1 - Take Off the Shower Handle

First you will need to pry off the shower handle. With most handles, this can be done using a screwdriver. The exact method, though, will vary depending on your handle type. You might want to put something over your drain in case anything drops. Remove any cover plate on the handle as well.

hand with wrench adjusting shower handle

Step 2 - Work on Valve

You should see the stem unit. Use pliers or a socket wrench to loosen the stem unit. There should be a washer at the end of the stem. The stem itself should turn easily.

Step 3 - Replace Unit

Replace the seat, which is the piece the washer sits against using an Allen wrench. Remove the seat in the wall. Put the new one on the end of the Allen wrench and put it into the wall and tighten. Put the new stem unit with its bonnet into the wall and use pliers or a socket wrench to tighten it.

outdoor shower rain head

Step 4 - Add Handles

Put the handles back on the shower. You can use a sealant like plumber’s putty to ensure there is no gap.

Step 5 - Test

Make sure the shower is running properly. If there is still an issue, it may be time to call in the pros.

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