How to Fix a Leaky Shower Faucet Handle

What You'll Need
Faucet Wrench
Replacement Parts

How to fix a leaky shower faucet without hiring a professional is doable. A steady hand, having the right tools and identifying what causes the leak can help a DIYer fix the leak in no time. 

Step 1 – Cut off the Water Supply

Cut off the water supply that might leak during repair and sealing process. Turn on all faucets to drain any water left in the supply pipes. If there are other faucets located on the upper levels of the house, turn them on as well so water can drain completely.

Step 2 – Remove the Handle

Remove the covering on the handle that hides the screw by popping it out with a flat-head screwdriver. Be careful not to damage it. Loosen the screw from the handle until the handle can now come off. Sometimes, the screw may be hidden behind the handle. Find the screw and remove it. Set it aside.

Step 3 – Inspecting for Issues

Rotate the cover and the sleeve of the handle counterclockwise and remove them to access the recessed parts. Insert the faucet wrench over the stem and into the hole until the head reaches the locknut. Rotate the locknut until the rest of the handle can come off. Locate the rubber gasket at the end of the stem and check if it is worn out. If the handle is secured to male threads, check if the sealant has already worn off as well. Get replacements from a supply store if any part of the handle or the handle itself is broken, corroded, or loose.

Step 4 – Fixing the Issue

If the issue is the worn out rubber gasket, replace it with the new one. Do not forget to clean the handle first before inserting the rubber gasket. Install the handle back to its original location. Make sure not to over-tighten the handle to avoid causing more damage.

If the threads need to be resealed, remove the old tape sealant completely.  Wipe the threads with clean cloth and wrap the Teflon tape around it at least three times before putting the handle back. If the handle has broken, corroded, or loose parts, it is time to say goodbye to it and replace it with a new one.

Step 5 – Replacing a Damaged Handle

Remove leaky handle completely from the shower faucet and remember to keep the water supply in the shower turned off. Get the same handle model for the faucet or at least a compatible one. Take the handle to the supply store if the model information cannot be obtained.

To install the new handle, make sure to have an instruction manual along with the purchase. Remove the parts of the handle from the package and inspect if all parts are included. Begin by assembling the handle according to the set instructions in the manual. Be certain that every part of the new handle is placed at its correct location. Install the new handle carefully; tighten the screws and the handle itself. Turn on the water supply and check for leaks.