How to Install a 3 Handle Tub and Shower Faucet

What You'll Need
Three-handle tub and shower faucet
Plumber's Teflon tape

A three-handle tub shower faucet has individual handles to control the flow of hot and cold water, and also has a separate handle that is used to control the flow of water to the tub or shower. The third handle can be used to direct all water to the shower head or direct all of the water to the tub faucet. Installing a replacement three-handle tub and shower faucet is not that difficult, and is then great DIY project that you can do in an afternoon. This simple how-to guide will show you everything you need to know to properly replace a three-handle tub and shower faucet in your shower.

Step 1 - Turn Off the Water

Before you begin installing the new 3-handle tub and shower faucet, you need to make sure that the main water line to your home is shut off. In most cases, the main shutoff valve will be located in the front of your home. So, go out to the front of your house and turn off the water pressure to your home by turning the valve clockwise until it is tightened all the way.

Step 2 - Drain Water from Lines

You also need to drain the water from the lines that are connected to the old water faucets in your tub and shower. To do this, simply open the faucet to allow water to drain out the spout in the tub. Leave the faucets open until all of the water has drained out of the water lines.

Step 3 - Remove Old Faucet Handles

Take a flat head screwdriver and pry off cap cover on the face of the shower knob on top of the water faucet handle. Underneath the plastic cap, will be a screw that you will need to remove in order to remove the handles from the old shower and tub faucets. Once you remove the handles, unscrew the metal escutcheon rings and remove them as well. Then, slide the metal sleeve covers off of the stems.

Step 4 - Install New Faucet Handles

Wrap plumber's Teflon tape around the stems and then install new escutcheon rings. Place the new faucet metal sleeves on the stems and attach the handles. Then, secure the handles to the stems with the screw. After you have screwed the handle tightly to the stem, place the screw plastic cover cap so that the screw is not exposed.

Step 5 - Replace Spout and Shower Head

If you'll be replacing the tub spout and shower head as well, this is an excellent time to do so. In order to remove the old spout, use a large adjustable wrench to turn it counterclockwise. Then, install a new one by spinning it on to the stem in a clockwise manner. You can remove the old shower head in a similar fashion with an adjustable wrench. Always use Teflon tape before installing the new fixtures. After you've finished, you can now turn the main water supply valve back on and test out the new faucet installation.