If you find that your shower faucet stem is leaking, or is rumbling and complaining whenever you use the shower, then you will need to fix it quickly. Unfortunately, the only real way to repair your shower faucet stem is to remove it and add a new one. If you don't know how to do this, then you may find that you have a difficult time getting rid of leaks and problems. Rather than call in a plumber to help you, by using a few household tools, and following some simple advice, you will be able to replace your shower faucet stem in a flash, without costing you a lot of money.
Step 1 - Turn off the Water Supply
The first step when you are working in your bathroom is to turn off the main water supply. You may have been intending to turn off the shower, rather than the whole main, but the former will only expose you to the risk of a sudden water surge. To protect yourself, use your water key to turn off the supply, or fix the valve using a wrench. This is the best method for shutting off the water, and you should not find it too difficult to get your shower faucet stem fixed once you have completed this stage.
Step 2 - Remove the Parts
You will now need to remove the parts of the shower that are in front of the shower faucet stem. You do this by firstly removing the cap from the front of the faucet. This is usually found in the very middle of the shower faucet, and can be removed by using a flat-headed screwdriver. Push it off, and then remove the screws which hold the handle in place. Take off the handle, and you will find a flange behind it. Pull this off, and then remove the bolt behind it which is nearest to the wall.
Step 3 - Remove the Old Stem
You can now reach in and take out the old stem. You need to remove this from the wall using a stem wrench. It should be able to be pried off, but you may find that you have to push for a while, as it can become corroded, or even slimy, due to the action of the water on the stem. Once the old stem is gone, you can then insert the new one.
Step 4 - Add the New Stem
Place your new stem into position, and then secure it with a little tape. This will keep it in place. You can then re-screw on the bolt which you had removed, and replace the flange. Put the handle back on, and screw it into position. You will then be able to complete the repair by adding the cap to the surface of the faucet. Remember to turn the water back on once you are done.