Repair a Single Handle Tub and Shower Cartridge Faucet

Lead Image for Repair a Single Handle Tub and Shower Cartridge Faucet
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 35-200
What You'll Need
Screwdriver sets
Water valve cartridges
Clean rags

Whenever you are repairing a shower cartridge faucet and a single handle tub, you will find that there are a few things that you will need to keep in mind. The overall task of repair, remove, replace and install are not very difficult as long as you know the proper steps to take as well as the necessary tools that you will have to have in order to get the job done quickly and effectively.

Turn off Water

The first thing that you will need to do is turn off the water supply valve. This is typically found underneath your sink. It can also be located on the wall that is behind your shower assembly. However, if you are unable to find one, then you can simply turn off the main water supply. This can typically be found at the water meter, or you can look where the main water supply goes into your home. Make sure that as soon as you turn the water off that you open the faucets up. This will allow the water to drain out of the lines. You will need to let the water completely drain out before you disassemble the faucet.

Remove Handle

With a small screwdriver, remove the handle from its faucet. You will find that typically, the screw is underneath a cap that is used for decoration. You will be able to pry this cap off with your screwdriver. Once the screw has been removed, you should be able to jiggle the handle or simply lift it off. Put the handle out of the way after it has been successfully removed.

Remove Cartridge

Using your pliers, you will need to pull out the cartridge from the fixture. There may be a lock nut or a lock ring that is holding the cartridge. You will need a screwdriver or a pair of pliers so that you can remove this to take off the cartridge. Once you have the cartridge removed, check to see if it can be clean or if it needs to be replaced. Take a rag and clean it thoroughly and put it back together, if there are still leaks, then you will need to replace it. To replace it, it is a good idea to take it with you to a hardware store so that you can get an exact replacement. Once you have the correct replacement, take it home to reassemble.


You will begin by putting the new or freshly cleaned cartridge back into place. If there was a lock nut or ring, then get it put back in the same way that it was. From there, you will simply work backward in getting everything put back into place. After the faucet has been successfully put back together, then you can turn the water back on. Slowly open the faucet and check for any leaks. If there are any leaks after you have replaced the cartridge, then you may not have tightened something completely.