Two-Handle Shower Faucet Maintenance and Repair

shower handles
  • .5-2
  • Intermediate
  • 20-100
What You'll Need
Crescent wrench
Cartridge and spout body O rings
Flathead screwdriver
Petroleum jelly

A leak with a two-handle shower faucet, will cost you extra money. Gallons of water could be dripping out, costing you both per drop and for heating the water too. It is important you know how to repair your two-handle shower faucet as quickly as possible to prevent any water or energy waste.

Step 1 - Prepare for Compression Faucet

In order to prepare for this job, you will need to shut off the water supply. This can be done by going underneath your sink to turn the water supply valves. If you cannot find them, then you can simply turn off the water supply that goes to your entire house.

Step 2 - Removal

modern black and white bathroom with glass shower

The metal cap that rests above the faucet will need to be popped off. Do this by getting your screwdriver and prying it gently. Underneath the cap is a screw that will need to be removed so you can properly remove the handles. You may need to use your screwdriver for prying if the handles do not come right off. Turn the bonnet nut counterclockwise to remove it. Underneath the bonnet nut is a stem. You will need to turn this stem counterclockwise as well to remove it.

Step 3 - Washer

At the very bottom of your stem is a screw that will have a washer. The brand new washer you have will need to be coated lightly with petroleum jelly. Screw it into place where the old washer was. Do the same with your O rings. Once you have successfully reassembled the faucet, turn on the water to see if there are any leaks.

Step 4 - Cartridge Faucet

brass two-faucet cartridges

If you are working with a cartridge faucet, you will find that most of the steps are similar. You will begin by turning the water off just the same as with the compression faucet. The metal cap will need to be popped off as well as the handles. When you uncover your retaining nut underneath the handle, get out your crescent wrench and twist it counterclockwise. With your pliers, remove the cartridge stem by simply twisting it. Remove the O rings with your screwdriver and coat them with petroleum jelly. Pry the retaining clip out with your screwdriver; look for it at the base of your sprout. Remove the old O rings and replaced them with the petroleum jelly coated new ones.

Step 5 - Finish

Once you have successfully replaced the old O rings, you are ready to reassemble the faucet. You will need to simply reverse the steps you took in taking it apart. Once you have the faucet put back together, turn the water back on to check for leaks.