How to Retrofit a Shower Faucet


Shower faucets are functional fixtures that attach to your shower's plumbing and deliver water into the shower or tub. They are also important elements in bathroom decor. Shower faucets come in a wide range of styles and finishes, and often need to be replaced during bathroom renovations. If you want to use a faucet that isn't the same size as your current faucet, you have the option of retrofitting it to work with your current plumbing, which would be much more difficult and expensive to upgrade.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Faucet adaptor
  • Cotton cloth
  • Pipe wrench
  • Plumbers tape
  • Shut off the water supply to your shower to prevent waste in the event of a problem with the faucet or valves. Turn off water at your meter or by closing off a pipe in your basement that delivers water to the bathroom.

  • Remove your faucet by sliding it off or unscrewing it by hand, if possible. Wrap it in a cotton cloth to prevent scratches and use a pipe wrench if the faucet is too tight to remove manually.

  • Measure the diameter of the pipe that the faucet slides over or screws onto, using a tape measure. Measure the diameter of the faucet you want to retrofit to work in your shower.

  • Select an adapter that corresponds to the two measurements you took for your pipe and new faucet. Apply plumbers tape to the pipe in your wall and screw the adapter onto it, tightening it with a pipe wrench. Screw on the faucet after wrapping it in a cotton cloth, following the same procedure.

Tips & Warnings

  • Rather than installing an adapter to retrofit a shower faucet, consider adding an aerator. Aerators add water to the water as it flows through, allowing you to conserve water by reducing the volume of the flow without reducing water pressure.
  • The Federal Energy Management Program recommends not installing any flow limiters during faucet retrofitting, since they may reduce flow too much and increase the risk of thermal shock.

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