How to Replace Shower Faucet Stems

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A shower faucet stem is the connection from the wall pipe to the shower and brings in the hot and cold water. Sometimes the shower stems need to be replaced when there is leakage or dripping from the shower head or spout. Replacing the shower faucet stem may take up to 30 minutes.

Things You'll Need

  • Socket wrench
  • Screwdriver or wrench
  • Turn the water off. The water can be turned off from a valve located in the ground on the outside of the home.

  • Remove faucet handles for hot and cold water in order to reach the stems. Use a screwdriver to remove the one screw in the center of each handle. Some handles are a little different and can be removed by using a wrench to turn them counterclockwise in order to loosen them. Then, continue to turn them towards the left by hand to remove.

  • Use a socket wrench to remove old shower faucet stems. Attach the socket wrench to fit onto the stem and nut that keeps the stem attached to the pipe in the wall. Turn it wrench counterclockwise to the loosen the nut. Then, remove the nut and stem by hand.

  • Replace the shower faucet stem. Screw the new stem back onto the connection in the shower wall. Place the nut on the tip of the pipe, at the end of the new stem, and turn clockwise to tighten.

  • Turn the water back on. Test the stem for leakage. If water seeps out, then make sure the nut is completely tight on the connection of the stem.

  • Slip faucet handles back onto the shower stems. Place the screws back into the center of the handles, and tighten them.

Tips & Warnings

  • Get a socket wrench that fits the size of the stem. They come in various sizes and will be available in kits so that you can purchase and test several different sizes.

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  • Photo Credit shower image by Dragan Trifunovic from Fotolia.com
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