Common problems with single mixer shower valves include leaking, particularly under the handle, dripping from the faucet and water coming out of the showerhead and spout at the same time. Most of these problems can be fixed with a plumber’s wrench and access to a hardware store to pick up simple, inexpensive parts, such as cartridges and vacuum breaker balls. Repairing single mixer shower valves on your own can be an economical choice.
Things You'll Need
- Plumber’s wrench
- Vacuum breaker ball assembly kit
- Replacement cartridge
Turn the water supply off, and cover the drain to keep debris from falling into it.
Check for a loose adjusting ring if your hose or bath-style single mixer shower leaks under the handle. Remove any cap or plate with a screwdriver or by levering it off, and tighten the piece of brass you find under the cap. Older shower faucets use a vacuum breaker ball. A breaker vacuum ball has two vent holes. Pull apart and replace the ball assembly with a kit from the hardware store.
Replace the cartridge if leaks appear in the wall showerhead or the wall valve. The cartridge is in the valve. Undo the parts in order that are they are installed in the wall. Start with the fascia plate. If necessary, pry the cap off to get to the screw. Remove the screw. Pull the parts off until you get to the cartridge, which is cylindrical and likely to be right at the back. Insert the new cartridge and put the parts back together in reverse order.
Turn the water back on again and test the shower.