Replacing a shower valve isn’t a painful process. It is easy. In this guide, we will reveal simple sets of instructions. After reading them, you will feel way more confident doing this yourself. In addition, we will also highlight some important points that often baffle a common person about shower valves.
If you are a beginner and don’t know anything about the shower valve, it is actually a pressure balancing valve. It assists in controlling and maintaining the water temperature of your shower.
When your shower doesn’t work properly, it usually means the issue is in the valve.
A damaged valve can cause leakage issue, the bad flow of water, or inconsistent temperature.
Some people confuse the valve terms with the faucet. But, it is an utterly different component. It is the required part of the shower that sits inside the wall. In other words, you actually don’t see it. Its main purpose is to connect hot and cold shower lines in your home and mix them according to your desire. It often has 2 inlets and 2 outlets, known as a hot inlet, cold inlet, shower pipe outlet, and tub spout outlet.
When Exactly Do You Need to Replace It?
- The most obvious reason is leakage. It starts leaking, and it is pertinent for you to fix it as soon as possible too. Since it leaks behind the walls. It appears a minor issue, but in reality, it causes a lot more unseen damage. If you won’t replace it quickly, you will notice wet and damaged bathroom walls in no time.
- Dirt build-up also damages the valve. This is common in those areas which deal with hard water on a constant basis. It can be cleaned, but it is better to replace the valve in this condition as well. Otherwise, you have to change the valve time and time again.
- The age of the valve and or the extra pressure of water through the pipelines can also compel you to replace it. The seals of the valve fail and cause it to leak. Furthermore, the temperature of the shower also starts to fluctuate. Before replacing the valve, make sure it isn’t receiving the extra pressure of water through the main pipelines.
- Apart from this, the other reason that can compel you to replace it is its slow reaction. It brings a funny kind of terror when you are standing under the shower and relishing your moments, sudden scalding hot water burn you without any notice. Similarly, the chilling cold water can charge any time and make you jump out of the shower.
How Much Does It Cost?
If you are replacing it on your own, it shouldn’t cost you more than $100. In fact, it can be replaced for just $20 too. It all depends on the model. However, if you are calling a plumber, he shouldn’t charge you more than $430. The normal rate is around $150. But, again, it depends on the situation.
In case you are thinking why professional plumbers charge a lot, it is because it isn’t a few minutes project. It can take from a few hours to a one complete day.
Steps to Replace A Shower Valve
Follow these below instructions to replace a shower valve.
Step #1: You have to work inside the wall. Therefore, turn off the water supply first. Also, don’t forget to cover the drain system too, as while disassembling the valve, screws or other small components can fall inside it.
Step #2: Take the shower handle off. However, before doing that, it is better to assess the model of it. Locate the screw, which you can find under the handle mostly. Recent models are without screws. All you need is to rotate them counterclockwise to remove them.
Step #3: Once the handle is removed, the next step is to remove the trim plate. There can be caulk around it. Remove it carefully with a pointed knife. The valve is right behind the trim plate. It will be exposed as you remove it. As you see the valve take it out with needlenose pliers. Bear in mind, it can be tough in some conditions, especially, if it is installed well behind the wall. You may need to cut an access hole more to reach it better.
Step #4: Install the new valve. It doesn’t require special kind of plumbing or technical knowledge. Just grip its end with pliers and slide it back into its slot. After that, fix the trim plate again and install the handle as well. In a way, you have to reverse the entire process after replacing the shower valve.
Replacing the shower valve is not that difficult. It requires time and patience. After installing the new valve, don’t forget to check it. Usually, these above steps resolve the problem.
In case it is still leaking or causing fluctuation in temperature, it means you either have to disconnect the pipe fittings and install the new pipes or fix the cavity in a pipe or clean the build-up from the inside properly. In these both cases, you need professional assistance.