Generally if something goes wrong with a faucet handle, you will need to replace it. Here are some easy-to-follow instructions for replacing a shower or bathroom faucet handle.
Every house has multiple faucets, in bathtubs, showers, and bathroom and kitchen sinks. The handle is the part of the faucet that gets moved and touched the most, making it particularly prone to wear and tear. Faucet handles in bathroom fixtures also have to contend with high humidity, so they are especially prone to discoloration and cracking. When this happens, you will have to remove the old handle and install a new one in its place.
Bathroom Faucet Step-by-Step Instructions
Step 1. Remove the center screw cover from the faucet handle. This decorative cover is designed to conceal the screw that attaches the handle to the faucet. Pop out this cover by gently prying it with a flat-head screwdriver.
Step 2. Now that you can see the retaining screw, it’s time to remove it. Use the appropriate screwdriver and turn it counterclockwise to remove the screw attaching the handle to the faucet.
Step 3. Pull gently on the handle toward yourself, removing it from the faucet. Glide the replacement handle over the stem of the faucet.
Step 4. Now re-attach the retaining screw, tightening it with a screwdriver. Your new handle is now firmly affixed to the faucet.
Step 5. The final step is to replace the decorative cap over the screw. Center the cap carefully and push it in slowly until it clicks into place.
Shower Faucet Step-by-Step Instructions
The process is similar for replacing the handle of a shower faucet. When these start leaking or become old and damaged, you will need to replace them. In some cases you will have to replace the whole handle, while in other cases replacing the rubber gasket will do the trick.
Step 1. First, turn the water supply off to the shower or tub. Turn on the faucet to drain any water still in the pipes.
Step 2. Carefully pry the cover of the handle off using a screwdriver. This decorative cover hides the retaining screw. Now remove the screw too. Pull the faucet away from the stem, revealing the showerhead assembly.
Step 3. Inspect the insides of the showerhead. If you see a black residue, you’ll probably need to replace the gasket. Remove this rubber gasket using a screwdriver.
Step 4. Wipe out the inside of the showerhead using a damp cloth to clean away residue. If you see a buildup of minerals on the showerhead, remove this buildup with a powerful lime removing product.
Step 5. Place the new gasket inside the showerhead. Now put the shower faucet handle (either a new one or the old one) back in place and attach it using the retaining screw. Once you’ve tightened the screw, replace the decorative cover.
Simple repair jobs like this are well within most people’s capabilities. They don’t take a lot of time, and they will save you the money that you would otherwise have to pay the plumber. When you’re buying new parts, make sure that they match your faucet and are of good quality.