How to Replace Shower Handle Without Replacing Valve- DIY Tips

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Bathtub enclosures and shower stalls usually have humid climates, and this is not good, especially for faucet handles. If you are using hard water, the faucets can turn white and get discolored as a result of using the water frequently. The shower faucet handles also have threads that can be corroded by the mineral water, which keeps dripping on the valve parts.

One of the plumbing challenges is to replace shower and tub handles, but this should not worry you. Just before you embark on this challenging task, make sure you switch the water supply off. This task is not very hard if you follow the right procedure as follows:

Things You Will Need

  • File
  • Spray lubricant
  • Hammer
  • Slot Screwdriver
  • Allen wrenches
  • Number two Philips screwdriver

How to Replace Shower Handle Without Replacing Valve

Step by Step Guide

  • Examine the handles. Screws hold most handles, and sometimes you may not see them. If you do not see the screws, please check them behind the plugs. They also have Allen nuts, which generally hold a type of handles called lever-style handles. 
  • Pry off the plug with a slot screwdriver. It looks like a cap that is at the front of either faceted or round handles. In most cases, you will see the manufacturer’s logo on the cap. You need to work the screwdriver’s tip and plug it up gently.
  • Use number two screwdriver of a Phillips type. If you cannot turn it, strip its head. If this is not practically successful, pour some lubricant on it and wait for some minutes before you can try again.
  • Removing the valve system requires that you pull the handle. However, if you are doing this with little or no success, try tapping it gently with a hammer. This will ensure that it becomes loose. This will also remove corrosion around the area.
  • To loosen the nut which holds the handle (lever-style), you will need an Allen wrench for this purpose. A wrench measuring 1/8 inches will work best on your handle. It is wise to have a wide range of wrenches just in case the screws are bigger. You may now pull the system of the handle from the nut to make it free. 
  • Inspect the tip of the valve system. Be careful not to strip the threads by turning the valve. This is if it is possible when turning the old handle. The threads can be renewed using a file, but you will need to replace the whole system if they are completely worn out. This work is for a plumber to turn off the water system. This is because you may not be comfortable doing it.
  • The valve system should have the notches lined up. This will orient your new handle. Having the Allen nut and Phillips screw tightened, you can now pull the handle, but it should not come off.
  • Have the plug tapped into place if any is using a hammer. There are marks or colors on faucets. They are purposely there to indicate hot or cold water. Always make sure that they are on the right handles.


To pull off a stuck handle can get complicated sometimes. Between the wall and the handle, lever a screwdriver just to get the handle off. To make the task easier, place a piece of wood between the wall and the screwdriver. This also protects the wall. If you see the leakage from the valve, that means the handle will get wet, and this will slowly destroy the handle. You need to switch the water off, get the stem removed, and replace those washers that are worn out.


You probably use the washroom most frequently at home. This room should be able to withstand frequent use, dampness, and temperature changes.

Therefore, doing replacements of the items and parts should also be frequent. For example, shower handles should be replaced every time there is a leakage. You will find a wide range of faucet handles in the market. Singles, doubles, and triples are all available in the stores. However, it depends on the kind of handle that suits your requirements.

Avatar for Shelly Rhoades
by Shelly Rhoades
Having recognized the need for accessible and affordable solutions in the remodeling industry, Shelly founded Affordable Kitchen and Baths with the mission of helping homeowners create their dream spaces without breaking the bank. Her dedication to providing reliable advice and quality resources has garnered her a loyal following and established her as a go-to resource for anyone looking to transform their kitchen or bathroom.

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