When you want to simply change the temperature of the water while you shower, a valve of a two-handle shower is a perfect gadget that you can install in your bathroom.
The home appliances are typically quite fashionable while also being extremely long-lasting due to their design, which allows them to withstand rough usage and attrition by various natural factors, including water.
Nevertheless, the shower valve with two handles is prone to malfunctioning and developing leaks occasionally.
When anything like this occurs, it is not always required to call your plumber to repair them, especially considering how laborious and pricey the process of doing so can be.
We will walk you through the process of replacing a valve of a two-handle shower on your own with common household tools that you already possess.
Reasons To Replace Two-Handle Shower Valve
Changing or replacing the valve of a two-handle shower can be done for a variety of reasons. The shower valve has been knocked out of alignment after you did extensive repairs.
In order to make an educated conclusion, you must first determine the degree of the damage, if any. If you’re considering investing in the greatest smart shower, you may want to know if it can work with the current shower valves before making a purchase decision.
Some shower valves need to be replaced or repaired because they break. A two-handled valve may no longer be available in the market if it has been around for a long time.
In other cases, the valve may have suffered irreparable damage after a long period of use. This could lead to the need for a new one.
Two-handle shower valves can also be corroded by water that has a pH greater than normal, which is the most common cause.
Replace shower valves if this is the case and if there are shower valves that can withstand the chemical composition in the water that are currently accessible.
Repairing items that will later fail will inevitably lead to further costs.
Know The Model Of 2-Handle Shower Faucet
If you only want to replace the shower faucet with the same brand, the first thing you need to do for this project is figure out who manufactured the shower faucet you now have.
If you continue to use the same brand throughout the process, this is definitely a good place to start because it will likely result in fewer problems.
If not, the following is a guide on how to figure it out. You should be able to identify the manufacturer of your shower handle by looking at the trim plate.
It should be a brand name or symbol on the same. Be aware that parts for some types are not often sold at the kinds of hardware stores that you would expect to find them in.
It’s possible that you’ll need to do some shopping online or visit a local plumbing supply outlet. Because the majority of their customers are professional plumbers and contractors, they typically stock components of a higher grade.
Required Items To To Replace Two Handle Shower Valve
A new unique cover plate is obviously going to be the thing you will need to replace that old shower valve with two leaking handles; in order to maximize your time and effort, pick a model that just has one handle and is resistant to scalding.
It is important to note that though this replacement process can be rather difficult, it would not necessarily require you to rip tiles off of damaged bathroom walls.
Before you get started on the endeavor of replacing something, you need to ensure that you have all of the necessary tools and materials available:
- Conversion plate
- Soldering torch
- Slip-joint pliers
- 4-in-1 screwdriver
- New shower valve
- Pipe fittings
Process Of Replacement
You’ll need to take extra precautions if you want to replace the old valve of the shower with a new one without damaging your bathroom tiles.
In order to prevent the leak from becoming more costly or dangerous, this operation must be carried out as soon as possible.
Using a conversion plate to switch from a two-handled to a single-handled valve would be the most cost-effective approach to replace the valve.
After the replacement, the convertible plate will verify that there are no aesthetic flaws. This is due to the fact that the old holes of the valve will be covered.
The only thing you’ll want to do is make a hole in the tile in the bathroom. Don’t forget to get a wide enough cover plate so that the former valve position is adequately protected.
It’s possible to find conversion plates for less than $20 at your local hardware store or online. Look for and replace loose rusty pipes or other potential plumbing issues during the replacement process.
As a bonus, you’ll avoid an unwarranted increase in the water bill and save $200 on plumbing costs.
How To Replace Two Handle Shower Valve – Complete Process
In the event that it becomes necessary, utilize the instructions that are outlined below as a reference for changing a shower valve that has two handles.
Switch Off The Water Supply
When performing operations related to plumbing, the first thing that must be done is to shut down the water supply.
Before attempting to replace your shower valve, you must first shut down the water supply to your bathroom. After that, release some of the pressure in the pipes by turning on the faucet.
After this has been completed, you will be able to proceed with replacing the valve.
Remove Stems & Handles
Carefully take off the handle cover by utilizing the appropriate tools, and do it with caution. You could need a screwdriver, or an adjustable wrench, depending on the kind of valve you’re working on.
Make sure you store all the parts in a little box to keep them secure. If any are lost during the deconstruction process, the entire replacement can be compromised as a result.
As soon as you have successfully removed the handles, proceed immediately to remove anything that is connected to your valve.
To get started, remove the stems of the plant as carefully as possible from all sides. Wrench, screwdriver, and adjustable wrenches are the three hand instruments most effective for this particular task.
In most cases, the stems are designed in the form of screws, which enables the user to unscrew them. The majority of its stems feature sleeves at the ends of their grips.
Therefore, take off the sleeves in order to access the stem. If the stem is made of plastic, you must first remove the screw and then the stem.
Be sure to store them somewhere secure, as you will require them in order to make a replacement at some point.
Remove The Problematic Valve
The following stage will depend on the construction of the bathroom and will be determined once you have removed the valve and the components.
If you can find a way to go around the wall, it will significantly simplify the task at hand. If you are unable to do so, you should construct a hole that will allow moving around while you are working on a replacement.
Carefully separate an old or broken valve from the hot and cold water pipes before attempting to remove it from the system.
Also, disconnect the pipe that carries water to the shower head if there is one. Use an adjustable wrench to loosen the screws on them.
After removing the malfunctioning or outdated valve, you need to ensure that the old fitting is stored somewhere secure for later use.
Be careful to exercise caution when removing the old one and follow all the necessary steps.
Replace Valves & Other Parts
A replacement valve should be installed in the same place as the previous one. Screw the new valve with the pipes with the proper tools and fittings.
Make certain that you connect in the same manner as the original because even a small mistake might cause issues. Wrap the adapters and couplings in Teflon tape.
We hope that this summary will dissuade any future breaches. When installing a plumbing system, make sure that each water line pipe is properly connected to its respective vent.
If you use the correct fittings, it will take a few minutes to get the valve working. In the case of PEX tubing, be sure you evaluate exactly one colon.
Also, utilize female threaded adapters and couplings for all pipes to connect tubing to all vents. This method can also add or replace small tubing with correct fittings.
Remember to utilize the PEX tube cutter for a clean cut. To prevent future leaks, make sure to wrap the adapters in Teflon tape. If you don’t perform it correctly, there may be leaks.
You’ll next proceed to reinstall the valve in a similar position as before once everything is in order. The new valve should be firmly attached to its new location.
You can then install your two-handle shower valve after you have completed this. This can be accomplished by reattaching all handles, stems, and other components.
Turn On The Water Supply
Turn on the water supply and test out the new valve while it is running. To release the water, turn both of the handles counterclockwise.
If the task is done correctly, then there will be no leaks to be found.
Challenges With Valve Replacement
It is important to remember that shower valve replacement can provide some difficulties in the above-mentioned operations.
That means that rather than a simple replacement project that could cost you $20 to $100, it could easily cost you $300 or more.
Even though it’s a simple procedure, you may run into difficulties if you don’t have access to the wall’s interior. The layout and style of the bathroom and shower could lead to this.
So what exactly happens here? Obviously, you’d have to pull down walls or remove tiles in order to get in. If your shower’s old pipes are constructed of galvanized steel, you’ll face another challenge.
Cutting the pipes will damage the threaded part of the steel pipes, making it impossible to reconnect the replacement pipes.
Once you’ve considered all of your options, you’ll be better prepared to decide whether or not you want to tackle the task of replacing your old, leaky shower valve on your own or hire a qualified professional plumber.
Most modern homes are equipped with two-handle shower valves as standard equipment. A lot of people need their bathrooms to seem a little more like a spa, and these toilets fit the bill well.
Most appliances are built to endure several years before they need to be repaired or replaced, so this isn’t a common problem.
Changing out a two-handled valve is a simple process, as we’ve already established. It’s imperative that you have a basic understanding of plumbing before attempting this Do-it-yourself (DIY) project.
If you don’t want to constantly run back to the store to grab anything you don’t remember while leaving your house in shambles, you’ll need to stock up on the appropriate tools before you go.
You may find yourself needing the contact information of a trained technician in a number of situations. A two-handled valve replacement may require more information if things do not go according to plan.
Because of this, you’ll want a backup strategy if you’re going it alone. However, replacing a two-handled valve should not be too difficult.
When it comes to replacing a two-handled valve with a single-handle unit, the same applies.
Brandon Mooneyham is our senior writer and editor at StayDomio covering everything about bathroom showers, renovations & solving problems. Brandon spent 6 years as a professional plumber (licensed plumber), foreman, and supervisor. He lives in Nashville with her wife, two daughters & a dog. He spends his free time upgrading his big backyard.