Repairing a Tub-and-Shower Valve

Repair a Tub-and-Shower Valve

A tub and shower valve is for those who have a combination of bathtub and shower in their bathrooms. What happens is, whenever the shower knob will be turned on there would be a small amount of water seen coming out of the tub faucet. Now you might think that since it\’s a small amount, you shouldn\’t worry about it. But, that isn\’t the fact as the small drops of water will become big drops of water if left unfixed. Basically, the water that was leaking was coming from the shower valve thus spreading out into the tub faucet.

Some of us think a dripping faucet as annoying as the sound can be, but nevertheless we don\’t do anything to stop the problem thus leaving precious water being wasted. Using basic hand tools, anybody can learn and repair a tub and shower valve-related problem.

What you need:

  1. Screwdriver (slotted and Phillips)
  2. Adjustable wrench
  3. Pliers
  4. Shower bonnet socket
  5. Shower valve replacement kit or washer
  6. Handle puller
  7. Plumber\’s putty
  8. Seat wrench
  9. Electrical tape
  10. Vaseline
  11. Toothbrush


  1. Firstly, make sure that you turn off the main water supply for the faucet. Next, remove the valve cover or gently pry off the valve cover.
  2. If your diverter is not being hold by a screw, you need to use a shower stem socket in order to loosen the diverter.
  3. Once, it has been removed, unscrew the stem from the diverter. If you notice that it is worn out or damaged, you should be replacing the stem valve or resurface them.
  4. Then, you need to look into the side of the valve that contains a washer. Clean it using a toothbrush along with some white vinegar and water so that it is cleared off from the mineral deposits. Make sure that the washer is always in good condition, and if not you may want to replace it with a new one.
  5. If you are replacing the old washer into the valve, you need to apply a thin coat of Vaseline so that it will enable the washer to seat properly into the valve. The screw that holds the washer also needs to be replaced with a new one.
  6. If the need arises for you to also replace the valve stem, place the new one to the valve\’s original location and screw it back into the wall by using the shower stem socket. You must always do it carefully without securing it tightly.
  7. Finally, replace your valve cover using a light film of plumber\’s putty along the edge so that you can provide a watertight seal before turning on back the water supply. Maker sure to check if there is any leak from the faucet.

Image Credit:

Flickr CC

Additional Reading:

Plumbing Complete: Expert Advice from Start to Finish (Taunton\’s Complete)

Renovating a Bathroom (For Pros by Pros Series)