Understanding Plumbing Problems

There aren't many household systems more confusing than plumbing, which is why I stopped trying to fix mine on my own. I realized that taking things apart was increasingly more difficult, so I stopped guessing and started looking for a trained expert who could come out and help. When I found the right professional, it was amazing to see how much easier things were. They went through, evaluated my plumbing system, and made changes that changed my home from the inside-out. Check out this blog to find out more about how to avoid plumbing problems and when to hire a professional of your own.

DIY Repair For A Leaky Shower


If you have a single-handle shower that constantly drips after using it, a simple DIY repair will get rid of that annoying water leak. You'll need a few simple tools and a couple of hours to complete this project. Here are the step-by-step instructions for this DIY plumbing repair.

What You'll Need

  • regular screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • pliers
  • rags for clean up

From your local plumbing supply store:

  • plumber's grease
  • replacement cartridge

Steps to Removing the Leaking Shower Cartridge

  1. Turn off the water to the shower using the shutoff valve. If a valve isn't available, then turn off the water to the house temporarily.
  2. Pry the cover off of the round shower handle.
  3. Loosen the screw in the center of the handle.
  4. Pull the shower handle off and set aside.
  5. Pull off the short stop tube that supported the handle and set aside.
  6. You now see the cartridge which is held in place with a spring or clip. Pull the spring or clip up and away from the cartridge.
  7. Grab the cartridge and pull it straight out of the shower.
  8. Wipe off the surface around the shower handle and inside the hole where the cartridge was secured.

Each shower manufacturer has a little different design for their shower cartridges. Take the old cartridge to the home improvement or plumbing supplies store and have the staff match the cartridge for you.

Steps to Installing the New Cartridge

  1. Place a little plumber's grease on the rubber washer on the cartridge.
  2. Push the cartridge into the hole, washer end first. You may have to turn the cartridge a bit as you push until it slips into place.
  3. Insert the clip or spring that came with the new cartridge into the slot to hold the cartridge securely.
  4. Push the stop tube over the cartridge until it's secure.
  5. Attach the handle to the end of the cartridge with the screw.
  6. Put the cover back onto the handle over the screw.
  7. Turn the water back on to the house or shower and test your work.

Problems Requiring Help

There are a few issues you may encounter that need special tools or the help of a plumber to resolve.

  • The handle won't come off - Corrosion may cause the handle to stick to the cartridge. A special tool is available to force the handle off.
  • The cartridge won't come out - This could again be a corrosion problem. A cartridge-pulling tool is available from each manufacturer for their specific cartridge design.
  • Leaking after a new cartridge is installed - This means that the copper pipe running to the water pipes behind the wall is corroded and the cartridge is not getting a good seal. A plumbing service company like Mike Hensley Plumbing Inc will need to replace that short pipe so you can get a water-tight seal with the cartridge in place.


27 August 2015