One of the most used features of every home is the shower. It generally gets used at least once a day, depending on the size of your household of course. Since showers are used so much, it’s no surprise that they start to look old and worn, or even break.
One way to spruce up the entire bathroom is by replacing the shower handles. This will help make the shower look new and shiny once again, or fix them if they were broken. Sometimes when trying to replace the shower handle, you may notice that there don’t appear to be any screws to remove the handle. This brings up the question, how do you remove a shower handle that doesn’t have screws?
First, remove the handle cap to make sure there are no hidden screws. Then simply turn the handle until it comes off. There is no set amount of times to turn the handle, just wait until it pops off easily.
As you can see, removing shower handles without screws doesn’t have to be super stressful. Really, removing a shower handle without screws is a fairly easy and straightforward process. But what if the handle is stuck? What if you did find screws underneath the handle cap? The processes for both of these situations are just slightly different but they still will not take much more time than the other process. For more information on the process of removing shower handles, and more detailed directions, keep reading below!
How Do Shower Handles Work?
Shower handles are valves. When twisted or pulled, they will turn on the water and control the water flow. When twisted the opposite way or pushed, the valve will close and the water will turn off. There may only be one handle that controls hot and cold water, and if this is the case it means that there is only one valve.
Some showers have two handles, meaning that there are at least two valves. These valves are present no matter what type of shower you have. This means that standalone shower and tub/shower combinations will both have these valves.
Most newer showers have devices that can help control the temperature of the water as well. This means that the water will never be scalding. Older homes, or even just older tubs, do not have this feature, meaning that there is a lot of twisting involved to find the perfect temperature of water for the shower. Having a device to control the water temperature is especially nice when there are children or animals in the house because it helps ensure that no one gets burned from a scalding shower.
Why Remove Them?
Shower handles may need to be removed for a variety of reasons. A big reason they may need to be removed is that they are broken. Having anything break is annoying, but it’s especially annoying when it’s something that is used as often as a shower is. Whether the hot water won’t turn hot, the handle won’t move, or maybe there is a visible crack or dent on it, the handle will need to be removed in order to be fixed or replaced.
Another reason the shower handle may need to be removed is purely for aesthetic purposes. It may be a complete bathroom remodel or just a small but nice upgrade to make everything more aesthetically pleasing, but in both cases, the shower handle will need to be removed before a new one can be put on. A new shower handle can spruce up any bathroom and make it feel like a new space. But the only way to do that is by removing the current shower handles first.
Twisting Shower Handle
If there are not any visible screws, there is a good chance that you can simply twist the shower handle to remove it from the shower or tub. If you have the user manual for the current shower handles, it should tell you if you can twist them to remove them. This can also be looked up online if you know the manufacturer and model of the handles.
But if you don’t know this information, and do not have the manual, don’t worry. It will quickly become apparent if this is the process for you. If there are any hidden screws, or the handle will not move at all when you are trying to twist it off, then you will know that this method of removing the shower handle is not the one for you.
First, turn off the water supply. This will affect the entire house, but you should be able to turn it back on soon. Then simply twist the handle counterclockwise, or left. There is no set amount of times that you will have to turn the handle, however, it should not take long. The handle cap and handle should pop off fairly quickly and easily. The process is really that quick.
There is no reason to rush the process, partly because it is so fast anyway, but also because you do not want to make any sort of mistake. Just take your time and wait for the handle to come off of the shower easily and without any resistance. There is no need for you to put in much effort with twisting shower handles since they come off that easily.
More Removal Methods
If the shower handle does not have any screws whatsoever, twisting the shower handle is the way that it will need to be removed. But sometimes, once the shower cap is removed, things can be revealed. I am talking about hidden screws, screws that were not visible just by looking at the handle.
Sometimes, whether there a screws or not, the handle is stuck and just will not come off no matter what you try to do. Or the screws that you find could be stripped. If you have tried everything and the handle still will not come off, or you do not want to deal with the process of removing the shower handle at all, you can also call in a professional to do it for you. It does not matter what process you end up going with though as long as the results are what you want, getting that shower handle removed.
Hidden screws are screws that are not visible just by looking at the handle. This is because they are hidden underneath the handle cap. Although it may be annoying to find out that what you thought would be a quick and easy process will not be as quick or easy as you believed, the process is still very similar to the one above. And it does not take that much more time or effort than a twisting handle does even though it may feel differently. Before beginning the project, be sure that the water is shut off. Then grab a screwdriver or an Allen wrench.
First, you will want to remove the handle cap. To do this, you should be able to just twist it off like you are beginning the process above. With the handle cap off, if there are any screws, you should be able to see them now, which is why you would be switching to this process.
The type of screwdriver you use to remove the screws depends on what type of screws you find. This is also true for the size because small screws will need a smaller screwdriver. It is a safe bet that a Phillips Head screwdriver or an Allen wrench should get the job done though. Using a generous amount of pressure, but not too much, twist the screws counterclockwise, or left. They should come out fairly quickly, then making it possible to remove the shower handle from the tub.
Stuck Shower Handle
If you have tried twisting the handle with no luck, and check for hidden screws, then the shower handle is probably stuck. But, that does not mean that you can’t still get it off yourself. By purchasing a handle and sleeve puller kit, you should be able to remove the shower handle easily. They are fairly inexpensive, especially when compared to the price of a plumber. And they make removing a stuck shower handle so much easier than trying other people’s tips and tricks that you may find online.
You simply put the tool on the shower handle and twist it. And it should come off very easily. A handle and sleeve puller kit are very safe to use, and they will not damage the valve or handle in any way.
Using a handle and sleeve puller kit is definitely the easiest and fastest way to get a stuck shower handle off. And this will work whether the handles have screws or not. But, you can try to use a wrench or screwdriver to remove it as well.
For a wench, you will put it on the handle and try to make it turn. This gives you more leverage and possibly a better grip to hopefully remove the handle. If you choose to use a screwdriver, you will need to look for the center screw. The shower cap may need to be removed to find it, or it could be underneath your shower handle, so look around carefully. With the center screw removed, the handle should come off pretty easily.
The center screw that you may find will have to be removed to get the handle off of the tub. This should not be something to worry about with handles that twisted off, it is only for if you found a screw. If you are trying to remove the screw but the screwdriver will not fit with the screw or it keeps moving out of place, you may have a stripped screw. A stripped screw just means that the slots on top of the screw have worn down. This makes it very hard to remove them since it is hard for the screwdriver to get a good enough grip on them to make them move. But you may still be able to remove it and the shower handles themselves.
There are a few different things you can try to remove a stripped screw. The first possible solution requires penetrating oil and an Allen wrench. Put the oil on the screw, then get the Allen wrench in. The screw should hopefully come out quickly with this process. However, if it doesn’t come out, you can try another method. For this one, you will need a Philips head screwdriver. For this, insert the screwdriver, find the right bite, then turn the screwdriver clockwise. This method may take more time, so if nothing is seeming to happen, give it a few more minutes before trying this last one.
This last method of removing stripped screws is not the safest one. It takes more precision and focus to ensure your safety and to prevent things from breaking. Using a hammer and a flathead drill bit is a quick and pretty cheap, thing that you can try. Simply put the flathead drill bit on top of the screw and hit it with the hammer. But you have to be gentle with the hammering so nothing is broken.
Then, you connect the drill bit to the drill and turn it on low. It should hopefully make it so that a screwdriver will then work to remove the screw. If you choose to do this method, be very careful. You do not want to accidentally break valves or pipes because that would bring a whole new set of problems. And use all the safety precautions that you can to prevent injuring yourself during the process. Here are some other tips for removing a stripped screw.
If all else fails and that shower handle just will not come off no matter what you try to do, it may be time to call in a professional. Whether the handle is stuck, the screws won’t come out, or the handle won’t twist to come off, a professional will be able to help you. Having a plumber come in and do it for you may cost a lot of money, but it will most likely save you time in the long run.
Instead of trying to remove the handles yourself and dealing with them not having screws or having hidden screws, you can let a plumber worry about it all. Or maybe you have tried every method listed above and it still won’t budge no matter what you do, having a plumber come help you may be the only solution.
For those that have not even tried removing the handle yet, I recommend seeing if you can simply twist it off before calling a professional to do it for you. If it does not start twisting off easily, and you don’t want to try anything else, then that would be the time to find a plumber. Obviously, the final decision is up to you, however, I recommend trying to do it yourself first. For more advice, check out this site.