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by Nannette Richford
If your old shower needs a lift, an easy way to brighten things up is to replace the shower faucet and hardware. Whether your shower faucets leak or you just want to update your bathroom with a new design, the first step is to remove that old shower faucet. Removing old tub and shower faucets is simple, and you'll only need a few tools and some simple steps to switch out that old shower faucet and have your bath looking like new.
Shut the water off to your shower. Most showers do not have individual shut-off valves, so you may need to turn the water supply off where it enters your home. If you know where shut-off valves are that lead to just your bathroom, that will work as well. Turn your faucet handles on to drain the water from the shower fixture. This will help you see if the water is properly shut off.
Protect your tub or shower floor. Place a thick towel on the bottom of the shower or tub to protect the surface from damage if a tool happens to drop. This also prevents parts of the shower faucet from falling into the drain.
Pry the plastic cap off the shower faucet handle. This cap conceals the screws that hold the shower faucet together. Slip the end of a flat-head screwdriver under the rim and pry gently.
Remove the screws behind the faucet cap with a screwdriver.
Pull the handle off the faucet stem to reveal the metal plate that rests against the shower wall. Remove any caulking or silicone around the metal plate and pull it away from the wall.
Locate the stem nut. If the nut extends past the surface of the wall, remove it with an adjustable wrench. If it is recessed behind the shower wall, you will need a shower-stem socket or pliers to reach into the hole and loosen the nut. If the nut resists or appears rusted or corroded, apply rust remover and allow it to set for a few minutes to loosen it.
Install and test your new shower faucet. If you are installing a different type of shower faucet, be sure to read the instructions before connecting the pieces. After installing, you can turn the water back on. Flush a toilet or turn on an outdoor faucet to let water run through a hose. This forces the air and dirt that can damage your shower faucet and other fixtures out of the pipes. After that, you can safely test your new shower faucet.
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