Shower Faucet That Won’t Turn Off All the Way – How to Fix It

Shower faucets that won’t shut off completely can be a major nuisance, particularly if it causes your water bill to soar. In this article, we’ll provide some easy solutions so you can enjoy your shower once more without worry.

First, shut off the water at the main valve. Afterward, take a picture of your faucet and its handles so you have it handy in case you ever need replacement parts in the future.

Fix 1: Tighten the Handle Screw

Some faucet handles may have a screw that comes loose and prevents them from turning off completely. This is an issue that often arises, and you can fix it easily with some tools. Start by tightening the handle screw.

There are several reasons why a screw may become loose. One possibility is mineral deposits from water in the screw’s mechanism that makes it turn easily. You can try cleaning the handle to temporarily solve this problem.

If the above method doesn’t work, try tightening the set screw holding the handle in place with either a hex wrench or screwdriver for side-mount screws, and/or using a flathead screwdriver for top-mount screws.

You should be able to locate the screw on the center of your shower handle by prying off its cap. Generally located at the front of the knob, this cap displays either a manufacturer’s logo or a circle with blue and red markings for hot and cold water.

To tighten the screw, use a hex wrench or screwdriver specifically designed for side-mount screws. Furthermore, applying threadlocking compound on the threads of the screw helps prevent it from backing out again.

Other than a loose screw, another possible reason why the handle won’t turn off completely is damage. This usually occurs when the stem tip has ridges that attach to those inside the handle.

These ridges can become worn down over time, preventing the handle to securely grip around the stem of your faucet. Without being able to tighten securely when in the shower, your faucet won’t completely shut off all water flow.

If your shower isn’t functioning optimally, it’s essential to address the root cause of the issue promptly. Doing so can save both time and money in the long run; having this issue fixed before it worsens is recommended.

If your shower isn’t fully shutting off, it could be a sign that something is wrong with the valve. In this instance, replacing either the cartridge or valve may be necessary; these repairs are relatively straightforward but you must first turn off all water supply before beginning any work.

Fix 2: Replace the Cartridge

Your shower faucet is a fixture you likely use daily, and having issues can be frustrating. Fortunately, these issues are easy to resolve with just a few simple steps.

If the handle on your shower faucet isn’t fully turning off, it may be time to replace the cartridge. Replacing this part can restore your shower’s functionality while saving water at the same time.

Changeing a cartridge isn’t difficult and can be done by anyone with basic plumbing knowledge. Just remember to shut off the water before beginning and be cautious not to apply too much pressure when working on it.

To take out the cartridge, you will need to loosen both the plastic turning device and screw that holds it in place. This can be easily done with a screwdriver.

Once the parts have been looseened, slide them off the cartridge and set aside. Locate the cartridge retaining nut and unscrew it using pliers if necessary; alternatively, you could also try loosening this nut with your hand before taking it away from the faucet body.

Removing an old cartridge is a straightforward procedure; just remember to note its orientation so you can reinstall it in its proper place. For easier installation, add some special lube that your new cartridge comes with to make things go more smoothly.

Now, insert the new cartridge into the body of the faucet, making sure both cold and hot sides line up in exactly the same manner as before. This step is especially critical if you want to prevent reversing your water’s temperature.

Once everything is back together, test your faucet to make sure it functions. If it still won’t turn off completely, it may be time for a professional’s help.

If the problem with your faucet isn’t solved after replacing the cartridge, there could be another underlying cause for it. This could include a broken stem tip, broken handle, or debris stuck anywhere in the system.

Fix 3: Check the Installation

If your shower faucet doesn’t fully shut off, it could be indicative of an underlying issue with installation. Check the valve stem, cartridge or seat washer to identify what needs fixing.

Depending on the model, you may have to take the handle off to access the stem and washers. The manufacturer should provide specific instructions for doing this so you should pay close attention.

Additionally, make sure the cartridge is clean and free of debris. A buildup of particles can cause the cartridge to clog and not completely shut off water flow.

Next, if necessary, replace the old cartridge. Most valves feature a set screw that secures them to the body of the faucet; thus, use either a screwdriver or wrench to loosen it and take out.

If the faucet has a compression-style design, you should also replace the washer assembly. These washers secure the valve stem to the handle and prevent leaks from arising.

It is especially essential to take these steps if your shower faucet leaks when you shut off the handle. In many cases, this occurs because a washer has worn out and no longer properly seals around the valve stem.

Before you begin replacing the cartridge, it’s wise to take the old one to a hardware store and match it with an appropriate new replacement. Doing this will guarantee you have all necessary parts when reassembling your shower faucet.

Finally, you should remove the defective valve stem and inspect it for cracks or damages. This rubber component grips the handle to keep it from turning over when turned off; a cracked or damaged stem won’t be able to do this, necessitating replacement with a new one.

Once you’ve replaced the stem and checked for damage, you can reassemble your shower faucet. Put on the bonnet nut and screw it back on securely; if done correctly, you should be able to turn off the water and your faucet should stop leaking.

Fix 4: Check the Stem

Many homeowners have encountered the frustration of a shower faucet that won’t turn off. This usually indicates damage to its cartridge, stem or handle. While it can be an annoying issue to deal with, there are steps you can take to resolve it yourself.

First and foremost, inspect the stem to see if there are any issues. This component connects the handle to the valve and when its ridges or rims wear down, they won’t grip securely enough and prevent shut-off from taking place.

If the ridges on your handles are in good condition, you can clean them with an old toothbrush and wipe them dry. This will eliminate any dirt or deposits and allow the handle to tighten around the stem.

Another solution is to replace the ridges with new ones. This will solve your issue and enable you to turn the faucet off.

Finally, inspect the stem tip to detect signs of wear and tear. Doing this will allow you to repair your shower faucet on your own.

Thread seal tape can be used to secure the stem tip of your shower faucet by wrapping two layers around it. After that, take your handle and press it into the tape; this will guarantee your faucet won’t leak again.

This is a quick and straightforward fix that will save you money on your utility bill. However, if the problem persists, it’s time to contact a plumber for further assistance.

If the water is still coming out of your shower even after fixing all other parts, it could be that your faucet is leaking and needs replacing. A leaking faucet is a serious plumbing problem that could lead to mold growth and extensive home damage if left unfixed.

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