How to Identify a Shower Valve

Elizabeth Punke

Shower valves might be hard to spot for some people since the valve is often hidden behind bulky plumbing pipes and hardware. You should understand the valve and what it looks like, in case it ever breaks and begins to leak water.

The shower valve directs water from the bathtub faucet to the shower head.

Once this happens, you will want to purchase a new one, and since some valves differ slightly from others, it's helpful to know what yours looks like.

  1. Pop off the thin plastic disk that conceals a screw at the top of the shower handle with a flat head screwdriver. Unscrew the shower handle with a Phillips screwdriver and lift off the handle.

  2. Twist the eschueton tube (the long metal tube seen immediately beneath handle) in a counter-clockwise fashion until it is removed. Under the tube is the eschueton nipple (looks like the tube, only more slender) that is screwed into the back of the handle mount. Unscrew the nipple and slip it off.

  3. Notice the valve stem beneath the nipple. The stem is a long and slender metallic piece that shifts water from the tub faucet to the shower head. This valve is connected to the hidden valve body behind the wall by a thick stem nut.

  4. Slip the shower socket over the stem valve and twist it out of the mounting hardware hidden behind the wall. The shower valve is around 4 to 5 inches long, so it may take a moment to situate the socket and finally loosen the valve for removal.

  5. Examine the valve once it is out of the wall. At the front end is the long stem valve that holds the handle. Further down are the packing and stem nuts that help to secure the valve in the mount. Behind the stem nut is the body of the valve where a screw and lever device work together to open and close the valve for water use.