How to Convert a Three-Handle Tub Valve to a Single Handle

Three-handled showers have one handle for hot water, one for cold and a separate handle to divert the water from the tub to the shower.
To make things simpler, you can replace the three shower handles with just one. However, it does require installing a new pipe and diverter valve so the new shower handle will work. The old pipes might have to be cut away to fit into the new diverter.

Step 1

Turn off the main water supply to you home.

Step 2

Unscrew the three-handled shower plate from your shower. Use the screwdriver to unscrew the plate. Pry the faces off the handles and loosen the screws beneath them. Remove the handles from the shower. You’ll be left with a hole in your shower wall with pipes behind it.

Step 3

Unscrew the old shower valve from the pipes with the wrench. Remove the diverter from the pipes.

Step 4

Cut through the hot and cold pipes, the pipes on either side of the middle pipe, with the hacksaw. The pipes need to be cut back by 2 to 3 inches behind the wall. Wrap two to three layers of duct tape around the surface of the cut pipes.

Step 5

Place the washers on the inside of the shower valve. Place the shower valve onto the middle pipe and tighten the nut on the back of it. Slide the pipe extensions onto the cut pipe ends and tighten them together with the nuts and wrench.

Step 6

Insert the hot and cold pipe extensions into the valve and tighten the nuts.

Step 7

Slide the new faceplate over the shower wall and screw it in place with the screwdriver. Slip the new handle over the valve and tighten the screw over it to hold it in place.

Things You Will Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Hacksaw
  • Pipe
  • Nuts
  • Washers
  • Tape
  • Pipe extensions
  • One-handle shower valve
  • Faceplate
  • Screws

About the Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer and contributing editor for many online publications. She has been writing professionally since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. She has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.