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How To Fix A Leaking Shower Faucet

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A leaking shower faucet is something that every homeowner will eventually have to deal with. Over time, seals and gaskets wear out which can cause water to leak through.

My shower faucet started a slow drip even though the handle was turned completely off. Left unfixed, a leaking shower faucet can ring up an expensive water bill.

In this article, I’ll show you how I saved money and fixed the problem of a leaking shower faucet myself (Delta brand).

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Tools, Supplies, and Steps


Crescent Pliers



Time needed: 30 minutes.

How To Fix A Leaking Shower Faucet

  1. Shut off water supply. Relieve pressure by turning on the bathroom sink faucet until the running water stops.

  2. Remove the shower handle. Use a screwdriver or allen wrench to loosen the set screw.

  3. Remove the outside sleeve.

  4. Unscrew and remove the brass bonnet. This might require Crescent pliers.

  5. Reinstall the handle on the brass stem and rotate clockwise while lifting the cartridge out of the two notches on the sides of the body. *Note the position of the hot side of the cartridge.

  6. Install the new cartridge with the “HOT SIDE” lettering on the cap on the hot water inlet side. Insert it until it is seated properly and the tabs on the white cap are fully engaged in the notches of the brass body.

  7. Reinstall the brass bonnet.

  8. Slide on the outside sleeve. It should slide on the existing O-ring.

  9. Make any needed adjustments to the rotational limit stop on the front of the cartridge.

  10. Reinstall the handle.

  11. Turn on water supply. Check for leaks and allow the water lines to run for a minute to flush out any debris. Also verify that cold water flows first when turning the shower handle on.

Fixing the Leaking Shower Faucet

My old leaking shower faucet cartridge.
My old leaking shower faucet cartridge. Replaced with a new Delta RP19804 cartridge.

As you can see in the steps above, this project isn’t difficult and only took me about 15 minutes to complete. For more detailed instructions, check out this official Delta cartridge installation guide.

The most difficult part for me was pulling the old cartridge out. You don’t want to use a flathead screwdriver or something similar to pry it out. I followed the printed instructions and used the shower handle, which gave me the leverage I needed to pull the cartridge out.

Have you fixed your own leaking shower faucet too? Let me know in the comments below!

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