Step-By-Step: How to Remove Shower Handle

Sometimes, a minor leak or a stubborn shower handle can escalate into a bothersome issue that requires immediate attention. You might find yourself needing to remove your shower handle, either for cleaning, maintenance, or complete replacement. However, it’s not always practical to call a plumber for such tasks. Therefore, learning how to remove a shower handle can be a handy skill. This article provides a comprehensive, step-by-step guide on how to remove shower handle to help you save time and money on minor plumbing issues.

Before You Begin

Before we get into the steps, it’s essential to know what you’re dealing with. Shower handles come in different types: single-handle or double-handle, and they could be a knob, lever, or cross-shaped style. The procedure for removing each can vary slightly, but the general principles remain the same.

Remember, DIY plumbing can sometimes lead to complications, so if you’re unsure about any step, it’s always better to consult with a professional.

Tools You’ll Need

You won’t need an extensive toolset to remove a shower handle. Here are the basic tools you’ll likely need:

  1. A screwdriver (Philips or flat-head depending on the screw)
  2. An Allen wrench (also known as a hex key)
  3. A pair of pliers
  4. A cloth or towel

Now, let’s delve into the steps on how to remove a shower handle.

Step-By-Step Guide on How to Remove Shower Handle

Step 1: Turn off the Water Supply

Safety first! Always ensure you’ve turned off the water supply to your shower to avoid any unwanted surprises when you start disassembling the handle. You can typically find the shut-off valves in your bathroom or basement.

Step 2: Remove the Handle Cap or Button

Most shower handles feature a decorative cap or button that hides the handle screw. Carefully pry off the cap using a flat-head screwdriver, taking care not to scratch or damage the handle.

Step 3: Remove the Handle Screw

Once the cap is removed, you’ll see a screw securing the handle to the valve stem. Use a screwdriver or Allen wrench (depending on the screw head) to unscrew it. Remember to turn counter-clockwise.

Step 4: Remove the Handle

With the screw removed, you should be able to pull the handle straight off. If the handle doesn’t come off easily, it might be due to mineral deposits that have built up over time. In such cases, wrap a cloth around the handle to protect it and gently wiggle it using pliers until it loosens. Be careful not to exert excessive force to prevent damage.

Step 5: Remove the Remaining Components (If Needed)

If your purpose for removing the shower handle is to access the valve or other components, you may need to remove the escutcheon plate (the decorative cover plate behind the handle). This can typically be done by unscrewing a few more screws.

Reassembling the Shower Handle

Once you’ve completed the necessary repairs, cleaning, or replacement, you can reassemble the handle by following the same steps in reverse order.


Knowing how to remove a shower handle is a practical skill that can help you maintain your bathroom fixtures effectively. While it may seem daunting initially, following these steps should help simplify the process. However, it’s important to approach DIY plumbing tasks with caution. If you encounter difficulties or are unsure about something, don’t hesitate to consult a professional plumber. This will ensure the longevity and proper functioning of your shower, providing you with a consistently satisfying shower experience.

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