Do Our Shower Handles Need to Be Replaced?

by Matt Goering

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Like any other plumbing part, shower handles eventually wear down and need to be serviced. If your shower handles start to stick, are hard to pull out, or begin to fail when it comes to turning off water or adjusting water temperature, you're in for a little handle maintenance. And if your handles are old enough to need maintenance, you may want to consider replacing shower handles or remodeling your shower altogether.

Is Servicing Shower Handles a Job for the Average DIY?
There are a number of issues that might need attention if your shower's handles are acting up. Valve stems, seals and even valve bodies may need repair or replacement. None of these are impossible jobs for a home handyman with the right tools, and often you can save big bucks over calling a plumber if you're not afraid to get your hands dirty and dive right in. Of course, with any plumbing project there's the possibility you might end up doing more harm than good. Always keep in mind that home plumbing projects gone wrong mean a costly visit from the plumber, and in some cases, a day or two with the water turned off, as well. For this reason, many homeowners choose to leave plumbing to experts, and call in a professional from the get go.

If You're Replacing Shower Handles Anyway
Often by the time your handles need servicing, you've grown tired of them in the first place. Replacing shower handles is always an option, and you can find a large selection of new models to choose from at any major bathroom fixture supplier. Or maybe you want to think bigger? If you're calling in a plumber to replace your shower handles anyway, why not go the distance and replace the entire shower system instead? If you think it might be time to replace that old shower with something that has a little more pizzazz, there are more shower options to choose from than ever before. Here's a few ideas to get you thinking if a new shower might be in your future.

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  • Steam Showers are enclosed shower systems that are outfitted with both traditional and steam producing shower heads. The benefit? If you're looking for a good, relaxing steam bath, you don't need to go further than your own bathroom. It's like having a sauna installed in your home for a fraction of the price.

  • Jetted Shower Systems provide multiple spray options, including massaging and rotating shower heads, and adjustable water streams. They can be installed in a traditional shower, or you can install a full, enclosed, jetted shower system with all the bells and whistles, including radios, mood lights, and even foot massage attachments, for those who can afford the luxury.

  • Body Sprays are simply rows of multiple, smaller shower heads that are installed on either side of the shower. For a cleaner, fuller shower experience, body sprays are a great choice.

  • Multi Headed Showers combine all of the above into single shower system units. Jetted and steam showers, multi headed jetted showers, jetted showers with body sprays, and even hand held showers, are all available for purchase at the right price. Multi headed units allow you to enjoy the full range of available shower options in a single, extraordinary, showering experience.

    Whether your shower handles just need maintenance, or you're thinking about a new shower system altogether, talk to a professional experienced in shower repair and installation about getting your old or new shower back up and running as soon as possible.

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    Matt Goering, formerly a carpenter and house painter, is a freelance writer for the home improvement industry who has published over 600 articles.