The shower handle controls the water coming from the showerhead, but a broken handle can cause many problems because the water will keep running until you fix it.
A shower handle can break because of rust and mineral deposits, low-quality material, loose components, wrong installation, and poor handling, which causes the water to run continuously. A faulty cartridge or valve and high water pressure also cause damage to the shower handle, and you have to replace it.
A broken shower knob can lead to some serious issues like flooding in the shower area, damaged plumbing fixtures, and chances of slipping or accident on the tile floor.
Therefore, it is better to understand the reason behind the damaged component and repair the problem as soon as possible to enjoy a relaxing shower after an exhausting day.
Why does the shower handle break?
The shower handle can break because of many reasons, and some reasons are explained below.
Rust and mineral deposits
The rust, corrosion, and mineral deposits around the handle and internal components can accumulate because of the hard water and leakages from the cracked pipes.
The space between the knob, washer, and metal components is occupied by mineral particles and rust, which causes difficulty in tuning the knob on or off.
It breaks when you forcefully try to open or close the knob, and water will start coming out of the faucets. This causes a mess around this area, and you have to turn the main supply off to stop the running water.
Shower handles are made using different quality materials and different options to provide a better shower experience, depending on your preference.
Manufacturers use high-quality ABS plastic, brass, zinc, and other materials that can withstand moisture and temperature variations for hot and cold water.
The low-quality material can cause it to damage and wear out soon, and it breaks after a few months. You have to face a horrible situation with water running out from the faucets and do not stop until you turn the valve off or replace the broken handle.
The low-quality plastic can break soon as compared to stainless steel and brass components, which can last for many years if handled correctly.
The internal components of the shower handle can become loose over time because of the corrosion on the metal parts, and the polishing layer vanishes due to leakage and moisture.
You will turn the knob with some force if it is loose to turn the water on, and as a result, it can break, which leads to non-stop water from the broken handle.
The wobbling knob is another reason for its breakage because it can fall from the wall when the nuts and screws get rusted and loose.
Installing the shower assembly correctly is essential to make the plumbing fixture work properly because improper plumbing connections can cause the components to worn-out soon.
The shower knob can get off its position if you do not secure all the connections and install the parts accurately. Over-tightening the nuts can also cause the knob to break, and water keeps running out of the spout.
It is better to call a professional plumber to install the shower assembly if you do not understand enough to do such a task yourself.
Poor handling can damage the shower knob and leads to leakage or running water all around this place. The kids in the house can handle it roughly and turn it repeatedly while having a shower, which causes the fixture to break.
Another reason for the broken knob is the lack of lubrication, as the components break due to friction. An appropriate quantity of lubricant can keep the handle and internal parts running smoothing and prevent them from breaking.
Faulty cartridge or valve
The cartridge or valve inside the shower assembly performs crucial functions and allows the water to flow into the faucets when you turn the knob on.
The damaged or faulty cartridge can cause poor performance of the shower handle and leakage around the plumbing fixture.
It can break when you struggle to fix the leakage or the damaged cartridge, and the water will keep coming from the worn-out components. Therefore, replace the valve or cartridge before any worse situation in this place.
High water pressure
The normal water pressure inside the bathroom pipes is 30-70 psi (pounds per square inch), as it tells the pressure with which the water from the main supply lines enters the bathroom faucets and pipes.
A water pressure higher than 80 psi can damage the regulators inside the valves and handles, which causes the seal or regulators to break, and water will not stop running in the faucets.
It is better to set appropriate pressure in the regulators to avoid damage to the shower assembly and enjoy a relaxing bath.
How can you replace a broken shower handle to stop the running water?
You can replace a broken shower handle to stop the running water by following the steps mentioned here.
Turn off the water supply
You can turn the main supply line off when the handle is broken to prevent flooding and do this job easily, as you cannot deal with the problem of water coming out of the spout.
Collect all the essential tools before starting the process so that you do not need to find the tools required for repair.
It requires a screwdriver, pliers, the same model and color shower handle, plumbers tape, and a soft cloth to clean the internal parts.
Prepare the floor
You can place the old newspaper or rough cloth on the floor because the non-stop water leakage can damage the floor, especially if it is wooden or vinyl plank.
Water can seep into the grouting, and it becomes difficult to clean the flooding floor after replacing the handle. Try to cover the wall with a plastic sheet to prevent the tiles or the wall paint from peeling off.
Remove the shower handle and trim the plate
Take a screwdriver, and remove the nuts and screws around the handle to detach it from the valve by removing the decorative cap over the fixture.
It can expose all the nuts, and you can easily remove them from the valve. Unscrew and take out the old valve from its position using a screwdriver and remove the trim plate.
Remove the handle from the shower stem using a handle puller and put the Teflon or plumber tape around the stem.
Install the new shower handle
Install the new handle into the shower stem using the screws and nuts inside the kit. Make sure to secure all the connections to prevent leakages and wobble knobs.
Select the shower component that matches the existing shower assembly, or read the model number before selecting a new fixture for this place.
Tighten it by turning the screws in a clockwise direction, and avoid over-tightening because it leads to leakage.
Place the trim plate back and check for the leaks
Place the trim plate back in its position and put the decorative cover over the handle to hide the connections.
Turn on the main supply line and check for leaks or water flow by opening the knob 2 to 3 times. You can recheck the components if you notice leakage around it or call a professional plumber if you have failed to install them correctly.
Things to consider while fixing a broken shower handle
You may need to consider some things while replacing this broken shower handle assembly to avoid damage to other components.
Examine the valve and other components to check whether they are in good condition. You can replace corroded metal components inside the fixture to enhance the performance of the plumbing fixture.
It is better to wear protective gear while doing such a task because running water can make it wet. In addition, you may need to drill some holes in the wall while installing the handle; therefore, professionals recommend wearing a mask, gloves, and protective gear.
I recommend you to call a plumber if you do not have any basic knowledge and understanding about the plumbing system and installing shower handles because you can damage it more instead of repairing it.