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Cost To Replace Shower Valve: A Guide

The shower valve controls the amount of water that flows out and determines the water temperature, allowing users to adjust their shower with ease.

But your shower valve may fail due to age or excessive use. If your shower valve is faulty, you may notice inconsistent water temperatures, sudden drops in pressure, or water leaking out of the handle. But what is the cost to replace shower valves? Read on to find out.

Cost To Replace Shower Valve

How Much Does It Cost To Replace Shower Valves?

How much does it cost to replace a shower valve? Most homeowners pay $310 when replacing the internal parts and stem in the shower valves. So, you’ll need between $400 and $600 to replace the whole shower valve.

This price includes the labor cost of a professional plumber. A typical DIY job may require $160.

What Is a Shower Valve Life-Span?

This period differs depending on your location. For example, if you live in an area with hard water, the valve’s life expectancy may be shorter.

The reason is that in hard water, mineral deposits can form on the valve’s interior components and cause it to wear out faster. To extend its lifespan, clean the valve routinely with vinegar or other solutions to remove any buildup.

The type of shower valve you have installed is the other factor that affects your valve’s longevity. Most household valves have a 20-year life expectancy. Higher-end models are generally made from more durable materials and can last longer than standard valves.

The quality of installation also affects the life expectancy of a shower valve. Since the valve controls pressure and temperature, it’s crucial to ensure it is installed properly. Otherwise, you may experience leaks or other issues with your shower.

What Factors Affect Shower Valve Replacement Costs?

The cost of replacing a shower valve depends on several factors, including the type of valve, the brand and model of the shower valve, and any additional parts needed.

Type of Shower Valve

The type of shower valve you have installed in your bathroom will determine its replacement cost. Some shower valves include:

Pressure- Balancing Valve

This valve helps maintain constant water pressure, regardless of how much is used in other parts of the house. Generally, these valves cost more than standard valves, as they are made with higher-grade materials and provide greater control over the flow and temperature.

Thermostatic Valve

This valve allows users to set the maximum temperature for their shower. The thermostatic valve will shut off if it detects that the water has exceeded that temperature. These valves are also more expensive than standard models due to their advanced features and safety measures.

Shower Diverter Valves

This valve switches between different shower heads, such as a hand-held or a rain-head shower (if you’re having issues with your shower valve, read here). Diverter valves are generally cheaper than thermostatic or pressure-balancing models.

Brand and Model

The shower valve’s brand and model also affect its replacement cost. High-end brands have better features and more durable components, making them longer-lasting than lower-cost models. But they tend to cost more than standard models.

Additional Parts

In some cases, additional parts may be required for your shower valve installation or repair. For example, if you need to replace a brass valve core, you may need to buy additional O-rings or other small parts. These costs can add up quickly, so checking the total cost of any repairs before you begin is crucial.

Cost of Labor

Cost of Labor

In addition to the cost of parts, you must factor in labor costs. Professional installation typically takes several hours and can be expensive if you don’t have the right tools or experience.

The contractor factors in:

  • The time they need to complete the job
  • Their hourly rate
  • Any additional costs (such as transportation)

Permits and Inspection Fees

Before installing a new shower valve, you may need to obtain a permit from your local government. The cost of obtaining the permit depends on your municipality, and you can calculate it to prepare yourself. Additionally, you may need an inspection by a building inspector after the installation.

Materials and Parts

The cost of materials and parts also affects the total cost. The type of valve you choose will determine the price, as more expensive models typically have better features and construction.

Other items necessary for the installation, such as copper pipes, fittings, or an asbestos cement board, could also impact the total cost.

Your Region

Where you live is another significant determinant of the costs of replacing your shower valve. The reason is that the hourly plumbing rates differ from one country to the other.

Besides Wear and Tear, Why Replace Shower Valves?

An inadequately working shower is one of many reasons to replace a shower valve. Sometimes, you may also want to replace your valve with one that provides more features or better performance.

For example, suppose you often experience fluctuations in the water pressure from your shower head. In that case, consider installing a pressure-balancing valve to maintain consistent water pressure. Or, if you want more control over the temperature of your shower, a thermostatic valve is a good option.

Finally, replacing an outdated or malfunctioning valve can increase the resale value of your home and make it appear more modern. A new model looks great and could help you save money on energy costs.

You may also replace the shower valve if you want to change your bathroom design. For example, if you’re updating your shower with a new tile look and need to replace the valve, then it would be necessary.

Is DIY Shower Replacement a Good Option?

DIY shower valve replacement may sound like the best option, but it isn’t an easy process. If you don’t have experience in plumbing or electrical work, it’s best to hire a professional with the necessary tools and expertise to complete the job.

DIY installation is also riskier than hiring a professional since even small mistakes can cause major problems with your shower valve. For instance, you may end up with a leaky valve or one that doesn’t provide the desired temperature control. In that case, you may end up with costlier repairs or even having to replace the valve again.

A professional boasts the skills and knowledge to correctly install the valve and complete other related tasks, such as tiling. With this, there are minimal chances of making mistakes that could compromise the integrity of the valve. So although the labor costs may seem high, the long-term benefits are worthwhile.

DIY Shower Replacement

How Do You Save on Shower Valve Replacement?

The cost of replacing the shower valve can add up quickly, so finding ways to save money is important. One option is to shop at a local hardware store to compare prices and quality. Hiring a professional who offers competitive rates or discounts for parts and labor is also beneficial.

Also, stick with basics such as standard valve models. You may not need to choose the most expensive or luxurious option. For example, you can choose a valve that fits your cartridge specifications and provides the desired features without breaking the bank.

Also, compare prices between different professionals when hiring a plumber. Ask for quotes from various contractors and compare the prices and services. Finally, ensure you understand the process, materials needed, and expected total cost before starting the project. This understanding will help you budget wisely and ensure all work is carried out correctly.

Shower Valve Repair Versus Replacement

If your shower valve needs repair, it may be more cost-effective than replacing the existing one. For example, if you have a leaking valve due to worn-out seals or gaskets, then you can replace the seals or gaskets for much less than a full valve replacement would cost.

But, in some cases, replacing the shower valve is a better choice. For example, suppose your existing model has been around for many years and no longer fits current safety standards. Then replacing it with an updated model is wise. 

Replacing your valve if it is corroded or damaged due to age could save money on repairs in the long run.

Final Thoughts

The cost of replacing a shower valve depends on several factors. These factors include materials, labor, permits, and inspections. In general, a valve replacement will cost between $400 and $600.

If you want to save money, opt for basic models that provide the desired features while avoiding costly extras. Likewise, hire a plumber with competitive rates. Or leverage discounts to ensure you get a quality job at an affordable price.

Finally, consider repairing the existing valve if it is still functioning. This process typically works out cheaper than replacement in the long run.

Replacing a shower valve can be expensive. But it is essential for ensuring your safety and comfort in the bathroom. Take the time to learn about all costs associated with the project before beginning work. This process can help you make informed decisions when budgeting for this crucial task.

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