Have you ever gotten into the shower and twisted the knob to get the water flowing, but it continues to spin all the way around when you turn it off? When a shower handles spins all the way around, it can result in leaks and a higher water bill than you’re planning for. Plus, it’s frustrating.
The reasons your shower handle spins all the way around range from a faulty handle to stripped parts, or it needs a new valve, or natural wear and tears.
If you’re experiencing your shower handle turning all the way around, learning why it’s doing it is vital before you can fix the situation (if your faucet won’t turn on, read this post).
Why Your Shower Handle Spins All The Way Around
If your shower handle spins all the way around when you go to turn it on or off, there are a few reasons that it might be happening.
The Handle is Faulty
In the majority of cases, the reason for the spinning is that the shower handle is faulty. Since most shower handles are made with plastic knobs, they’re susceptible to wear and tear over time. These knobs can crack, which means there isn’t enough tension to turn the water on, and the handle will continue to spin around.
The Valve Has Striped Parts
Another potential reason your shower handle spins all the way is stripped parts. The parts inside the shower handle help water flow evenly, and when they need to be fixed, it can cause the handle to continue to spin freely.
How To Stop Your Shower Handle From Spinning All The Way Around
Now that you know the two most common reasons why your shower handle is spinning all the way around, you can get to the solutions. You’ll have different options to fix the situation depending on the reason it’s spinning. One solution is relatively straightforward, while the other is a little more complicated.
Try Tightening The Screw
The most straightforward fix for a shower handle that spins all the way around is to tighten the screws. Tightening the screw is the quickest fix and should solve your problem, but you will know once you try. If this works, you can save time and money on replacing the valve stem or a broken handle. Here’s how you can tighten the screws on your shower handle.
Step One: Gather What You’ll Need
You’ll need a screwdriver. Whether you need a flathead or Phillips screwdriver will depend on your shower handle, so it’s best to have both on hand if you’re still determining which one you’ll need. You can also use thread-locking compounds to prevent the screw from coming loose in the future.
Step Two: Remove the Cap Covering the Screw
More often than not, the cap that covers the screw is on the front of the knob with the shower handle’s manufacturer logo. Once you find the lid, remove it, so the set screw is exposed.
Step Three: Remove the Screw and Apply a Thread-Locking Compound
You can use a thread-locking compound that will help prevent the screw from loosening further in the future. Before doing this, you’ll need to remove the screw and apply the thread-locking compound.
Step Four: Install the Screw
Now all you have to do is screw the screw back into the handle and try turning it to see if it’s still spinning all the way around. If it’s not, then you’re finished!
Temporarily Fix it With Plumbing Tape
If you try tightening the screw and your shower handle is still spinning all the way around, you have a more complicated fix on your hands. If you cannot get out to get the parts you need at the moment, you can temporarily fix the problem with plumbing tape. Remember, this is a quick fix that won’t last forever. Here’s how you can temporarily fix the problem:
Step One: Gather Your Supplies
What you’ll need to fix your shower handle spinning issue temporarily are:
- Plumbing tape
Step Two: Unscrew the Screw
Take whatever screwdriver works for your shower handle and remove the screw from the handle.
Step Three: Apply Plumbing Tape
You’ll take your plumbing tape and wrap it around the shower’s valve stem a few times. Ideally, three or four wraps should do the trick because it’s tight enough and tight enough.
Step Four: Replace the Handle and Screw
After applying the plumbing tape, you’ll return the shower handle and screw it back into place. Be sure to check the spinning has stopped, and you’re good to go! You’ll want to contact a plumber or replace the shower handle yourself soon after this, though.
Replace The Entire Shower Handle
If tightening the screw doesn’t work, you’ll likely need to replace the shower handle. It’s a little more complicated, but still something you can handle without calling a plumber. Here’s how you can replace your shower handle.
Step One: Gather Your Supplies
You’ll need a new shower handle compatible with your shower valve. You’ll also need a screwdriver that fits the screws on your handle.
Step Two: Remove the Shower Handle
Remove the screw cap and then unscrew the handles from your shower valve (see our post on shower valves for more information).
Step Three: Examine The Shower Handle
Once the shower handle is off, take a good look at it. If there are breaks or cracks, you’ll need to replace them. You can temporarily fix the cracks with epoxy glue, but it’s best to go ahead with the complete replacement.
Step Four: Install Your New Shower Handle
You’ll take the new handle and screw the shower handle in just like you would when you screwed the previous handle.
Replace the Entire Shower Valve
Lastly, you might need to replace the valve. If you need to replace the valve, here’s how you can do it.
Step One: Turn Off The Water
Before you can begin, you’ll need to turn off the water main to your home or use the water shut-off valve that controls your shower.
Step Two: Gather Your Supplies
You’ll need a new valve and a screwdriver.
Step Three: Remove the Screw and Handle
Use your screwdriver to remove the screw that’s under the cap. When you do this, it will remove the shower handle as well.
Step Four: Unscrew the valve
Once the handle’s off, you’ll unscrew the valve. If you’re struggling to remove the valve due to mineral deposit buildup, you’ll need to use a valve remover to get it to come out.
Step Five: Get a New Valve
If you don’t already have a new valve, you can bring the old one to a hardware store so you can get the correct one.
Step Six: Install The New Valve
Now you’re ready to install the new valve. You’ll follow the manufacturer’s instructions and then replace the shower handle and turn the water back on. Your shower handle should no longer spin all the way around.
It can be frustrating when your shower handle spins all the way around. Luckily, the fixes are generally easy to do at home without needing to call a professional. You can always call a plumber if you don’t want to risk fixing your shower handle yourself, but it will be more costly.
Most of the time, you just need to tighten the screw, but in some instances, you’ll need to replace the shower handle completely. Either way, both solutions are easy to do and will have your situation under control in no time.