How to Replace Shower Faucets in a Mobile Home

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You can replace your shower faucets.
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Shower faucets in mobile homes tend to combine the taps and spout into a single piece of hardware. This makes it a little bit easier and faster to replace shower faucets in a mobile home than in a traditional home. The only tool you'll need is an adjustable wrench.

Accessing the Faucet Hardware

All bathtub faucets fasten in place with lock nuts located on the other side of the tub. The only way to reach these nuts — and the water lines leading to the faucet — is through an access panel, assuming one exists. In your mobile home, go into the room or closet directly behind the bathtub and look for a panel on the wall. It may be spring-loaded or closed with one or more screws.

If you can't find an access panel, the bathtub access may have been sealed when the mobile home was built. In that case, the only way to reach the bathtub hardware is to cut an access hole in the wall and install a panel door yourself. Stop and call a professional if you don't have experience cutting into walls since there's a possibility that your saw blade could cut into pipes or wires.

Removing the Old Faucet

Once the door is open, set up a work light so you can see what you're doing. Turn off the water supply to the bathtub. The shutoff valve is often located behind the access panel, but you can also turn off your home's main water valve. Open the bathtub taps to ensure the water has been turned off and drain any water remaining in the pipes.

Next, use a wrench to loosen the nuts that attach the water supply lines and the shower line to the faucet stems. Then, loosen the lock nut that holds the faucet itself to the tub. According to Complete Mobile Home Supply, the cone washer that sits inside the water supply line can sometimes get stuck on the faucet stem. If this happens to you, simply remove the cone washer and put it back inside the tip of the water supply line to prevent leaks.

To prevent the faucet from falling into the tub and potentially chipping it, lay a thick blanket or towel in the tub before removing the faucet. However, faucets that have been in place for years might need a gentle tap with a mallet to pull free.

Replacing the Shower Faucet

If your new faucet comes with a rubber gasket, this should go between the tub and the faucet. If no rubber gasket is included, Mobile Home Repair recommends applying a bead of plumber's putty around the bottom edge of the faucet before installation.

Place the new faucet stems into the holes in the bathtub with the spout facing down. You may want to grab a friend to install the new faucet to help ensure it stays straight, but you can also rest a small level on the faucet stems in the access panel for this same purpose.

From the access panel, tighten the lock nuts on the faucet stems by hand and then use a wrench to get them a little tighter. Do the same to reattach the hot and cold water lines (cold water should be on your right in this position) and the shower line. Finally, turn on the water valve and watch each nut connection for leaks before closing the access panel.

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Cathy Habas enjoys distilling even the most complicated home improvement tasks into bite-sized pieces. She believes in empowering homeowners one article at a time.

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