How to Determine the Shower Faucet Type

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If you need to replace parts on your shower faucet to stop a leak or repair damage, you have to know the type of faucet it is. It also helps to learn the brand name of the manufacturer of your faucet, since each brand has different repair parts. Finding out the type and brand requires some skill and persistence but when you know where to look, the job becomes much easier. You'll need few tools and about 10 minutes to complete this job.


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How to Determine the Shower Faucet Type

Step 1: Determine the Number of Handles

Assess the faucet and determine how many handles it has. If it has two handles, it is a double-handle faucet, which means that the hot and cold water pipes each connect to separate handles. If it has one handle, it is a single-handle faucet. If the faucet has three handles, it is a rare three-handle model. The third handle works as a diverter, projecting the water flow either to the showerhead or to the bathtub fixture.


If there are no handles but a series of buttons on a large panel, the faucet is a panel shower. The most common type of shower faucet currently is the single-handle faucet, which allows you to adjust the temperature as well as the water flow with a single hand.

Step 2: Identify the Manufacturer

Look at the center of the trim plate behind the shower handle to find a brand name or manufacturer symbol. If you see a "K," the faucet is a Kohler unit; an "M" signifies Moen. American Standard, Delta and Price Pfister typically print their entire name on the faucet itself. Knowing the brand is important in being able to take it apart to repair or replace.


Step 3: Inspect the Connection

Look at the showerhead above the faucet handle and inspect how it connects to the plumbing. If there is a hose running from the showerhead to the shower pipe behind it, you have a handset showerhead. If the showerhead is mounted right to the shower pipe extending from the wall, it is a fixed or mounted showerhead. Fixed showerheads can usually turn about 180 degrees, while handheld showerheads is more flexible and easy to use.


Step 4: Identify Massage or Pulsating Functions

Inspect the face of the showerhead for a manufacturer name or symbol and then look for different nozzle patterns in the showerhead to indicate massage or pulsating functions. Look for buttons on the side of the handle to indicate a control pad for the shower massage and pulsating functions.

Step 5: Observe How the Water Flows

Point the showerhead away from you and into the shower area. Turn on the water and press the buttons on the shower handset. If you see individual bursts of water from the showerhead, you have a pulsating or massage showerhead.

Step 6: Put It All Together

List all the features you have found along with the brand name to find out the type of shower faucet you own. If you are considering a replacement, it's worth the time to research and analyze your options.