How to Repair Sterling Faucet Shower Stems

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Shower stems in faucets are mechanisms that open and close the water lines. Are you wondering how to repair Sterling faucet shower stems? If a Sterling shower faucet is leaking, the problem could be the stem. Fortunately, Sterling faucets are designed so that most of their hardware is stored in a single cartridge, making it easy and simple to repair them.

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What Is a Shower Stem?

Shower stems are most common in two-handle faucets. The stem is located inside one of the faucet handles and has a threaded end and a rubber seal that turn with the handle, opening and closing the water pathways.

When there is a leak present, the best course of action is usually replacing the stem entirely rather than attempting to repair it. The price of shower faucet stems varies, but they are relatively inexpensive.

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How to Repair Sterling Faucet Shower Stems

Things You'll Need

Step 1: Prepare the Area

Turn off the water supply to the area before you do any kind of plumbing work, even if it is a simple repair. The shower water supply valve should be located behind the shower enclosure, sometimes in an adjacent room on the shared wall.

If you cannot locate the valve, you can shut off the supply to the house with the valve most likely located in the basement in a house or under the kitchen sink in an apartment. Once the water is shut off, run the shower to rid it of any water left in the pipes. Make sure the area is dry before you continue working to avoid slippage or injury.

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Step 2: Disassemble the Shower Faucet

Use an Allen wrench to loosen the screw on the bottom of the faucet's handle and then remove it if you have a single-handle faucet. If you have a two-handle faucet, use a flathead screwdriver to pry open the faucet from the top to reveal the faceplate screws securing the handle disk.

Next, use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the screws from the faceplate. Remove the handle disc to reveal the escutcheon plate against the wall. Remove the escutcheon plate to see the shower stem.

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Step 3: Remove the Old Stem

Remove the old stem. The stem should be secured to the faucet with a screw. With the Phillips screwdriver, loosen the screw. With adjustable pliers, grab hold of the stem and remove it from the faucet.

You may have to twist the stem to remove it. It may also help to tape the teeth of the adjustable pliers with Teflon tape to ensure that the teeth do not cut into the metal.

Step 4: Install the New Stem

Slide the new stem into the vacancy left by the old one. Firmly push the new stem, ensuring that it is secured and locked in place. Place and tighten the screw to ensure that the new stem is secure.

Reassemble the faucet, securing all screws back in place. Turn the water on to check that the stem and faucet were installed correctly.

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