How Much Does A Plumber Charge To Install A Shower Valve?

Doing plumbing work on your own is difficult and time-consuming, so it’s a great idea to enlist the help of a plumber. That applies to installing a shower valve, and you can expect to spend at least $375 to hire a plumber for the job. Whether it be the size of the project, the hourly rate, or the valve itself, let’s explore the cost of installing a shower valve with a plumber.

How Much Does A Plumber Charge To Install A Shower Valve

Your shower is one of the most important parts of your home. You wouldn’t be able to keep yourself clean without one. That’s why it’s important to prioritize the maintenance of your shower. 

Showers are made up of several different components. Each of them needs to be working optimally in order for the shower to function as it should. One of the most important of these parts is the shower valve.

If you need a plumber to install your shower valve, you can expect to pay between $375 and $575 for the service. Most plumbers will be able to complete the job in two hours or less. You also have the option of replacing the valve yourself. This can typically be done for about $135.

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What is a Shower Valve?

If you’re thinking about hiring a plumber to install your shower valve, it’s important to understand what you’re actually asking them to do. This starts by learning what the shower valve does.

Shower valves are responsible for maintaining the temperature of your shower. They do this by making sure that the ratio of hot water to cold water remains constant.

The valve utilizes either a piston or diaphragm with ball-bearings. These respond to changes in the water pressure and enable the valve to regulate your shower’s temperature.

Do I Need to Replace My Shower Valve?

It can sometimes be difficult to identify whether you actually need to replace your shower valve or not. However, there are a few signs that you can look to in order to determine whether this kind of work is needed.

First, pay attention to how quickly your shower is able to change from cold to hot temperatures and vice versa. If this takes a very long time to do, then chances are there’s an issue with your valve that needs to be taken care of.

If you already have your walls open, you can also look at the shower valve to see if it’s leaking. Leaks are a sign that you’re wasting water and are a good indication that you should think seriously about replacing your valve.

Is Installing a Shower Valve Hard?

Yes, installing a shower valve can be challenging. This is mostly because it’s access to the valve is usually restricted. In fact, the original shower valve might have been installed when your house was being built and the studs were exposed.

This means that your only access to your shower valve could be through a small wall opening. You might have a rear access panel somewhere, but this isn’t normal or something that you should count on.

Even more challenging is the fact that most shower valves are installed with copper fittings that have been sweat-soldered with a propane torch. You’ll need to use a ton of caution to cut through this without threatening the integrity of your wood framing.

For all of these reasons, it’s usually a better idea to just let a professional plumber replace your shower valve for you. Only do the job yourself if you have previous experience with this type of work.

How to Replace a Shower Valve

If you’ve decided to replace a shower valve on your own, then make sure you’ve gathered everything you need for the job before getting started. You’ll want to have the following tools and materials ready:

  • Screwdrivers
  • Allen-wrench
  • Mini hacksaw
  • Pliers
  • Cloth
  • Utility knife
  • New shower valve

Once you’ve gathered these materials, you’ll be ready to get started on the project. Here’s a step-by-step guide you can follow to get the job done.

  1. Use a cloth to block the shower drain. This will prevent screws and other necessary materials from falling down the drain as you work.
  2. Turn off your water supply. You’ll do this by turning the knob on your main water valve in a clockwise direction. Turn off both the hot and cold water stops if you have separate ones for each.
  3. Remove the shower faucet handle. You will likely need to utilize a hex to accomplish this. Once you’ve gotten the handle off, use the correct screwdriver to remove the other parts of the showerhead. As you work, be careful not to lose any of the parts that you’re removing.
  4. Loosen the trim plate with your screwdriver. This is a good opportunity to soak both the trim plate and the showerhead handle in vinegar to make them look new again. There might also be a layer of caulk around the edges of the trim plate that needs to be removed.
  5. Remove the old valve. Start by taking off the clip that holds the valve in place with needle-nose pliers. There may also be some retainer nuts holding the valve in place. Remove these with a wrench if you need to. Once finished, pull the valve out of the wall with pliers or your hands.
  6. Fix the new valve in place by using pliers to slide it into the hole. Make sure it’s firmly in place before putting the metal clip in place. Then, connect the new valve to your water pipe. If you notice severe rust and corrosion, then you may need to change the entire valve assembly.
  7. Attach the water supply with an adjustable wrench and pipe-crimp ring fittings. If you’re joining copper pipes to the valve, then you’ll need to use soldering to do it.
  8. Test for leakage. Do this by turning on the water supply and observing the valve to see if any water escapes from it while in operation.
  9. Turn on your water supply by returning to your water main and twisting it in a counter-clockwise direction.
  10.  Replace the trim plate and showerhead by doing the opposite of what you did while removing them.

How Much Does it Cost to Repair a Shower Valve?

After you get a look at your shower valve, you may find that you’re actually able to repair the one you have instead of replacing it with a new one. Your costs for this can be lower than they would be to replace the valve entirely.

Your charges from a professional plumber will be based on where you live, the complexity of the job, and the type of replacement valve you want. That being said, the national average for repairing a shower valve is around $244. You could reduce this to around $100 if you’re able to do the work on your own.

What Does Shower Valve Repair Involve?

If you’re planning on hiring a plumber to replace your shower valve, it’s worth taking the time to understand what this process actually entails.

Usually, plumbers are able to repair shower valves by replacing either the valve’s stem or cartridge. Your plumber may also need to install new washers and O-rings to eliminate leaks.

However, sometimes shower valve repair projects can be more complex. A plumber may also need to perform pipe fitting and soldering work to fix the issues you’ve been having. Expect to pay a bit more for the work if your job requires these types of services.

How Much Does a Plumber Charge to Install a Shower Faucet?

You may also find that it’s not your valve that needs to be replaced but actually your shower faucet. If so, you can expect to pay around $250 per faucet that needs to be replaced. However, this doesn’t account for a plumber’s labor charges.

The national average for having a plumber install a new shower faucet is about $560. Once again, that price could go up or down based on factors like your location and the complexity of the work.

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Related Questions

How much does it cost to have a shower head installed?

Showerheads are relatively easy to install when compared to faucets and valves. If yours needs to be replaced, you can expect to pay between $75 and $150 for the work.

What happens when a shower valve goes bad?

If your valve’s cartridge has gone bad, there are a few ways you can tell. First, you might notice dripping or running water when the shower is turned off. You could also have difficulty with turning the shower handle or notice that it gets stuck in certain places.

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Kellan Jansen

Kellan is a content writer who specializes in everything DIY. When he's not behind the keyboard, he enjoys spending time with his pets, playing music, and geeking out about basketball. He hopes to make your home improvement projects a little bit easier to accomplish.

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