I do not possess plumbing repair skills. I also usually don’t possess the extra cash required at those inopportune times when bathroom or kitchen fixtures inconveniently leak, stop working or just get broken. So when our master bathroom shower temperature control knob broke off and needed to be replaced, I decided to roll up my sleeves and figure out how to fix it and save a few bucks. At the time, I had no idea what that work entailed. Now I do.
Thanks to the wisdom of those who have shared their collective plumbing knowledge and experiences on the internet, I was able to perform the repairs myself without having to call in a plumber. Granted, the fix didn’t happen quickly, but the job got done! I didn’t spend a ton of cash either. Win, win! Successful DIY projects can be such a great feeling.
Anyway, after thinking back on all the time that I spent researching the process and ordering all of the parts (which couldn’t find at my local Home Depot), I decided to compile many of the links and videos that I used to learn and get the job done. I’m doing this for two reasons. First, I want to extol the knowledge and efforts of the folks who wrote those articles and produced the helpful videos. Second, I want to “pay it forward” and make the task easier for the person who stumbles upon our humble blog trying to resolve a similar issue. People helping people – it’s a beautiful thing.
ASSESSING THE DAMAGE
The first thing I had to do was assess the level of damage. As I mentioned, the flow/temperature control knob had snapped off. Considering that the shower fixture was nearly 15 years old and made mostly of plastic, I guess it was bound to happen. At first I thought it was simply the cosmetic cover that had snapped off. Had that been the case, it would have been very easy to replace.
Unfortunately, there was another issue that was slightly worse. You see, the screw that held that portion of the handle on to the rest of the faucet assembly had snapped off a portion of the shaft leading into the cartridge assembly. See animated diagram nearby. Once I learned that, I knew I had a much bigger job to do. I hope the rest of this article and the accompanying videos will be able to help you.
THE LEARNING PROCESS
I took to the internet to learn all I could about my Delta 1700 Series shower faucet and how to replace the cartridge assembly in my shower. For those of you that don’t know, the cartridge assembly is perhaps the most important part of the faucet. It is the mechanism that allows you to control water flow and temperature.
The first set of 2 videos below were extremely helpful in learning how to replace the cartridge. I don’t think I could have done the work without them. Thank you YouTube user “Loveher The Cute Pug Dog Puppy“, whoever you are! These videos were lifesavers.
While only 3 minutes and 50 seconds long, this next video by YouTuber “Kenneth Iori” is very well-made and offers a concise step-by-step visual representation of the whole cartridge replacement process. I found it to be a great way to figure out what needs to be done in a short amount of time.
During the process of my repair, I ran into the same frustrating issue as “FreddysRockin“. The bonnet nut connected to the behind-the-wall plumbing pipes was stuck tight. I wish I’d have seen this realistic video before wasting time trying to remove the bonnet nut using chemicals* and brute force. I ended up having to cut mine off with a little help from a mini hack saw and a Dremel 7700 Multipro using a metal grinding wheel. If your faucet has been in place for a while, there’s a good chance your bonnet nut threads are gunked up with mineral deposits as well.
* Some sites suggested using applying vinegar or CLR around the bonnet nut to dissolve the mineral deposits in the threads and make the removal easier. Neither worked for me. Your results may very.
Lastly, Delta Faucet has a great set of professional videos available on YouTube that will cover nearly type of repair. This first one specifically covers cartridge replacements for their various types of shower faucet models.
I also found Delta’s video on adjusting the rotational limit stop – something I didn’t know existed! – to be very informative as well. Check it out.
I have to admit that this repair process took a long while for me. In retrospect, I was embarrassingly ill-equipped to tackle this job on my own. I arrogantly assumed I could knock it out in a short while without much research or effort. How wrong I was. I now have a much greater appreciation for plumbers and other skilled tradesman and the work that they do each and every day.
OTHER LINKS THAT MIGHT BE HELPFUL
- How to Repair a Delta 1700 Series Shower Faucet at Ehow.com
- How to Repair a Leaky Delta 1400 Series Shower Faucet at SFGate.com
- How to Repair a Wall-Mounted Single-Lever Shower Faucet at SFGate.com
- How to Remove a Leaky Shower Valve Cartridge at HandyManHowTo.com
- How to Change the Cartridge of a Delta Monitor Shower Valve at Instructables.com
- What Is a Shower Faucet Cartridge? at eHow.com