loose shower valveA loose shower valve in the wall is a common item found during a home inspection. It is usually only found on single handle valves where the handle is pulled out to start the water, rather than the valve where you simply turn the know side-to-side. The problem is that the valve and associated piping wasn’t strapped to the wall framing. There are some simple fixes you can try first, before opening the wall to strap the fixture.

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The reason the problem is more common is the pull-out handles is that sometimes it takes a lot of force to move the handle outward from the wall, especially if the cartridge is old and crusty. So an easy solution is to replace the cartridge in the valve. That is a common sense solution that many people don’t think about. If you lessen the force necessary to move the handle, then you lessen the movement of the valve in the process.

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Another possible solution is to fill the wall cavity with some expanding foam insulation. You will have to remove the handle and escutcheon plate and then you can spray some foam around the valve and let it dry. As the foam dries it might (and I emphasize might) create enough resistance to the valve moving.

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As a last resort, you can cut the wall open and properly strap the valve so that it doesn’t move. Then you will either have to repair the wall or maybe consider an access panel.

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