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Shower Parts

The shower is a complex system of parts. Sometimes, though, these parts malfunction or degrade, resulting in a leaky shower. To fix the leak requires replacing valves or shower hardware. Often, the issue isn’t with the shower itself but with the shower enclosure. Shower doors are in constant use several times a day. Over the life of the shower door, the track can rust, rollers tend to stick and metal parts can rust, causing them to fail.

What parts of the shower are commonly replaced?

  • Shower arm—The shower arm is the pipe that connects the water supply pipe to the showerhead, and it's often made of chrome steel. Most of the pipes are around a foot long with a bend in the center, but there are different designs for various shower types.
  • Wall flange—To help connect the shower arm to the supply pipe, the wall flange, or escutcheon, works as a bracket to attach the shower arm to the door.
  • Showerhead—Placed at the end of the shower arm, the showerhead disperses the water flow through small holes at the surface that faces the person in the shower. The showerhead can be attached to the shower arm or have a cord that attaches it to the shower arm.
  • Water supply valve—The water supply valve starts or stops the water flow, keeping water from flowing into the shower. Most shower leaks can be corrected by replacing this part.
  • Diverter valve—Similar to a supply valve, the diverter valve moves water from the shower to the tub or vice versa in a shower/tub combination.
  • Washer—Another factor to consider with links is a broken washer. The washer, which works with the valve, helps prevent the shower from dripping or leaking. In a valve, it connects to a cartridge.
  • O-ring—O-rings can be found in several places in the shower, such as in the showerhead. Their main function is to provide a seal.
  • Cartridge—A shower cartridge is a device that mixes the hot and cold water to help regulate the water temperature. It can also work with a valve to turn the water supply on and off, providing a common source for leaks.
  • Spout—Commonly called a faucet, the spout delivers water to the tub in a shower/tub combination, similar to a showerhead.
  • Shower door—Usually either a sliding or swinging door, the shower door is part of the shower enclosure, which is typically made of glass. Together, they function to keep water in the shower and out of the bathroom.

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