American Standard products are known for their durability and longevity, from kitchen faucets to shower products. However, like any product, the components wear out after a while. Perhaps your shower is leaking, or maybe the handle isn’t working correctly.
So, to troubleshoot the issue, you need to take off the shower handle to access the internal parts. And although you see a few screws on the shower trim, you have no idea how to take off the handle. Sound familiar? We’re here to help.
How Do You Take The Handle Off An American Standard Shower?
The American Standard shower handles design is pretty simple, although there is some variation between models. For the most part, there should be two screws, clearly visible, that hold the trim in place. But, if you only unscrew these, the shower handle won’t budge.
Why? There’s a tiny hole on the underside of the shower handle. Inside the hole, there’s a screw that holds the handle itself in place. So, while unscrewing the visible set screws will help you remove the shower trim, it won’t do much for removing the handle.
Here’s what you’ll need to remove the handle:
- Allen wrench
- Replacement parts (as needed)
Turn Off The Water And Drain The Lines
First things first, you need to shut off the water supply to the shower. In some cases, the shower might have stops that you can turn off, but this isn’t always true. Or, there might be a control panel in a nearby closet with water supply shut-off valves.
So, check for these first. If you can’t find either, you’ll have to shut off the water supply at the main shut-off valve in your home. Before you shut it off, it doesn’t hurt to give your family or roommates a heads-up.
Once you shut off the water, drain the water from the lines. Do this by turning on the shower and letting it run until no water comes out. There’s usually stagnant water left in the lines, even though the water is off. So, to avoid getting sprinkled with excess water, drain the lines before you start.
Cover The Drain
Before you start disassembling the shower handle, cover the drain with a large towel. This way, you won’t lose any essential parts down the drain if you drop them. The small set screws might be able to slip down the drain, so cover it to be on the safe side.
Remove The Screws
Next, find the hole in the shower handle itself. There might be a cover hiding the hole, so feel for a bump or divot in the bottom of the shower handle. If there’s a cap, carefully pry it away with your fingernail or a flathead screwdriver. Be careful not to damage the finish.
Once you remove the cap, use an Allen wrench to loosen the set screw in the housing. You don’t need to unthread it all the way, only far enough to remove the handle. You’ll know you’ve gone far enough when the shower handle feels easily moveable or easy to lift.
Remove The Handle
Once you loosen the hex screw in the handle housing, carefully pull the handle off the cap. Pull it straight out to remove it. You might have to wiggle the handle slightly to remove it easily, but it should come off without an issue.
Remove The Trim
After removing the handle, your next step is removing the trim. This part is straightforward, as the screws are easily accessible. Using a screwdriver, unthread the screws, then set them aside.
Pry the shower trim up, carefully lifting it away from the wall. Set this aside as well.
Take Off The Cap
You’ll need to remove the cap covering the shower valve to access the shower cartridge and anything behind it. It’s usually a bell-shaped cap that matches the shower handle finish. In some cases, you might be able to remove it before taking off the trim, while in other cases, you might have to remove the trim first.
Using a pair of pliers, grasp the edge of the cap and pull it straight out. Set it aside with the rest of the shower parts.
Address The Problem
Now, you should be able to do whatever fix you need to. You have easy access to the internal parts, so replace anything that’s worn out or not working. Generally, you can find any replacement parts you’ll need at most home improvement stores, like Lowe’s and Home Depot.
Or, if you have time, order the exact part from the manufacturer’s website. You’ll have to wait a few days for shipping, but this might be your best bet, especially if you can’t find the exact part in stores.
Once you’re done with the repair, reassemble the faucet in reverse order. Turn the water back on, then test your handiwork. Check for leaks and address any hiccups as needed.