How to Remove Stuck Shower Handle Screw


Shower handles have set screws that hold their parts together. The last thing you want to experience in your bathroom is a stuck shower handle screw. It is even more challenging to remove a stripped or rusty screw. A shower handle screw becomes stripped when you over-tighten it, use outdated drill bits, utilize incompatible screwdrivers, or work too fast. Note that you cannot remove a stripped shower handle screw using an ordinary screwdriver. Continue reading to gain insights into how to remove a stuck shower handle screw. 

What Tools Do You Need to Remove a Stuck Shower Handle Screw

You need the right tools when removing a stuck screw to avoid damaging the shower handle. The tools include:

  • Rubber bands
  • Hammer 
  • Pliers 
  • Drill bit

How to Remove a Stuck Shower Handle Screw

You can employ one of several techniques to remove a stuck shower handle screw. The status of the screw should help inform the ideal technique for removing it from the shower. It would be best to start by inspecting the screw and determining why it is stuck. 

In certain instances, the shower handle screw may require a simple solution like lubrication to turn. Remember to try like before taking more forceful actions. If lubrication fails, you can conclude that the screw has undergone natural disintegration. 

Here are the techniques you can employ to solve this problem:

Method One: Using a Rubber Band

It might be hard to believe, but a rubber band can come in handy when you need to remove a stuck shower handle screw. A rubber band can give your screwdriver extra grip that can help turn the striped shower handle screw without breaking a sweat. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  • Place your rubber band across the stuck screw. 
  • Slow turn the screw and ensure the rubber band and screwdriver are well placed to optimize their efficacy. 
  • As you turn the screwdriver, you should observe the extra grip makes the unscrewing process easier. 

If your shower handle has a Phillips screw, you can utilize a flathead screwdriver to wedge the stuck screw-free. To accomplish this:

  • Place your rubber band on the stuck Phillip’s screw. 
  • Tap the screwdriver into the head of the screw using a hammer. This allows the screwdriver to have additional grip. Remember not to hit too hard to avoid damaging the shower handle
  • Slowly turn your screwdriver until you notice the screw’s rotation. 

Method Two: Employing a Hammer

Utilizing a hammer might seem ill-informed since it can push the stuck screw deeper into the shower handle. However, you can use the tool methodically to avoid such an eventuality. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  • Place a screwdriver on the screw’s drive and tap the screwdriver severally with a hammer. 
  • Once the screwdriver grips the screw firmly, gradually unscrew the shower handle screw. 
hammer
hammer

Method Three: Using Pliers

This technique is ideal if the head section of the shower handle screw sticks out. The exposed part of the stuck screw gives you extra wriggle room to utilize your pliers. Utilizing pliers requires applying extra muscle to get the stuck screw out. 

Sometimes you may only get a slight movement of the stuck screw when you use pliers to pull it out. In such instances, you can employ another technique to remove the stuck shower handle screw entirely. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Use the tip of your pliers to grab the stuck-out section of the shower handle screw. Failure to do so grip it properly could render the technique ineffective. 
  • Once your pliers have an excellent grip, pull the screw until you notice some movement. Remember to move the screw sideways for maximum effect. Use measured force once the screw loosens to avoid damaging the shower handle. 

Method Four: Using a Drill Bit

You can use this technique if all other methods fail. Using a drill bit is very effective and is a sure way of removing your striped shower handle screw. When employing this technique, your drill bit’s diameter should be large enough to fit in the screw’s drive. The drill bit method is apt for Allen and Phillips screws. Here are the steps you should follow:

  • Drill the stripped screw’s head until the drill bit penetrates it. Remember to drill slowly and cautiously to minimize the risk of damaging the shower handle. 
  • Once you have penetrated the head, replace the cobalt bit with one compatible with the head’s diameter. 
  • Utilizing the novel bit, drill the stripped screw’s head by placing the bit on the initial hole. You should, however, note that it is a time-consuming process. 
  • Continue drilling the stripped screw head and stop when you get to the screw’s inside diameter. At this stage, you can separate the handle and the drill bit. 
  • Use the stuck-out drill bit to remove the stuck screw from the shower handle. This may require some wiggling. You can use pliers to wiggle the screw if it is too tight. 
drill bit
drill bit

Method Five: Heating

You can use heating to remove rusty shower handle screws. Ideally, you should use heating if all other techniques fail because it can damage the shower handle. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Direct the flame of your torch onto the rusted screw head. Remember to wear leather gloves to avoid getting burnt accidentally. 
  • Pour cold water on the heated surface. You can repeat the process severally for maximum effect. 
  • Remove the rusty screw with a screwdriver. 

Bottom Line

Removing a stuck shower handle screw can be quite frustrating. In most cases, a shower handle gets stuck because it is rusty or stripped. Solving this problem requires you first to inspect the screw to establish its condition and location. You can then use this information to determine the ideal technique for removing your stuck shower handle screw. Remember to exercise caution to avoid damaging the shower handle. 

Smith Edwards

Smith Edwards is a licensed plumber and writer with over a decade of hands-on construction and home improvement experience and has been providing home improvement advice for over 12 years.

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