Your Delta shower handle attaches to the wall using a set screw. But how do you remove it if you can’t find the set screw? Keep reading to find out.
In most cases, if your Delta shower handle has no set screw, it’s corroded to the point of having dissolved. However, in this case, your shower handle should be very loose against the wall. You’ll want to look for any extra screws and then remove the handle.
Where is the Set Screw on a Delta Shower Handle?
Delta shower handles normally have set screws on the top and bottom of the handle. Depending on the Delta shower handle in question, the screw is likely under a large cap or hidden in a recess at the top and base of the shower handle.
Caps or Face Plate over Screws
In most cases, Delta uses a large cap over the full shower handle to cover the screws. This can be quite difficult to see.
For example, it often is not immediately obvious that the front panel comes off. In other cases, the panel is smaller. In this case, you might be able to see it as a raised surface on the front of the shower handle.
However, Delta does not normally use this tactic. Instead, you’re much more likely to have a full-surface front panel. You can remove this using a flat head screwdriver to pry the cap off the clips underneath.
However, this isn’t the only possible option. On the other hand, it is the most common option.
Recessed Set Screws
In some cases, Delta hides screw recesses in the top and bottom curves of the shower handle. You can look at the top and bottom, usually in the curve of the model right before it touches the wall.
Run your fingers over it to see if you can feel slight bumps or seams. In some cases, recesses have a plug in to keep water out. You’ll likely have to pry the plug out to get the screws out.
Plug buttons are small caps or plugs that go over the set screws. These are normally round and the same color as the rest of the handle. You should be able to feel them with your fingers and use a scraper or a flat screwdriver to pry them up.
Importantly, depending on your model of shower handle, you might have to rotate the cover counterclockwise to remove it first. Then, you can remove the sleeve, remove the plugs, and then remove the screws.
Trim covers work similarly to face plates in that they completely cover the set screws. However, the set screws may simply be on the inside of the trim rather than under it.
In the case of fully covered set screws, you’ll have to twist the trim off, usually in a counterclockwise direction. Then, you can slide the trim over the handle and remove the set screws.
Threaded bonnets are the most difficult Delta faucet to remove set screws from. Why? There are no immediately visible set screws on the faucet.
However, you can easily find and remove the set screws. To do so, simply firmly grasp the handle and turn the bonnet counterclockwise.
Remove the handle and bonnet and the pivot ring. Then, you can pull the face plate off. The two set screws are underneath.
What Does a Set Screw Look Like?
Delta set screws are always small, Philips #2 screws. They are normally silver and sit flush with the handle.
They are also often fully covered by the face plate. That can make it difficult to see if you have one or not.
However, every shower handle has set screws. If it does not, then someone likely installed the handle using silicone or another fixative material. That would be very difficult, considering most fixatives have difficulty adhering to metal for long.
Remove Delta Shower Handle with NO Set Screw
If you can’t find your set screw, there are a few tips you can use to remove the handle anyway. First, you’ll want to get some tools.
Tools You May Need
Removing a shower handle will require some care, especially if you want to use it again. If you don’t, you can go ahead and use whatever force is necessary to get it off the wall. Just make sure you have the water turned off first.
- Flat Screwdriver
- Phillips #2 Screwdriver
- 3/32 Allen Key
Double Check for Set Screws
Delta does not make shower handles without set screws. If yours does not have set screws, it means they have corroded, in which case the shower faucet is very old, or someone used adhesive to install the shower handle.
Check the top and bottom of the shower handle. You’ll also want to use a screwdriver to pry under the front plate of the shower handle.
As a last measure, try turning the front plate counterclockwise. This can be quite difficult, especially if there is corrosion. However, if it does turn, you can guarantee there are set screws underneath.
Pry Under the Shower Handle with a Scraper
Use a shower handle to probe under the shower handle. If you can get it under, poke the very top and bottom of the shower handle.
If you touch metal, it’s likely set screws. You can then check for a removable cover or face plate.
If you don’t hit the metal, it might mean the handle is glued on. This means you can likely simply rip the handle off the wall, while being careful not to damage the water valve or cartridge mechanism.
Gently tug and jerk the shower handle from side to side. You want to turn it around in circular motions, so that if there are screws, they will pull out of the wall without ripping the wall out.
You also want to avoid putting too much sideways or forward force on the valve or stem cartridge. Keep twisting and tugging until the shower handle comes free.
When your faucet loosens on one side, you can look under it to check for screws. Then, keep working at it until the full thing comes free.
4 Options to Consider if the Set Screw is Not Visible
Delta, like many high-end shower brands, puts considerable effort into hiding set screws. If you don’t find them at first, keep looking.
However, there are several other options you can take.
Look for Hidden Screws
Every Delta shower handle has set screws. While it may have been installed without them, this is extremely unlikely.
You’ll normally find screws to the top or bottom or left or right. They are almost always covered by a face plate.
In addition, you can always look for threaded bonnets. These all require twisting the front plate counterclockwise to remove it. Use a towel to increase your grip.
In addition, lime and calcium deposits can cause the front plate to stick. You might have difficulty removing it without first soaking the full thing in vinegar or another cleaning solution.
To do so, try wrapping a towel with cleaning solution around the face plate. Let that sit for anywhere from an hour to a day, dry the faucet thoroughly, and try again.
Check the Manual
If you still have the original box or manual your handle came in, it will have an installation diagram. You can always check that to see where the set screws should be.
Alternatively, you can look online to find similar models. While Delta has a lot of different shower handle models, most of them use similar setups. Find one that looks similar and then determine where the set screws are using that information.
You can also try taking photos of your shower handle and sending them to Delta. While Delta tries to add part numbers on all their products, you won’t likely find that without taking it apart.
You can always contact the team via the contact form on DeltaFaucet.com. That may take a few days. However, you will get an answer and/or advice directly from the manufacturer.
Delta also offers a tool for figuring out which parts you have. However, this normally relies on being able to see the part numbers.
If your handle is leaking in the meantime, consider turning off the water to your bathroom in between showering. While that’s not an ideal solution, it’s better than waiting while the water drips.
Call a Professional
Worst case scenario, you can always call a professional installation shop or plumber to help with the problem. In most cases, you can check who is available using a quick Google search and then call or email them to see if they can help.
In most cases, you’ll pay for the trip out and a few minutes of the technician’s time – which usually comes with a minimum fee. The professional will also have a better idea of where screws are likely to be located on your model.
However, they might not have any more experience with this model than you do so. So, eventually, they might use the same methods to remove it as you.
Finding the set screw on your delta faucet can take time. However, chances are, it is there. This FAQ should help with any further questions.
Can You Replace Just the Shower Handle?
Often, no. However, if you have a model from a known brand, like Delta, chances are, you can.
How? Contact Delta to see if you can purchase the handle as a replacement part. Chances are, they will be happy to oblige. If not, you can always buy a new set matching the existing one and keep everything else for parts.
However, if you can’t find the make and mode, it’s unlikely you can replace just the handle. Why? It has to fit into the valve cartridge or stem valve and into the valve.
That means the handle has to be the same size, the same length, and have the same type of fittings. In addition, it will have to fit into the wall fittings holding the cartridge. So, unless you find a perfect match, you’ll have to replace the whole thing.
What size is the set screw on a Delta shower faucet?
Delta normally uses a Phillips #2 screw. However, in some cases, Delta will also use a 3/32 Allen key. You can check which you have after you open it up.
However, if you want to replace it with your own screw, you probably want to order an OEM part. In most cases, you can order them for a little as a few dollars.
Why? Set screws are highly custom and have to fit perfectly. Delta often uses 0.13 x 0.13 x 0.13, which is not at all a standard size.
How much does a plumber charge to replace a shower faucet?
That depends on the plumber, their rates, and the time it takes to remove the shower faucet and install the new one. Costs also vary depending on if you buy the new faucet yourself or ask the plumber to supply one.
But, plumbers have an average salary of $42 per hour in the USA. Most have a minimum of a 30-minute visit and you may have to pay travel costs. Delta faucets themselves can cost several hundred dollars.
So, the cost of the plumber to install one will be a small fraction of the cost of the faucet. In this case, you should probably expect anywhere from $60-$150 for installing a new faucet.
If you can’t find your Delta faucet set screws, chances are, you should look harder. Unfortunately, Delta uses several different ways to hide set screws. That can make it challenging to find and remove those screws when you want to replace your faucet.
Plus, corrosion and calcium deposits can cause your faucet cover to stick, which makes the whole process more difficult.