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How To: Install a Shower Valve

Watch How to Install a Shower Valve on YouTube.

Shower Valve Rough-in Installation Steps 

Reduce your shower valve installation time with tips from David Hunt, a master plumber of 35 years. Discover why Hunt believes the key to a fast, secure shower rough-in is using SharkBite Max fittings. He will walk you through installing the shower valve, water lines, shower riser, and trim kit.  

Discover Max: What's the Difference Between SharkBite(1st Generation) and SharkBite Max? 

sharkbite max shower valve install

Prep the Install

Once the studs are up in your new build or remodel, locate your shower frame and where you’ll need to install the shower valve. During the rough-in phase, using the correct measurements is essential for the next phase of the project to go smoothly.

To start, use a tape measure to measure and mark the height of the following:  

Shower valve:40” high
Shower head:80” high
Between stud distance:Can range from 10” to 16”
2x4 depth:1.5”  

After measuring the distance between studs, install a 2-by-4 at the shower valve mark. Then, measure the depth of your 2x4 and use this as the depth for the HoldRite telescoping bracket. Fold the ends of the HoldRite bracket along the width of your frame and drill it in, using a level to check it.

Shower Kit Install

prepping the shower valve

Use the SharkBite Max Brass Push Shower Installation Kit along with a shower valve for installation. This kit includes:

To prep the shower valve, use Teflon tape, pipe dope or a combination of the two on the sides of the valve. If using Teflon tape, thread it clockwise so the tape does not unravel. Then, use tongue-and-groove pliers to tighten the adapters on the valve and drill the valve into the middle of the stud. Use a level to check it.

To install your pipes, make a mark right below each supply line. After marking the bottom of your frame, drill a hole for each line. You can choose to drill both holes either in the front, back or center of the stud. Whether you are using PEX, copper, PVC, PE-RT or HDPE SDR-9 pipe, ensure your pipes are cut squarely. For PEX pipe, use SharkBite PRO PEX cutters to quickly and easily make smooth, even cuts.  Then, deburr the pipe with the deburr and gauge tool and remove any debris.

SharkBite Fitting SizeNominal
Pipe Size
Pipe ODSharkBite 1st Generation
Insertion Depth
SharkBite Max
Insertion Depth
1/4 in.1/4 in. CTS3/8 in.13/16 in. (21 mm.) 
3/8 in.3/8 in. CTS1/2 in.15/16 in. (24 mm.) 
1/2 in.1/2 in. CTS5/8 in.15/16 in. (24 mm.)1 in. (25 mm.)
5/8 in.5/8 in. CTS3/4 in.1-1/8 in. (29 mm.) 
3/4 in.3/4 in. CTS7/8 in.1-1/8 in. (28 mm.)1-1/4 in. (32 mm.)
1 in.1 in. CTS1-1/8 in.1-5/16 in. (33 mm.) 
1-1/4 in.1-1/4 in. CTS1-3/8 in.1-7/8 in. (48 mm.) 
1-1/2 in.1-1/2 in. CTS1-5/8 in.2-1/16 in. (52 mm.) 
2 in.2 in. CTS2-1/8 in.2-3/16 in. (56 mm.) 

Measure and mark your pipes according to the pipe insertion depth chart. Push the pipes into the shower valve according to this mark. Install the hot water line on the left and cold water line on the right.  

sharkbite max drop ear elbow install

To install the shower riser, use the SharkBite Max drop ear elbow. Before drilling the elbow into the HoldRite bracket, prep your pipe. Cut and deburr the pipe and mark it according to the insertion depth chart, then push the pipe to the mark. Then, measure the distance from the riser to the shower valve, including the insertion depth for the shower valve end.  

Cut your pipe according to this measurement and deburr it. Insert the pipe into the shower valve and use galvanized screws to secure the drop ear elbow to the HoldRite bracket. Install the stub-out using Teflon tape, which will ensure there are no leaks when the system is first pressurized. Finish by adding the shower guard over the valve and install the interior component, which prevents mixing.  

Installing the Shower Trim Kit

While your main water valve is off, install the rest of the shower valve. If you are installing the cartridge, make sure to check for an H on the interior, which indicates the hot side. Place the cartridge inside the shower valve with the hot side on the left and screw the ring on, hand-tightening only.

Read More: How to Turn Off Main Water Valve for Plumbing Repairs  

shower valve installed with SharkBite Max

Then, screw on the beauty ring, line up the face plate to the screw points on the valve, and screw the face plate on. Screw on your handle, ensuring to install it to the off position. To install the shower head, add Teflon tape to the pipe for extra protection. Lastly, with a clockwise motion, tighten the shower head onto the pipe using an adjustable wrench. 

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