How to Repair a Price Pfister Shower Valve

Fixing Price Pfister Shower Faucets

Price Pfister shower
The Spruce / Aaron Stickley

Like most single-handle faucets, Price Pfister faucets are often best repaired by turning your attention to the inner cartridge—either repairing it or installing a replacement. If the handle is hard to pull out or push in, replacing the cartridge will usually correct this, although in some cases simply lubricating the O-rings on the cartridge will also do the trick. Another problem is a water drip when the shower is turned off. In this case, replacing the cartridge is the only solution. 

These two issues are common with Price Pfister Avante cartridges, and you can find replacement cartridges at most large home centers and through online plumbing parts suppliers. 

Tools and Supplies You Will Need

  • Small flat-head screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Channel-lock pliers
  • Rag (as needed)
  • Penetrating oil (as needed)
  • Plumber's grease
  • Replacement cartridge (as needed)


Turn Off the Water

Shut off the water supply to the faucet by turning off the shower's shutoff valves (if it has them) or by turning off the main water supply shutoff valve to the house.

Look for shower shutoffs on the water supply pipes near the shower; they may be concealed behind an access panel on the wall opposite the shower, or they might be under the floor if there is a basement or crawlspace below. Your home's main shutoff valve is on the main water supply pipe coming into the house; it may be located in a basement, crawlspace, garage, or utility room.

Remove the Faucet Handle

Price Pfister handle
The Spruce / Aaron Stickley

Remove the decorative cap covering the handle screw on the faucet knob, using a small flat-head screwdriver to pry off the cap. Loosen and remove the handle screw, which usually requires a Phillips screwdriver. Pull the handle straight out away from the wall to remove it from the cartridge stem. 

Remove the Escutcheon

Price Pfister escutcheon
The Spruce / Aaron Stickley

Unscrew the faucet sleeve by turning it counterclockwise. It's best to do this by hand, if possible. Otherwise, use channel-lock pliers, and protect the sleeve from the pliers' jaws with a rag or a scrap of leather.

Extract the Cartridge

Removing a Price Pfister shower cartridge
The Spruce / Aaron Stickley

Remove the large mounting nut that holds the cartridge in place, turning it counter-clockwise with channel-lock pliers. If the nut is stuck, spray some penetrating oil on the threads, wait about 15 minutes, then try again.

Note the orientation of the cartridge; you must put it (or its replacement) back in the same way.

Remove the cartridge by pulling it straight out of the valve, using the pliers. A slight back-and-forth wiggling action can sometimes help loosen the cartridge. If the cartridge is hard to pull out, you can try putting the handle screw back onto the end of the cartridge and using it to get a better grip with the pliers.

Replace or Lubricate the Cartridge

Price Pfister cartridge
The Spruce / Aaron Stickley

Lubricate the O-rings on the old cartridge with a small amount of waterproof plumber's grease. Reinstall the cartridge, using the same orientation as before. Push the cartridge all the way into the valve, then screw the retaining nut back on, and tighten it with pliers.

Alternatively, you can install a new cartridge using the same techniques.If the old cartridge is badly corroded, it's usually better to simply replace the cartridge. 

Turn the water back on and test the faucet before before completing the reassembly. You can simply fit the handle onto the cartridge to turn the water on and off, testing both the hot to cold water flow. If all works well, pull off the handle, then reinstall the mounting ring. Fit the handle back on and secure it with its screw, and add the decorative cap.

Note: If the caulk around the trim plate is loose or cracked, scrape it out with a razor scraper, then caulk all the way around the trim plate with pure silicone caulk to prevent any water from getting behind the plate and into the wall.