How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Shower Cartridge?

Bry'Ana Arvie
Written by Bry'Ana Arvie
Updated January 11, 2022
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Photo: coralimages / Adobe Stock

The cost to replace a shower cartridge is between $200 and $400

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Everyone loves a hot shower after a long day. Unfortunately, it can turn from a luxury to a nightmare when your shower parts start failing. 

If you notice water temperature issues or a shower handle that’s hard to turn, then it might be time to replace your shower cartridge. Projects like these can cost you, on average, $300. And factors such as your equipment and location can impact your final cost.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Shower Cartridge?

On average, it costs between $200 and $400 to replace a shower cartridge. Various factors impact the replacement price, including labor, parts, and location. If you’re looking for a more accurate quote, then contact a plumber near you.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Shower Cartridge Near You?

Shower cartridge costs vary by location, with Miami averaging the lowest at $230

Your location also plays a part in how much you should expect to pay for a replacement cartridge. Here are a few examples of what homeowners in different regions across the U.S. pay for this service:

LocationAverage Cost
Seattle$290
Miami$230
Denver$250
Minneapolis$280
Los Angeles$290
New York$360
Houston$240
Chicago$300
Augusta, ME$260

How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Shower Cartridge Yourself?

The bulk of the price that plumbers charge when replacing a shower cartridge is labor cost. So, if you can get the necessary tools to do the job yourself, you can save between $75 and $160 per hour in labor fees. 

To DIY your shower cartridge replacement, it’ll cost between $50 and $120. This price includes a replacement cartridge, screwdriver, cartridge tool, pliers, silicone caulk, and plumber’s grease. Keep in mind that the tools you’ll need will vary depending on your cartridge brand and model. 

You’ll also need to factor in the time and energy that you’ll use to complete this project. 

If you try to rush the process, you can cause your shower cartridge to break into little pieces. Then you’ll need to replace the entire valve, which will cost you more money. If you don’t have the time to DIY this project, consider hiring an affordable plumber near you.

Shower Cartridge Replacement Cost Breakdown

Running water in modern tiled shower
Photo: Jon Lovette / Photodisc / Getty Images

The cost of replacing a shower cartridge is broken down into equipment and labor needed.

Equipment

A professional plumber will have experience replacing shower cartridges and all the necessary equipment with them when they start the job. And because different brands have different cartridges, they’ll know the specific tools required to get the job done. 

They’ll come prepared with your replacement cartridge, which costs anywhere between $15 and $85. They’ll also charge you for your part plus an upcharge fee.

Labor Cost

Pros can charge anywhere from $75 to $160 per hour. Some plumbers will also charge a survey fee to assess the situation before starting.

Replacing a shower cartridge includes the unit price and labor costs averaging $75 to $160

What Factors Influence the Cost to Replace a Shower Cartridge?

The factors that go into replacing a shower cartridge are project complexity, location, and your home warranty.

Project Complexity

The more work your contractor has to do, the more they’ll charge. So, if you have an older home with the original shower cartridge, it might require more time and patience to ensure the entire cartridge comes out and no pieces remain. Or, depending on your home’s design, your plumber might have to cut through the drywall on the other side of your shower’s wall to get to it. 

After surveying your problem, they might also notice that you need an entirely new valve system. While curveballs like these aren’t anything new to a pro, they will cost you more.

Location

A plumber’s cost can drastically change depending on where you live in the country. Homeowners who live in rural areas will pay significantly less than those staying in urban cities.

Home Warranty

Depending on your home warranty, they might cover plumbing services due to wear and tear from everyday usage.

FAQs About Replacing a Shower Cartridge

Should I repair or replace my shower cartridge?

Sometimes your cartridge isn’t working right because mineral deposits are blocking it. The only way to find out what’s causing your shower handle or water temperature problem is by removing and examining the cartridge. 

If mineral deposits are the issue, then you should be able to see them clearly. You can remove blockages yourself by letting it sit in a warm vinegar solution for an hour. Then use an old toothbrush to scrub off the mineral buildup; repeat the process if needed.

On the other hand, if you see cracks or gouges on it, then it’s time for a replacement.

Should I replace it myself or contact a professional?

If you are comfortable with working on this project yourself, have the time and patience to get it done, and are willing to purchase the necessary tools, then you can certainly DIY it. 

However, if you notice some pieces are missing after removing the cartridge and can’t locate them or are worried you won’t install it correctly, contact a pro for peace of mind.

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