Shower Parts Names: (Diagram & Explanation Of Plumbing Pieces) (2023)

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A nice long shower is the best way to unwind after a hectic day. The soothing sound of flowing water is therapeutic and an integral part of the de-stressing process.

However, this experience can become frustrating if you do not choose the right shower. The correct water flow and pressure is necessary.

According to a 2015 report, 50% of UK respondents said they spent five to ten minutes in the shower every day.

Therefore, it is essential to understand shower parts and to know how to buy the right ones. Read on as we discuss different types of showers and how they are usually set up.

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Basic Shower Setup

A shower is directly connected to the water supply to provide an aerial water stream. There are several different types of shower setups to choose from:

  • Manual Mixer
    These are easy to install and use, mixing cold and hot water supplies manually
  • Thermostatic Mixer
    These incorporate the thermostatic valve to regulate the water temperature. They are perfectly suited for children as they prevent scalding.
  • Electric
    These are easy and quick to install with a heating element, so only a cold water supply is needed with them
  • Power
    An integral pump to promote the water pressure; these use both the cold and hot water supplies to improve your showering experience

Shower System Diagram

The following shower plumbing diagram accurately illustrates the use of integral shower parts to guide readers through the installation process.

If you set out to do the installation yourself, ensure the following:

  • Compile all the tools needed
  • Shut off the water supply
  • Clean the stopper
  • Add new thread tape
  • Follow up with the additional pieces

Shower Parts Names: (Diagram & Explanation Of Plumbing Pieces) (1)

Click here to access more information about shower parts needed for a seamless installation.

Most Common Shower Parts

Most users are aware of the visible shower pieces, but for it to function correctly, it needs properly-functioning internal shower parts that you should know about:

  • 1

    Hot & Cold Water Pipes
    Part of the water supply, these pipes are responsible for transporting water to the showerhead. Pipes can come in various materials, but galvanized steel is the most common choice, especially if you have an older home.Over time you will feel the water pressure slowly lowering because of deposits due to oxidation. At this point, it would be best to replace your pipes.Homes in the US still favor Copper pipes; however, PEX pipes are gaining popularity as they are cheap and easy to install.
  • 2

    Shower Cartridge And Handle
    The shower cartridge is an essential shower component as it controls temperature and volume upon release.Whenever you toggle the shower handle, the cartridge also moves to open or close the hot and cold-water inlets and let the water converge. The ability to open one inlet more than the other is how users adjust the shower temperature. Slide the handle more towards the cold water setting to receive colder water and vice versa.

Shower Parts Names: (Diagram & Explanation Of Plumbing Pieces) (2)

  • 3

    Shower Valves
    Shower valves are responsible for controlling the water flowing from the showerhead. Additionally, brass is the most common material used to make these. The valve has a tub spout, which redirects the water from the stub to the showerhead. Furthermore, many shower valves contain a port at the bottom, allowing you to turn it into a tub valve. To prevent scalding water temperatures, ensure the valve is either thermostatic or pressure balanced.
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Here are some of the various types of valves you can find:

  • Thermostatic Valves
    A thermostatic valve regulates the water temperature with the help of a thermostat. Before running the shower, turn the dial on the valve faceplate to alter the temperature.More contemporary designs come with anti-scald technology to prevent sudden heat spikes. Other than that, these valves also control the water volume from outlets.
  • Pressure Balancing Valves
    Commonly found in modern bathrooms, these valves control the water pressure and direct its movement along the pipes. A spring gasket helps achieve this by functioning as a stopper to manage water flow. The valves also have a shower cartridge connected to the primary handle, which helps it mix water to regulate temperature. It is important to get pipes pressure-tested before installing pressure valves because older ones suffer from corrosion and reduce efficiency.
  • Diverter Valves
    These valves shift the water flow between a shower and a tub. They have three different types.
  • Tee diverter: These have a pull arm on the tap that redirects water towards the showerhead once it has reached an appropriate temperature
  • Three-valve diverter: This lets you prepare the hot and cold water separately and then redirect the water between the tap and shower using a knob
  • Two-valve diverter: Uses a rotating control for cold and hot water and another control to switch water between the tub and shower.
  • Transfer Valves
    These valves let the water flow through multiple outlets simultaneously and are well suited for handheld showerheads or shower walls. Generally, they let you use one or both outlets simultaneously with a combination that can run them together.
  • 4

    Shower Head
    Connected to the water pipes with a steel hose, it is the most visible shower component. The showerhead is also very easily replaceable if broken.It is perforated to direct water through a focused point and uses less water than a full bathtub. Also, showerheads come in various shapes and can be adjusted to a gentle spray mode, massage mode, or intense spray mode. If you are confused about which one to buy, check out our top showerhead reviews to make a well-informed decision.

Shower Parts Names: (Diagram & Explanation Of Plumbing Pieces) (3)

  • 5

    Shower Drain Strainer
    A typical shower drain plumbing system's primary component is the drain strainer. It is part of the drain cover on the shower floor that prevents unwanted debris like hair, soap pieces, or dirt from entering the drain. These pesky pollutants can cause a buildup on pipe walls, eventually leading to a clogging issue. Most shower drains are made of aluminum or steel and are available in various designs and styles.
  • 6

    Shower Pan
    A shower pan is an essential part of a shower. It is necessary to prevent leakages and stop the floor from rotting over time. Shower pans come n various materials. In the past, most plumbers used lead; however, a new material called Chloraloy has become popular over the last few decades.It is durable and robust rubber held together by sturdy PVC like cement.
  • 7

    Enclosures are one of the most visible parts of a shower stall. Typically, they are constructed using economical tiles. However, other materials, like glass tiles, glass blocks, manufactured stones, and natural stones, are also used. Most of these have a tray at the bottom, but some also use floor tiles. Even though most shower enclosures restrict the area with panels, there are also some without doors. Furthermore, various types are available to choose from: quadrant, square, rectangle, framed, and frameless, among a host of others.
  • 8

    Trap And Drain Pipes
    A trap or an 'S-Bend' is a type of pipe designed in a sideways S shape. If properly installed in the piping system, they help trap water. Trapping water will prevent the flow of harmful gases and substances from entering your house while also expelling waste from your system. On the other hand, a drain pipe is attached to the base of the shower tray. It is purposed to direct sewage and wastewater away from the house. Traps typically come in copper, PVC, or ABS builds.

Shower Parts Names: (Diagram & Explanation Of Plumbing Pieces) (4)

How To Find The Perfect Shower For Your Bathroom

Here are a few factors you should consider when looking for the perfect shower for your bathroom:

1. Bathroom Size And Layout

Since showers are available in many shapes and sizes, it is essential to measure the space to find the appropriate size.

The aim is to ensure that the shower you buy fits comfortably and doesn't impede functionality.

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2. Water Pressure Type

The water pressure in your house determines the kind of shower you should install. For instance, a high-pressure system employing a combi boiler would fit well with a mixer shower.

On the other hand, a low-pressure system is best with an electric shower. Additionally, this one also provides hot water immediately and consistently.

3. Plumbing And Water Heating Systems

People have different water systems in their homes:

  • Gravity-fed (with a cold water tank and a water cylinder): Meant to supply water simultaneously to multiple showers
  • Combi boiler (with a boiler excluding tanks or water cylinders): To heat water as you use it
  • Unvented system (with a water cylinder heated by an immersion heater): To heat a lot of water

4. Types Of Shower Heads

Showerheads have an essential role in providing the control you want over your shower quality. There are three types you can choose from:

  • Fixed shower: Permanently attached to the wall or ceiling
  • Riser kit: very versatile in water usage and has adjustable height
  • Combination shower head: Can be detached or fixed

5. Type Of Shower Valves

A pressure valve has one handle that controls both the water volume and temperature. In contrast, a thermostatic one has two handles: one for temperature adjustments and the other to control the volume.

Check out the best shower valves here if you want to install or replace them.

People also Ask (FAQs)

What plumbing requirements are needed for a shower?

Ensure that the shower system you choose works with the pipes in your home, as well as vent and drain pipes.

What is the minimum height for a shower?

It is approximately 80 inches above the shower floor.

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Why does my shower head drip after i turn it off?

The diverter is pulled back towards the faucet through gravity; the left-over water in the pipes or showerhead drips out of it.

How do i stop my shower faucet from dripping?

Replace the old cartridge in the shower with a new one to stop it from dripping.

Is there a shut-off valve for showers?

Yes, you can either find it underneath the sink or in the crawlspace, under your bathroom.

Can you replace the showerhead without turning off the water?

Yes, you can; unscrew the old one in a counterclockwise orientation. Even though most are not screwed to the wall, you need to remove the screws first if yours is.


As simple as a shower system may seem, some shower plumbing parts are essential for the entire system to run smoothly.

Hence, it is vital to consider the different factors that affect its quality. Therefore, pick the right shower for your bathroom to enhance your experience.

Shower Parts Names: (Diagram & Explanation Of Plumbing Pieces) (5)

Ian Haynes

Ian Haynes is an expert writer who has successfully deployed over 500 plumbing pages and other related content. He has an excellent understanding of home plumbing issues and translates his experiences via Plumbing Lab so readers can have a better understanding of common household problems. Outside of his work, Ian likes exploring Brooklyn with his Labrador.

Ian Haynes is an expert writer who has successfully deployed over 500 plumbing pages and other related content. He has an excellent understanding of home plumbing issues and translates his experiences via Plumbing Lab so readers can have a better understanding of common household problems. Outside of his work, Ian likes exploring Brooklyn with his Labrador.

(Video) Bathroom Fitting Names-1


What is each part in a shower called? ›

There are three main shower head parts: the head itself, the arm, and the escutcheon, or flange.

What is the piece in the shower called? ›

Shower Faucet vs Shower Valve

A shower faucet refers to the showerhead and sometimes a tub spout and other visible faucet handles and controls in a shower. Shower faucets and their accompanying controls are sometimes called shower trim, which are the visible pieces of your shower that you use every day.

What is the pipe connected to the shower head called? ›

To confirm the terminology, a shower arm is the short length of the pipe that comes out of the wall and connects to the showerhead. Shower arms typically have a slight bend near their middle, and they almost always have threads on both ends.

What is the part called that holds the shower head? ›

The most common shower head holder is usually attached to what is known as a shower riser rail or shower slider rail. This is a vertical rail which is attached to the wall.

What is a shower valve called? ›

Pressure balancing valves, also called mechanical or anti-scald valves, are the most common types of shower valves. A pressure balancing valve is designed to rebalance the water pressure to keep the shower from becoming excessively hot.

What are the different types of shower valves? ›

In a nutshell, there are three different types of shower valves on the market: pressure balancing shower valve, thermostatic shower valve and diverter shower valve.

How does a shower mixing valve work? ›

As the element expands and contracts, it moves the slide valve (5) to correctly proportion the amount of cold and hot water entering the valve. If the cold water supply were to fail slowly over a long period of time, the valve would increasingly throttle the hot supply to maintain a safe temperature at the outlet (3).

What are the shower pipes called? ›

Shower Arm — Pipe that comes out of the wall and the showerhead threads onto. Shower Trim Plate — A trim plate is a decorative piece of brass that covers the rough in valve in tub/shower installations. Showerhead — An output devise that delivers water to the shower.

What is a shower diverter? ›

What is a shower diverter? If you have a combo bathtub and shower, your faucet handle has a way of changing the flow of water from the tub spout up to the showerhead, and the other way around. When you use this handle, you are activating the shower diverter, which if the valve behind the wall that directs the water.

What does the shower head connected to? ›

Handheld Shower Heads

These are connected to the wall by a flexible tube or hose, allowing a range of motion. Handheld shower heads most often hang on a fixed-mount bracket, which can hang low or high on the wall depending on your needs.

What connects the shower head to the arm? ›

A shower arm or a shower extension is nothing but a pipe fitting that connects a showerhead to the water supply in the wall.

Why is my shower leaking from the bottom? ›

Why is my shower leaking from the bottom? A build-up of pressure can easily cause water to leak from the bottom of your shower. If your shower hose is blocked, this can cause the pressure to increase. Modern showers feature a pressure relief device.

What is shower riser rail? ›

Shower riser rail kits are probably the most common form of shower outlet in the bathroom. They consist of a shower head, a shower hose and a rail on which the shower heads slides up and down.

How do you assemble a shower head? ›

How to Change a Shower Head | The Home Depot - YouTube

How do I fix my shower rail? ›

SHOWER RAIL INSTALL - Plumbing Tips - YouTube

What is a shower regulator? ›

In stock. A flow regulator that fits between your shower hose and handset to instantly reduce your water usage - replaces the existing washer that goes between the shower hose and handset.

Where is the pressure balancing valve in a shower? ›

How to Install a Pressure-Balance Shower Valve | This Old House

What is a shower trim kit? ›

By the way, "Trim" refers to the decorative, visible parts of your shower or combo tub/shower faucet set: control and handle, shower head, and tub spout. “Trim” refers to the decorative, visible parts of your tub/shower faucet set. The trim kit is installed over a valve.

How do you fix a shower mixing valve? ›

How to Repair Single Mixer Valve Shower Valves
  1. Shut Off the Water Supply. Turn off the water supply to the shower. ...
  2. Pull Off the Mixer Valve Handle. Remove the mixer valve handle. ...
  3. Remove the Chrome Stop Tube. ...
  4. Remove the Cartridge. ...
  5. Install the Replacement Cartridge. ...
  6. Turn the Water Back On.

What is a diverter valve? ›

Diverter valves switch the flow of water between the tub faucet and the showerhead. Water flows directly through the faucet and into the bathtub when the valve is open. When the valve is closed, water pressure forces the water to run upward to the showerhead.

What does shower valve look like? ›

Shower Valves - What is a valve? - - YouTube

What happens when a mixing valve fails? ›

Your water temperature isn't right

If a TMV valve stops working correctly, then you may notice that your hot water suddenly starts to run hotter than it should. If the valve can't regulate temperature correctly, it might not be able to cool hot water down enough to make it safe.

What is the difference between a mixing valve and a thermostatic mixing valve? ›

Using a mixing valve can also extend the storage capacity & size of the hot water source. Thermostatic mixing valves react very well to changes in temperature, but they can also handle pressure variations (around 10%). They will maintain stable outlet temperatures given large inlet temperature variations.

What is a shower thermostatic valve? ›

How A Thermostatic Shower Valve Works. Thermostatic valves have two handles. One controls the temperature, and the second controls the flow. Thermostatic valves react to temperature, not water pressure. With this type of valve, you can change the water flow without affecting water temperature.

What is behind the shower valve? ›

Shower Valves - What is a valve? - - YouTube

How does a shower diverter valve work? ›

When the diverter valve is open, water flows directly through the faucet and into the tub. However, when you want to take a shower, you lift the knob or lever to close the diverter valve. This creates pressure, forcing the water flow upward and out of the showerhead.

How do you fix a shower mixing valve? ›

How to Repair Single Mixer Valve Shower Valves
  1. Shut Off the Water Supply. Turn off the water supply to the shower. ...
  2. Pull Off the Mixer Valve Handle. Remove the mixer valve handle. ...
  3. Remove the Chrome Stop Tube. ...
  4. Remove the Cartridge. ...
  5. Install the Replacement Cartridge. ...
  6. Turn the Water Back On.

What are the different types of shower diverters? ›

There are three different types of shower diverters:
  • Three-valve diverter – These are usually found when there are separate knobs for hot and cold water. ...
  • Two-valve diverter – This type of diverter is usually found with a single-handle faucet. ...
  • Single-valve or T diverter – This is the most common type of diverter.
18 Nov 2019

How do I know if my diverter valve is faulty? ›

A diverter valve may be faulty if the hot water taps still work while the radiators do not turn on. Another sign of a faulty diverter valve is if you only can only get lukewarm water from your taps.

Where is the pressure balancing valve in a shower? ›

How to Install a Pressure-Balance Shower Valve | This Old House

How do I identify my shower valve? ›

If you want to know how to identify the shower valve manufacturer, check behind the shower handle at the center of the trim plate for the manufacturer's symbol or brand name.

What is the lower part of the shower called? ›

Shower base. Shower pans are also sometimes referred to as shower bases. But shower bases most commonly refer to the substructure underneath the shower floor, usually made of cement or mortar, that helps channel water into the drain and protects the surrounding shower alcove.

How much would a plumber charge to replace a shower valve? ›

Plumbers charge $100 to $300 for labor alone to replace a shower valve or $225 to $575 for the valve with installation. Replacing a shower valve takes 1.5 to 3 hours on average, depending on type and accessibility. Replacing a shower cartridge takes 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Do you have to turn off the water to replace a shower diverter? ›

If you're only working on the diverter, you don't need to turn off the water supply to the faucet. While working, place a cloth over the tub drain to prevent any dropped screws from going down the drain. Some showers use a diverter built into the tub spout activated by lifting a button on the spout.

How much does it cost to replace a shower mixing valve? ›

According to data from Porch, you can expect to pay around $310 for a valve and stem replacement, or slightly more if you replace the whole unit. Fees for replacing the whole shower valve can be as high as $540, with this price including the cost of the unit and labor.

What is the difference between a transfer valve and a diverter valve? ›

The main difference between a diverter and a transfer valve is how they direct the water supply. Diverters switch the flow of water between a tub and shower—either the showerhead or the tub faucet gets the water flow. Transfer valve sends water to multiple outlets at the same time.

What is a shower converter? ›

Single-Valve Shower Diverter

Activating it requires simply pulling up on the diverter, which then sends water to the showerhead. Pushing the diverter back to the downward position restores water flow to the tub again. This valve allows the bathroom to have a shower and a bathtub in the same space.

What is a diverter stem? ›

Diverter valves are essential components in tub and shower combination fixtures. As the name suggests, diverters divert water between the fixture's tub spout and showerhead. The most familiar type of shower diverter is a rod that slides in and out of the tub spout's top surface.


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