After 15 years of use, the handle popped off my shower and the attaching screw (not pictured) will no longer thread in the central plastic part you see below.

The assembly does not leak, so can I replace just the plastic threaded part without pulling the whole cartridge?

Do I need a special tubular wrench type tool? The flat edge in the picture below (about 10 o'clock) makes me think that I'm seeing a special nut that can be taken off.

Also, does the house water need to be shut off for this particular procedure?

There are no brand names anywhere. The Delta & Moen videos on youtube aren't giving me any clues either.


note the flat edge at 10 o' clock


The first thing I would try is getting a screw that's a little bigger and see if you can screw it in tight. If that piece was metal, I'd say tap a new thread but if it's plastic as you think it is, a self threading screw might do the trick.

If not, you'll have to replace the cartridge. That little central part can't be replaced, It's part of the cartridge. That outer sleeve should be removed, pull it straight out or turn it counterclockwise. Then use an adjustable wrench or a pair of Channelocs to remove the retaining ring for the cartridge and then remove the cartridge. The water to the shower has to be turned off to do this. If the shower doesn't have a shutoff behind the chrome cover, then the water to the house has to be turned off.

  • 1
    typo: it is a shower
    – jsotola
    Aug 10 '20 at 16:41
  • that's what the local plumbing supply guy told me too - thanks! Aug 10 '20 at 17:14
  • once I found out that it was an Avante, I was able to find this video, which shows the whole procedure perfectly - youtube.com/watch?v=BBVm7J9OVuc Aug 10 '20 at 17:14

As a first approach, I'd probably put a thin coat of epoxy around the inside edges of the hole, then reassemble. Goal is to get the screw to stay in and hold the handle on.

  • quite a lot of force is required to pull and push the handle on a daily basis - you've seen epoxy strong enough to handle that? Aug 10 '20 at 16:38

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