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How to Fix a Broken Shark Steam Mop Handle

How to repair a broken Shark steam mop handle
Internal handle mounts can break

This article focuses on the Shark Steam Pocket Mop (S3501), but may be able to be applied to other models of Shark Steam Mops as well.

The problem with the original design? The steam mop handle consists of two internal plastic sleeves that provide a slip connection. A screw then pulls the two sections of the handle together, clamping around the metal arm of the handle. This is the weak part of the Shark handle!

Eventually, the internal plastic mounts can break off from the main sections, leaving an upper handle that no longer secures to the metal arm. But, as the title of the article suggests, we have fixes.

Broken Shark steam mop handle solutions

  1. Buy a replacement handle direct from Shark.
  2. Buy one of the new and improved Shark Professional Steam Pocket Mops, which seems to have a stronger and better handle design.
  3. The last and most economical solution; going to your local hardware store and spending under $4 in hardware. Any additional costs will depend on your access to tools needed.
Further Reading:  Concept: Samsung Robot Vacuum

Steps to repairing the existing broken handle

We scoured our local Ace Hardware and True Value stores to come up with the easiest fix, along with readily available parts, while maintaining a factory finish and surpassing the original durability.

Depending on your region you may be able to find similar parts at other local hardware stores.

Tools needed

  • 5/32″(4mm) or 11/64″(4.4mm) drill bit
  • 13/64″(5.2mm) drill bit
  • Drill

Parts needed

  • 2 ea. 3/16″ diameter x 3/4″ long aluminum binding screws (posts).
  • Optional: 2 ea. 5/16″ diameter x 1/2″ long aluminum spacers.
Shark Steam Mop Repair Hardware
NOTE: The provided part sizes are not an exact fit, but work fine for this project. If you want more exact part sizes that may not be available locally, try online suppliers. A 7/8″ long sex bolt and mating screw, along with a 5/8″ long spacer would be perfect sizes.
NOTE: Steps 2 & 3 are optional. Eliminate the use of spacers if you feel this is an excessive process and the needed tools aren’t available. You may find that the binding screws are strong enough on their own.

1 Clean > Drill > Deburr

If the internal stems are not already completely broken off in all 4 spots; try to remove them. There are several ways to achieve this: snap them off with a pliers, cut them off with a utility knife, or use a utility sheers.

Using a 5/32″ or 11/64″ drill bit, insert the bit through the existing holes and continue drilling through the opposite wall of the handle where the original sleeves were connected. These don’t have to be pretty. Something as simple as a utility knife will be fine to deburr the edges if needed.

** The remnants of the original plastic sleeve (circled in black) will provide a guide for the drilling phase.

Broken Shark Steam Mop handle internals
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2 Modify Spacers

This will be the hardest part of the repair. The internal diameter of the spacer is slightly too small for the binding posts (13/64″ / 5.2mm) to slide through, so they will have to be bored out. Secure the .5″ long aluminum spacers you purchased, then use the 13/64″(5.2mm) drill bit for boring the I.D.

Q) Why not just use a larger diameter binding post and remove this process?

A) The head of the posts and screw will also get larger, which then, the parts will not sit completely flush against the plastic handle as it begins to curve.

Shark Steam Mop Handle Repair Spacer Boring

3 Insert Spacers

Once the above is completed, insert the spacers into the metal handle. These will help fill the internal void and help eliminate movement once the binding posts are installed.

Shark Steam Mop Handle Repair Spacer Parts
TIP: The internal diameter of the metal handle holes are 8.5mm. This is not a common size for a spacer. If wanting a more secure fit, using a metal specific product – Loctite® Plumber and Marine Clear Adhesive – or similar is suggested. I haven’t had any issues with not using an adhesive.

4 Reinstall Handle

  1. Slide the plastic handle back over the metal shaft, lining up the holes.
  2. Slide the stem (female) section of each binding post through the original holes of the plastic handle and through the internal aluminum spacers.
  3. Take the threaded (male) section of the binding posts and insert them through the newly drilled holes. Screw and tighten the binding posts.

** The soft aluminum material can easily mar from the screwdriver when tightening. A small file will deburr the marks if needed.

Shark Steam Mop Handle Repair Post Position

Final Assembly

Once the binding posts are fastened tightly, your Shark® Steam Mop handle will be better than new, while creating a clean OEM look.

Shark Steam Mop Handle Repair
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