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Do you know what causes a leaky bathtub faucet? Do you also know how to fix a leaky bathtub faucet? If you didn’t know, a leakage in your pipes or the faucet could lead to a litany of problems in the long run.
For starters, your water bills are going to go through the roof as water continues to drip into your tub. Not only that, but the continuous presence of water is also going to result in stains on the shell of your tub.
Hiring a plumber for fixing a small leakage might seem like a wise idea, but most people generally avoid this, because let’s face it, plumbers cost a considerable sum of money.
Do you really want to hire a plumber for a simple thing like this? In fact, this might come as a surprise to you, but fixing a bathtub faucet that’s leaking is not as complicated as you might think.
You just need a few essential tools that you probably already have, and you can easily fix the tub on your own. In the following paragraphs, we will provide a series of steps that you can use to fix the leakage in your bathtub’s faucet.
What Causes a Leaky Bathtub Faucet?
The most common reason is wear and tear. Bathtub faucets have a seal that wears out over time and has to be replaced. If you don’t replace the seal, it’s going to leak. More importantly, in case the faucet has been damaged in any way, that’s another reason for a leakage.
You may want to take a close look at whether the water is leaking from the base of the faucet or from the tap at the top. By figuring out where the water is leaking from, you will be able to fix the issue in a much easier fashion.
So before you can implement any of these fixes, it’s important to understand what exactly causes a leakage in the bathtub faucets and where the leak is coming from. This way, you’ll be able to deal with the leak effectively!
How to Fix a Leaky Bathtub Faucet
Once you have identified the exact cause of the leakage, it’s time to apply a fix. Thankfully, there are several options available to you. Here are some important steps that you need to follow to rectify the leakage from your bathtub faucet.
Shut Off the Supply
The first step that you need to take is to turn off the supply of water from the main valve. If you do not turn off the supply before you remove the faucet, you will cause a water spray. It’s going to be difficult to control it as well.
You may want to take a look around the main plumbing line. Trace the water supply all the way to the back and see if there’s a valve (there usually is).
If there isn’t a water valve, the next best option available to you is to close the main water supply for the entire house. This is the safest option and will prevent water from spraying all over when you are working.
Removing the Cap
There is a small cap on all faucets that is screwed on. Lift up the main tap and then look at the bottom, and you will see a small screw in an indent. Use a screwdriver or a pocket knife to remove that.
Once you have opened it, let all of the excess water flow from your faucet. Make sure you keep the screw in a safe position, because if you lose it, you won’t be able to close off your bathtub ever again.
Unscrewing the Handle
Once you have removed the main cap, it’s time to get rid of the handle. Keep in mind that if you have an older faucet, there’s going to be quite a bit of rust on this section.
It can be a bit difficult to remove the handle due to the excess amount of corrosion that builds up. In some situations, the entire handle might be fused to the main stem. If you can’t remove it, give it a break.
Don’t try to force your way through this because there’s a strong chance that the entire handle is going to break into two. Instead, use a hairdryer to heat it up.
The metal is going to expand on its own, and you will be able to remove it. On the other hand, you might want to pour some boiling water on the stem. This may loosen it up as well.
If none of these options work, using a puller is another great idea. These are designed primarily for removing handles that get stuck in the walls.
Removing the Assembly
Once you have removed the handle and the plate that connects to the wall, it’s time to remove the entire assembly behind the wall. You will have to use a wrench to slowly unscrew each part and then fix the leak accordingly.
It will take a bit of time for you to slowly unscrew each and every thing. Instead of using wrenches with several sizes, it might be a wise idea to use an adjustable one.
Inspect Your Washers
The washers are likely to blame for the leakage. Washers are usually made of rubber and are designed to prevent water from escaping through the faucet.
They also play an important role in creating a seal around the faucet’s joints. If the washer is damaged, you will notice cuts or cracks. It’s an obvious sign that the washer is in dire need of a replacement.
Don’t lose the old one because you will have to take it with you to get a replacement. Thankfully, washers are some of the least expensive things that you can buy.
You can buy an entire pack for less than a dollar. In fact, most people usually keep spare washers in their work drawer. If you don’t have any, you can just run to your local store and buy a set.
Just make sure you buy washers of a similar size because if it’s bigger or smaller, it’s not going to create a tight seal. Just show it to the person at the store and they will give you an exact replacement.
Inspect the Seat
The next thing you need to check is the seat. This is the piece that is constantly connected to the washer. If the seat has sustained damage, it’s not going to allow the washer to sit properly.
As a result, there’s simply no point in replacing the washer. The damaged seat is simply going to cause the water to leak consistently. That is why you have to inspect it carefully before you decide to put everything together after simply replacing the washer.
Put it All Back Together
Now comes the hard part. Once you have fixed the whole thing and replaced the washer or the seat, it’s time to put everything back together and see if it works.
You will want to retrace your steps and make sure you individually put everything back together on your own. Once you are done, just let the water run through the faucet.
Make sure the area surrounding the faucet is dry before you run the water, as you will want to check if there is a leakage or not. If there isn’t, you are good to go!
Hello, my name is David Zal and I’m a plumber with more than 20 years of experience based in Englewood (Florida). I like to teach normal people how to make easy fixes in their homes. I believe that a lot can be achieved just with DYI and that’s why I started this blog.