Plumber Tips to Repair a Leaking Bathtub Faucet

Leaky bathtub faucets can be annoying and drive up water bills. If you’ve been a homeowner for a long time, then you’ve probably had to deal with leaking bathtub faucets. While this problem is one of the most common plumbing issues in both residential homes and commercial establishments, it is quite easy to fix as long as you have the right tools to get the job done.

You can opt to pay a plumber to do the job for you, but why pay a plumber for something you can do yourself in a couple of minutes without requiring much expertise? Here are plumber tips to repair a leaking bathtub faucet.

Plumber Tips to Repair a Leaking Bathtub Faucet

Turn off the water supply to your bathtub faucet.

The first thing you want to do is shut off the main water supply. You can also just shut off the valve that supplies water to your faucet, which may find under the sink.

Establish the type of bathtub faucet.

Just like other plumbing fixtures, bathtub faucets come in all shapes and sizes, from ball faucets with a ball bearing to cartridge faucets with a cartridge and ceramic-disk faucets with ceramic cylinders.

Most bathtubs use a faucet called a bathcock. Our old 1920s claw foot bathtub was a pain to find a matching bathcock forcing us to switch the style slightly.

Fix the bathtub faucet.

To fix a ball faucet, purchase a replacement kit from your local plumbing store. Use the tools to unscrew and remove the handle. Then, remove the faucet cam, including the washer and ball. Remove the springs and inlet seals using needle-nose pliers.

You can then replace the O-rings by cutting off the ones you’re replacing and coating the new ones in the plumber’s grease in your toolkit. You can then install it, new valve seats, springs, and cam washers.

You should find all these in your kit and try as much as possible to reverse the process you used to take things apart to assemble everything and return the handle.

For a compression bathtub faucet, you want to remove each handle. The nut can be removed using a wrench. The seat washer tends to wear out and cause dripping. To access this you’ll have to pull the stem out and expose the O-ring.

If the leak is through the handle, you may only have to replace the O-ring. Otherwise, take the seat washer with you to the parts store to find a matching replacement. Use plumber’s grease to coat the replacement before you install it. You can then reassemble each handle. 

Learn how to Repair a Leaking Bathtub Faucet

A cartridge bathtub faucet also needs to be removed in its own special way. Start by removing the handle and the retaining slip. Use pliers to pull the cartridge to an upright position as it opening the faucet. Remove the faucet spot and locate the O-rings.

Then, replace them with new ones after coating in the plumber’s grease. You can then reverse the process and reassemble the handle.

To fix a ceramic-disk faucet, follow the same process and remove the escutcheon cap and the disk cylinder to expose neoprene seals. Clean the cylinders using white vinegar.

Soaking them for hours can help to remove the build-up before assessing whether you can reuse them.  Replace what you cannot reuse and reverse the process to reassemble the handle.

Replacing a leaking bathtub faucet can be a challenging job but you can do it yourself as long as you’re up to the task and have the time and right tools for the job. You can call your plumber at The Plumber Guys any time you feel you’re overwhelmed.

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