Bathtub faucet leaking is a common problem. You can hire a plumber or handyman. You may choose to fix the problem yourself. Of course, the latter option will save you money but you also need to be aware of the remedies. Many homeowners are not accustomed to the components of bathtub faucets. The task is not very daunting but you do need to know where to look, what to repair or replace. You may choose to replace the entire faucet but that is not an economic option.
Fixing a Two Handled Faucet
There are two types of bathtub faucets used in millions of homes across the country. One has a single handle and another has two handles, one for hot water and another for cold water. Let us begin with the two-handle faucets.
Most bathtub faucet leaking is caused by worn out seals, rubber washers or gaskets.
These are located in the valve assembly of the faucet. Two-handle faucets have a stem type valve and your inspection must begin here.
You must be ready with the parts that must be replaced.
Check the faucet, the valve assembly and look for the most worn out parts. In older faucets, it is likely all components will be worn out. The valve may be completely corroded. In such a scenario, you will have to replace the faucet. Usually, you would be able to spot one damaged or worn out component and you can take it to your nearest hardware store to find an exact match.
Before you inspect the cause of bathtub faucet leaking, you must shut off the supply of water.
You would need to pry off the insert of the handle. Open the valves and let the excess water drain through the pipe. You may want to accumulate this excess water in a bucket or some container to use for other purposes. Wasting water is not recommended. You can use a pocketknife to pry off the insert of the handle. You may have a little trouble with this because old and worn-out handles will be heavily corroded and that will kind of weld the handle. It would be hard to remove the handle from the stem. Do not use excessive force as that may break the handle. There are special handle pullers available in hardware stores.
After removing the handle, you would need to unscrew the escutcheon and then remove the stem assembly.
There are special socket wrenches that can be used to remove the stem assembly. Now you must check the seat washer. Stiffened seat washers can cause leaks because they don’t seal well. You can remove it using a seat wrench.
You need to disassemble the stem so you can access all its parts.
The parts must be greased, check for damage and signs of heavy wearing out. They could be corroded or outright deformed. You must begin with unscrewing of the packing nut. They usually open when you twist it clockwise. Pry out the washer, grease the new washer and let it slide to its intended place, grease the nut threads and tighten them.
Remove the old washer screw along with the old seat washer.
Get the new washer, grease it and grease the threads of the screw. Reinstall the washer. Pull the bonnet washer and get a new one in place. Finish by greasing the spline of the handle, get a new escutcheon and then reinstall the handle, if it is in great working condition.
You will need an adjustable wrench, a utility knife, handle puller, bath socket wrench and a seat wrench, stem valve repair parts and grease.
Fixing a Single Handle Bathtub
Single handle faucets in bathtubs leak mostly because of a worn-out O-ring that is in the valve stem. You should begin by shutting off the water supply and then inspecting the valve stem to identify the problem. Let us delve into the steps to fixing a single handle bathtub faucet leaking.
Open the faucet after turning off the supply of water to let the water flow out.
Unscrew the handle of the faucet, remove it. Unscrew the escutcheon and remove the plate. Unscrew the bonnet nut and get pliers to grip the tip of the valve system. The tip usually protrudes out. Pull out the valve stem from within the faucet and then check the O-ring which is outside the valve stem. Remove the ring, take a new O-ring and get some silicone grease on it before you install it on the valve stem by sliding it down.
You must want to let the water flow out a few times before you complete the reinstallation or reassembling to let some dirt out of the system.
It would needlessly clog the faucet and damage the new parts. Put the valve stem back in the house of the faucet, screw in the bonnet nut and reinstall the escutcheon plate followed by the handle.