Bathtub Spout Leaking and Tips for Fixing It

Rising water bills, ugly stains, and low water pressure are just a few of the problems you are faced with when you have a leaky bathtub spout. If this goes on unattended, you can end up with water and mold buildup under your floor, as well as a dark spot on your sheet rock in the tub. Sometimes, the cause is just hard water build up. But other times it is because of loose or defective faucet parts. To avoid the hassle of these problems, repair a leaking bathtub faucet immediately.


  • Bath socket wrench or vice grip pliers
  • Plumber’s grease
  • Monkey wrench
  • Teflon tape
  • Philips screwdriver
  • Tub caulk
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Rags
  • Jar gripper
  • Hair dryer


1. Shut off the water intake to your house.

2. Drain any remaining water in the pipes by opening the hot and cold valves on the spout.

3. Use a flat-head screwdriver to remove the faucet handle inserts of the hot and cold valves.

4. Unscrew the handles from the wall using a Philips screwdriver. If the faucet seems corroded or welded on, use a hair dryer to heat and loosen the handles. If this still doesn’t work, call a plumber. Do not force it to avoid breaking the handles.

5. Use your hand to unscrew the trim and collar from the wall for both handles.

6. Remove the stem bonnet using a bath socket wrench or vice grip.

7. Remove the seat. Stick the seat wrench deep into the opening where the faucet was. Once the elongated end has a good hold of the seat, turn it counterclockwise to remove.

8. Check the parts you have removed and identify which ones need to be replaced.

9. Buy the replacements at the nearest hardware or plumbing store.

10. Start replacing the parts, beginning with the stem bonnet. Make sure to apply plumber’s grease on each new part before screwing them on.

11. Unscrew the seat washer screw, then peel off the rubber seat washer. Grease both parts before screwing them back on. Use a seat wrench to put the seat back in place and tighten it with your hand. Check if it is tightly sealed but easy to remove by hand.

12. Remove the bonnet washer from the end of the bonnet, apply some plumber’s grease on it, then replace the bonnet.

13. Use a flat-head screwdriver to pry the rubber packing washer from the packing nut. Apply plumber’s grease on the threads on the front of the stem. Insert the packing nut into the middle of the stem bonnet.

14. Grease the new packing washer, then place it in front of the packing nut.

15. Apply some pipe joint compound to the threads in your bonnet, then insert the bonnet. Make sure it is securely fixed in place by tightening with a socket wrench or vice grip.

16. Replace the faucet collar, trim, handle, screw, and insert for both faucets.

17. Turn the water back on and check if there is still a leak in your bathtub spout.


  • If there is still a leak even after you have replaced the faucet, call a plumber.
  • Lay out the parts you remove on a rag in a safe place inside the bathroom to avoid losing or damaging them.
  • If there are any damaged parts that need to be replaced, do not throw them away. Bring them with you to the hardware or plumbing store so you can get the correct replacements.

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