One of the common plumbing problems of home owners is a leaky or dripping bathtub faucet. Overtime, this can happen especially if the fittings are already old and worn out. Even if you turn the faucet tight, it is still leaking. Cranking it several times and pressing it does not solve the problem either. With some do-it-yourself skills, though, you can fix a dripping bathtub faucet easily.
- Teflon Tape
- Multi Screwdriver
- Set of Channel Locks or Vise Grip
- Seat Wrench
Turn the water supply off that goes to the bathroom and open both the hot and cold valves to drain out the remaining water from the pipe.
Take the faucet apart by first getting the screwdriver to pop open the top of the knob to expose the screws. Once the screws are visible, disconnect the handle from the wall. If it has been awhile since the faucet has been replaced, it is possible that corrosion has already set in and will make it hard to remove it from the wall. If this is the case, you can use a hand dryer to loosen the handle. This will prevent you from forcing to pull the handle which can lead to damage.
After the screws have been removed, follow this by removing the trims of the faucet, including the collar to expose the cartridge. This is what controls the flow of water. With the use of the set of channel locks, grip the cartridge and turn it counter clockwise to pop it off.
Once the cartridge is removed, you need to get to the seat of the pipe and remove it by using a specialized tool called seat wrench. Insert the wrench into the opening to get the seat and unscrew it just like what you did when you removed the cartridge, turning the wrench counter-clockwise.
Check for the extent of damage on the cartridge and the seat. The cartridge is the piece at the front and is connected to the seat. Over time, these two can be damaged which can cause the water to leak. If you see a gap on the seat and corrosion on the cartridge, you need to replace both to fix the problem.
Since there are several parts available in the hardware store and there are several faucet brands and models, it is best to bring the parts that need to be replaced when you buy the new parts.
Prepare the new cartridge and seat by getting an ample portion of Teflon tape and wrap it around the thread to ensure you will have a water-tight seal with metal on metal. Put the new seat on top of the seat wrench and screw it in, just the reverse of what you did when you removed the seat earlier.
Insert the new cartridge onto the seat. Torque it down with the vise grip. Afterwards, get the collar and the collar holder, put them both back on and screw them in.
Get the knob and let it fit right on the thread of the cartridge and get the screw and tighten it. Put back the cover on top of the faucet.
Turn on the water supply to check if the problem has been fixed.