How To Fix a Leaking Bathtub Spout

Bathroom fixtures and fittings can malfunction and get damaged over time and this can be frustrating when this happens on any given day. A leaking bathtub spout is one of the most common problems homeowners encounter when it comes to the bathroom. Not only does it lead to water wastage, the dripping or leaking can also be annoying. One good thing, though, this can be fixed easily and inexpensively without having to call the plumber.

Leak Causes

There are several culprits to a damaged bathtub spout. A worn out diverter that blocks water flow can be a cause of leak. It can also be cracked or corroded threads inside the spout that make shutting off water impossible or corrosion build up on the spout’s finish. When these situations happen, water can leak inside the wall from the pipe. To give it a fix, you need to replace the broken, leaky spout. Below are the tools you will need and a guide to a broken bathtub spout replacement.

Tools You Will Need

  • Vice Grip Pliers or adjustable open-end wrench
  • Screwdriver with a Flat head
  • Philips Screwdriver
  • Old cloth

Step 1: Locate the main water valve and shut it off. Turn on the water in the bathtub to remove the remaining water in the pipe.

Step 2: Look for the screw on the handle of the faucet. You might need to remove the cap on the faucet handle. With the use of a screwdriver with a flat head, you can pop it out to expose the screw.

Step 3: Unscrew the handle by turning the screw counter-clockwise to loosen it and remove the handle. If there is a collar that grips the wall, you need to remove this as well. If you have a handle that is one of the older ones, with a bulb design, remove pry open the cover and open the cartridge and remove the screw. Remember to hold the handle firmly as you remove the screw. Remove the handle and the collar as well.

Step 4: After the collar is removed, you need to remove the cartridge or the stem by turning the nut counter-clockwise using the pliers. When it is loosened, it can be removed easily with your hand. In case the hex of the stem is a bit recessed in the wall, you need to use a stem wrench to remove it. You can also check the seat on the faucet to see what shape it is using a flash light.

Step 5: Once the stem is removed, get the cloth and cover the hole to ensure water will not leak.

Step 6: Check the washers on the stem. They are usually the first ones to get damaged and might just need to be replaced. However, since new stems are not costly, you can replace them altogether.

Step 7: Take the old stem and drive to the nearest local hardware or a plumbing supplies store. This way, you ensure that you will get the right kit for your bathtub since they come in various types and sizes.

Step 8: Get the stem replacement and insert the new washer onto the new stem. Attach the new stem into the wall by threading it as carefully as you can since you do not want to turn it too tight and damage the thread. Use the pliers to tighten it.

Step 9: Use the old stem tube to thread the new stem and tighten it just enough onto the wall. You can use caulk in between the collar and the wall.

Step 10: Replace the handle by reversing the steps you did when you removed it. Turn on the shut valve of the main water supply and turn on the bathtub water to ensure the leaking bathtub spout is repaired.

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