Home problems like leaking tub spouts can lead to stains over the area and it can also waste some precious amount of water with constant usage. But, before fixing this situation, perhaps it is only fair to get familiar with the components that commonly get damaged or require replacement.
Basically, there are practically three reasons why bathtub spouts leak. First off, there will be a possibility that the diverter can wear out. Thus, it can no longer block the water flow and send water out to the shower head.
Secondly, the threads found inside the spout may have cracked or corroded in the area where the sprout has been screwed onto the pipe. For this reason, water will have a way to trickle down the pipe as it drips inside the wall.
Lastly, the spout finish can corrode or flake off. In order to address the tub spout leaking, it is important to replace the defective component. Good thing is that you can purchase a new spout from home centers and hardware stores. Nevertheless, you have to buy one that should conform to your needs. So, make sure that you know which type of spout you should look out for.
Slip-On Type Spout
One way of determining the type is to inspect under the spout. If you can find a setscrew, this kind of spout is a slip-on type. Replacing this type of spout is a bit easy. You simply have to loosen the setscrew using a hex wrench. Just pull the spout off the copper pipe protruding from the wall. As you do this, you have to twist it as you pull, but you must be careful not to loosen the pipe connections behind the wall. You can then slide in a new spout and tighten the setscrew.
Screw-On Type Spout
For those components that don’t have setscrews, it is important to note that these are screw-on types. Thus, you have to twist the old spout in a counterclockwise direction in order to remove it.
Screw-On Type Spout with Threaded Fitting
If in case the pipe protruding from the wall is made of copper with threaded fitting, you only have to cut it off using a tubing cutter. You can now install a new slip-on spout. Just in case the pipe coming out the wall is made of steel, then you need to replace it with a new screw-on spout.
Take note that there are a few things that you also need to know upon replacement of the old spout. This is because there is a good chance that it will protrude way too far into the wall. Likewise, there will also be a chance that the threads will be too corroded to screw on a new component. To address this problem, you should go ahead the situation before it goes out of hand. Therefore, you have to buy short portions of a threaded pipe, otherwise known as nipples. These parts are available in 1-inch increments. At the same time, it simply costs around $2 each. So, you can purchase 2 of the said components to save you some time if the need arises.
The thing about replacing parts of the tub spout is to learn the basic steps. Here are some essential tips that you can mimic.
1. Turn Off Water Supply
The first basic requirement that you need to do is to turn off the water supply before you begin to take the installation apart. This will ensure that your work won’t get messy. Check to see if the water pressure is gone by opening another faucet.
2. Remove Retaining Screw
After ensuring that the water supply is suppressed, you have to remove the retaining screw holding the faucet handle. Take note that this might be hidden under the cap at the center of the handle. Otherwise, it can be in a tiny hole along the handle base. To do this, you have to remove other components of the faucet exposing the valve. Such components include the metal nuts, pins and sleeves.
3. Pull the Cartridge Out
Cartridge valves need to be pulled out before you can insert a replacement. On the other hand, ball assemblies require the removal of the ball and rod, including the seats and springs. You can begin by removing these components and replace them with the same parts coated in plumber’s grease. Then, you have to turn the stem in a counterclockwise direction for unthreading it from the faucet. You have two options to do this. One is by removing the different seals along the stem by taking out the retaining screw on one end. Another way is to replace the whole valve system.
Take note that replacing the diverter tub spout is one method that should fix the leak. The diverter tub spout is able to control the flow of water from the faucet. If you pull up on the knob of the diverter, you will cause water to leak out of the showerhead. However, if you leave the knob down will automatically allow water to flow out of the spout. Once the diverter on the tub spout has been broken, you need to look out for the exact replacement part that you can get from your local hardware store. Remember that the replacement spout should be attached to the water pipe just like the old one. Likewise, the diverter must be put in the same location of the spout.
At this point, you must determine the location of the spout as there is a setscrew that secures the spout to the water pipe. The tools should also be prepared early on so that you can finish the job in no time. Tools like a small Allen wrench and pipe wrench should come in handy in these situations.
If this is your first time and you feel confused on what to do, you can ask a friend to do the job with you. Having someone to assist you can gain better results than working alone on a job like this.