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How to fix a leaky bathtub faucet

July 28, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Category: Remodeling Contractor

Step 1

Turn the water supply to the bathtub off. If a cutoff valve for the bathtub is not available, the water supply to the entire house will have to be shut off while the repair is being made.

Step 2

Loosen the handle (or handles, if there are two or more). The screw holding everything together may be easily seen, or it may be under a small decorative plate. If this is the case, simply pry the plate off in order to get to the screw.
Screws come in two types—flat or Phillips head. Each type requires a specific screwdriver in order to loosen it. Since you may not be able to tell which type of screw it is, it is best to have both a flat head and a Phillips head screwdriver available.

Step 3
Remove the handle(s), and determine which size washer will be needed to replace the worn washer (this is usually the main cause of bathtub faucet leaks). The smart handyman will have a package of washers in assorted sizes, so that it can be easily replaced.
Step 4
Remove the old washer, and replace with a new, fresh washer.
Step 5

Replace the handle(s), tighten the screw(s). Do not overtighten. Once the screwdriver starts becoming hard to turn, stop. The handle should be secure.

Step 6

Turn water back on, and operate handle(s). Check to make sure the faucet has stopped leaking when the water is turned. Also check to make sure that no water is coming from around the handle(s). If this is happening, it may be necessary to tighten the handle just a little more.
Step 7
If the washer looks OK, the problem may be that the faucet has loosened with use. If this is the case, the adjustable wrench can be used to slightly tighten the faucet. Again, overtightening is possible. Stop as soon as the wrench will not turn any more.

Step 8
If replacing the washer(s) and/or tightening the faucet do not solve the problem, then it will be necessary to call a plumber.

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