Leaky Tub Faucet Fix

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Does the faucet in your bathtub frequently drip regardless of how tight you turn the knob to stop it? It might not even be a drip you see but an out of the way discoloration on the edge of your bathtub, such as below on or both of the faucet values. Having such a leak can become costly over time as the excess water seeping out takes a toll on your water bill, not to mention generating water waste. Fixing an issue such as this is beneficial all around and can be done with relative ease but does require the water to your home be turned off at the main valve, so be sure to make that your first effort before continuing.

Once the water is turned off, start by removing the value handle on your tub faucet. Sometimes these will have a plastic cap in the center that needs to be removed to locate the screw beneath whereas in other cases the screw will be exposed. Whichever the case is in your home, remove the screw and pull off the valve handle. You will then need to remove the value itself which can be done with a deep well socket wrench, channel locks, a standard wrench or any other suitable tool you have available that will slide over the value and grip it securely, loosening the valve to a point where you should be able to remove it the rest of the way by unthreading it by hand. With the value removed, another larger screw will be visible, and this should be removed as well.

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The last screw you removed is the one that attaches to a washer. Chances are that washer has dry rotted or otherwise decayed to prevent it from doing its job effectively and it now needs to be replaced in order to stop the leak. To do this, remove the screw holding the washer in place and switch the old washer out with a new one of the same size. Screw that new washer into position and begin the process of reassembling your valve handle, starting with the washer screw, then the valve itself, and lastly the valve handle, being careful all the while to replace these components tightly but not so tightly that threads can become stripped.

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To aid in leak control and prevention, Teflon tape can be added around threaded areas for a tighter bond but remember that a little bit goes a long way and don't overdo it. With your components back in place, your leak should be resolved, cutting your water bill a break and giving you the peace of mind that goes along with that reduction in expense. All that is left to do is turn your water back on then clean the tub edge where stains and mineral deposits may be present due to leaks and in no time it will be like those leaks never happened.

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