How to Quickly Repair a Leaky Bathtub Faucet?
If you have a dripping bathtub faucet, you may want to know how to fix it because it’s simply annoying and your water bill will increase due to the leakage issues. However, the truth is that you can quickly and easily fix a leaky faucet by yourself. For environmentally friendly reasons as well, you should fix a leaky faucet as soon as you can. If your faucet drips continuously throughout the day, it could waste hundreds of liters of water in a single year.
Over time, the water that is constantly dripping into your tub will eventually leave an unsightly stain. Even with the use of specialized tools, the entire task will probably cost you some money, but doing it yourself will be less expensive than hiring a plumber for minor issues such as this and will almost always be more straightforward and less expensive than ripping out the old faucet and replacing it.
Most leaks are brought on by broken washers. With some simple tools and a small trip to the hardware store, you can fix a leaky faucet yourself. Even though major issues require a plumber, you can usually fix broken washers, gaskets, and seals on your own with tools.
Here are the steps you need to follow to conserve gallons of water, avoid costly leak repair charges, and expand your DIY knowledge into the mystical realm of faucet repair.
Why Do Bathtub Faucets Leak?
You should be aware of the causes of leaky faucets before learning how to repair them. There is a stem or cartridge that controls the mixing valve where the cold and hot water lines come together. Water is turned on by pressing the washer against the valve. The cartridge or tub faucet itself could be to blame for the leak. Broken stems or cartridges may not properly block the water stream. It is possible for worn-out or old faucet handles to cause a dripping faucet.
DIY Tools Required to Fix a Leaky Bathtub Faucet
Before attempting to fix your bathtub faucet, it is essential to know what kind it is. There are two primary types of bathtub faucets like single handle faucets and double handle faucets. They work with diverter and non-diverter bathtub spouts and are frequently fitted with anti-scald gadgets. This type of faucet can be difficult to fix if you don't know where the issue is because you'll have to focus on both. In such situations, you need to contact a professional. To fix minor issues, here are the tools you’ll need. You may not need all the tools, but some like screwdrivers are essential.
- Piping wrench of small size
- Welding straps
- Repair kit for faucet stems
- Faucet seats
Steps to Follow to Fix a Drippy Bathtub Faucet
The most typical reason for dripping bathtub faucets is an outdated washer. If this is the case with the tub you’re using, follow the instructions below to repair a drippy bathtub faucet.
1. Supplies, tools, and parts should be gathered
Most bathtub plumbing problems can be fixed with replacement parts accessible at home improvement stores and hardware stores. There will be a much greater selection of plumbing parts available through a plumbing parts distributor, and more difficult-to-find items can be specially ordered online as well. If the valve is significantly rusty or the finish is fading, consider replacing the entire faucet.
2. Turn off the main water supply
Turning off the bathroom's water source is the next step. Water is cut off to the entire house as a result of this action. Shut-off valves will usually be in the basements or crawl spaces. Sometimes, the shut-off valve may be put outside where the city water meter is in many properties. If the valve hasn't been turned in years, use a torque wrench to screw it shut.
3. Remove the faucet cap
After that, unscrew the faucet lever screw by prying off the lid. Pry off the cap using the appropriate tool after draining the water from the faucet. Make sure you store it safely.
4. Take the screw out of the handle
The lever is held in place by a screw within the faucet grip. Find it once the cover has been removed. A screwdriver is now required to remove this. Unscrew the screw and store it with the cap to avoid losing it.
5. Remove the handles
You can disconnect the handle after removing the screw since rust and water accumulation might cause the stem's handling to fuse. This step can be difficult depending on the age of the faucet. If you have an old faucet, it may have corrosion on the screw and handle due to frequent water deposits on the handle. These stains will not come easily and if you lay too much pressure you might end up damaging the product. Instead, you can use hot water heater to reheat it, use a hairdryer to blow things off, or spray white vinegar on the area.
6. Remove the stem assembly and escutcheon
It will be easier to repair the leak if you remove the escutcheon. In most cases, you can readily remove the branch bonnet by using an adjustable socket wrench. Once you have removed the escutcheon from the stem. Remove the stem assembly with a modifiable wrench.
7. Check the washer
The most typical source of water leaking from the tub spout when the shower is turned off is the washer, which has to be replaced. Examine the end washer first before removing the stem assembly. Replace it if it is old.
8. Washer should be replaced
The exposed rubber component at the top of most tap stems or cartridges is known as the washer. Replace the washer if it appears broken or worn. Use a ratchet wrench to remove the screw that keeps the washer together. Then, before replacing the screw, remove the washer and replace it.
9. Replace the faucet stem
If changing the washer does not stop the leak, the stem or cartridge may be to blame. If the cartridge or stem is the source of the problem, adopt these techniques to keep it from leaking. Clean the foundation of any rust, wax, or caulk. Use an adjustable wrench to loosen the bolts that hold it together. Remove the bolts from the wall using a socket wrench. Remove the stem and replace it in the fitting with new bolts.
10. Look for any damage to the seat
A damaged seat can also cause a leak. The washer's seat can wear and corrode when it is in contact with the washer. In addition to causing leaking seats, a leaking seat can also cause other leaks. Prior to substituting the stem component with a replacement washer, it is recommended to inspect the seat for visible damage. Seat wrenches are specialized tools used for removing seats.
11. Reattach the components
The next step is to reassemble everything after changing the washer and inspecting and repairing the seat. Make sure the faucet is working properly by turning on the water. When the water flows properly and the tap does not leak, the repair procedure has been completed.
Frequently asked questions
If replacing the faucet washer and seat did not solve the problem (or if you simply desire a new faucet), it is time to replace it. Change the washers in the valve assembly if your bathtub faucet drips while it is closed.
Begin by pulling the caps off and removing the stem assembly, as described above for replacing a faucet.
Attach the new faucet stem to the faucet pipe.
Screw the new handle into position over the stem.
If you bought a new spout as well, detach the old one from the pipe and then screw in the new one.
If you discover a leak in your bathroom, big or small, responding quickly to remedy a drippy bathtub is critical to saving money on water bills and other effects of a leaky tub faucet. As previously stated, the most serious risk of leaving the leak unchecked is hazardous mold development. Not only is mold ugly, but it also offers major health hazards.
Mold exposure causes or worsens respiratory issues, headaches, flu-like symptoms, lethargy, allergic reactions, and other symptoms. Continuous leaks can also cause structural damage since water weakens beams and renders them nonstructural. As a result, deferring inexpensive leak repairs makes little sense.
You can expect to spend $40 or $50 on DIY faucet repair depending on the supplies you need. In case you prefer to delegate the task, you can hire a faucet repair technician in your area and the charges may range between $100 to $400.
Sinks that overflow from a dripping faucet usually have a clogged drain, but persistent moisture in the air and inside the sink may lead to mold growth. Mold growth is hazardous, especially to young children, who can develop asthma as a result of extended mold exposure.
Leaky faucets are inconvenient, expensive, and can cause mold development and health issues, so it's critical to fix or replace a leaky faucet as soon as possible. As long as you know what you're doing, fixing the leak is usually as simple as disassembling and reassembling a puzzle. Make sure to arrange the parts in the sequence in which they were removed so they may be easily returned to their original position.
Also, while most leaky faucet issues may be resolved by replacing rubber or neoprene seals, washers, and O-rings, the situation isn't always as straightforward. Most leaky faucets may be repaired, and faucets can be replaced if necessary. While most people can repair or replace bathroom and kitchen faucets, plumbers can step in and complete the job if it is difficult or complicated. Before making a call, compare the cost of a plumber to the cost of a new faucet.
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