How to Fix a Leaky Bathtub Faucet


Lets Stop That Leak Now

Aged faucets are the most likely cause of bathtub leaks and they can be easily fixed by replacing the washer and sealing the valve threads with plumber’s tape. Before you start unscrewing any faucets, make sure you have the water supply shut off or be prepared to face an unwanted waterfall in your bathroom. Also, always use the proper tools when dealing with faucets as some faucets can get easily damaged, especially if they are made out of PVC.

If you have a leaky bathtub faucet it not only wastes water unnecessarily adding to your water bill but it also causes stains in the tub if it is left without being fixed. Most of the time the leakage happens due to the fact that your rubber washers are worn-out, seals or gaskets found in the valve assembly. Although, a faucet comes with a variety of makes and models, the common types used nowadays are the washer-type (or compression) faucets and washer-less faucets.

What You Need to Do

  • Screwdriver (a selection of flathead, Philips or cross-screw)
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Old bath cloth, hand towel or rag
  • New washer
  • Utility knife
  • Handle puller
  • Pliers
  • Silicone grease or petroleum jelly
  • Silicone rubber sealant or pipe compound
  • Disc assembly
  • Faucet washers


  1. The first thing that you have to do is to turn-off the bathtub water supply. If the design of the bathtub is without a cutoff valve, you have to turn-off your house water supply during the time the repair work is being done.
  2. Then you just need to loosen the screw of the handle and if it is under a small decorative plate, you just have to pry the plate off in order to loosen its screw. Check whether it uses a flat head screw or a Philips head type before choosing the right screwdrivers.
  3. Once the handle has been removed, you need to determine the size of the washer needed to replace the worn-out washer so that you know which size to buy. Always have assorted sizes of washer in your toolkit so that it is easier for you to immediately replace it when the time comes. Then, remove the old washer with the new one.
  4. If the handle needs to be replaced, change it and remember to tighten the screw but not too tight.
  5. After that, you need to do a test to see if there is any more leakage. Turn-on your water supply and test whether the handle works properly or not. You can see if the faucet has stopped leaking or not when you turn-on the water. If there is water coming out from around the handle, you need to tighten it a little bit more.
  6. If the problem is caused by the faucet, you can use an adjustable wrench in order to slightly tighten up the faucet and stop tightening as soon as your wrench is not able to turn any more.
  7. Finally, if you have done all the above mentioned task and the problem is still there, it is time for you to ask for professional help or call your plumber to assist you.
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1 Comment

  1. June 13, 2013  6:39 pm by Leaky bath Reply

    That's absolutely right, last thing you want to happen with your tub is to have stains because of the links. Fix that leak now! Oh yes, by yourself.

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