how to fix leaking bathtub faucet

How to Fix Leaking Bathtub Faucet – Updated Guide 2022

How to Fix Leaking Bathtub Faucet

Leaking Bathtub Faucet is very frustrating, and sometimes it suffers us in many ways, one of which is spending money when you are not in a suitable situation for it. That is why we have researched a little about how to fix leaking bathtub faucet, which might save you money and time both.


                            You do not have to bear all along and put up with something annoying, in our case, the leaky bathtub faucet. The problem with leaking bathtub faucet is that it also leaves stains in the tub or shower, which doubles your worries. The fun part here is fixing a leaking bathtub faucet by yourself is not something you can call a backbreaking and tiresome job.

Few fundamental tools that you have at the time you are fixing your leaking bathtub faucet will make it easier and time-saving for you. So if you want to give it a shot by yourself, here we are sharing some tips and tricks that will prove handy for you when you try to fix your leaky bathtub faucet.

Before giving it a shot, make sure you shut off the water supply because it is impossible to repair a leaky faucet in the presence of water. Depending on the water supply system in your home that whether you have to shut off the water supply for the leaky faucet that you are going to fix or you have to shut off the entire home water supply, but that is in a rare case.

Causes of a Leaky Faucet:

       There are a lot of causes that cause a faucet leak. If you take care of the plumbing system of your home on a regular interval of time, you might not face this difficult time but if you are facing, for example, this for the first time you have to go deep into the causes that have troubled you and not to engage in these times again.

The leading causes of a leaky faucet are:

  • Ravages of time
  • Depletion of Minerals in the Faucet
  • Corrosion and rusting
  • Losen Parts

Required Tools:

  •  Bath SocketWrench
  • Monkey Wrench
  • Philips Screw Driver
  • Flathead Screw Driver
  • Hair Dryer (not a Necessity)

Steps that You Need to Follow:

                                                                  The following are some steps that you need to follow to fix your leaky bathtub faucet.

1-Handle Screw Location:

                                                 There is a screw that handles the faucet and keeps all parts of the valve together, so the first step is that you locate the Handle Screw.

There’s a decorative cover at the end of the handle. Locate it and remove it by using a flathead screwdriver. It will show you the underneath screw.

2-Removal of handle:

                                           Now it is time for you to remove the handle of the bathtub faucet using a Philip Screwdriver. Sometimes it gets stuck, creating unwanted troubles for you. If this is the case, try to heat it with a hairdryer or by pouring some hot water on it so that it loosens.

Don’t apply too much force on it; otherwise, the handle will break, and then you have to call a plumber which you do not want. That is why you are fixing your leaky bathtub by yourself.

3-Unscrewing of Decorative Trim and Collar:

                Behind the handle on the wall, you will see a decorative cover. The decorative cover is present behind the handle of the wall in most of the faucets. That is why we are telling you to look for it behind the handle of the wall; otherwise, it could be somewhere else. There you will also see collar fitted over the internal part of the faucet. You have to remove both if they are present there.

4-Removal of the Packing Nut:

                    There is a Packing Nut or Stem Bonnet that you have to emove using a Bath Socket Wrench. You also have to remove the retaining nut by rotating it counter clock-wise.

5-Stem Extraction:

      After following all of the above steps carefully, you can now see the stem of the faucet. Extract the stem by holding it with pliers, but you have to rotate it side by side to loosen it first.

6-Inspection of the Extracted Stem:

         You are now into the real deal as you have removed the stem of the faucet correctly, as directed above. All you have to do is check the stem and packing, whether it has some rusting and corrosion or not. If you have no idea about what is wrong with the stem of your bathtub faucet, it’s better that you replace the whole package.

7-Removal of Mineral Deposits:

           Water that flows through a faucet has a lot of impurities and ions, including minerals. When a drain used for a relatively long time, there is a higher chance that its system might have caught some mineral particles, and it becomes necessary to remove these minerals from the faucet.

White vinegar is one the agent that removes mineral deposits from the faucet when left applied on it for some time. After some time, the mineral particles will loosen up, and then you can rinse off the debris before replacing any other parts.

8-Check the Seat for any Damage:

        It is much likely possible that damage to the seat can result when the machine wears. You can inspect it using a seat wrench and check for any fault in it with care and ease.

9-Replacing the Parts:

     You, now, need to go into a hardware store and buy some new parts for your faucet. You also need to take the faucet parts that you are going to replace with yourself to ensure that you get the right parts. The parts that need to succeed are o-rings and washers, and in some cases, the whole stem replacing is a good idea.

10-Reassembling Your Faucet:

       There is a reason why we have discussed the topic of leaking bathtub faucet in a detailed manner.

 The reason is that when you have to reassemble, you can go through all the steps discussed above in a reverse manner from step 9 to step 1. In this way, you would not have to face any problem reassembling your faucet.

If you have a two-handled faucet, then you need to repeat all the steps for the other faucet again in the same manner you have done for the first one. After you have gone through all the processes correctly, all you have to now is to turn the water back on, and your faucet should be working fine currently. 


         Make Sure that during the whole process of this leaky faucet fitting, you have to put each and everything in a container so that you would not lose any of it. Also, you have to remember the order in which you will need to reassemble the faucet; otherwise, you could get yourself in trouble.

Visual Guide:

   The discussion above how to fix the leaking bathtub faucet was all descriptive, and as you know, there was no visual guide given to help you out. We thought that it would be enough for you, but we received a couple of emails that they also need some visual help, so we decided to include it as well. I hope this visual guide will add glory to your problem-solving. 

We are going to do it in many steps, like in our previous discussion, to avoid complexity.

Step 1: Removal of the cap

           The first step that you need to do is to remove off the cap of the handle ring. In most of the faucets, this cap is made up of plastic material, so you have to be very careful to remove it. The best way that you can remove it safely is to use the pocket knife.

Make some space in the handle socket for the pocket knife while being careful during the process all the time when you have created enough space for the knife to pop-out the cap and place it somewhere safe to put it back into the socket of the handle ring.

How to Fix Leaking Bathtub Faucet


Step 2: Removal of the Handle Screw

             After you have removed the cap of the handle ring of the faucet, now it is time to loosen off the screw that lies within the socket of the handle. Again we have to remind you that after its removal, keep it somewhere safe along with the cap and every other part that you are going to remove in the next steps.

How to Fix Leaking Bathtub Faucet

Step 3: Removal of the Handle Ring

       The handle ring by now is loose, and you can remove it by applying some force with your hand toward you. If you face any problem removing it with your hand, try some unique hand puller tool. That way, it would not break and would not cause any problem for you.

Now turn the handle post clockwise with the tool and loosen it off.

How to Fix Leaking Bathtub Faucet

Step 4: Removal of White Insert

          You probably do not have to worry about this step as this part is not present in most of the faucets. But if it is there somewhere in your faucet, it is below your handle ring. This white insert is a very delicate part of your faucet, and you should remove it off with ease and gentle force.

Now this time, you do not have to use any tool as you can remove this part of your faucet with your bare hands, but after this white insert, you have to very attentive as that would be the real parts that need fixing.

How to Fix Leaking Bathtub Faucet

Step 5: Removal of Valve Cartridge

      Valve Cartridge is where your bathtub faucet is leaking from, and you need to fix this part right way. If you can set this part very well, it is worth giving a try, but in most cases, this part needs exchange, and you can easily find it in any hardware store.

You can use a plier for the removal of the valve cartridge. This way, you can enhance it by rotating the handle of the valve cartridge counterclockwise.

How to Fix Leaking Bathtub Faucet

Step 6: Rinse off the Valve cartridge in Vinegar

                                                                                                    If you are looking forward to fixing it yourself, the best way to do it is to wrap up in a small plastic bag and soak it in vinegar for about an hour or so. After that, rinse off the valve cartridge with freshwater and reassemble it following all the steps in the backward direction.

how to fix leaking bathtub faucet

Final Words:

  Fixing of a leaky bathtub faucet by yourself is a tricky process and you, either, have to be a plumber to fix a leaky faucet or you need a guide to make it right. This was a small effort for you if you can not afford a plumber and want to fix your leaky bathtub faucet by yourself.

The other thing that we want you to make sure of is if something goes on and you are not able to fix it. You need to stop right away and call a professional plumber.

We also do not claim, any of the processes mentioned above, a hundred percent success while you do it but it is worth a try.

Pro Tips:

                    You are reading this article because you do not know how to fix a leaky bathtub faucet. This means that you also do not know about how much and which part of your leaky faucet should get tight.

The Right Tightness:

    We do hate to say it but your faucet may become leaky again after some time and you have to repeat all of the processes mentioned above. For this reason, you need to tight very screw and every part of your faucet in a way it will not bother you in the future if it needed any therapy again.

Eliminate the Faucet:

      If you have more than one faucet connected to your bathtub and you want to know which bathtub faucet is leaking then you need to check the drips whether they are hot or cold. This will give you an idea about which faucet is leaking and then you can fix it with disturbing any of the other facets that do not need fixing.

If you find this article helpful we would love to hear from you and share it with your friends.


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