How to Fix a Dripping Bathtub Faucet


If you have a dripping bathtub faucet, you may wonder how to fix it. There are a few steps to take, including replacing the cartridge or stem. Then you should be able to get it working again.

Removing the handle

Removing the handle of a dripping bathtub faucet can be tricky. First, you must shut off the water, cover the drain, and tape the wrench jaws to avoid scratching the fixture.

Once the water has been shut off, remove the decorative cap from the faucet. Then, use a flathead screwdriver to pry off the handle’s plastic insert.

A unique bath socket wrench can be used to remove the stem assembly. Turn the handle clockwise until it is free. You may also need to loosen the set screw.

If the handle is stuck, you can try a putty knife to slough off the scale. To clean the cylinder openings, use a scouring pad. Then, apply a coat of distilled white vinegar. You may need to repeat the process on other faucet handles.

If the handle doesn’t pop off, you may need to take the faucet apart. If the cartridge or stem is damaged, you can buy replacement parts. This will allow you to reassemble the handle.

Reaching the stem or cartridge.

If your tub faucet is leaking, there’s a good chance that it’s the stem or cartridge that needs replacing. But before you start, it’s essential to know what’s involved.

A faucet cartridge is a plastic cylinder with notches on the side and is held by a retaining clip. It has a stem attached to one end and a ceramic disc on the other. The cartridge is usually blue, black, or white. It’s also essential to ensure your new washer is compatible with your faucet.

If you have a single-handle faucet, you’ll likely need to remove the handle and replace the stem. You can remove the decorative cap at the top of the handle and expose the screws.

You’ll also need an Allen wrench or screwdriver to loosen the nut or screw. Then, you can lift the handle and pull it off. Finally, you might need to use a rag to soak up any excess water.

Breaking up visible mineral deposits on the tub spout

If your bathtub faucet is leaking, you can try a few things. The first is to inspect the tub spout. You can try breaking them up if it has visible corrosion or mineral deposits. You may do this without removing the tub spout from the wall.

One way to do this is to scrape off visible dirt and minerals with a wire brush. You can also use an old toothbrush to get into the corners of the spout.

White vinegar can also break up visible mineral deposits on the tub spout. Mix it with a bit of water to make a solution that will dissolve the mineral deposits. Place it on the tap and let it sit for about 15 minutes. After it has softened, wipe it off with a paper towel.

If you have a diverter gate, you might have to take the spout off to get at it. Aside from being difficult to move, a diverter gate can sometimes be stuck. This is usually due to limescale or accumulated grease.

Replacing the cartridge

Cartridges are the seals that keep water in your bathtub. If you notice a leak around the handle or the end of the spout, you might need to replace the cartridge. This is easy to do and can solve your leaking problem. Here are a few things you should know before starting.

First, you need to remove the handle and the retaining nut. Then, you can use a small screwdriver to unscrew the retaining nut. To avoid scratching the fixture, cover the jaws of the screwdriver with tape.

Once the nut is removed, you should be able to lift the cartridge straight up. If it’s stuck, you may need to use a unique tool. You can buy one at your local hardware store or home center.

After removing the cartridge, you can clean the valve. It would be best if again, you had distilled white vinegar on hand. You can also use a fitting brush to clean the holes inside the valve. Then, you can reinstall the cartridge.