Do It Yourself Bathtub Faucet Repair Guide
A leaky faucet might be one of the most common problems to occur in any bathroom. Not only can the constant drip become an annoyance, but it can increase your water bill and eventually leave a stain in your bathtub. Fortunately, bathtub faucet repair is not hard, and it can save you the costs of calling a plumber. Most bathtub faucets don’t have to be completely replaced; often, just one washer can fix everything.
Before Getting Started
First, before doing anything: shut the water off! Also have the right tools ready for bathtub faucet repair. Both a flathead and Phillips screwdriver will be required, and it’s a good idea to have a flashlight on hand. Use a rag to stop-up the drain. Put down a towel or blanket to protect the bathtub and your knees. It is best to already have replacement parts ready to go, but in case you don’t know what kind of washer you need, take the old one to a hardware store and ask for a matching part.
Remove the Handle
The most difficult part of the process involves removing the handle, to be able to get to the parts that need replacing. The handle will need to be unscrewed. To get to the screw, remove the cap which is probably labeled “hot” or “cold”, and then use the screwdriver to remove the screw holding the handle in place. If rust or corrosion has made the handle difficult to pull off, use a jar gripper or a special handle remover tool. Depending on the faucet, there could be multiple decorative parts of the handle that need to be removed.
Once the stem is exposed, remove it from the bonnet nut so you can completely remove and examine it. If the threads are not worn down and there is no obvious damage, clean the stem with a toothbrush or wire brush. This cleaning should remove any calcium or other sediment deposits. Be sure to remove the washers and the screw holding it in place, clean under this spot as well. Inspect the valve seat to see if it needs any resurfacing. This can also be fixed as a DIY project, or even replaced.
When it comes to bathtub faucet repair, time deteriorates a rubber washer faster than any other part in a faucet, so a leak is usually fixed by replacing this one part. However, if the stem appears damaged, replacement ones are not terribly expensive. If you are unsure, take the stem into your nearest hardware store and have it examined; usually, the employees there can direct you to a replacement if it is needed.
Once all the parts of the faucet are cleaned or replaced, they only need to be screwed back into the bathtub where they came from. Fixing a leak is as simple as that. Usually, just a couple of screwdrivers and a new washer can fix everything and save you the hassle and cost of hiring a plumber. If you still feel unsure, they are lots of great DIY videos that will carefully walk you through the entire process of bathtub faucet repair.