How to fix leaking bathtub faucet when shower is on

The bathtub faucet is leaking and that dripping is the background music every time we are in the bathroom, not to mention the water bill that sooner or later will begin to suffer.

How do you fix the bathtub faucet?

Replacing a faucet is a fairly simple and quick job, just a little time and desire to do is enough to save money, provided however that the replacement takes place within a short time from the start of the fault to prevent the situation from worsening and resulting in in related damages.

In the text of this article, we offer a useful mini guide to learn, step by step, how to repair a leaking tap.

Everything you need to repair the bathtub faucet

Not all faucets are the same, so before replacing the tub faucet we need to understand which type is the one that drips.

Being one of the most popular models, it is possible that the tub faucet that we need to replace is also composed of a tap knob that is pulled (compression valve) and which in this way passes the water jet from the tub to the shower.

Once the model of the tub faucet has been identified, in order to repair it, it is necessary to understand why it is leaking water and whether this loss comes from the entire faucet, the knob, or the stem.

In the meantime, let’s get everything we need to repair the leaking bathtub faucet 

  • A new knob for the faucet;
  • A new replacement stem;
  • Small parts such as bolts, screws, and washers;
  • A set of screwdrivers or even one with an interchangeable tip:
  • A clean dry cloth
  • An adjustable wrench;
  • A socket wrench;

Repairing the bathtub faucet: replacing the knob

Before any operation that has to do with water, such as that to replace the bathtub faucet, the general water tap of the house must be strictly closed, clearly making sure that they are not in operation among the other appliances: washing machine, dishwasher and water heater.

Once this is done you can proceed as follows:

  • Open the bathtub faucet, letting the residual water run out completely;
  • Remove the tub faucet handle;
  • Remove the screws on the cap of the central tap;
  • Remove the tap from the wall;
  • Replace the old faucet handle with the new one;
  • Open the main water tap in the house again;
  • Open the new tub faucet and let the water run out.

We have arrived at the final test: if the tub faucet closes well and the water leakage no longer occurs, the problem can be said to be solved, if not, as a second attempt, the faucet stem must also be replaced.

Repairing the bathtub faucet: replacing the stem

The loss of water that comes from the bathtub faucet can be caused by a rubber washer located at the top of the faucet and which, over time and with wear, can be damaged or deteriorated until it no longer adheres to must.

Once the item has been removed, the tap gasket appears to be in good condition, so the entire stem must be replaced because the cause of the leak is not attributable to the gasket.

Let’s go step by step.

The stem of the tap is that part that, by turning the water knob, rises or falls but can rust and if this happens, the stem may not close completely, giving rise to the loss of water from the tap.

It is very important that, before replacing the old stem with the new one, efforts are made to:

  • remove all possible encrustations caused by rust;
  • remove all limescale from the tap;
  • eliminate all possible residues of insulating or sealant material still present in the tap used at the time for the assembly of the old stem.
  • If the water leakage from the tub faucet comes from the stem or the washer located at the top of the piece, the solution to stop the water leak is at hand:
  • The stem is fixed with bolts which can be either on the body of the piece or on the wall. Once identified, they must be removed with an adjustable wrench or socket, depending on the type of bolt;
  • Proceed with the assembly of the new stem not “recycling” the old bolts but using new ones:
  • Add sealing material around the new tub faucet stem and around the decorative cap that is used to hold the faucet handle;
  • Allow time for the sealing material to dry completely to prevent it from peeling off.
  • If the leak disappeared when you turned on the water from the tub faucet, the operation was a success!

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