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How To Fix A Leaking Bathtub Tap


Find out how to diagnose and fix a leaking bathtub tap with these simple steps. Save time, money, and energy — learn the right techniques now!

Have you noticed a sudden spike in your water bills without substantially increasing water consumption?

You may not know, but one or more pipes or components connected to the bathtub tap might leak. The first step is determining whether you need a leaky bathtub tap repair by locating the source of the problem.

Fix Leaking Bathrub Tap

Then if you are a DIYer, you will require the necessary tools to fix the bathtub faucet drip, or you can contact a licensed plumber. However, if you want to save money, our simple techniques to fix a leaking bathtub faucet will help restore your leaking plumbing system to its former condition.

Learn how to fix leaky bathtub valves and other components quickly.

Fix the Leaking Bathtub Faucet

To fix a leaky bathtub faucet, you must first cut the water supply to the bathroom using the water supply valve. Usually, this valve is found in the basement plumbing systems, which you will have to turn clockwise, then turn the faucet handle to the on position and drain the remaining water.

The next step is dismantling the faucet handle by loosening the faucet screw with a screwdriver. This would be a good time to assess the condition of the faucet parts of single-handle faucets or two-handle faucets for timely replacements if needed. After that, change the rubber washer and the faucet stem, but ensure the new components are compatible.

Once you attach the new faucet stem assembly, it should stop dripping. But in case the problem persists, you must change the entire system. The last step for fixing a bathtub faucet that drips is replacing the handle and turning on the water to check whether the spout works.

Repair Leaking Bathtub Spout

Unscrewing Bathtub Tap Fitting

After learning how to repair a leaky bathtub faucet, to fix a leaky bathtub spout, you will need -

  • Silicone caulk
  • Replacement bathtub spout
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Flashlight
  • Sandpaper
  • Hex/Allen wrench
  • Putty knife or razor
  • Thread-sealing tape
  • Flathead screwdriver

1. Type Of Tub Spout

The first step is determining what spout you have - whether it’s a slip-on model or a threaded tub spout.

2. Fixing A Leaky Bathtub Spout

For a slip-on spout, you will find the tub faucet has caulking on the wall end. You will require a putty knife to scrape the caulking, following which, remove the screws with a flathead screwdriver or wrench to pull the spout out.

But a threaded spout will require a large seat wrench, which you must secure over it and turn the spout clockwise. It should come off easily, and you can install the new unit in its place.

3. Installing A New Model

Before installing the new spout, apply six wraps of sealing tape around the faucet model. Then use silicone caulk at the point where bathtub faucets meet the wall. After that, gently thread the spout into the pipe until it no longer turns, preventing water from dripping.

Replace the Leaking Bathtub Valve

Hot Cold Tap Mixer Repair

Although you can call a professional plumber to fix a leaking water valve, there’s a simple DIY bathtub leak fix you should know about. You will require the following tools to replace a bathtub valve -

  • Wrench
  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • New packing washer

Water leaks in shut-off valves are mostly situated around the handle area, originating in the faucet stem. This stem goes through a washer and packing nut that forms a watertight seal.

For most leaks, try turning the packing nut to a quarter, stopping the water flow from the handle screw. If this doesn’t solve the problem, you will have to change the aching washer to prevent paying a high water bill.

To do this, shut off the water supply and loosen the faucet stem before you unscrew the packing nut. Then slide out the old washer and install the new one, tightening it gently with the wrench so you don’t overdo it.

Finally, restore the water supply and check if the handle insert and other connections work smoothly.


1. How do I fix a leaking bathtub tap?

For troubleshooting a leaking bathtub tap, you will need the following equipment -

  • Seat wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Towel
  • Pliers
  • Cartridge puller tool
  • New cartridge
  • Bathtub faucet seat
  • Faucet seat washer
  • Screw kit

To conduct a DIY bathtub faucet repair with two handles, follow the steps mentioned below -

A. Main Water Valve

The first step is determining whether the leak is with the hot or cold water tap. By feeling the water, you can tell if the leak is on the left or right because a hot water tap is on the left, while cold water taps are on the right.

Then turn off the water main, open the faucet to reduce water pressure, and let out the remaining water. But before beginning with the DIY repair, place a towel over the drain.

B. Remove The Components

The first component you must remove is the cap covering the faucet handle screw with a screwdriver or butter knife. This will allow you to access the leaky bathtub faucet screw, after which you can remove the escutcheon plate and stem assembly.

And at the back of the assembly is a rubber washer you can pull out by unscrewing the set screw.

C. Replace The Washer

Discard the old rubber washer in the bin and use a soft rag to clean the back of the stem assembly. Then install the new rubber washer and insert a new screw if the old one is worn out.

D. Inspect

Use a torch to check the brass faucet seat for signs of corrosion or deterioration. In such instances, you must change it with a new seat washer and tighten it to the seat wrench with a screw.

E. Reassemble

The final step is reassembling all the components to fix the leaking bathtub tap. Once you snap the cover on, close the tap and turn on the main supply to check if the leaky faucet has stopped dripping.

2. What are the common causes of a leaking bathtub tap?

To troubleshoot a bathtub leak, you must know the tell-tale signs to stop bathtub leaks.

  • Improper installation
  • Old and deteriorating washer
  • Failing faucet stem
  • Fix the drippy bathtub faucet when there are cartridge issues
  • Repair leaky bathtub faucets when there are broken or lost components

3. Can I fix a leaking bathtub tap myself, or do I need a plumber?

You can stop bathtub faucet leaks yourself, especially when you are a seasoned DIYer who knows their way around a bathtub tap leak. But if you need more confidence about repairing a leaky bathtub spout, it would be best to hire a licensed plumber.

This is because people who aren’t used to fixing a leaking bathtub tap can do more harm than good. Moreover, if you read any bathtub faucet repair guide, you will find that many tools aren’t easily accessible and should only be used by professionals.

In some cases, the state government may prohibit homeowners from repairing a leaky bathtub. Call a plumber ASAP to repair the bathtub faucet and avoid further damage or legal complications.

4. What tools do I need to fix a leaking bathtub tap?

To fix a leaky bathtub tap or shower head, you will need the following tools:

  • Adjustable Wrench
  • Adjustable spanner
  • Bucket
  • Compatible tap washer
  • Clean cloth
  • Screwdriver

5. How do I know if my bathtub tap is leaking or if it’s just condensation?

Before you rush to fix a dripping bathtub faucet, you must determine whether it’s a leak or just condensation. In some cases, you will find water droplets on the outer surface of an apparently leaking bathtub faucet.

But what appears to be a leaky faucet is condensation formed when cold water travels through the pipes, and hot air comes in contact with the pipe surface. You can easily solve this problem by insulating the pipes and reducing the chances of mistaking it for a leaky faucet.

However, the best way to know if you have to fix a leaky bathtub is to consider the location of the pipes. If the pipes run through a humid area, showing signs of condensation is normal, but when they are located outside in a cooler space, it’s likely to be a leak.

Try changing the humidity levels by increasing the ventilation and using a hygrometer. Your goal should be to reduce humidity, which should prevent condensation on the surface of the pipes. Thus, it’s a leak if you still find water pooling or dripping.

Fixing a Leaking Bathtub Tap

As you can see, it’s easy to troubleshoot bathtub leaks and replace leaking bathtub spouts. However, if the issue persists despite the steps we have mentioned, save time and call a certified company to handle it.

They have the latest gadgets and provide quick solutions to fix bathtub spout leaks. Moreover, trained plumbers can offer maintenance tips so you won’t have to spend money on frequent repairs.

But even then, note that plumbing systems don’t last forever, and you should replace worn-out components after 10-15 years.

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