Leaky faucets are more than just a constant annoyance, they’re a waste. Gallons of water wasted by a leaking bathtub faucet can add up to higher water bills and break down the interior faucet parts. Fortunately, repairing a leaking faucet is a relatively easy fix that even the most novice homeowners can do. 

B&D Industries, Inc. is one of New Mexico’s best plumbing service providers. We strive to provide solutions for commercial and residential properties to ensure their plumbing system flows freely. A leaking faucet is just one of many problems we’re experts in solving. Read our article to learn how you can fix your leaking bathtub faucet. 

What Causes Bathtub Faucet Leaks?

Before we get into how to fix a leaky faucet, you should understand what causes them. There are many faucet designs, from single-hole wall-mounted versions to three-hole center-set spouts. A stem or cartridge regulates the flow of water from the mixing valve that the hot and cold water lines run into. Home Depot lists a number of reasons these may leak:

  • A cracked or worn washer in the stem is the most common source for a dripping bathtub faucet. Each time the water is turned on the washer is pushed against the valve. 
  • The tub faucet or cartridge itself may be the cause of the leak. The faucet stem or cartridge raises and lowers when the handle is turned, prompting the water flow. If the stem or cartridge is failing, it may not be properly blocking the stream of water.
  • Old or worn faucet handles can be the source of a dripping faucet.

So, The First Step is to Turn off the Water Supply

The first thing you will need to do is shut off your water supply to the bathroom. This will stop the full flow of water to the house and is commonly found in the basement or crawlspace of your home. The valve may not have been turned in many years, so you may need an adjustable wrench to twist the valve shut.

Once the flow of water is stopped, turn the tub handle to the “on” position and let any remaining water from the pipes drain into the bathtub.

Remove the Bathtub Faucet Handle to Assess the Parts

Once the water is shut off, it’s time to take apart that faucet. Take off the decorative cap and use a screwdriver to loosen the screws in the center of the faucet handle. Once the screws are removed, tug on the handle to detach it.

Once you’ve removed the handle, examine the stem or cartridge and inside of the handles to determine the condition they’re in. Also, look at the washer and other parts of the valve stem and cartridge to take note of any weak or eroded components. 

Replace the Faucet Washer and Stem

The exposed rubber part at the top of your faucet stem is the washer. You should replace it if it appears cracked or worn. To do this you’ll need to use a socket wrench to loosen the screw holding the washer together. Then remove it to insert a new one and put the screw back on.

If that fails to stop the leak, you may need to replace the stem. If that is the case, you will need to:

  • Clear any rust, wax, or caulk from around the base.
  • Use an adjustable wrench to loosen the bolts that hold it together.
  • Remove the stem and install a new one in the fitting using new bolts.
  • If the bathtub faucet continues to drip after replacing the handle, washer, and stem, you may need to replace the entire bathtub spout. 

Bathtub Faucet Still Leaking? Call B&D Industries, Inc.

B&D Industries, Inc. is the go-to for all plumbing issues in New Mexico. For more than 30 years, we’ve worked every day to earn our reputation as a premier plumbing service provider for our dedication to every project that comes our way. We always find the solution that works best for you and are honest in every step of our servicing. Contact us today to learn how we can help you with your plumbing needs.