Although one drop of water may not appear to be much, did you know that a leaking faucet dripping one drop per second can waste over 3,000 gallons of water per year? That’s enough water to fill more than sixty standard-sized bathtubs! A worn out washer is the most common cause of a leaking tub faucet. By replacing the old washer with a new one, you can save a lot of money on your water bill. Use Southern Belt Construction’s instructions to replace your worn out washer and stop your faucet from leaking!
Replace the Tub Faucet’s Washer
Bathtub faucet washers are typically made of plastic or rubber. Contact with water can cause the washers to dry out and crack over time, making a tight seal impossible to achieve. This is what causes leaks. Of course, you can tighten the faucet to stop the leak in the short term, but this will only put more strain on the old washer and cause it to wear out faster. The only long-term fix for this issue is to replace the washer.
Turn off the water.
Repairs are impossible to perform while the water in your tub is still running. Some houses have a switch under the sink that allows you to turn off the water. If that is not an option in your home, you may need to turn off the house’s main water supply while you make repairs. Turn the handles of your bathtub faucet as if you were trying to run a bath once the water has been turned off. This will allow you to drain any excess water from the pipes prior to beginning.
Remove the tub faucet handles.
To replace the washers in your tub faucet, you must first remove the handles. Begin by prying off the handle inserts with a pocketknife. These are the handles’ coverings. They are usually made of plastic and have “hot” or “cold” symbols on them.
When the inserts are removed, each handle will reveal a screw. Using a screwdriver, remove the screws. You’ll be able to separate the handles from the stems once the screws are removed. Because corrosion can cause the handles and stems to stick together, this is often the most difficult step in the repair. If you can’t get them off on your own, try using a handle puller, which is a special tool. Do not, under any circumstances, force the handles off, as this can severely damage your faucet. If the handle puller does not work, consider hiring a professional plumber to assist you.
Change the Washer
It is now time to change the washer. To begin, remove the seat washer screws from the stems with a screwdriver. This will enable you to remove the old washers. In some cases, you may need to pry them off with your pocketknife. After that, replace the washers and seat washer screws with new ones. Apply some liquid thread sealant to the stem’s threads before reinstalling them in the faucet openings.
Reassemble it and put it through its paces.
Screw the faucet handles onto the faucet handles and secure the handle inserts to the faucet handles. Once they’re secure, re-connect the water supply and turn on the faucet to test everything. There should be no leak when you turn the faucet off again.
The most common cause of a bathtub faucet leak is an old washer, but it is not the only one. Other common causes include grout issues, cracked pipes, and corrosion, which can lead to severe damage in your home if not repaired properly. If you’ve replaced the washer but your faucet is still leaking, it’s time to call in a pro. If you live in the Houston area of Texas, you should schedule an appointment to have any plumbing issues in your home repaired.