Replace a Leaky Bathtub Faucet Valve Stem
Step-By-Step Instructions for Replacing a Leaking Bathtub Faucet Valve Stem
By Mark J. Donovan
If your bathtub faucet has a
continuous slow leak then chances are the bathtub faucet valve stem is worn
out or is damaged in some way. The bathtub faucet valve stem plays a very
important role in controlling the water flow out of your bathtub water
spout. When you turn the faucet handle to the on or off position a rubber
washer at the end of the stem rises or falls to control the water flow out
of the bathtub spout. Over years this rubber washer can wear out and cause
the bathtub faucet to leak.
If you’re reasonably handy you
can perform your own DIY leaky bathtub faucet valve stem replacement. All
you need are a few basic household tools that include a Philips screwdriver,
a flathead screwdriver and an adjustable wrench. You’ll also need a
replacement bathtub faucet valve stem that matches the existing one.
To change out the leaky bathtub faucet valve stem first turn off the water
supply to the bathtub faucet. There may be an access panel located behind
the faucet, such as in an adjacent bathroom closet. If there is no access
panel, then you’ll have no choice but to turn water off to the entire house
Once you’ve turned off the water
to the bathtub faucet remove the screw cap cover that hides the screw that
holds the handle to the faucet. The screw cap covers typically are labeled
hot and cold if there are two separate handles for the bathtub faucet. If
there is one handle for the faucet then there should be a single screw cover
over the center of it.
Next use the Philips screwdriver to remove the screw(s) that hold the
bathtub faucet handle to the valve stem assembly. After removing the
screw(s) pull on the handle to remove it from the valve assembly.
Now use your adjustable wrench to
remove the hexagonal packing nut located over the valve stem. After removing
the nut remove the old leaky bathtub faucet valve stem with your fingers.
You may need the help of the flathead screwdriver to pry it out.
Apply a dab of silicone grease to the threads of the valve socket and then
insert the replacement bathtub faucet valve stem into the valve socket.
Thread the packing nut over it and tighten snuggly with the adjustable
Reattach the faucet handle to the end of the bathtub faucet valve stem using
the handle screw and a Philips screwdriver.
Finally turn water back on to the bathtub faucet and test it out. With any
luck your leaky bathtub faucet valve stem problem is history.
Plumbing - Toilet Repair / Toilet
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Additional Home Plumbing Resources
Faucet Valve Stems from Amazon.com