How do you fix a dripping tub faucet?


Quick Answer

A dripping bathtub faucet is annoying and costly, due to the water it wastes. Replacing the seats and seat washer fixes the leak. Use a shower stem socket and seat wrench for the project. Penetrating oil helps to remove stuck parts and thread sealant prevents leaks.

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Full Answer

  1. Turn off the water

    If you have access to the shutoff valves that provide water to the tub close them. If you cannot access these valves, turn off the main water supply to the home.

  2. Remove handles

    Use a thin, flat-blade screwdriver to remove the caps from the handles. Use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the screws that hold the handles in place. Pull on each handle to remove.

  3. Loosen stem nuts

    Use the stem socket to turn the stem nuts counterclockwise. Spray with penetrating oil if the nuts are difficult to remove. Let the oil stand for at least 15 minutes before loosening. Remove each stem from the faucet.

  4. Replace the seats

    Insert the seat wrench into the seats and remove by turning counterclockwise. Add thread sealant to the new seats. Use the seat wrench to insert and tighten the new seats.

  5. Replace seat washers

    The rubber seat washers are at the end of the stem. Remove the screw that holds them in place. Replace the washer.

  6. Assemble the faucet

    Return the stems to the faucet and use the stem socket to tighten them. Replace the faucet handles and tighten the screws. Pop the handle caps back in place.

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