How to Replace an O-Ring in a Bathtub Faucet

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A leaky bathtub faucet can be both annoying and messy. If not replaced, it can cause flooding in your bathroom which could result in permanent damage to your flooring and surrounding surfaces. In addition, it can be costly. A leaky faucet can waste up to seven gallons of water per day. One of the most common culprits in a leaky faucet is a worn O-ring. It is a small part, aptly shaped like the letter "O." Replacing an O-ring in a bathtub faucet is a quick and easy job that can save you a lot of frustration and added expense.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver Plastic bag Plumber's wrench Petroleum jelly or packing grease
  • Remove the cap on faucet handle that covers the screw. This can be accomplished by using a screwdriver or other tool to pry the cap up.

  • Using a screwdriver, remove the screw and pull off the faucet handle casing.

  • Loosen the locknut, located under handle casing, with a plumber's wrench.

  • Remove the faucet stem by loosening with the plumber's wrench and lifting off.

  • Inspect parts inside stem opening. You will see a washer as well as a rubber O-ring.

  • Pry up the O-ring using a flat screwdriver.

  • Coat the replacement o-ring with petroleum jelly or packing grease and reinstall into faucet handle.

  • Replace washer if it appears worn or damaged.

  • Put faucet stem and locknut back into the opening and tighten each with a plumber's wrench.

  • Replace faucet handle casing and screw down. Snap screw cover into place.

Tips & Warnings

  • As you remove parts, put each into the plastic bag immediately. This will ensure they do not get lost before they are reinstalled. If you do not have a replacement ring, take the old O-ring to the hardware store to make sure you use the correct size. If faucet stem appears corroded, take it to your hardware store and obtain a replacement stem.

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