How to Replace the Stem on a Bathtub Faucet

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Replacing the bathtub stem is essential if it is leaking or can no longer turn the water off and on. Replacement is simple to do and will save you money since you are doing it yourself. You will also be gaining experience in maintaining your plumbing. Make sure that when you purchase the stem you get the appropriate replacement part for the model of bathtub faucet that you have; the stems are very brand- and model-specific. Following the proper steps will ensure a successful replacement.

Things You'll Need

  • Deep-set faucet socket
  • Turn off the water line that leads to the bathtub.

  • Unscrew the old stem with your deep-set faucet socket by turning counterclockwise. Remove the stem.

  • Prepare your new stem before installation by turning the middle of the new stem until the bottom is flush with the base; this is the "on" position.

  • Screw the new stem into the seat with your hand by turning clockwise. Make sure that there is no resistance when screwing in the new stem. It is very easy to strip the threads.

  • Tighten down the new stem with your deep-set faucet socket until it is snug. Do not over-tighten. Once you have completed both sides, turn the water back on and test your new installation.

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