How to Stop a Dripping Bathtub Faucet

A dripping bathtub faucet can be an inconvenience and can be caused from a variety of plumbing issues. One of the most common reasons for a dripping bathtub faucet is a worn-out rubber washer. Typically, the rubber washer should be snug against the faucet when the water is turned off. This would prevent any dripping water. When the water is turned on, the rubber washer is depressed and allows the water to flow freely. Replacing your tub's washer will stop a dripping bathtub faucet.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers

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Turn off the water to your home. You can typically do this by finding the appropriate valves near where the water comes into the house and turning them to the off position. This will ensure that you can work on your dripping bathtub faucet without worrying about water spraying everywhere. Now you are ready for the bathtub.

Turn the bathtub faucet on to release any water pressure.

Loosen the faucet by beginning to remove the center cap on the faucet knobs. These are the knobs that traditional say “hot” or “cold.” Use your pliers for this, and the center of the knob should unscrew easily. Once the cap is removed, you will see a screw in the middle of the handle. Unscrew this and pull the handle out completely off. This will expose your entire faucet unit, which will be two separate parts.

Separate the faucet unit with your pliers. At the end of one of the two parts, you will see a rubber washer. If the washer is causing the leak, you will be able to tell that the washer seems worn and might even have holes that prevent it from sealing water. This is what has caused the dripping from you bathtub faucet.

Remove the rubber washer with your screwdriver and replace it with a brand new rubber washer of the same size. By following these steps in reverse, you can now replace your bathtub faucet.

Turn the water to your home back on and check to make sure that you no longer have a dripping bathtub faucet.

Tips & Warnings

  • Once you have removed the old rubber washer, it may be worth your time to check the opposite side. If the other side of the washer appears smooth and in good shape, without any holes, you can try simply flipping the washer over. However, rubber washers are inexpensive, and it may be worth your time to replace the old with a new one just so you aren't dealing with another dripping bathtub faucet sooner than you'd like.
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