Jacuzzi tubs have been around for more than 40 years. If you live in an older home, then your Jacuzzi may need some maintenance, such as repairing a leaking faucet. It is important to fix any leaks with your tub, especially if it is on the second floor, as water running down the back of the faucet could cause damage to the ceiling below. Additionally, even a slow leak can noticeably increase your water bill.
Identify the Faucet
Manufacturers use four different faucet designs on their Jacuzzi tubs: compression, ball, disk and cartridge. Compression faucets are the original design and most likely present in an older Jacuzzi. They have two handles, for hot and cold water, and rubber washers. Ball faucets have one handle with a round ball that moves around to regulate hot- and cold-water flow. Disk faucets, which may be single or separate hot and cold, have ceramic parts with a cylinder that controls water flow. Cartridge faucets have plastic parts with a cartridge that varies in length according to your Jacuzzi model.
Find the Leaking Part
The rubber washers wear out on compression faucets. Ball faucets have several parts and leak when they no longer fit perfectly or when an O-ring has torn or worn out. There is a spring under the ball as well as O-rings to seal the unit. Faucets with ceramic disks have three washers. Any of these washers may be the cause of your leak. When a cartridge faucet leaks, the actual cartridge is the problem.
Prepare to Repair
Shut off the circuit breaker for the Jacuzzi heater to prevent electric shock. Turn off the water supply valve; you cannot make the repair with water pressure. Additionally, it prevents further damage to your floor, deck or first floor ceiling from the leak. Cover the drain with a plug or several layers of newspaper in case you drop some parts. Additionally, wrap your tools with duct tape to lessen the chance of scratching or damaging the tub surface, recommends the Ideal Home Garden website.
Make the Repair
Buy the replacement parts or kit at the hardware store. You may need additional items, such as plumber’s grease. If you have a cartridge faucet, take it with you to buy the correct size replacement. You can replace just the O-rings on a ball faucet, or buy a kit that drops a new unit in place quickly. If you decide to re-use the ball and spring, make sure you perfectly align all of the parts, or it will continue leaking. When replacing the seals on a ceramic disk faucet, take a few minutes to remove deposits from the ceramic disk by washing it with distilled vinegar.
Test Your Repair
Turn on the water valve; do so slowly if you have a ceramic disk faucet to prevent damaging it. Turn on the faucet slowly to see if it leaks. If everything seems OK, then let it go full blast. Test it for a few minutes, turning the water on and off several times, to make sure that nothing leaks.