Step 1: Shut Off the Water Supply
Begin by turning off the water supply to the house. The shut-off valve is typically located near the water heater or meter. Once the water is off, turn the faucet handle to the On position to drain any remaining water from the pipes.
Step 2: Remove Faucet Handle
To address a potential cause of dripping, you’ll need to remove the faucet handle. Loosen the screw at the center of the handle using an Allen wrench. After removing the screw, gently wiggle and pull off the handle.
Step 3: Replace Cartridge
To access the cartridge, remove the handle adapter and scald device. Underneath, you’ll find a metal barrel. Slide this barrel off to reveal the cartridge. Leaks can result from worn or damaged cartridges. Pry up the retaining clip and attach the cartridge removal piece. Using a wrench, twist and pull the cartridge stumps out firmly.
Apply a thin layer of silicone grease to the new cartridge and position it into the faucet body as it was originally. Reinstall the retaining clip, metal barrel, scald device, and handle adapter. Slide the handle back on and secure it in place. Turn the water supply valve back on.
Step 4: Check the Faucet Spout
Allow the water to run for a few minutes to flush out any debris from the components.
Being equipped with the knowledge of how to fix a leaking bathtub faucet not only saves you time and money but also puts an end to the incessant drip, allowing you to enjoy a tranquil bathroom experience once again.
What causes a bathtub faucet to leak?
A leaking bathtub faucet can be attributed to various factors that affect its proper function. Understanding these underlying causes can empower you to address the issue effectively. Here are some common reasons behind bathtub faucet leaks:
Worn Out Washer or Cartridge: Over time, the rubber washer in traditional faucets can deteriorate, leading to leaks. Similarly, the cartridge in modern faucets can wear out or develop cracks, causing water to seep through.
Corroded Valve Seat: The junction where the faucet and spout meet is called the valve seat. Corrosion due to prolonged exposure to water and minerals can result in leaks around this area.
Loose Parts: Internal components of the faucet may become loose or misaligned, disrupting the proper sealing mechanism and causing leaks.
High Water Pressure: Excessively high water pressure can strain the faucet’s components, potentially resulting in leaks. The use of pressure regulators can help mitigate this issue.
Improper Installation: Faucets that were not correctly installed can lead to leaks. Connections that are not tightened properly or parts that are not properly seated can cause water to leak.
O-Ring Damage: O-rings, which are small rubber rings used for sealing, can become damaged or worn out, leading to leaks around the handles or the base of the faucet.
Mineral Buildup: Hard water often contains minerals that can accumulate inside the faucet, affecting its performance and causing leaks. This buildup can compromise the proper sealing mechanism.
Age and Wear: Faucets, like any mechanical components, can succumb to wear and tear over time due to regular use. The repeated operation of faucet handles can contribute to degradation and leaks.
Freezing Temperatures: In colder climates, freezing temperatures can cause water inside the faucet to expand, resulting in cracks or damage that leads to leaks when the water thaws.
Cracked Plumbing: Damaged or cracked plumbing pipes connected to the faucet can also cause water to leak out, which may manifest as a faucet leak.
Why is my bathtub faucet still leaking after replacing the cartridge?
If your bathtub faucet is still leaking after replacing the cartridge, there could be a few potential reasons for this persistence of the issue. Let’s explore some possibilities:
Incorrect Installation: While you may have replaced the cartridge, improper installation could still lead to leaks. If the cartridge isn’t fitted correctly or if any seals were not positioned properly during reassembly, water can still find its way through and cause leaks.
Damaged Valve Seat: If the valve seat (the area where the cartridge sits) is corroded or damaged, even a new cartridge may not seal properly. It’s essential to inspect the valve seat for any signs of wear or corrosion and address this issue if present.
Worn O-Rings or Seals: Aside from the cartridge, there are often additional O-rings or seals within the faucet that contribute to its proper sealing. If these components are worn, damaged, or not replaced during the repair, leaks can persist.
Mineral Buildup: Mineral deposits can accumulate within the faucet, affecting the functionality of internal parts and causing leaks. Even with a new cartridge, existing mineral buildup might prevent proper sealing.
Cracks or Damage: It’s possible that the faucet itself has cracks, fractures, or other damage that is causing leaks. This could be due to physical damage or deterioration over time.
Other Faucet Components: Faucets have various components that contribute to their proper functioning. If any of these components, like washers, gaskets, or stems, are worn or not functioning correctly, they can lead to leaks.
Multiple Issues: Sometimes, a faucet leak can be the result of several interconnected issues. Replacing the cartridge might have addressed one problem, but if other factors are still contributing to the leaks, the problem could persist.
To resolve the issue, consider taking the following steps:
Double-check your cartridge installation to ensure it’s properly positioned and secured.
Inspect the valve seat and other components for signs of damage or wear.
Verify that all O-rings, seals, and washers have been replaced or are in good condition.
If mineral buildup is suspected, clean the faucet thoroughly.
If the problem persists, it might be worth consulting a plumber who can diagnose the issue accurately and implement the necessary repairs.
Professional Help: If you’re not experienced in faucet repair, there’s a possibility that a minor mistake was made during the replacement process. Seeking assistance from a professional plumber can help ensure that all aspects of the repair are handled correctly. Watch Video