Replacing Valve Washers to Stop Tub Facuet Leaks

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Do you have issues with a leaky faucet in your bathtub? Is constant dripping a problem there, regardless of how much and how carefully you tighten the knobs when you turn off the flow of water? Even if you do not hear or see a drip, a telltale sign that a leak is present is discoloration in your bathtub in the areas below the faucet itself or below the faucet valves. Overtime, a leak can become costly as excess water is consumed with each drip, generating water waste. Repairing such an issue is beneficial for not only your water bill but also to keep your bathtub looking clean and free from unsightly discolorations. Undertaking this task is fairly easy but it does require the water supply to be turned off at the main valve, so be sure to make that your first step in this process.


After the water is turned off, you can move on to removing the valve handle for your tub faucet. Depending on the type you have, a metal or plastic cap may be present in the center that needs to be removed to access the screw beneath it whereas on some styles that screw will already be visibly exposed. Once you have located that screw, the next step is to remove it followed by the valve handle. With these items out of the way, the valve itself is the next thing to go; channel locks, a deep well socket wrench, a standard wrench, or any other comparable tool can be used to perform this task. Slide your tool choice over the valve and grip it securely, then turn to loosen the valve. This job can be finished by hand after you get the valve movement started. Once the valve is removed, you will see another, larger segment beneath it. This, too, will need to be removed by unscrewing.




The final screw you remove will have a washer attached at the rear, which you will see upon removing it and turning it around. In most cases where a leak is present, it is this washer that has failed due to dry rot or other forms of decay/losing the shape necessary to do its job effectively. Replacing the washer should be all it takes to stop the leak, so remove the screw that holds the washer in position and replace that washer with a new one of the same size. Screw the new washer back into position and reassemble your valve handle, backing through the steps you just followed to remove all of the valve components. Start with the washer screw, followed by the valve itself and then the valve handle. As you replace these parts, but sure to tighten them thoroughly but avoid being overzealous in your efforts to prevent the stripping of any threads.



If a little extra leak control is in order, Teflon tape can be utilized for a tighter bond. A little bit goes a long way so be sure not to get carried away in your efforts. Once your components have been returned to their proper places, your leak issues should plague you no more. Not only will you have the peace of mind of a leak-free tub faucet, but your water bill will be able to sigh with relief as well. Return to the main valve and turn your water supply back on, then clean up any messes you might have made. Include in your cleanup attention to any leak discolorations that have occurred, and your bathtub will be ready to get back to work.

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