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Tips on Replacing Bathtub Faucets You Would Not Want to Miss

by Guest Post on Apr 12, 2010

If your faucet is leaking or dripping then it is time to replace it. Simple as it may sound there are a couple of factors you need to look into while replacing it. Follow the tips given here and bathtub faucet replacement will be an easy task.

Faucets allow water in pipes to be used in a controlled manner. Bathtubs have either 2 valve or 3 valve faucets. They start leaking or dripping when washers become stiff and corroded. Water pressure also hastens this process. In older designs of faucets, there were rubber or neoprene washers. In the newer systems cartridge is used in place of washers.

It is always necessary to purchase the correct faucet. Faucets come in many sizes and styles. When you need to replace a faucet it is necessary to take an exact measurement of holes center to center. Style is optional but the size is important.

Also, you need to have the correct set of tools to replace a faucet. There are various types of wrenches for plumbing jobs. For square or hex nuts open-end wrenches are ideal as they have smooth jaws. If your pipe is chrome coated and you do not want to mar the surface then you can go for strap wrenches. If the pipe is of small diameter then you need to have a vise grip wrench. Generally, 2 pipe wrenches are required for plumbing one to hold and others to turn.

When installing bathtub faucets look for the faucet assembly behind walls. Generally, builders would have provided a rear access panel in the back of the tub. Read the installation instructions while assembling the 2 valve or 3 valve faucets.

Here are some general steps to replace a faulty faucet.

  • First of all, turn the water supply off. You can turn off the main supply for the entire house.
  • Next, remove the faucet handle. Tap or pull gently. Over time the handle may have got welded stem. Don't force it. If it does not come out gently then use a special handle puller.
  • Next, remove the trim and the stem assembly. The stem assembly is used for controlling the amount and temperature of water dispensed in the tub. Use a bath socket wrench to remove this assembly.
  • Now check the washer. If it is brittle or torn then this is the cause of the drip. Take both the washer and the stem for replacement.
  • Check the seats. If they are rough then they need to be replaced. Use a seat wrench to remove it.
  • When replacing you just need to assemble it all back. Grease the stem threads, washer, and nut threads. Then slide them all back and tighten the nuts.
  • If it is a cartridge-style faucet then remove the handle and trim. Then replace the cartridge.

So with a little bit of know-how, you can fix it yourself for $80-$90.

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