How to Fix A Leaky Bathtub Faucet

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Fixing a leaky bathtub faucet is actually pretty easy. You’ll need to shut off the water supply, remove the handle, and identify and replace the faulty part(s).
Over time, leaky faucets can be expensive. You’ll overpay for your water bills and potentially need to make aesthetic repairs, as leaky water can cause bathtub stains. Moreover, plumbers aren’t cheap—so you’re probably wondering how you can do this repair yourself.
The home and auto insurance super app Jerry has gathered everything you need to know down below.
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Why is my bathtub faucet leaking?

A worn-out washer is usually the cause of a leaking bathtub faucet. The washer presses firmly on the faucet seat to create a watertight seal.
As the faucet turns, friction between the washer and the faucet seat wears it down, leading to eventual leakage over time.
Old or corroded faucet handles can also cause a leaky bathtub faucet. After years of use, handles can rust and crack, and they may not properly shut off the water after each use.

Tools needed to fix a leaky bathtub faucet

You should already have most of the tools you’ll need to fix a leaky bathtub faucet—and anything else can be found at your local hardware store!
Here are some of the essential tools you’ll need:
  • Wrench
  • Bath socket wrench
  • Seat wrench
  • Handle puller
  • Utility knife
  • Screwdriver
  • Plumber’s grease
  • Stem valve repair parts

How to fix a leaky bathtub faucet, step by step

Now that you know what you’ll need, it’s time to take care of your leaky faucet. This guide should apply to most kinds of bathtubs.

Turn the water off

Shut off the water to your bathroom or the whole house. Not doing so can lead to water spraying everywhere.

Remove handle insert and screw 

You can pry the insert off using your utility knife or a screwdriver. The screw itself should be inside the faucet handle and will be pretty easy to unscrew.

Take off the handle

This can be tricky due to rust and corrosion fusing the handle to the stem, but don’t forcibly remove the handle (it could break).
Try loosening the handle using a blow dryer or hot water. If this still doesn’t work, use your handle puller to get the job done.

Remove the escutcheon

This plate covers the hole in your wall and can be removed by either unscrewing it or twisting it off.

Remove the stem assembly

The stem assembly is the main part we need to look at when dealing with a leak. Use your adjustable wrench to remove it.

Check the washer and replace it if needed

When you detach the stem assembly, the first thing you should do is inspect the end washer.
If it has to be replaced, it should be clear—an old washer will be stiff and distorted, which is what allows the water to leak through.

Check the seat and replace it if needed

If you discover any evidence of deterioration to the seat—which is in contact with the washer—you'll also have to replace it. 
To remove the seat, you'll need to use a seat wrench, which is a particular tool designed for this job. 

Put everything back in place

It's time to put everything back together!
Screw the stem assembly, escutcheon, and handle back into place as needed. You can reinstall the cap that covers it once the handle is securely secured and screwed back into place.
Be sure to turn the water back on and test the faucet to make sure there are no leaks!

Does home insurance cover bathtub faucet leaks?

Damage from a leaky bathtub faucet will only be covered by home insurance if it’s caused by an accidental or unexpected incident named in your policy.
This typically includes the following:
  • Sudden or accidental water discharge
  • Storm-related damage
  • Accidental sewer backup or overflow
Regular wear and tear isn’t protected by home insurance and is considered a maintenance issue. Since this is the usual cause of most bathtub faucet leaks, chances are any damages or repair costs won’t be covered.

Saving money on home insurance with Jerry

Even if your insurance provider doesn’t cover your leaky bathtub faucet, now is a good time to review your policy and double-check that it’s the best plan for you!
If you're dissatisfied with your current policy's coverage or how much it's costing you, you should download the Jerry app.
A licensed broker that offers end-to-end support, the Jerry app gathers affordable quotes, helps you switch plans, and can even help to cancel your old policy. Even better—Jerry will help you bundle your home and auto policies for maximum savings. 
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Despite how straightforward the repair process is, getting your bathtub faucet repaired can actually be pretty pricey—costing on average between $75 and $200!
Unfortunately, yes. The damp area where leaking water splashes can become a breeding ground for mold, and it can grow pretty rapidly.
It’s best to deal with a leaky bathtub faucet the moment you notice it so you can prevent any major damage or mold infestations.

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