11 Dec Help, I Have a Leaking Tub Fixture! Sacramento Plumber Tips
Leaking Tub Fixture | Best Sacramento Plumber Tips
Got a Slow Drip From Your Tub Fixture? Here’s Some Tips…
If you a tub/shower combo, a common problem that people run into is a leaking tub faucet. For example, you run a shower or a bath, and when you turn the water off, there is a slow, persistent drip. While this may not seem like a big deal, it can actually be a problem. Keep reading for our best Sacramento Plumber Tips for dealing with a leaking tub fixture.
What’s the Big Deal?
For some people, a slow leak may not seem like a problem. However, a leak is always something to look into. For starters, if water is still running when it should not be, you likely have some kind of failed o-ring or gasket. Additionally, if a water leak is coming out where you can see it, you should consider that there might be water leaking where you CAN’T see it. These hidden leaks are the ones that can cause major water damage.
Another thing to think about is that a leak is wasting water. Water waste is bad for the environment. Additionally, water costs money. A leaking tub fixture can waste around 10 gallons of water per day! That is about the equivalent water use of running your dishwasher, or flushing your toilet about 4 times. That may not seem like a lot, but it can add up over time.
How to Fix a Leaking Tub Faucet
Most people will just try to tighten the handle in the “off” position, and sometimes this works. Other times, it takes a precise turn of the handle to properly stop the leak. While either method might stop the leak, it does not mean it is fixed. These are more of temporary band-aids, masking an actual problem with the faucet’s internal parts. Fixing the leak starts with finding out what the problem is.
A leaking tub fixture usually has some simple parts that can wear out over the years. As they wear out, they can cause leaks, and they can also interfere with the ability to properly turn off the faucet. Commonly, if your tub spout is leaking, it can be because of a problem with the handle.
A single handle tub fixture is actually really simple to work on. Even an amateur “handyman” can usually do enough to fix common leak issues without the need for a plumber. Of course, Always Affordable Plumbing is here to help. If you aren’t too sure about taking on a leaking tub faucet, then don’t hesitate to CALL for one of our licensed plumbers. We work fast, and make sure to fix the problem.
Tips on Fixing a Leaking Tub Fixture
1. SHUT OFF YOUR WATER SUPPLY
Anytime you are working on your plumbing, start by turning off the water supply to your home. This is the easiest way to avoid a serious water catastrophe! Once you turn the water off, turn on a faucet to allow the standing water in the pipes to drain. Before you start working on the faucet, place a towel over the drain to prevent any screws or parts getting lost.
2. REMOVE THE HANDLE
A single handle tub fixture usually has a small screw that needs to be removed with an allen wrench. Remove the screw and slide the handle off of the cartridge. Sometimes the handle may be difficult to remove due to corrosion. Gently tug and pry to remove.
3. REMOVE THE DECORATIVE PLATE
Now you can remove the face plate that covers the rest of the internal fixture. This usually has two standard phillips screws.
4. LOOK FOR OBVIOUS DAMAGE
Remove the bonnet/packing nut. At this point you will have access to the stem and faucet valve. You may notice rubber gaskets or o-rings. If you do, look for obvious cracks, breaks, and wear-and-tear. You should also look for obvious cracks and corrosion on the pipes and fittings. This is typically where you will find the main problem.
5. REMOVE THE CARTRIDGE
If you notice some corrosion and damage then you may need to replace some parts. To remove the faucet cartridge you will need to remove the retainer pin using needle nose pliers. Then, using the pliers, pull the cartridge straight out. As you remove it, make sure to note the orientation, so you can replace it the same way. It should slide off fairly easily, however, if it is older and corroded you may need a cartridge puller. This might be a good time to call a plumber, as you don’t want to damage anything trying to remove a stuck cartridge.
There is usually a black o-ring on the end of the stem. (The stem is the piece sticking out that controls the water flow). This o-ring can wear out over time and is a simple and inexpensive replacement. It should be soft and pliable, not hard and cracked. The cartridge has various rubber gaskets and rings which may need to be replaced. If the cartridge looks corroded and worn out, you may want to just replace the entire cartridge, rather than replacing individual gaskets. A new cartridge runs about $50. Take the old one with you to your local hardware store to make sure you get the correct replacement.
6. PUT IT BACK TOGETHER
Working backwards, put everything back together…slide on the new cartridge, replace the retaining clip, bonnet, etc…turn your water back on and give it a test. Hopefully this has corrected your problem!
Do You Need a Plumber to Fix Your Leaking Faucet
We love sharing our best plumber tips because we want to help people with their plumbing. We get it though…it sounds easy enough to DIY. However, once you get going things can get confusing or complicated. Don’t hesitate to call Always Affordable Plumbing at any point to help with your plumbing needs. Saving money by doing it yourself is great, however, if it goes wrong it could end up costing you more than if you had just called us first. CALL TODAY if you need help with a leaking tub fixture!
Service, quality, and affordability for our customers always comes first. Call today to schedule your appointment!
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Find out more about Always Affordable Plumbing (Lic. #1003782) by calling (916) 970-0188.
Leaking Tub Fixture | Best Sacramento Plumber Tips