How To Fix a Leaking Bathtub Faucet

We’ve had a leaking bathtub faucet for awhile and never realized just how much water we were wasting until we placed a canister underneath which filled up overnight. Our dog had gotten used to water always being in the tub and now considers it an alternate source of water beyond her bowl. At this point we realized we had to do something about it.
First make sure to shut off your water, both your main line and your water heater line. Our main line shut-off is located in our front yard near the wall and the water heater shut off is located at the water heater.
The process of removing the faucet handle is straightforward. Open the faucet a but to relieve the pressure then use a screwdriver to pop-off the end cap which gives you access to a screw that holds the faucet handles in place.

Remove that screw and the faucet handles should pull off nice and easy.
You’ll then notice a fitting that secures the handle in place and this can be removed with a wrench. Behind that fitting is a second fitting that secures the faucet stem and this also needs to be removed to see where and why the leak is occurring. Removing the faucet stem can take a bit more force and many times a faucet remover is needed.
When we removed our stem we noticed the seat came out with it!!! Our faucets were so old and the leak so bad that over years of cranking on the handles to turn the water off it had forced the threads in the seats to break and the seat had firmly implanted itself to the shaft and washer! So the water was never being sealed off thus the constant leak.
Unfortunately this required a replacing the pipes since the threads were bare and this work was beyond our technical abilities so we called in the plumber.
But if all had gone normal we would have just replaced the seals which were pitted and worn then put the handles back on which should have fixed the leak. But in the course of home improvement you never know what curveballs you’ll be thrown, it’s just a matter of knowing when to swing and when to walk.

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