Are you bored with the outlook of your bathroom? The outlook of a bathroom is sometimes the most ignored thing. But a beautiful bathroom can offer a pleasant experience for you. If you want to renovate your existing bathroom and bring a new look into it this post is perfect for you. We will share some valuable steps including how to replace the bathtub faucet stem. We are constantly creating resources on various faucets like bathroom faucets and kitchen sink faucets. With our helpful resources, we want to add ease to your life.
If you have an old bathroom with a leaky bathroom faucet, you will need to replace the bathtub faucet stem. In this post, we will share with you a proper guide on how you can transform your existing bathroom.
What else is more annoying than living with a leaky faucet? A leaky faucet has various downsides. With its slow drips, it will ruin your peace of mind. Additionally, a leaky faucet will also leave stains on your tub. Fixing the leaky bathtub faucet is not a very difficult task. You will have to replace the bathtub faucet stem to stop the annoying drip.
We encourage you to do this by yourself. Doing it yourself will save you money and also bring immense pleasure. Replacing the bathtub faucet stem is also a cheaper alternative compared to buying a complete replacement for it.
Common causes of a leaky faucet
Some common reasons contribute to a leaky faucet. In most cases, worn rubber washers, seals, or gaskets in the valve assembly contribute to the leak. We are about to share with you how you can fix the drip by replacing the bathtub faucet stem.
Tools and materials required for replacing the bathtub faucet stem:
- Adjustable wrench
- Bath socket wrench
- Handle puller
- Seat wrench
- Utility knife
- Plumber grease
- Faucet stem valve repair parts
How to ensure proper replacement parts
Getting proper replacement parts is not always easy. If you have a very old bathtub faucet this can be more challenging for you. Our recommendation to get the best replacement parts is to take the old parts with you. Taking the old parts will save you from lots of headaches. If you take your old part to a plumbing part distributor store then you can match the replacement part and get the properly matched one for you.
If you don’t take the old part with you then you may have to visit the plumbing parts distributor back and forth to get the proper replacement part.
Note: Before you start make sure to turn off the water supply lines of your house. This will keep you on the safe side. Otherwise, things may get messy.
Removing the faucet handle
First of all, you will have to replace the faucet handle. In general, the bathtub faucet handle is attached and kept in place with the help of screws.
To replace the bathtub faucet stem, you will have to replace the faucet handle first. If you examine the faucet handles carefully, you will find the set screw that holds the handles in place. In case, you don’t find any setscrew, try locating the faceplate that should be in the middle of the handle.
Once you have located it, gently pry up the small faceplate from the handle using a flat-head screwdriver. Then, you can remove the screw with the help of a bathtub handle extractor or by using a screwdriver. You should turn the screwdriver counterclockwise to remove the screw.
Hopefully, you have successfully removed the screw. Now, pull the handle toward you to remove it. It may require waggling the handle back and forth gently to remove the handle. Sometimes the handle gets attached to the plumbing due to hard water build-ups like calcium and magnesium. If you have such a condition, try tapping the handle with a hammer. This will loosen the calcified material and remove them. As a result, the faucet will come out smoothly.
At this moment, you need to attend to the bathtub faucet stem. Come back here again when you are done with it.
Now it is time to set the new handle in place of the old one. The handle has a female surface and it should match with the teeth on the plumbing. Properly place the screw and secure the handle properly in its place.
You may have a different bathtub handle but rest assured we have your back. For the most common type of bathtub faucet handles, we have a guide prepared for you. Please follow this link to learn how you can professionally replace a bathtub handle by yourself.
Removing the bathtub faucet stem
Once you have successfully removed the bathtub faucet handle, you have to carefully unscrew the escutcheon and stem assembly. The stem is responsible for the water flow control and the temperature control of your bathtub faucet. You will need the aid of a bath socket wrench to remove the bathtub faucet stem. To remove the stem, slide the bath onto the stem bonnet. Now you will have to turn this counterclockwise to loosen the stem. In case you find the stem stuck, you will have to soak the stem with penetrating lubricant. Finally, unscrew and remove the stem.
The cause of leaks
In general, leaks usually occur for two reasons. With long-time use, the seat washer stiffens and it does not seal tightly. Another reason is the brass rim that erodes due to water pressure. You will have to replace the seat with the aid of a seat wrench. After pressing the seat wrench firmly into the center of the seat, turning it counterclockwise will do the job for you.
Replacing the faucet stem parts
First and foremost, you need to unscrew the packing nut. Twisting the stem clockwise and back the stem out of the bonnet. Then you will have to pry out the old packing washer. You can use a flat head screwdriver to any sharp-edged tool to pry it out. Once you have removed the old packing washer, install the new one in its place. Then, put the packing nut and tighten it to secure it properly.
Secondly, you need to remove the old seat washer screw and the old seat washer. Properly apply grease to make the installation easy for you.
Thirdly, you have to pull off the old bonnet washer.
Fourth, properly apply the pipe joint compound with your bonnet threads. Attach it with the faucet body.
Finally, it is time to place the new bathtub faucet handle. Jump back to the Removing the faucet handle section to complete this step.
Hopefully, you did not find replacing the bathtub faucet stem very difficult as a DIY project.
Bonus: Bring a new look into your bathroom
You have already stopped the drip of your bathtub faucet. Here is a bonus tip on how you can replace the bathtub spout and bring an exciting new look into your bathroom.
We are assuming that you are not happy with the current look of your bathroom. The good part is giving your bathroom an exciting new look is not very expensive or it does not require a lot of time. Replacing some items in your bathroom can bring a new life to it. You have already replaced the bathtub faucet stem and the handle. Here we will guide you on how to replace your bathtub stem.
A bathtub spout has multiple attachment methods. There are three widely used ways for a bathtub spout attachment. You will be glad to know that the replacement of a bathtub spout is very easy despite the method it follows for the installation. Moreover, you will be able to do it with the help of household tools and a plumber’s small pipe wrench. To affirm you, the replacement takes very little time.
Replace a bathtub faucet spout
As there are multiple ways the faucet spout might be attached, first of all, you need to figure this out. The three different ways of spout attachment are listed below:
- First of all, a screw-on spout with threads deep inside the spout
- Secondly, a screw-on spout with the threads at the back of the spout
- And, finally, a spout that requires a set screw underneath
Tools that you will require:
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Phillips screwdriver
- Allen wrench
- Small pipe wrench
- Soft cloth
You should note that the spouts that screw on won’t have a set screw. On the other hand, if it is equipped with a set screw, it should be on the bottom of the spout approximately 1/4 inch or it can also be further out from the wall. Moreover, you may need the help of an Allen wrench or Phillips screwdriver to work with the set screw. You will have to use the pipe wrench for the spouts that have a screw-on. Take a rag and place it over the spout and adjust the pipe wrench’s mouth. This will help fit over the spout so it locks into the position. Finally, turn the wrench counterclockwise.
You will find another type of spout that is attached at the bottom with the help of a set screw. Remove the screw and you are done. Some spouts are installed with a set screw underneath the spout. You need to be careful both when removing and also while installing the set screw for the spout. Gently screw the threaded tub spout to ensure that you don’t ruin or cross-thread the threads inside. It is better to go slowly and if you find any resistance, you will have to back out the spout and re-thread it again. Try to manually tighten it as much as you can.
Before you go for the final tightening, it is better if you wrap the threaded tub spout with a rag. Most importantly, make sure the spout is properly aligned.
Never try to over-tighten the tub spout. If you have a tub equipped with both hot and cold water lines, you need to look under the handle for the setscrew because this is how it is kept in place. To be on the safe side, use Phillips screwdrivers for cross-headed screw heads. Additionally, when you go to the store for replacement parts it is better if you take the old one with you. In that case, you will have to remove the old ones first.
We are leaving you today but if you are a regular visitor of our blog you should already know that we have lots of resources for your home projects. Take help from our bathroom exhaust fan and cheap-rated toilet buying guides to transform your bathroom. Finally, if you have any suggestions, we are always eager to hear from you.