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The sound of a slow but steady drip from a leaky faucet is irritating. It’s also damaging to your bathtub, as it could leave an unsightly stain on the floor of the tub. You can spare yourself from future trouble by fixing the leaky faucet immediately. That way, you won’t have to pay more for your water bill. You can preserve a precious resource, avoid tub stains, and end the maddening drip-drip-drip sound.

Tub Faucet Leak

(Pixabay / MikesPhotos)

The first step to fix the problem is to replace the washer in the tub faucet. The washers in the bathtub are typically made of either plastic or rubber. Constant contact with water can cause the washers to dry out and crack, making it difficult to tightly seal the faucet. Closing the faucet tighter will only increase the pressure on the washers, hastening their deterioration.

Turn off the water

You cannot repair your faucet with the water running. If there is a shut-off valve under the sink, turn it off. If there is none, you will have to shut off the main water supply line to the house. Once you have turned off the water main, open the faucet to vent the remaining pressure.

Remove the handles

You will be able to replace the washers of the tub faucet by first removing the handles. Use a pocketknife to pry off the inserts that cover the handles. These coverings are usually made of plastic with markings “hot” and “cold” on them.

After removing the inserts, the screws on each handle will become visible. Use a screwdriver to remove them. The removal of the screws should allow you to disconnect the handle from the faucet stems. However, if the area has been corroded, you will have some difficulty. Use a handle puller to help you disconnect the two.

Replace the washers

You can now replace the washers. Using a screwdriver, remove the seat washer screws from the stems and get rid of the old washers. Replace the washers with new ones. Use a little bit of liquid sealant on the stem’s threads, and put them back into the opening of the faucet.


Screw the faucet handles, and secure the inserts onto the handles. Turn the water supply back, and turn on the faucet to test it out. Turn the faucet off and on several times to see if there are any water leaks. If leaks persist, contact a professional plumber to help you resolve the problem.