How to Fix a Leaky Bathtub Faucet

Fixing your leaky bathtub faucet will not only save you money on your water bills, it will prevent unsightly stains from forming in your bathtub. Most leaks are caused by faulty washer. Fixing a leaky faucet is a relatively easy job that you can do yourself with basic tools and one trip to the hardware store. Follow the simple steps listed below and learn about you can fix a leaky bathtub faucet.

Things you'll need:


  • Pocketknife
  • Screwdriver
  • Washer

Here's what to do:

  1. Shut off your water source. Depending on your home's setup, you may be able to shut off the water by going under the sink. Otherwise you'll have to shut off the entire house's water supply.
  2. Pry off the handle insert. Depending on your faucet, you may have to pry off the handle insert to gain access to the faucet's screw. Using your pocketknife, dig under the front panel of the insert to release the insert from the base of the faucet.
  3. Unscrew the handle screw. Using your screwdriver, unscrew the handle from the wall. This is often the most difficult part of fixing a leaky faucet because the handle may have become stuck to the stem. Try gently wiggling the handle, blowing hot air from a hairdryer or pouring steaming hot water onto the joint [source: Family Handyman].
  4. Replace the washer. If you don't know what size washer your bathtub faucets use, take the old washer to the hardware store and speak with a customer service agent. It shouldn't be a hard part to find. Replace the old washer with your new one.
  5. Replace the handle and handle insert. Using your screwdriver, replace the faucet handle by screwing it back into place. Make sure that you don't screw the handle in too tight or it will be difficult to open your water faucet. Once the handle is replaced, push the handle insert firmly back into place.
  6. Turn the water back on. Once your water is turned back on, open your taps and then close them to see if the leak persists [source: Wagner]. If the leak persists, you can always call a plumber.