Step by Step Guide: How to Change a Bathtub Faucet ( 11 Quick Steps)

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How to change a bathtub faucet

Whenever your bathtub faucet is old or damaged, you may simply replace it with a new one by doing the installation yourself.

It makes no difference whether you have a single-handle faucet or a tub faucet with many controls; the procedure is still the same.

Then, how to change a bathtub faucet?

If you wish to change your bathtub faucet handles, you must first remove them from the faucets, as well as the stems that link them to the pipelines. Replace your spout by simply unscrewing the old one and screwing in the new one; it couldn’t be much easier! Upon completion, you will have brand new faucets that will make your bathtub sparkle!

Also read: How to fix a leaky bathtub faucet

Step by Step : How to Change a Bathtub Faucet

How to change a  bathtub faucet

Step 1: Shut off the Water Supply

  • The fact that most bathtubs do not have a distinct shut-off valve means that you must switch off the water supply to your whole house.
  • The main line in your house should be located, and it should be turned perpendicular to the pipelines.
  • Even when you’re operating on your tub, this will prevent any water from entering in from the outside.
  • It is possible that your water supply pipe is located in your basement or even outside your house.
  • If you’re not sure how to cut off the water supply to your house, you should call a plumber for assistance.
  • This shutoff valve will prevent any other fittings in your house from using water while the water is turned off.

Step 2: Remove the Index

  • Empty the bathtub water by turning one of the knobs so the water drains out of the tub spout.
  • There will be an amount of water remaining inside your pipes, which will be flushed away.
  • As soon as you see that water is no longer pouring out of the spout, switch the tub faucet off once more.
  • The index is normally a coin-sized plastic cap in the center of the handle.
  • Insert the tip of a flathead screwdriver beneath the index’s tip and pull it out.
  • The length of your index will be determined by the number of handles you have.

Step 3: Remove the Bathtub Handle

  • After removing the index cover, there should be a screw within the hole.
  • To remove the lever from the faucet stem, use a screwdriver to rotate the screw counterclockwise.
  • It is recommended to keep the drain closed to stop the screws from falling in.
  • Keep your screws in a safe place where you can easily locate them later.

Step 4: Pry off the Stem

  • The stem is the thin pipe-like structure that protrudes from the wall and regulates the faucet.
  • Insert a hollow socket wrench key above the stem and press it against the hex nut.
  • Hold the wrench with the help of a pair of pliers and rotate it counterclockwise.
  • Pry the stem away from the wall after it has become free.
  • A socket wrench designed for pipelines could be purchased at your local hardware shop.
  • If somehow the nut protrudes beyond the wall, simply release it using a pair of pliers.
  • If your bathtub has more than one handle, go through the procedure again for each one.

Step 5: Remove the Screw

  • Your nozzle may be held in place with a mounting screw.
  • So, you have to find the screw below your spout and twist it counterclockwise with the help of an Allen wrench.
  • When the screw is removed, the faucet will easily pull away from the pipe.
  • Incase your bathtub spout lacks a screw, leave this step.
  • Ensure that you have blocked your drain so you don’t lose the screw by mistake.

Step 6: Remove the Tub Spout

  • Using pliers, grasp the spout and turn it counterclockwise.
  • As soon as the spout is free, detach it from the wall with one hand.
  • Remove the spout from the tube.
  • Calculate the length of the piping that was present within your faucet.
  • You can finish this process using a tape measure.
  • Make a note of the measurement so you can recall it later.
  • When purchasing a new bathtub spout, make sure it is longer than the piping protruding out of your wall.

Step 7: Choose the Correct Handle and Stem

  • When searching for a new faucet, take your existing stems and handles along with you.
  • Ensure that you get stems that are identical to your previous ones ( old faucet) such that they will simply slide onto your pipelines.
  • Then choose a handle that complements the other fittings in your bathroom.
  • Stems and handles are available in the plumbing area of your home improvement shop.
  • Make sure to pick handles that are compatible with your system.
  • For example, if your previous faucet had many handles, you can’t load a single handle.
  • Certain retailers provide kits that include stems and handles for simple setup.

Step 8: Install the New Stem

  • When you get the new stem, insert the slotted end into the position where your previous faucet used to be.
  • Next, you should stiffen the stem with your hand and fasten it to the pipes by turning it clockwise.
  • Once the stem is hand-tight, take the pliers and your socket wrench to secure the joint.
  • Whenever your tub has many handles, be sure you install a new stem for each one.

Step 9: Replace the Index Cap

  • After you’ve fastened the stem, slide your new handle above it and press it back until it meets the wall.
  • As soon as the handle is present on the stem, fasten the screw with your screwdriver to attach it to the stem.
  • To complete the handle, place the index cap above the screw.
  • Continue with the other handles you currently have in your bathtub.
  • When your handles aren’t waterproof, you’ll have to caulk around them to keep water out of your sidewalls.

Step 10: Purchase a New Spout

  • Now you have to buy a new spout from your local home improvement shop.
  • Search for something that complements the handle on your bathtub.
  • Ensure that the replacement spout is lengthier than the pipe size you measured.
  • If you don’t attach the spout that’s fastened in the same manner as your previous one, it could not stay intact.
  • Carry your existing spout so that you can get something close in length.
  • Incase you want all of your fittings to coincide, check for sets that include handles and spouts.
  • Plumber’s tape keeps the tub spout from spilling back toward the wall.
  • So you have to apply 1-2 thicknesses of plumber’s tape around the pipe threads emerging out of your wall.
  • Secure the threading by cutting the tape and pushing it firmly with your fingertips. 
  • You can buy the plumber’s tape from any home improvement shop.

Step 11: Install the New Spout

  • Start rotating your replacement spout clockwise after sliding it above the pipe.
  • To avoid damaging your pipelines, always adjust the spout by hand.
  • Continue tightening the faucet until it becomes hard to turn.
  • If the spout is not facing down, spin it counterclockwise until it does.
  • Incase your pipe is too small and the spout does not clamp on, you might have to purchase a spout adapter.
  • This part serves as an extension for your pipeline, allowing you to plug in the faucet.
  • Fasten the adapter onto the pipe. After that, twist the spout onto the adapter’s tip.
  • Finally, fasten the screw on the base of your spout using an Allen wrench to hold it in position.
  • Restore the water flow to your home after all of the new fixtures are in set.

Video Guide: How to Replace a Bathtub Faucet

How to fix a Broken Bathtub Faucet Handle

Fix a broken bathtub faucet

  1. Ensure that the water supply to the bathtub that you will be repairing on is turned off. Shutoff valves are frequently found in supply enclosures or closets.
  1. Disconnect any plastic caps that may have been attached to the faucet handle, and then unscrew the handle screw.
  1. Now, you have to start pulling the handle away from the stem in a straight line.
  1. Disconnect the valve stem from the faucet by unscrewing the hexagonal packing nuts that are located at the head and base of the stem.
  1. Remove the washer from the stem by loosening the locking nut at the base of the stem using a flathead screwdriver.
  1. Remove any calcium or grit layers with a blade, install a new washer, and tighten the locking screw to ensure it is safe.
  1. Cover the threads of the valve stem with plumber’s tape, completing at least 2 rounds and stripping off every extra tape. Replace the valve stem in its socket and adjust it with a wrench to ensure that it is secure.
  1. Fasten the packing nut by sliding it into the stem.
  1. Now, you have to reinstall the faucet handle well above the stem and fasten it with the handle screw.
  1. You may also want to check whether you have placed the protective cap or not.
  1. Finally, open water supply to the area. You have now learnt how to repair a faulty bathtub faucet handle. Congratulations!

These procedures should assist you in identifying the cause of the majority of minor leaks.

After you’ve mastered the art of repairing a broken bathtub faucet handle, you could use most of the same techniques on your sink faucet and kitchen faucet as well.

If the handle on your shower faucet has come loose, you may replace it by using the same procedure.

How to Change a Bathtub Faucet Washer

How to change a bathtub washer

  1. Restrict the water flow to the bathtub faucet and turn off the water valve. If you are unable to reach your bathtub shutdown valve, you may turn off the water supply to the whole home.
  1. Shut or seal the bathtub drain and wrap it with a cloth to collect any pieces or screws that may fall into the drain mistakenly.
  1. Using a flat-head screwdriver, pull the decorative cover away from the faucet handle and discard it.
  1. Loosen the screw from the interior of the handle and take the handle away from the valve assembly to complete the removal.
  1. To release the locking nut from the valve assembly, use a pipe wrench to twist the nut, which is now visible on the valve assembly.
  1. Remember to turn it counterclockwise. Rotating the valve assembly counterclockwise will allow you to remove the complete unit.
  1. Disassemble the valve assembly and unscrew the screw that keeps the old washer in position.
  1. Remove the existing washer by carefully pulling it off with the help of a flat-head screwdriver. 
  1. The edge of a screwdriver could be used to scrape any remnants of the old washer that may have remained on the valve assembly after it was removed.
  1. Now, you need to mount the replacement washer in the same location as the old one.
  1. Remember to adjust the washer to the valve assembly using a screw. After that, reinstall the valve assembly to the fitting by twisting it clockwise with the help of a pipe wrench.  
  1. Reinstall the decorative cap on the tap handle once it has been screwed down onto the valve assembly.
  1. You can also try out these procedures for the other faucet.

Also read: How to fix a leaky compression faucet

Fix a leaking sink drain pipe

Fix a leaking shut off valve

Wrap Up!

Replacing a bathtub faucet is not a major task, you can do it with the help of few tools and guide. If you still can’t able to change your bathtub faucet then you must call a professional plumber to help you out. If you liked guide, subscribe to our newsletter to get information about sinks and faucets