Bathtub Spout Repair: Tips on How to Deal with that Pesky Drip

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A task that may seem relatively simple and straightforward to a seasoned plumbing professional can be nothing but a headache for a new homeowner or someone who has limited experience performing standard home maintenance and repairs.

Consider trying to repair a leaky or otherwise defective bathtub spout. Would you know where to begin?

Figure Out What’s Wrong

Bathtub spout repair begins with figuring out what’s wrong. There are a number of indicators that a bathtub faucet may not be functioning properly, the most common of which is a leak.

Certain internal components like the rubber O-rings, which normally form watertight seals when the faucet knob is turned to the off-position, may degrade over time due to normal stresses associated with actuating the faucet. The result is that annoying dripping noise which keeps you up at night and wears your patience paper-thin.

In dual function bathtub/showers there is a mechanism which diverts water from the bathtub spout to the shower head for delivery. If this mechanism wears out for whatever reason, it will no longer properly divert the water flow and taking a shower will become uncomfortable, if not impossible. It is wise to nip problems like these in the bud as soon as they develop.

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Fix It

It is usually not cost-effective to attempt bathtub spout repair by replacing defective internal components piece by piece. As the experts will tell you, it makes more sense just to splurge on a whole new faucet apparatus. By doing this, you can be sure to avoid any secondary problems that may arise even after you’ve retrofitted your old spout with new components.

There are a variety of bathtub spout models on the market today, each with slightly different design and mounting features. It’s important to choose the spout that matches the water hookup in your bathtub.

One of the most common types of spouts is the front end threaded spout which screws onto the mounting pipe at its head. There is also a rear end wall threaded spout which screws onto the mounting pipe at its base and the slip-fit or non-threaded spout which uses internal brackets to anchor onto a ½-inch copper water tube.

New spouts can be found at any hardware store or home center and usually cost between $10-$20.

As far as installation goes, there are a number of online sources offering how-to advice for bathtub spout repair. Some homeowners may feel the need to consult a plumbing professional before trying to accomplish a project like this on their own.