Bathtub Faucet - How To Change It in 4 Simple Steps!
Wear and tear. It happens naturally to all appliances due to continuous usage. There are no appliances, or tools, that can output 100% for an extended period of time. Eventually, down the line, it is expected that the tool is worn down. There is no actual solution to completely eradicate the situation, but it is possible to extend the life of the appliance, or tool, with proper maintenance.
But, what if the tool, or the appliance, is worn down, and in irreparable condition? The only solution is to replace that tool, and the same thing can be said for any tool or appliance including the bathtub faucet.
Why particularly the bathtub faucet? There is a reason for that. Out of all the appliances in the bathroom, the bathtub faucet is one of the most used “tools,” and is more prone to get physical and water damage easier than other appliances.
It is natural that the bathtub faucet breaks sooner than other bathroom appliances. It is not a worrisome situation. In fact, you can resolve the situation by yourself with a bit of help and tools.
If you are in the same boat, then don’t worry. We got you covered. In the upcoming blocks, we will discuss the reasons why the bathtub faucet gets damaged over time, and how to replace it effectively.
Let’s get started!
Bathtub Faucet – Things to Know Before Replacing One
First thing first, you should know the bathtub faucet parts before starting this project. It gives you an idea of whether to change the whole faucet system or an individual part (in some scenarios). The purpose here is to understand the situation clearly and save much money as possible on the project.
In a general bathtub faucet, there are nine parts and they are as follows:
Bathtub Faucet Spout – In simple terms, the neck of the faucet is called the spout. This is one of the parts that are responsible for the water’s output from the pipeline to the user. Most of the time, if there are issues with the spout, it is recommended to change the faucet system, it is much easier that way also a single may be difficult to find (since different model has different types of spouts).
Faucet Handle – Also known as the faucet lever, which is responsible for the water flow by opening and closing the valve. All the handles are mounted on the top of the spout. But nowadays, more modern handles are mounted on the sides which have a separate locking mechanism. Same as the spout, if the handles get damaged, it is better to replace the whole faucet system.
Faucet Aerator – It is a small apparatus that is fixed with the tip of the faucet spout. This helps to break the water output into multiple streams instead of a single stream, thanks to its mesh design. The main reason is to dilute the water as much as possible with air. The output water is concentrated at high pressure by reducing the volume of water. If you encounter splashing of water in your bathtub, you can guess that aerator is at fault here.
O-ring – A small yet important part of the faucet system. The ring is made of elastic material (elastomers) with a cross-section. This helps to lock the water in the system and prevent water leakage. Usually, the ring is sitting on top of the faucet body. If you encounter water leakage, it is time to change the O-ring.
Faucet Body – Down the O-ring is the faucet body. Think of it as housing for water. It is responsible for holding the water (either hot or cold or sometimes mixed) before outputting via the spout. Not only water but is also responsible for housing the valve. If the water condition is not met with requirements, or change in the pressure (if the aerator/spout is not at fault), the faucet body is likely the culprit. It is recommended to replace the faucet system in those scenarios.
Faucet valve – AKA centrifuge valve, which is responsible for controlling the flow and temperature of the water. It is safe to say that, the centrifuge valve is one of the easiest to replace in the whole system. All the moving parts are inside a single housing system, so if there is an issue, you just have to remove the valve and insert the new one. It can take about 5-10 minutes. NOTE: Different faucet systems have different types of valves, it is better to know the model of your faucet and check online. If there is no luck, directly check with the manufacturer for a replacement.
Escutcheon – Think of Esucutcheon as support. It is responsible for supporting the faucet body and the spout system. Most of the time it is made of metal in order to provide good support for the system.
Mounting Bolt – This helps to fix the Escutcheon to the wall.
Water supply – The water supply runs behind the Escutcheon, which is then connected to the faucet body. NOTE: This can attract one of the main issues during cold winter. There is a good chance that the pipe gets frozen and limits the water supply.
Now, there is a good chance that you want to attach a hand shower to your bathtub faucet, and that is a good idea. If you do that, then two parts will be added to the faucet system. The hose guide and hose spray.
Hose spray – This helps to change the spray of your water. The hand shower can be configured in such a way that you can get your desired spray and water pressure.
Hose guide – Since it is a hand shower, you can extend it for a fixed length and the hose guide is responsible for the movement and flexibility of the hand shower.
Common Issues and Parts That Can Be Worn Down:
There are five parts that are more prone to wear and tear than other parts in the faucet system, and they are as follows:
- Faucet handle
- Faucet Aerator
- Hose system
- Faucet valve
The faucet handle is one of the most used parts in the whole system and can break easily down the line. Check if the handle is available with the manufacturer, or change the faucet system.
Same as the handle, the O-ring is also used extensively. Continuous contact with water pressure can wear the ring down. You can replace them in a few minutes with a new one and it is available in most of the local hardware stores and online stores. The aerator same as the O-ring, is constantly in contact with the water and is much more prone to water damage. It is recommended to check with the manufacturer or online to get a new one for your faucet.
The faucet valve, as said, is one of the easiest to replace. The valve is responsible for regulating the condition of the water and can be broken down easily.
With a lot of moving parts, it is to be expected that the following issues are common that can be seen in the faucet system.
Water leakage – The O-ring or aerator can be a culprit here.
Rusting – In all parts due to continuous contact with water and the atmosphere in the bathroom.
Overflow – Again, this can be due to malfunctioning of the aerator, or sometimes the spout itself.
Low pressure – This can be either a valve or an aerator. Sometimes even the water supply can be at fault here. That is the reason why low pressure is a headache and can be quite difficult to see where the actual issue is.
How To Replace the Bathtub Faucet in 4 Steps
First, if you have the manufacturer’s instructions, you are probably 95% good to go, the remaining 5% involves gathering the required tools and doing the actual work. But let us take a look at the easy steps that can be used for most of the faucet styles (either center or wide-spread faucet)
STEP #1 Close the supply valve. Take a screwdriver and start to remove the faucet from the wall. Tip: Open the faucet before removing it from the wall. This helps to drain the remaining water from the system.
STEP #2 Clean the area with the cleaning solution. First, you need to disconnect the water supply, which is connected to the faucet body. Once you remove that, you can place the old faucet aside.
STEP #3 Disconnect the lift rod in your bathtub. The rod is a connector between the bathtub and the drain.
STEP #4 Connect the new faucet with the water supply line along with the lift rod. Make sure that it is secured properly and ensure there is no water leakage.
Tip – If you want to replace the cartridge valve, follow the steps below
- Close the supply valve and drain the excess water in the faucet system.
- Close the water supply to the faucet body.
- Remove the cartridge valve from the faucet body (i.e. faucet handle).
- Clean the housing.
- Install the new one and secure it.
- Connect the faucet handle and the water supply line.
- Ensure there is no water damage.
The answer is Yes. The mechanism may look the same, but the functionality differs in notable ways, such as water pressure, temperature, flow rates, and the ability to add a hand shower. So, sink faucets are not same as the tub faucets.
The three types of bathtub faucets are freestanding faucets, wall-mounted faucets, and tub-mounted faucets.
The price can vary depending on factors, such as type, material, finish, and sometimes manufacturers. In general, a standard bathtub faucet can cost you $30-$50. The high-end bathtub faucets can cost up to a grand.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, household leaks can waste nearly 900 million gallons of water per year nationwide. Small steps, such as having a good faucet, can help bigger issues, such as water scarcity. Having a mindful usage of water not only helps you save water but also prolongs your appliance life. If you are looking for a good faucet or even a bathtub for your home, you are in the right place!
Magnus home products offer a great range of collections on both faucets and bathtubs. You can access the faucet collection here, and the bathtub collection here!
This article hopes to provide enough information on bathtub faucets, and ways to replace them in an effective way.