Why Does My Bathtub Faucet Drip?
Leaky bathtub faucets are frustrating and annoying. They drip water constantly, which wastes resources and may lead to mold or mildew build-up if the bathroom is not well ventilated. And here in Georgia, with all the red clay, dripping water will eventually cause a red stain in your bathtub!
In this article we will explore why these faucets leak in the first place, as well as how to fix them!
The most common reason for a leaky bathtub faucet is that the rubber washer has deteriorated due to age, and needs replacing. The washer can be replaced easily with one from any hardware store. If this does not fix the problem then there may be something wrong with your valves or packing nuts.
A leaky faucet may also be caused by buildup from hard water or mineral deposits. If the tub has a build-up of minerals, use vinegar and baking soda to scrub it clean with an old toothbrush.
Finally, if none of these steps work on your leaky bathtub faucet then you will need to tighten the packing nuts. They are under the handle of your faucet and can be tightened with a screwdriver or wrench for best results.
Is It Normal For A Faucet To Drip?
No, it is not normal for a faucet to drip, drip, drip.
A dripping faucet can lead to a lot of water wasted! It's easy enough for you or your plumber to fix this common problem, but there are still some things you need know. The most common causes of leaking sinks include leaky o-rings, washers and gaskets—not expensive at all when it comes time for repair. But don't forget about corrosion and mineral deposits: these two culprits will cost you big bucks if left unchecked!
What Causes A Bathtub Faucet To Drip?
Like all other faucets, the most common reason that a bathtub faucet is dripping is because the washers are worn out. But unlike other faucets, most bathtub faucets are wall mounted so replacing those washers or any other components that may be causing or contributing to it leaking won't be as easy.
Of course, other than worn out washers there are other factors that could be causing or contributing to a leaky bathtub faucet.
- Some kind of problem with your pipes leading to the faucet
- Hard water can cause a buildup of minerals inside your pipes, valves, etc.
- Water pressure is too high
- Faucet handles have become loose
- The faucet stem could be stripped
We recommend that if you are going to try to replace any parts of your bathtub faucet to consult with the manual from the manufacturer of your faucet (if you know it). Otherwise, it may be best to call in a plumber who can do the job correctly for you.
How Do I Stop My Tub Faucet From Dripping?
Stopping that annoying drip will either involve repairing any of the components of the faucet or replacing the faucet and/or any parts such as washers, piping, gaskets, etc.
If The Problem Is A Broken Pipe
The solution then is to repair and/or replace that pipe. Unless you are a very handy type of person this project requires a professional plumber to make the repairs.
If The Problem Is Mineral Buildup
The problem with any plumbing material is that mineral buildup and calcification will happen eventually. These things are unavoidable when sewage, grease, hair lint etc move through pipes on a daily basis as they build up over time.
Plumbing is an essential part of our lives and it's important to keep them in good condition. You can avoid clogs from forming by maintaining your pipes with a little care every day!
You can clean that mineral buildup using one of two methods:
The Plastic Bag Method
- Use a gallon size Ziplog type of bag, a rubber band or some type of strong tie.
- Fill the bag half way with 50% water and 50% white vinegar or CLR
- Place the bag around the faucet so that it is fully immersed in the solution inside the bag.
- Secure the bag with a rubber band (or any other type of strong tie to keep the bag in place)
- Keep this bag up for at least 1 hour (overnight is fine too).
- After you remove the bag, wipe down the faucet with a damp cloth.
- Turn on the faucet then turn it off to see if it is still dripping.
- You may need to repeat the process depending on how clogged your water spouts have become.
CAUTION: If your faucet is brass, gold or nickel coated do NOT leave the bag on for more than 30 minutes as it could damage the finish.
The Toothbrush / Scrub Method
- Use the same materials and the same mixture of 50% water and 50% white vinegar or CLR.
- Scrub the faucet with a used toothbrush or scrub brush.
- When you are done, wipe it down with a damp cloth.
- Turn it on and then turn it off to check if it is still dripping water.
- Repeat if necessary.
If The Problem Is That Your Water Pressure Is Too High
A water pressure regulator is normally the safety feature to keep your water pressure from getting too high. Fortunately, here in Georgia these regulators are required by code so it's more than likely that your home is equipped with one. But, like anything else these regulators can also be faulty or wear out.
A water pressure regulator can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years, but you'll see one malfunction in 3 and another still working at age 15. Most manufacturers recommend swapping your valve every 5 years or so, while most plumbing contractors would suggest changing it around the same time frame as well - namely once every 10-15ish year period.
If Your Faucet Handles Have Come Loose
Most bathtub faucet handles can be tightened with a screwdriver and an allen wrench but the specifics will be different for each brand faucet.
We recommend that you check with the manual for your particular faucet for instructions on how to tighten loose handles.
If The Faucet Stem Is Stripped
This job requires replacing the faucet handles entirely. Again, review the manual for your particular model to get the proper instructions on how to do this. Also, it may be more cost effective to get an entire new bathtub faucet vs. replacing the handles. Do your homework and check to make sure what the costs would be with either option.
If you have any questions about bathtub faucets or are having some problems with it, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-443-8229. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.