How To Fix Leaking Bathtub Faucet When Shower Is On
Have you ever been in this situation?
When you enjoy a comfortable shower, you find that there is water flowing out of the bathtub spout at the same time, and the water pressure in the shower decreases accordingly. This greatly reduces your shower experience. On the other hand, when you plan to fill the bathtub with the bathtub spout, there is also water coming out of the shower.
In fact, this is a common problem in many families. As long as you master the correct method, it is not very difficult to solve this problem. In this post, we will share with you the reason to water leaking from tub spout when shower is on and how to fix it.
Why does tub faucet leak when shower is on
There are many bathtub faucets designed, from single hole wall mounted to three hole center with a bathtub faucet. Regardless of the design, the valve stem or valve element regulates the water flow from the mixing valve, and the hot and cold water pipes flow into the mixing valve. There are four main reasons to tub faucet leak when shower is on:
- The gasket on the valve stem is cracked or worn, which is a common cause of water dripping from the bathtub faucet. Each time the water is opened, the gasket is pushed onto the valve. Over time, this repeated friction will cause gasket wear.
- The bathtub faucet rod or valve element itself may be the cause of leakage. When the faucet handle is rotated, the faucet stem or valve element will rise and fall. This will stimulate the flow of water. If the valve stem or valve element fails, the water flow may not be completely blocked.
- Old or worn diverter valve may also be the source of water dripping from the bathtub faucet. The handle may rust and crack after years of use, and the water may not be completely shut off after each use.
- The pipe leading to the faucet nozzle of the bathtub may be the source of leakage.
How to fix leaking bathtub faucet when shower is on
Fortunately, a leaking bathtub faucet is one of the problems that usually doesn’t require professional help, especially if you can find the problem yourself.
Whether you need to clean the nozzle structure of the bathtub or the problem is in a single element, as long as you follow the step-by-step guidance, the process should not be too long or too complex.
Clean the tub spout
The first way to fix a leaking tub faucet is to go through all the elements and remove any dirt and minerals that have built up inside.This process will also give you the opportunity to double-check the components and replace any broken or damaged parts to ensure the leak is done once and for all.
Step 1: The first step is to remove the tub spout by unscrewing it from the wall. The process may vary by model, but is usually done by turning the spout counterclockwise until it comes off.
Step 2: Once you’ve removed the spout from the wall, you should inspect all visible components, including the O-rings and tub spout diverter, which usually looks like a small plastic plate.
Step 3: If there is a lot of mineral buildup on the elements, which is usually the case, you need to soak them in a solution of calcium, lime and rust remover
Step 4: Immersion of the tub spout in this solution will allow the mineral buildup to dissolve completely without damaging the valve body. If you don’t have a CLR, white vinegar will work too.
Step 5: You want to let the tub spout sit in this solution for at least 15 minutes, then scrub with an old toothbrush to remove any mineral buildup. We also recommend wearing gloves to protect your skin.
Step 6: After thoroughly cleaning the tub spout, be sure to rinse it to remove excess product and grime. All you have to do is reinstall the tub spout and check that the leak has stopped. If this doesn’t work, the spout may be damaged and needs to be replaced.
Replace the bathtub nozzle seat gasket
Once you remove the tub spout from the wall and open it to inspect the parts, you may notice that some elements, like the seat gasket, are damaged or corroded.If this is the case, you can easily replace these components with new ones. However, if most of the structure is damaged, keep in mind that it is far from completely replacing a bathtub spout.
Step 1: Using a small knife, remove your faucet handle and turn off the water supply to the faucet so you can safely remove it. You’ll also need to open the valve to release excess water before turning on the faucet.
Step 2: Using a screwdriver, remove the handle screw and simply pull the handle off the wall. If the handle is stuck due to buildup, you may need to apply more force or heat to loosen it. While it may be necessary to apply more force to the handle, you still need to be careful as you don’t want to break it. You can also use a specially made handle pulling tool to safely remove the handle.
Step 3: Once you have removed the handle, you can use a tub socket wrench to unscrew the stem assembly and hole cap. If the stem assembly is stuck, it may be necessary to apply some penetrating lubricant.
Step 4: As we mentioned, damaged seat gaskets are often the main problem, as well as leaky tub spouts. You just press it in the center and turn it counter-clockwise until it comes off.
Step 5: If it gets stuck or has any mineral buildup around, you may also need to apply some penetrating lubricant to clear it up. Apply a thin coat of pipe paint to the new seat gasket and hold it in place with a seat wrench