If your faucet is leaking or dripping then it is time to replace it. Simple as it may sound there are a couple of factors you need to look in to while replacing it. Follow the tips given here and bathtub faucet replacement will be an easy task.
Faucets allow water in pipes to be used in controlled manner. Generally the bathtubs have either 2 valve or 3 valve faucets. They start leaking or dripping when washers become stiff and corroded. Water pressure also hastens this process. In older designs faucets there were rubber or neoprene washers. In the newer systems cartridge is used in place of washers.
It is always necessary to purchase a correct faucet. Faucets come in many sizes and styles. When you need to replace a faucet it is necessary to take exact measurement of holes center to center. Style is optional but size is important.
Also you need to have a correct set of tools to replace a faucet. There are various types of wrenches for plumbing jobs. For square or hex nuts open end wrenches are ideal as they have smooth jaws. If your pipe is chrome covered and you do not want to mar the surface then you can go for strap wrenches. If the pipe is of small diameter then you need to have vise grip wrench. Generally 2 pipe wrenches are required for plumbing one to hold and other to turn.
When installing bathtub faucets look for the faucet assembly behind walls. Generally builders would have provided a rear access panel in the back of tub. Read the installation instructions while assembling the 2 valve or 3 valve faucets.
Here are some general steps to replace a faulty faucet.
o First of all turn the water supply off. You can turn off the main supply for the entire house.
o Next remove the faucet handle. Tap or pull gently. Overtime the handle may have got welded to stem. So do not force it. If it does not come out very gently then use special handle puller.
o Next remove the trim and the stem assembly. The stem assembly is used for controlling the amount and temperature of water dispensed to the tub. Use a bath socket wrench to remove this assembly.
o Now check the washer. If it is brittle or torn then this is the cause for the drip. Take both the washer and the stem for replacement.
o Check the seats. If they are rough then they too need to be replaced. Use a seat wrench to remove it.
o When replacing you just need to assemble it all back. Grease the stem threads, washer and nut threads. Then slide them all back and tighten the nuts.
o If it is a cartridge style faucet then remove the handle and trim. Then replace the cartridge.
So with a little bit of know-how you can fix it yourself for $ 80- $ 90.