American Standard provides a number of different types of bathtub faucets. The three most common faucets are three-handle faucets, two-handle faucets and single-handle faucets. A moderately experienced do-it-yourselfer can fix leaks in these types of faucets in less than an hour.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Adjustable wrench
- Ratchet wrench
- Replacement stem washer
- Wire brush
- Heatproof grease
- Replacement cartridge (for cartridge-type faucets)
- Replacement O-rings
- Razor or utility knife
- Replacement washer and stem screw (for compression-type faucets)
Replace the diverter on a leaking three-handle bathtub faucet. Turn off the water supply at the main shutoff valve, and use a screwdriver to remove the diverter handle and the plate behind it. Use an adjustable wrench to remove the exposed bonnet nut, and use a ratchet wrench to unscrew and remove the stem assembly. Take off the brass stem screw and put a new stem washer in place of the old stem washer. Take the main retaining nut off of the stem screw's threaded spindle and use a wire brush to clean it. Put the diverter valve back together after coating all the different parts with heatproof grease.
Determine if your leaking two-handle or single-handle bathtub faucet is a cartridge or compression faucet. Cartridge faucets have a hollow cartridge inserted within the faucet body. Compression faucets have separate hot and cold water controls, and have a threaded stem within the faucet body.
Repair a leaking cartridge faucet, whether single or double-handled, by replacing the cartridge. Turn off the main water supply, then take off the cap on the top of the faucet and use a screwdriver to remove the screw located under the cap. Remove the handle and the threaded retaining ring beneath it with channel-type pliers. Use the pliers to pull out the cartridge, and replace it with a new cartridge.
Replace the cartridge faucet's old O-rings by twisting off the faucet's spout and using a razor to cut off the old O-rings. Put heatproof grease on the new O-rings and put them in place. Reattach the spout and the rest of the faucet assembly.
Repair a leaking compression faucet by shutting off the water supply, removing the faucet handle's cap, then unscrewing the handle screw. Pull the handle straight up and off, then use channel-type pliers to unscrew the entire stem assembly from the faucet. Remove the faucet's brass stem screw as well as the stem washer. Locate the retaining nut and unscrew the threaded spindle from it. Use a razor to cut off the old O-ring and replace it with a new O-ring. Put in a new washer and stem screw, put heatproof grease on all the parts and put the faucet back together.
Tips and warnings
- Do not attempt to repair any type of bathtub faucet without first shutting off the water at the main supply valve.
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