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If your bathtub faucet has started to look bad, then it may be time to invest in a new one.

Replacing the spout in your bathtub can give your bathroom a brighter, fresher look.

But it’s not just the cosmetics that make it worth the switch.

If your bathtub faucet has seen better days, it may not be diverting the water to the shower-head properly

It may be clogged with limescale and the diverter is not sealing properly.

This results in not being able to stop water coming from the tub spout, which results in lower water-pressure and volume coming from the shower-head.

That usually doesn’t make for a great showering experience.

It doesn’t have to be this way and you don’t have to pay a plumber to fix it.

Installing a new bathtub faucet (spout) could be just the solution you need, and you can do it yourself in less than a half-hour.

How to Replace a Bathtub Faucet

What you’ll need:

  • Water pump pliers
  • A set of Allen wrenches
  • A large flathead screwdriver
  • Teflon tape
  • Masking tape or electrical tape

Note: It’s best to take the old spout (or at least some pictures of it and the pipe) to your local hardware store before you purchase a new one.

You want to be sure that the new faucet is compatible with your tub.

You may also want to measure how far the pipe protrudes from the wall after removing the old spout.

Hold a measuring tape from the end of the pipe where the water would come out, to the wall where the pipe comes out of, and take a photo.

This information will help a hardware store associate guide you to the right choice.

Step One: Determine whether your faucet is a screw-on faucet or the kind attached by a hexagonal set screw.

To check this, look on the underside of your spout.

If you find a set-screw, unscrew it with an Allen wrench to loosen the spout.

If your faucet is a screw-on, it will not have a hex screw on the underside.

You will likely be able to unscrew it by hand.

However, if the spout was screwed on too tightly, you will need to use a flathead screwdriver for leverage.

Step Two: Remove the faucet.

If the spout could not be removed by hand after the steps above, then the next step:

Insert a screwdriver into the opening where the water would flow out, and turn it like a lever. Use it as leverage to loosen the faucet.

Once the faucet is loose, you can finish unscrewing it, or sliding it out, with your hands.

Pull the faucet free of the wall and set it aside.

Step Three: Clean Up & Put the new spout on.

First, clean up pipe and surrounding tile area. Use a rag with cleansers or rubbing alcohol.

If your faucet is the set-screw type, slip it into place and tighten the hexagonal set screw underneath with an Allen wrench. You’re done and ready to test for leaks.

If your faucet is the screw-on type, you’ll first need to clean all pipe threads then wrap some Teflon-tape around the grooves at the end of the connection pipe to create a water-tight seal.

Be sure to wrap the Teflon-tape clockwise.

Then, screw the faucet onto the connection pipe clockwise.

Step Four: If your faucet is the screw-on type, you will need to finish tightening it with the water pump pliers.

Important: Wrap the pliers’ jaws in either electrical tape or masking tape to prevent the metal from scratching your new spout.

Be sure that the fixture is snug in the proper position, but do not attempt to over-tighten.

Test by turning the cold water on and check for any leaks.

Test the diverter to your shower.

All should be happy, happy.

Now you can enjoy the fresh new look of your tub without any more diverter hassles!

May all your days be leak-free!

See our services page for more information about faucet repair or installation service.

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Owner - Operator at RT Olson Plumbing
Bob Olson has over 17 years experience in all aspects of residential and commercial plumbing. He's a 4th generation plumber. With over 300 five-star customer reviews, he runs one of the best-rated plumbing companies in Riverside, CA.
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