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What To Do When Bathtub Faucet Won’t Turn Off

By Aztil –

A bathroom is a sacred place. You go there first thing in the morning, the last thing in the night, and many times in between. Since you frequently use it you want, all items must be clean, tidy, and in proper working order. 

It is the place where you find solace in the form of a nice long soak or a fast rejuvenation of the tired soul through a quick shower. Sometimes you may even go there to hide from your little brats and get some quiet time. 

At such times, even a leaking and dripping faucet is a big irritation. Even worse is you go in for a bath, and when the time comes to turn off the faucet, it just doesn’t do what it is supposed to. Not only is your precious water running away, but it may also damage the floor and walls. This is a tricky situation and a valid cause for concern. The purpose of this article is to reduce your anxiety and tell you exactly how to proceed when your bathtub faucet won’t turn off.

What To Do When Bathtub Faucet Won’t Turn Off

The situation calls for an expert, which in this case is the plumber. However, he is not waiting at your doorstep, so you need to get a handle on things yourself. The apparent solution is repairing the faucet yourself. It’s an excellent time to learn the basics of faucet repairs now so that in future you can take care of things on your own. 

Fixing The Faucet

Sometimes the problem is really simple and needs just a small fix. To begin with, your first course of action should be to tighten the handle screw. 

Step 1 – Since the flow of water has not stopped, you need to shut off the water supply completely. The valve that controls the water supply to your home will be somewhere close to where your water heater is fitted.

Step 2 – Take a pic of the faucet and its handles. It will come handy while buying new parts or explaining to the plumber.

Step 3 – Using a flat-blade screwdriver, pry beneath the cover plate to reveal the handle screw. Sometimes tightening this screw will solve the problem. Use a Phillips screwdriver to tighten it.

Step 4 – Restart the water supply to your home and turn the faucet on and off to see if you have managed to fix the problem.

If tightening of the handle screw does not solve the issue, it’s time to aim big. You have to try and repair the end of the stem.

Step 1 – Again, you need to begin by turning off the water supply so that you do not flood the bathroom.

Step 2 – From the faucet, you need to remove the handle. For this, rotate the handle until it comes off the stem. You may need to use a wrench to complete this action. At times, a gentle pull can also do the trick.

Step 3 – Examine the faucet stem end for any kind of damage. Ideally, the stem tip has rims or ridges which attach to the ridges that are inside the handle of the faucet. When these get worn or spoiled, the faucet handle is unable to tighten around the stem. Due to this reason the faucet unable to turn off. You need to replace the part whose rims have smoothened out over a period of time.

Step 4 – Carefully have a peek inside the faucet handle to detect any obvious damage. A handle which is cracked would need complete replacement. Again, this because it will not grip the faucet stem correctly. When the grooves or ridges inside the handle get worn out, the handle can’t attach with the stem properly. As a result, it cannot regulate the faucet.

Step 5 – Clean the stem end to remove any deposits or debris. You can use an old toothbrush to do so. Once done, with the help of a rag wipe the stem dry.

Step 6 – Wrap a couple of layers (one or two) of thread-seal tape all around the valve stem tip. Now, push or firmly press in the handle over the stem through the layers of thread-seal tape. Another way is to rotate the handle over the stem until it locks in position.

Step 7 – Finally, turn on the water supply once again to check whether the fix works or not. If it works, remember, the thread-seal tape is a temporary fix. It will increase the life of the faucet stem and handle from anywhere between a few months to a year or two. Ultimately, you just have to replace them.

When Your Fix Doesn’t Work

It is not necessary that your repair will hold for long or that it even fixes the problem. If the problem does not fix at all, shut down your water supply and call the plumber immediately. If your fix works only for a short duration, you are probably not doing it correctly. Even then you need to call the plumber to come and address the issue once and for all.

Tips To Keep In Mind

1) Cover the drain with a cloth so that no small pieces or spare parts fall into it. These can clog the drain and also make for unnecessary purchases to replace them.
2)Put a protective sheet in your tub so that you don’t accidentally leave scratches or stains of any kind.
3) When working with pipes, wear protective gloves . This way, you will not hurt yourself on any sharp edges.
4) Wearing safety goggles is also advisable so that you don’t get any stray particle inside your eye.

What We Advise

Some works cannot be done by all. There are professionals who are trained to handle them. Having said that, it is not possible to get hold of these people at a moments notice. A plumbers job is one such. In the absence of a plumber, you need to be knowledgable enough to handle a minor crisis. You need to know the basics of handling any situation so that your suffering is limited. Hopefully, this article will help you in the future.

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