A hot bath is one of the best ways to unwind after a long day. But it can lead to frustration if the bathtub faucet keeps dripping when you turn it off. Not only is it an irritating sound, but it also wastes a lot of water and can raise your water bill.
There are many possible reasons for this issue. It is best to troubleshoot it as quickly as you can. If nothing works, contact the professionals. A licensed plumber will pinpoint the cause and fix your bathtub.
Reasons Why Your Bathtub Faucet Is Leaking After the Water Is Turned Off
There are three common culprits behind a leaking bathtub faucet. Here’s a closer look at each of the possible causes and how you can troubleshoot them.
Worn-Out O-Ring or Washer
Faucets have various small parts inside them that work together to manage the flow and temperature of water. But they can corrode and malfunction as they get older. The O-ring and the washer are the most susceptible to damage.
Compression-style faucets use plastic or rubber washers to control water flow. Meanwhile, cartridge-style models have O-rings. They are rubber seals that stop water flow when you turn the faucet off. Both washers and O-rings deteriorate over time and cause faucet leaks.
If the faucet’s handle or spout leaks, you might have a worn-out O-ring or washer. You have to remove the faucet and its handle and replace these parts. It’s best to contact a professional plumber to handle this.
Corroded Valve Seat
The valve seat rests on the bottom of the faucet handle and helps control water flow. But minerals in the water can corrode this component over time, creating a leak around the handle. The only solution is to contact a professional plumber who can assess the situation and replace the valve seat if necessary. If there are other corroded parts inside the faucet, the plumber can perform the needed repairs and replacements.
Some bathtubs have a cartridge system in the faucet that helps regulate water flow and temperature. This cartridge can eventually break, explaining why the faucet leaks. Attempting to fix it yourself can be frustrating and time-consuming. It’s best to leave it to a professional to inspect the cartridge mechanism and repair or replace it.
Improper installation of bathtub plumbing can eventually lead to loose pipes. When pipes are not tight enough, they can’t withstand the gallons of water flowing through them daily, which can lead to leaks. A professional plumber will come to your home to assess the plumbing work and provide a solution.
High Water Pressure
If there’s high water pressure in your home, it can cause faucets to leak and pipes to burst. It can also lead to premature faucet failure. Installing a water pressure regulator can help with this. A professional can help you notice symptoms of high water pressure in your house.
Leaks don’t go away by themselves. They snowball into more complicated issues if left unchecked. Aside from the high water bill it causes, it can also lead to mold growth and structural damage. It can be hard to fix a leaking bathtub faucet yourself, so it’s best to let a professional plumber handle it. The plumber has the tools and expertise to do the job right.
What To Do When the Bathtub Drain Is Clogged
Aside from a leaking faucet, a clogged drain is another bathtub issue homeowners face. It’s a common problem in households with people that have long hair because hair is the most notorious drain clogger. Soap buildup is a close second. If you’re dealing with this problem, here are some simple steps you can take to unclog your bathtub drain.
Remove Visible Obstructions
Luck is on your side if you have a traditional chained drain stopper because they are easy to remove. Unfortunately, most modern bathtubs have integrated drain stoppers. You’ll need a screwdriver to pop those out. Once the drain stopper is out of the way, examine the drain with a flashlight. If there are any visible obstructions, use tongs or a wire coat hanger to fish them out.
Pour Boiling Water
This trick has been around for ages because it is easy and effective. Pouring boiling water into the drain can melt solidified soap and grease and move things along. You can start with a liter of boiling water. Once it has passed, open the faucet and see if the water drains faster. If not, pour another liter down the drain before moving on to the next step.
Use Vinegar and Baking Soda
Vinegar and baking soda aren’t just excellent cleaning agents. They can do wonders for your clogged bathtub drain too. Sprinkle some baking soda into the drain, let it rest for 15 minutes, and follow up with white vinegar. The chemical reaction will break down residue that can help dislodge the blockage. It also doubles up as a deodorizer. Wash it away once it stops fizzing.
Use a Plunger
Plug the bathtub overflow drain to create a vacuum. You can use a damp washcloth if you can’t find the original cover. Next, fill the tub with a few inches of water. Place the plunger over the drain and pump it a few times, pausing to check if the water drains. If you are lucky, the plunger will remove the blockage, and water will flow freely again.
Use a Plumbing Snake
If the blockage isn’t budging, that’s your sign to invest in a plumbing snake. You can easily find one online and in hardware stores. It can extend further down the drain and break through blockages you can’t reach. A 9-foot plumbing snake can access any clog, plus they are easy to use.
If none of these solutions work on your clogged bathtub drain, it’s time to let a professional plumber take over. There might be a more severe underlying issue that only they can diagnose and solve.
What Does It Mean When Water Is Leaking From Under the Bathtub?
A bathtub leak is a sneaky issue. It can go undetected for months as it wreaks havoc on the ceiling, walls and floor. It can cause significant damage to your home and leave a large hole in your wallet. To help you prevent this problem, here are some of the most common culprits behind a leaking bathtub.
Human error is a possible reason your bathtub is leaking. You might be accidentally splashing water on the floor while taking a bath. Bathroom walls and floor tiles aren’t waterproof, allowing water to seep through and leak from underneath the bathtub. Make it a habit to dry the floor after you bathe to prevent this issue.
If your bathroom walls and floors don’t have tiles, caulk or grout, you will likely have bathtub leaks. The best way to prevent this is to improve the waterproofing in your bathroom. Scan the area around the bathtub and see if there is caulk or grout. It is crucial to check the part where the bathtub and tiles meet. If you see unprotected crevices, apply caulk or grout to seal them off.
Leaking Bathtub Faucet
You might have a worn-out faucet seal if the bathtub is leaking continuously. High water pressure in your house can cause the seal to fall apart and leak.
Leaking Bathtub Drain
The last possible reason is a leaking bathtub drain. If you notice stains on the ceiling below the bathtub, you might have a faulty overflow drain or waste drain assembly.
The overflow drain is the little hole that stops water from spilling out of the bathtub. If the leak only happens while you are taking a bath, it is likely an overflow drain problem. The gasket might be damaged or dry-rotted. That will cause your bathtub to leak when the water goes past the overflow plate.
The waste drain assembly refers to the drain stopper and the series of pipes under the bathtub drain. If the leaking persists, even if no one is bathing, it is likely a drain assembly issue.
Leaking Bathtub Pipes
If your bathtub leaks from underneath, there might be a crack in the water line or drainage pipes. A damaged pipe causes water to leak and can damage the area around and under the bathtub. Unfortunately, the only solution is to replace the entire pipe, which is a complicated process that should be handled by professionals.
It can be a big problem when water is leaking from under the bathtub. Contact a professional plumber once you notice any signs of a leak. They can determine the cause of the leak and provide the necessary solution.
Contact a Professional Plumber for Your Bathtub Problems
If your bathtub faucet leaks after the water is turned off, let a professional plumber help you. They can address all bathtub issues, including leaks and clogged drains. They will come to your home, assess the situation and perform the necessary repairs and replacements.
ABC Can Help With Bathtub Faucet Leaks
When you suspect you may have a plumbing problem, don’t wait to call a professional. When you have a plumbing problem, like a bathtub faucet leak or a water leak, count on the licensed, experienced professionals at ABC Home & Commercial Services to take care of the issue so you can get back to enjoying your home. They can also help with other plumbing needs, like learning the benefits of a water softener.