Knowhow-Now Article

Home Improvement: Making Plumbing Bathtub Repairs

Like every other plumbing component in the home, the bathtub valves can easily become worn out over time. This often results in extensive repairs when they are not properly addressed in a timely fashion. A leaky faucet can cause significant damage behind the walls, and an inoperable drain can be the results of an underlying problem that is significantly greater than clogging hair.

Typically, the issues with the plugged up drain in the bathtub, or valves that will not work, are the most common problems involving the bathtub plumbing. Typically, minor repairs can be made by a do-it-yourself homeowner using just basic plumbing skills, and a few simple tools. Many of the components needed to fix the bathtub plumbing can be purchased at the local home improvement store or any store that specializes in plumbing supplies. More advanced plumbing problems might require significant technical repairs performed by a professional plumber.

Faucet Repair

Before beginning any type of bathroom plumbing repair, it is essential to make sure that the water supply has been turned off. Typically, the water supply to the bathtub is located behind the faucet wall of the bathtub. If that is inaccessible, it will require turning off the water supply to the entire house (either in the basement, or located just outside) to ensure minimal leaking during the process.

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Next, the faucet handle will need to be removed, which simply requires a small Phillips head screwdriver. Remove the handles by sliding them off the faucet stems. Next unscrew the faucetís stem collars and remove the escutcheon plates that are typically made of chrome and used to hide the openings for the handles, the showerhead and the spout.

Next, unscrew the faucet valve stems using an adjustable wrench. When the valve stem has been removed, you will need to unscrew the old washer and replace it with the new packing provided from the home improvement store or hardware store. Once the new packing has been installed, just reverse the process and thread the stem back into the valve. Put the escutcheonís back on, followed by the stem collars and finally the handles. Be sure and turn the water on slowly to ensure that the valve has been tightened completely. If the faucet is still leaking, it likely requires professional repair.

Unclogging a Drain

By removing the screen or plug at the bottom of the bathtub, it is possible to see visible debris and hair that is clogging up the drain. The process of removing these components can be messy and better performed by wearing rubber gloves. If that does not unclog the drain, feed a bathtub drain snake through the opening of the drain hole and turn it to grab whatever is blocked farther down the line. Try to avoid using harsh chemicals as they can cause significant damage to the drainpipe.

Making plumbing bathtub repairs is a simple process, when the problem is minimal. However, when the faucet will not stop leaking, or the tub simply will not drain, consider hiring a professional plumber to tackle this home improvement job.

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