The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that households with leaky pipes and faucets may lose up to 10,000 gallons of water every year. While hidden leaks and old pipes may require a visit from your local punctual plumber at Ben Franklin, you can fix many drips on your own with some basic tools and know how.
Check out this simple tutorial explaining how to fix a broken bathtub faucet handle. The same steps will apply to all your faucets and will even help you with how to fix a broken shower handle. You’ll need a screwdriver, wrench, hex wrench, plumber’s tape and a new washer. It’s a quick fix that should make a big difference in your bathtub handle’s performance.
How It’s Done
- Turn off the water supply for the bathtub you will be working on. In newer homes, shutoff valves are often located in a supply cabinet or cupboard.
- Remove any plastic caps on the faucet knob and loosen the handle screw. Pull directly backward to remove the handle from the stem.
- Unscrew the hexagonal packing nuts at the top and bottom of the valve stem and remove the stem from the faucet.
- Use a flathead screwdriver to loosen the retention nut at the stem’s bottom and remove the washer. Scrape away any calcium or silt deposits, insert a new washer, and replace the retention screw to secure.
- Use plumber’s tape to wrap the threads of the valve stem, making at least two passes and trimming off any excess. Reinsert the valve stem and tighten the stem in its socket using a wrench. Insert the packing nut into the stem and tighten it.
- Replace the faucet knob over the stem, secure with the handle screw, and replace the protective cap.
- Restore the water supply. You have now learned how to fix a broken bathtub faucet handle!
These steps should help you to locate the source of most simple leaks. Once you’ve learned how to fix a broken bathtub faucet handle, many of the same steps can also be used on your sink and kitchen faucets. If your shower handle broke off, you can follow the same steps to replace it.