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How to Remove an Old Tub Faucet

Removing an old tub faucet is usually a simple process. First, you need to identify what type of faucet you are removing. There are two major types. Compression faucets have separate hot and cold water handles as well as a third handle for the diverter valve. Cartridge faucets have a single handle.

Cartridge faucets have a single handle to turn on the water.

Things You Will Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Needlenose pliers*
  • Deep socket wrench*
  • (*Depends on type of faucet)

Removing an old tub faucet is usually a simple process.  First, you need to identify what type of faucet you are removing.

There are two major types.  Compression faucets have separate hot and cold water handles as well as a third handle for the diverter valve.

Cartridge faucets have a single handle.  Once you have determined that, you are ready to get started removing your old faucet so you can either replace it or repair it.

  1. Turn off the water at the house shutoff valve and open up a faucet that is lower than the tub faucet (usually one of the outside ones) to empty the pipes.
  2. Remove the trim cap (the cap in the center of the handle) with a screwdriver or dull knife.
  3. Use a screwdriver to remove the screw in the center of the handle and pull the handle off and the escutcheon (decorative trim around handle).
  4. Pull off the stop tube.
  5. Using needlenose pliers, remove the retaining clip.
  6. If there is a threaded retaining ring over the cartridge, remove it by turning it counterclockwise.
  7. Slide out the old cartridge.
  8. Turn off the water at the house shutoff valve and open up a faucet that is lower than the tub faucet (usually one of the outside ones) to empty the pipes.
  9. Remove the trim cap (the cap in the center of the handle) with a screwdriver or dull knife.
  10. Use a screwdriver to remove the screw in the center of the handle and pull the handle off.
  11. Remove the decorative ring (known as an escutcheon) from around the cartridge of the faucet. You may need to turn it with a pliers to remove it. Protect the metal with a cloth if you plan on reusing the faucet.
  12. Use a deep socket wrench to remove the packing nut.
  13. Pull out the cartridge with a pliers. Wiggle it up and down or side to side if it does not come out easily.
  14. Repeat Steps 2 through 6 for the other two handles.

Things You Will Need

  • Screwdriver Pliers Needlenose pliers* Deep socket wrench* (*Depends on type of faucet)

About the Author

Darcy Logan has been a full-time writer since 2004. Before writing, she worked for several years as an English and special education teacher. Logan published her first book, "The Secret of Success is Not a Secret," and several education workbooks under the name Darcy Andries. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English and Master of Arts in special education from Middle Tennessee State University.

Photo Credits

  • Creative Commons: Jessicafm
  • Creative Commons: Jessicafm