How to Replace a Bathtub Faucet Valve

John Stevens J.D.

Within a bathtub’s faucet valve are several rubber seals. The seals are designed to prevent water from passing through the valve from the plumbing when the faucet is turned off. Over time, the seals wear out and develop cracks. Once the seals crack, the faucet leaks. Fortunately, replacing a bathtub faucet valve is a fairly basic plumbing job that can be performed within 30 minutes.

Repairing a leaking bathtub faucet can reduce the water bill substantially over time.
  1. Turn the water off by twisting the main shutoff valve to the “OFF” position. The main water valve usually is located next to the water meter.

  2. Pry the small plastic cap on the tip of the faucet handle off with a small standard screwdriver to expose the handle’s setscrew.

  3. Remove the handle’s setscrew with a Phillips screwdriver and pull the handle off of the assembly to access the inner metal sleeve.

  4. Slide the sleeve out of the faucet assembly. The metal sleeve is the cylinder in the center of the trim plate.

  5. Pull the U-shaped retaining clip out of the top of the faucet valve with needle-nose pliers to release the valve.

  6. Pull the faucet valve out of the faucet housing, then slide the new valve into the faucet housing.

  7. Push the U-shaped retaining clip into the top of the faucet valve to secure the valve in place.

  8. Slide the metal inner sleeve into the faucet assembly.

  9. Position the handle onto the top of the faucet, then install and tighten the handle’s setscrew.

  10. Press the small plastic cap onto the center of the handle.

  11. Rotate the main water valve to the “ON” position.