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How to Remove a Tub Faucet

by Staff Writer

Bronze bathrub faucet

Things You Need:

  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Adjustable wrench

Replacing bath fixtures is a simple home-improvement project. Whether you're installing a new tub surround, repairing a leaky faucet or replacing your old tub faucet, you'll need to know how to remove the existing tub faucet. Tub and shower faucets consists of the hot water and cold water handles and the waterspout, along with the included stem plumbing. Removing most tub faucets is a simple project that takes just a few minutes when you follow a few easy steps.

Removing a Tub Faucet:

  1. Turn off the water. Many bathtubs don't have an individual shut-off valve, so you may need to use the main shut-off valve for your home. Bleed off any residual water in the lines by turning on both tub faucet handles. Protect the bottom of your bathtub by placing a large, old towel in the bottom and cover the tub drain to prevent debris or parts of the bathtub faucets from falling in.

  2. Remove the tub faucet spout. If the bottom side of your bathrub faucet spout is smooth, you have a twist-on spout. To remove it, insert the end of a large screwdriver into the spout from the bottom and carefully turn the spout counterclockwise to twist it off. However, if you feel a small screw on the underside of the tub faucet, use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the screw and pull the spout toward you to remove it.

  3. Twist off the remaining connection pipe. If the tub faucet is old, the pipe may be corroded. Use a wrench to grasp and twist the pipe counterclockwise to free it from the plumbing connection within the wall.

  4. Remove the tub faucet handles. Some tub faucet handles merely twist off if you turn them counterclockwise. Others are secured by a screw beneath a handle cap in the center of the handle.

    • The tub faucet handle caps may feature the manufacturer logo. Pry off the handle caps with a small flat-head screwdriver. If you're going to reuse these caps, pry very gently to keep from damaging the surface.

    • Remove the bath faucet handle screws with a Phillips screwdriver by twisting to the left and then pulling off the handles.

    • What remains is the handle trim and collar, which may be in two sections, and the faucet stem beneath. Grasp the collar and twist to the left to unscrew it. If the trim piece that rests against the tub surface or the wall is attached, the entire unit will twist off. If they are separate pieces, remove the collar and then pry off the flat trim by inserting a flat-head screwdriver into the opening and prying outward.

    • Use the wrench to twist off the interior plumbing stem.

  5. Clean up. The area behind the old tub faucet may need to be cleaned or repaired, especially if water damage is present. Be sure to clean the area before installing a new tub faucet.

Tub Faucet Tip:

  1. If you're replacing just one or more parts of your tub faucet, such as the spout, make sure to purchase the identical brand to ensure a correct fit.

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