How to Replace a Bathtub Faucet Valve

Last Updated: August 26, 2022 | By JULIAN GILL

If your bathtub faucet is leaking and the handle won’t turn the water off, it’s probably because of a broken valve. Replacing a bathtub faucet valve can be surprisingly easy with a few supplies and some handy DIY instructions.

For Single Handle Faucets

The single handle faucets usually use valve cartridges. These cylindrical valves control your water flow by using O-rings.

What You’ll Need:

  • Screwdrivers: 1 Phillips and 1 small flathead
  • 1 Pair of pliers
  • 1 Plastic ziploc bag
How to Replace a Bathtub Faucet Valve

What you do:

1. Once the water is turned off, it’s time to find the set screw. This is usually under the cap or under the handle. You can pry the cap off using your small, flathead screwdriver. Next, locate the retainer clip. You’ll find this at the top of the valve cartridge. Remove it with your screwdriver, and place it in the plastic bag. It’s a good idea to always place parts in a Ziploc bag so they do not become lost while you work.

2. Take your pliers and remove the valve cartridge. Gently pull the cartridge off. If you cannot do this, know that there are cartridge removal tools which you can purchase at your local hardware store.

3. Your replacement valve cartridge can only be one which is made for your specific bathtub faucet. Once you have your replacement valve, insert the new cartridge. Finally, reach into the Ziploc bag and grab the retaining clip. Proceed to assemble your faucet, and turn on the water.

Two-Handled Bathtub Faucet

  • Pliers
  • What You’ll Need
  • Screwdrivers: Phillips and flathead
  • Pipe Wrench

1. Turn off your water at the water main. Next, take your flathead screwdriver and remove the cap. The cap is located on the front of your handle.

2. Take your pliers, and rotate the stem counterclockwise. Take a look at the stem, do you see the screw? Good. Remove this screw, grab a new washer and replace the old washer. This new washer must be the same type of washer like the one you are replacing and given a coat of petroleum jelly.

3. Locate the O-ring. Remove the old O-ring and replace it with a new one. This new O-ring is given a coat of petroleum jelly as well.

4. Install the new stem if applicable, and your handle pieces and reassemble, putting the bonnet nut and handles back in place.


#1. How do you remove a faucet handle without screws?

Ans: It’s can be done by a flat head screwdriver.

#2. Why does my bathtub faucet keep running?

Ans: When the rubber washer gets old and worn out then the tub faucet may keep running continuously.

See Also:

author of julian gill pictureJulian Gill

Julian Gill is a mechanical engineer and Certified in Plumbing Design (CPD) and worked as a plumbing engineer for ten years. Besides this, he is interested in home improvement and currently works as a writer. @JulianGillPro

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