A shower or bathtub faucet that won’t turn off is one of the most frustrating and concerning plumbing issues in your Dallas property. Not being able to shut the tub faucet off is enough to send you into a panic mode, especially if you are trying to conserve water. As bathtub faucets are of different types, the reasons behind the water still running even after you try to turn it off can be different. Consequently, the solutions also differ. In this blog, we will guide you on how to stop a running bathtub faucet and try to resolve this common issue on your own.
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Why a Bathtub Faucet Won’t Turn Off?
Depending on the type of plumbing fixtures installed, the reasons bathtub water won’t turn off can differ. As they say, “a problem well defined is a problem half solved,” identifying the root cause is your first step towards resolving the issue effectively. Here are the most common reasons behind a leaking bathtub faucet.
A Broken Faucet Handle
The tub faucet handle may break while the water is still running, which is why you cannot shut it off. If your bathtub faucet handle won’t turn all the way, a simple repair might resolve the issue. However, if the handle is corroded or the ridges inside it are worn, you might need to replace the handle with a new one, as it no longer grips the faucet stem. Sometimes, finding a replacement for the handle of an old bathtub faucet isn’t possible, requiring you to replace it with a new one.
If you want to turn off the bathtub faucet with a broken handle, simply unscrew the handle screw and remove the handle. You might need to pry underneath the cover plate and reach for a screw behind it to loosen the handle. After removing the handle, take a wrench, grip the square edges of the inner part of the faucet stem, and turn it to the off position. Carry on to install the replacement handles.
A Worn Faucet Stem or Cartridge
A worn faucet stem, also called a cartridge, is the most common culprit if the bathtub faucet is turned off, but the water is still running. The cartridge is installed in the plumbing pipe behind the faucet and acts as a seal when turning the handle off. The washer inside the cartridge is made of rubber, a material prone to deterioration.
More often, the cartridge gets stuck in an “on” position, unable to shut the water off. We will guide you on replacing the cartridge later in this blog.
A Damaged Bathtub Faucet Handle Seat
If your bathtub faucet doesn’t turn off after replacing the cartridge, a worn or broken faucet handle seat might be the reason. The seat is in the internal portion of the faucet and can be damaged or corroded, not allowing you to turn the water off completely.
There might be other reasons why a bathtub faucet won’t turn off:
- Mineral Deposit
- Improper Installation
- Loose Connections in the Faucet
How To Stop A Running Bathtub Faucet Before Calling A Plumber In Dallas
Shower or bathtub faucet problems can strike suddenly, leaving you unsure about the next steps. Sometimes, waiting for a plumber can take a while. In the meantime, let’s explore several DIY solutions to help you address the problem swiftly and smoothly.
Identify The Bathtub Faucet Problems
You must identify the issue to determine how to stop a running bathtub faucet. The handle might not be turning all the way, indicating an issue with the washers. The problem could be due to incorrectly installed parts, a worn cartridge, or even the aerator in the spout. Identifying the cause will also prevent wasting time on a temporary fix.
Shut Off The Water Supply
Find your water meter and shut the main water supply valve off. Water meters in residential properties in Dallas are enclosed in a small box in your back or front yard, near the curbside in front of your house, or inside the property in your basement. Sometimes, the shut off valve will be near the water heater
Ensure Correct Installation
If the faucet is not securely fastened or wobbles, it indicates improper installation or loose connections. A faucet handle that requires excessive force to turn on or off also suggests incorrect installation.
The cartridge can also cause problems when not seated firmly in the faucet body or turned in the wrong position.
Inspect Damaged Parts: Valve Stem Tip and Seat Washer
Take out the faucet parts and inspect them for any damage. Take the damaged part to your nearest hardware store in Dallas and get a replacement.
The seat washer, which is present at the bottom of the valve stem tip, should be inspected and replaced. The process involves identifying a damaged internal seat, using a removal tool to carefully extract it, replacing it with a new seat while ensuring proper alignment, and using thread seal tape. Reassemble the faucet components and ensure there is no water flow when it is turned off.
Tighten the Handle Screw
Another reason why a bathtub faucet won’t turn off is loose screws. Tighten the handle screws a bit using a screwdriver to ensure the handle works properly.
Replacing the Faucet Cartridge
When you inspect the faucet parts, check the cartridge for any cracks or damage. Here is a quick stepwise guide to replacing the cartridge:
- Turn off the main water supply completely.
- Ensure the tub drain is covered with a stopper to avoid small parts going down the drain.
- Using a flat blade screwdriver, disassemble the shower faucet by removing the faucet handle, the metal cover plate, and the inside parts.
- Find the small metal clip that keeps the cartridge in place. Remove it, and keep it aside.
- With a gentle pull, take out the cartridge using pliers. Avoid damaging the plumbing pipes at this stage. If you can’t proceed further, call a professional plumber.
- Replace the old cartridge with a new one, using the provided lubricant in the kit and the holding clip you kept aside.
- Reassemble the faucet and check whether it’s in proper working order.
Reassembling the Bathtub Faucet
After you replace the worn-out parts inside the bathroom faucet, reassembling it is crucial. Put the valve stem back, and screw on the bonnet nut. Apply the plumber’s putty in the leftover space to secure the fixture. Put the handle back, and screw it in until it is firmly secure.
3 Handle Shower Faucet Issues And Solutions
The three handles in this faucet turn on cold or hot water and divert the water to the shower head or bathtub spout. If the 3-handle shower faucet leaks despite turning the handles off, the gasket inside the stem could be damaged. Get a similar handle or parts from a Dallas hardware store and replace them with the old ones.
Here are the steps to ensure a functional three-handle faucet:
- Identify the leak source by turning off the hot and cold handles individually. The faulty handle needs to be fixed/replaced.
- Remove the index cap of the handle and the retainer nut inside it.
- Inspect the faucet seat or washer for any damage.
- Replace the damaged part and reassemble the faucet.
Why does my shower faucet keep running after I shut it off?
The shower faucet that keeps running after you shut it off might have a broken faucet handle or a damaged inner part, such as the stem or washer seat. Replacing the damaged part resolves the issue effectively.
Why does my bathtub faucet leak when I turn the water off?
If your bathtub faucet leaks when you turn the water off, it could be due to a worn-out cartridge, a damaged washer, or a broken handle. Another reason for a leaking bathtub faucet is mineral deposits or loose connections.
Why can’t I turn off my shower mixer valve?
When you can’t turn off your shower mixture valve, often a loose or broken handle and mineral deposits are the reasons for it.
How do you turn off a shower valve manually?
To manually turn off a shower valve, locate the closest shut off valve. It could be under the bathroom sink. Or, shut off the main water supply valve near your home’s water meter.
How much does it cost to fix a dripping bathtub faucet?
Fixing a dripping bathtub faucet costs between $100 to $400.
Calling a Plumber to Fix a Bathtub Faucet That Won’t Turn Off in Dallas
If you’ve exhausted your efforts by replacing the faucet handle cartridge and attempting various fixes to stop the running water in your bathtub, it’s advisable to contact a skilled plumber in Dallas. This blog is meant to give you a comprehensive guideline on what to do when your bathtub faucet won’t turn off.
As the basic principles of installation and function of a bathtub water faucet and a sink faucet are similar, you can also use these tips for the sink faucets. While the solutions suggested above may help you resolve minor issues on your own, it is best to leave it to a professional if nothing seems to work.