Common Causes and Solutions for a Bathtub Faucet Leaking Hot Water

Having a leaking bathtub faucet can be a frustrating experience, especially when it’s leaking hot water. Not only does it waste water and money, but it can also lead to other issues such as mold growth and water damage.

There can be several reasons why your bathtub faucet is leaking hot water. One common cause is a worn-out or damaged valve or cartridge. Over time, the constant use of the faucet can cause the internal parts to wear down, resulting in leaks. It’s important to address this issue promptly to prevent further damage and water wastage.

Another possible reason for the hot water leak is a faulty O-ring or washer. These small rubber or silicone components play a crucial role in preventing leaks by creating a watertight seal. If the O-ring or washer is damaged or worn out, it can lead to leaks. Replacing these components is a relatively simple fix that can save you from a bigger plumbing problem down the line.

In some cases, the hot water leak may be caused by high water pressure. When the water pressure is too high, it can put strain on the faucet’s internal components, leading to leaks. Installing a pressure regulator can help regulate the water pressure and prevent future leaks.

Regardless of the cause, it’s important to address a leaking bathtub faucet as soon as possible. Ignoring the issue can lead to further damage and higher water bills. If you’re unsure about how to fix the problem yourself, it’s best to consult a professional plumber who can assess the situation and provide the appropriate solution.

Common Causes of Bathtub Faucet Leaking Hot Water

A leaking hot water faucet in your bathtub can be annoying and wasteful. It not only leads to water wastage but also causes an increase in your utility bills. There are several common causes for a bathtub faucet to leak hot water, including:

1. Worn Out Washers: Over time, the washers inside the faucet handle can become worn out or damaged, which can lead to leaks. The constant turning on and off of the faucet can cause these washers to deteriorate, especially if the water pressure is high.

2. Loose or Broken Valve Stem: The valve stem is responsible for controlling the flow of hot water. If it becomes loose or broken, it can result in a leak. This can happen due to age, wear and tear, or improper installation.

3. Faulty Cartridge: Some bathtub faucets use cartridges instead of washers to control the flow of water. If the cartridge becomes faulty or damaged, it can cause leaks. This can happen due to debris or sediment buildup, or simply due to the cartridge reaching the end of its lifespan.

4. Corroded Connections: Over time, the connections between the faucet and the hot water pipes can become corroded. This corrosion can result in leaks. Corrosion can occur due to the use of hard water or if the connections were not properly sealed during installation.

5. High Water Pressure: If the water pressure in your home is too high, it can put excessive stress on the faucet and its components. This can cause leaks to occur. Installing a pressure reducing valve can help prevent this issue.

It is important to address a leaking hot water faucet in your bathtub as soon as possible to avoid further damage and wasting water and energy. If you are not comfortable with DIY repairs, it is recommended to seek the assistance of a professional plumber to fix the issue.

Damaged O-Ring

One possible reason for a bathtub faucet leaking hot water is a damaged O-ring. The O-ring is a small rubber ring that helps create a watertight seal in the faucet handle. Over time, the O-ring can become worn or cracked, causing water to leak out.

To check if the O-ring is damaged, you will need to remove the faucet handle. Start by turning off the water supply to the bathtub. Then, use a screwdriver or Allen wrench to remove the handle screw, which is typically located underneath a decorative cap or cover. Once the screw is removed, you can gently pull off the handle to access the O-ring.

If the O-ring appears worn, cracked, or damaged in any way, it will need to be replaced. You can find replacement O-rings at most hardware or home improvement stores. Make sure to bring the old O-ring with you to ensure you get the correct size and type.

To replace the O-ring, simply remove the old one and slide the new one into place. Be sure to lubricate the new O-ring with plumber’s grease or silicone grease to help ensure a proper seal. Once the new O-ring is in place, reassemble the faucet handle, and turn the water supply back on.

If the O-ring replacement does not fix the leak, there could be other underlying issues that require professional assistance. In this case, it may be best to contact a plumber to assess and repair the problem.

Relatively easy and inexpensive to fixRequires some DIY skills
Can prevent further water damageMay not fix the problem if there are other underlying issues

Worn-out Faucet Washer

One common reason why a bathtub faucet may be leaking hot water is a worn-out faucet washer. The faucet washer is a small rubber or silicone disc located inside the faucet handle. Over time, this washer can become worn down or damaged, causing water to leak out of the handle even when it is turned off.

When the faucet is turned on, the washer is compressed against a seal in order to stop the flow of water. However, if the washer is worn-out, it may no longer create a proper seal, allowing hot water to leak out. This can result in wasting water, higher utility bills, and potential damage to your bathtub and surrounding areas.

To fix a leak caused by a worn-out faucet washer, you will need to disassemble the faucet handle and replace the washer. This is a relatively simple repair that can be done with basic tools and a replacement washer. First, turn off the water supply to the bathtub to prevent any further leakage.

Next, carefully remove the handle of the faucet using a screwdriver or Allen wrench, depending on the type of handle you have. Once the handle is removed, you may find the washer located at the bottom of the handle assembly. Gently pry out the old washer using a flathead screwdriver.

Take the old washer to a hardware store to ensure you get the correct replacement size and type. Install the new washer in the same position as the old one, pressing it firmly into place. Reassemble the faucet handle and turn the water supply back on.

It is important to regularly inspect and replace worn-out faucet washers to prevent leaks and maintain the functionality of your bathtub faucet. By addressing this issue promptly, you can save water and money, and ensure the long-term durability of your plumbing system.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for professional plumbing advice. Always consult a licensed plumber for assistance with faucet repairs.

Loose Valve Stem

Another possible cause of a leaking bathtub faucet is a loose valve stem. The valve stem is the part of the faucet that controls the flow of water. Over time, the valve stem can become loose due to regular use or wear and tear.

If the valve stem is loose, it can cause the hot water to leak out from the faucet even when it is turned off. This can result in wasted hot water and an increase in your water bill.

To fix a loose valve stem, you will need to disassemble the faucet and tighten the valve stem. Here are the steps to do so:

Step 1:Turn off the water supply to the faucet. This can usually be done by turning off the valves located under the sink.
Step 2:Remove the handle of the faucet. This can usually be done by unscrewing the screw located under a decorative cap on the handle.
Step 3:Remove the bonnet nut. This can usually be done by unscrewing it with a wrench.
Step 4:Remove the valve stem from the faucet body. This can usually be done by unscrewing it in a counterclockwise direction.
Step 5:Tighten the valve stem by turning it in a clockwise direction. Be careful not to overtighten it, as this can cause damage to the faucet.
Step 6:Reassemble the faucet by following the above steps in reverse order.

If tightening the valve stem does not solve the issue, it may be necessary to replace the valve stem or seek professional help.

By addressing a loose valve stem promptly, you can prevent further leaks and conserve hot water.

Corroded Valve Seat

If you have a bathtub faucet that is leaking hot water, one possible cause could be a corroded valve seat. The valve seat is a small, metal component that is located inside the faucet and helps control the flow of water. Over time, the valve seat can become corroded due to the constant exposure to water and the minerals and sediments that it contains.

When the valve seat becomes corroded, it can cause a leak in the hot water tap. The corrosion can create small cracks or openings in the seat, allowing hot water to escape and causing a constant drip or stream of water. If left unaddressed, this can waste water and cause damage to the faucet and the surrounding areas.

To fix a corroded valve seat, you may need to disassemble the faucet and clean or replace the seat. This can be done by turning off the water supply, removing the handle and trim, and then accessing the valve seat. If the valve seat is only slightly corroded, it may be possible to clean it using a wire brush or abrasive pad. However, if the corrosion is severe or the seat is damaged, it is best to replace it with a new one.

When replacing the valve seat, it is important to choose one that is compatible with your faucet model. You can usually find replacement valve seats at hardware stores or plumbing supply stores. It is also a good idea to apply some plumber’s grease or thread sealant to the new valve seat before installing it. This can help ensure a watertight seal and prevent future leaks.

Regular maintenance of your bathtub faucet, such as cleaning and lubricating the valve seat, can help prevent corrosion and prolong the lifespan of your faucet. If you continue to experience hot water leaks or have difficulty fixing the issue yourself, it is recommended to contact a professional plumber for assistance.

Faulty Cartridge

If your bathtub faucet is leaking hot water, one possible cause for the issue could be a faulty cartridge. The cartridge is an essential component of the faucet that controls the flow and mixing of hot and cold water. Over time, the cartridge can wear out, become damaged, or develop internal leaks, leading to a continuous flow of hot water.

To determine if a faulty cartridge is the cause of the hot water leak, you can perform a simple test. Turn off the hot water supply to the bathtub faucet and observe if the leak stops. If it does, it is likely that the cartridge needs to be replaced.

Replacing a faulty cartridge involves disassembling the faucet and removing the old cartridge. It is important to shut off the water supply to the faucet before starting the replacement process. You may need to consult the manufacturer’s instructions or seek professional help to ensure proper removal and installation of the new cartridge.

By replacing the faulty cartridge, you can resolve the hot water leak in your bathtub faucet. This simple fix can save you from potential water damage and reduce your water bill caused by the continuous flow of hot water.

Note: Sometimes, a faulty cartridge may cause leaks in both the hot and cold water. In such cases, it is advisable to replace the cartridge to prevent further damage and ensure proper functioning of your bathtub faucet.

Excessive Water Pressure

Another possible reason for a bathtub faucet leaking hot water is excessive water pressure. When the water pressure in your plumbing system is too high, it can cause stress on the pipes and fittings, leading to leaks. This can also be accompanied by other issues, such as noisy pipes or bursts.

If you suspect that high water pressure is the cause of your leaking bathtub faucet, you can have a plumber measure the pressure using a pressure gauge. Ideally, the water pressure should be around 40-60 psi (pounds per square inch).

Excessive water pressure can be caused by a variety of factors, such as a faulty pressure regulator or a malfunctioning pressure relief valve. In some cases, the municipal water supplier may be delivering water at a higher pressure, which can also contribute to the problem.

To fix the issue, a plumber can install a pressure regulating valve (PRV) to bring the water pressure down to a safe level. This valve will help reduce the stress on your pipes and prevent leaks from occurring in the future.

If you notice any signs of excessive water pressure, such as leaks or noisy pipes, it’s essential to address the issue promptly to prevent further damage to your plumbing system.


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Ryan Pietrzak

Ryan Pietrzak, a licensed plumber with 12+ years of experience, is the trusted expert behind Plumbing.Academy. With a wealth of practical knowledge, Ryan guides you through plumbing challenges, making informed decisions easier. His reputable advice, rooted in real-world expertise, empowers both DIY enthusiasts and seasoned plumbers.