STANDARD TUB FAUCET
Description: This comes in various shapes and in several basic forms. A three-valve diverter has hot- and cold-water handles and a valve in the middle for diverting water to either the tub or the shower. A two-valve diverter has hot- and cold-water handles and a pop-up device on the spout for diverting water as needed. The two-valve shower fitting has hot- and cold-water handles for the shower only, while the two-valve tub filler has a hot- and cold-water faucet for filling the tub.
Buying information: All of the quality considerations detailed for lavatory and sink faucets apply as well to tub faucets.
How-to hints: First, of course, turn off the main water valve. To replace a tub faucet stem, loosen the nut that holds the faucet inside the wall; you can rent a socket wrench to get at it. Hardware and plumbing-supply dealers commonly lend the wrenches.
Once the faucet stem is out, take special note of where the gaskets, O-rings, and other packing items are located, and carefully reassemble them just the way they are. Ninety percent of the leaks in tub faucets are caused by defective or improperly replaced gasketing materials, and you may not even know the faucet is leaking because the water drips inside the wall, a burgeoning disaster.
Replacing an entire tub faucet is a big job if you have to open a tile wall. In many cases you can avoid this by checking for a closet or open area behind the faucet -- a small section of wall may be removed and access to the faucet achieved that way. Sometimes, too, there is a panel that gives access to the tub fittings. However, most people will be more inclined to hire a plumber.
PLUMBING HOME HARDWARE SECTION
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ADHESIVES, PATCHES & MORE