How to Fix a Bathtub Faucet Leaking After Water Turned Off Single Handle

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Is there anything more annoying than the constant dripping of a bathtub faucet leaking after water turned off single handle? Not only is it a waste of water, but it also increases your water bill and can cause water damage. Fortunately, we have prepared a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to help you fix your leaking single handle bathtub faucet with ease.

Key Takeaways

  • Identify the cause of a leaking single handle bathtub faucet and replace any worn-out cartridges or damaged seals.
  • Install or adjust a water pressure regulator to prevent Damage from high water pressure.
  • Have the right tools and parts, follow manufacturer’s instructions, test for leaks after repair, and call a professional plumber if needed.

Moen Kitchen Faucet with Separate Handle

A Moen kitchen faucet with separate handle is the epitome of functionality and style in your culinary space. This innovative design allows you to have precise control over both water temperature and flow. With a Moen kitchen faucet featuring a separate handle, you can effortlessly adjust the water to your preferred temperature and flow rate, making it ideal for various kitchen tasks, from filling pots to gently rinsing delicate produce. Moen's commitment to quality and craftsmanship ensures that your kitchen faucet not only performs flawlessly but also enhances the aesthetics of your kitchen. Whether you're renovating or upgrading, a Moen kitchen faucet with a separate handle is the perfect choice for a contemporary, efficient, and elegant kitchen.

How to Fix a Bathtub Faucet Leaking After Water Turned Off Single Handle

Identifying the Cause of a Leaking Single Handle Bathtub Faucet

Before you start repairs, it’s necessary to determine why your faucet is leaking. This will ensure you address the problem effectively and prevent further issues down the line.

The most common causes of a bathtub faucet leaking include worn-out cartridges, damaged seals, and high water pressure.

Worn-Out Cartridge

Cartridges are devices within the dripping faucet designed to regulate the flow and temperature of water. Over time, these cartridges may wear out, leading to leaks and inconsistent water flow. Replacing a worn-out cartridge can be the key to restoring your faucet’s functionality and stopping the annoying drip.

You need some basic plumbing tools and a new cartridge to replace the worn-out one. Once you’ve installed the new cartridge and confirmed its proper alignment, you’ll have a smoothly operating faucet with no more leaks.

Damaged Seals

Seals within the faucet play a vital role in preventing leaks by forming a watertight barrier between the faucet’s components. However, these seals can become damaged over time, resulting in leaks that require repair or replacement.

You’ll need common plumbing tools and replacement parts, such as cartridges and seals, to repair damaged seals. By replacing damaged seals, you’re not only stopping the leaks but also prolonging the life of your faucet.

High Water Pressure

High water pressure can also cause leaks in your bathtub faucet by exerting excessive force on the faucet’s seals, including the faucet seat.

Addressing high water pressure issues by installing or adjusting a water pressure regulator can help prevent further damage to your faucet and avoid leaks caused by excessive pressure.

Necessary Tools and Supplies

A person using basic plumbing tools to fix a leaking single handle bathtub faucet

Once you know the cause of the leak, gather the tools and replacement parts you’ll need for the repair. Having the right tools, such as wrenches, screwdrivers, and pliers, as well as suitable replacement components like cartridges and seals, will ensure a smooth and successful repair process.

Basic Plumbing Tools

A set of basic plumbing tools is a must for a successful DIY repair. Some of the necessary tools include a pipe wrench, adjustable wrench, plunger, pipe cutter, and plumber’s tape.

Make sure to use the right tool for each task to avoid damaging your plumbing fixtures. Be sure to consult the manufacturer’s instructions or seek advice from a professional plumber if you’re unsure about which tool to use.

Replacement Parts

Getting the right replacement parts for your faucet is key to a successful repair. Replacement parts can be found at hardware stores, home centers, and plumbing parts distributors.

When acquiring replacement parts, make sure they are compatible with your specific faucet model. This will ensure a seamless repair process and prevent any additional issues caused by incompatible components.

Turning Off the Water Supply

A person turning off the water supply to a single handle bathtub faucet

Make sure to turn off the water supply before you start any repairs on your leaking bathtub faucet. This will prevent water damage and keep your working environment safe.

This can be done by shutting off the main water supply to the house or the shut-off valve located near the faucet, if present.

Disassembling the Faucet

A person disassembling a single handle bathtub faucet

With the water supply turned off, you can now start disassembling the faucet to get to the faulty components, such as a worn out washer.

This process will involve removing the handle and detaching the escutcheon plate, exposing the cartridge and seals for replacement.

Removing the Handle

To remove the handle from your single handle bathtub faucet, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the cap on the handle.
  2. Unscrew the handle using a screwdriver.
  3. If the handle is difficult to remove, consider using a handle puller to avoid damaging the faucet.

Once the handle is removed, the cartridge and seals will be exposed, allowing you to assess their condition and determine whether they need to be replaced or repaired.

Detaching the Escutcheon Plate

After removing the handle, it’s time to detach the escutcheon plate. This can be done by either pulling it straight out or unscrewing it, depending on the design of your faucet.

With the escutcheon plate removed, you’ll have even better access to the faucet’s internal components.

Replacing the Faulty Components

A person replacing the faulty components of a single handle bathtub faucet

Now that you’ve disassembled the faucet, you can replace any faulty components like the cartridge or seals to fix the leak. Depending on the cause of the leak, you may need to replace only one of these components or both.

Replacing the cartridge is a straightforward process. First, remove the old cartridge and clean the

Changing the Cartridge

Start by using a wrench or pliers to remove the old cartridge from its housing in your single handle bathtub faucet.

  1. Apply a thin coat of plumber’s grease to the rubber parts of the new cartridge.
  2. Insert the new cartridge into the mixing valve in the same manner as the old one was removed.
  3. Reinstall the retaining nut.

By installing a new cartridge, you’ll restore your faucet’s functionality, ensuring a smooth and consistent water flow without any leaks.

Fixing Damaged Seals

If you’ve identified damaged seals as the cause of the leak, you’ll need to replace them with new ones. First, carefully remove the damaged seal using a seal removal tool or a flathead screwdriver. Clean the area where the seal was removed using a mild detergent and water, and remove any dirt or debris.

Next, apply adhesive to the back of the new seal and press it securely onto the cleaned area. Allow the seal to dry according to the manufacturer’s guidelines before using the faucet or applying any pressure to it.

By fixing damaged seals in your leaking faucet, you’ll prevent further leaks and prolong the life of your faucet, ultimately avoiding the issue of leaky faucets.

Reassembling the Faucet

A person reassembling a single handle bathtub faucet

When the faulty components have been replaced, you can start reassembling the faucet handle. This will involve reattaching the escutcheon plate and reinstalling the handle.

With everything back in place, your faucet should be leak-free and functioning correctly.

Reattaching the Escutcheon Plate

To reattach the escutcheon plate, use a screwdriver to secure it back onto the wall or counter. If your escutcheon plate does not have screws, you can use plumber’s putty or caulk to secure it in place.

Ensure that any pipes or faucet handles that were removed are reattached before reattaching the escutcheon plate.

Reinstalling the Handle

Reinstalling the handle onto the single handle faucets is a simple process. Align the handle with the faucet stem and slide it back into place. Secure the handle by tightening the screws with a screwdriver or a seat wrench, if necessary.

Test the handle to ensure proper installation and functioning by turning it on and off and checking for any leaks.

Kohler Kitchen Faucet Leaking at Base

If you've noticed your Kohler kitchen faucet leaking at base, it's essential to address this issue promptly to prevent water damage and wastage. A leaking base can be caused by various factors, such as loose connections, worn-out seals, or a faulty cartridge. The first step in resolving this problem is to turn off the water supply to the faucet. Next, disassemble the faucet to access the problematic area. Check for loose nuts or connections, tighten them if necessary, and inspect the seals for signs of wear or damage. If the issue persists, you may need to replace the cartridge or seek professional assistance to ensure a lasting solution for your Kohler kitchen faucet.

Testing for Leaks

A person testing for leaks in a single handle bathtub faucet

After reassembling the faucet, you should test it for leaks to make sure the issue is resolved. Here’s how:

  1. Turn on the water supply.
  2. Observe the faucet for any signs of leaking water.
  3. If you notice any leaks, double-check your work and make any necessary adjustments.

If the leaks persist, it may be time to call a professional plumber.

When to Call a Professional Plumber

A person deciding when to call a professional plumber for a single handle bathtub faucet

If you can’t fix the leak yourself, or if it’s difficult to access the faucet’s internal components, you should consider calling a professional plumber.

A plumber can replace the faucet, including dripping bathtub faucet, tub spout, and other bathtub faucets, ensuring a leak-free and functional bathtub faucet without the hassle of attempting further repairs yourself.


In summary, fixing a leaking single handle bathtub faucet is a manageable DIY task when armed with the right knowledge, tools, and replacement parts. By identifying the cause of the leak, gathering the necessary tools and supplies, and following the step-by-step guide provided, you’ll be well on your way to a leak-free faucet and a more peaceful bathroom experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my single handle faucet dripping after I turn off the water?

Most likely, your single handle faucet is dripping after you turn off the water because the washer is either loose or damaged, or the cartridge underneath the handle(s) needs to be replaced. This is a simple fix and can be done easily.

How do you fix a leaky single handle bathtub faucet?

To fix a leaky single handle bathtub faucet, shut off the water supply, remove the faucet handle, and replace the valve cartridge. Once reassembled, turn on the water and adjust the outer insert so that the faucet works without dripping.

How to Fix a Leaky Faucet

If you're dealing with the persistent annoyance of a leaky faucet, learning how to fix a leaky faucet can save you both water and frustration. A dripping faucet not only wastes water but can also lead to increased water bills. Fortunately, the process to fix a leaky faucet is often straightforward and doesn't always require the skills of a professional plumber. Whether it's a slow drip or a more noticeable stream, addressing a leaky faucet is a home improvement task well worth your time.

Why is water coming out of my bathtub faucet?

Your bathtub faucet is leaking due to a cracked or worn washer in the stem or a failed shower diverter valve. This issue is common with compression-style faucets, as they have rubber or plastic washers that control the water flow, which tend to wear out over time. It's best to fix this issue as soon as possible to prevent any further damage.

Why is my bathtub faucet leaking from the base when the shower is on?

Your bathtub faucet is likely leaking from the base when the shower is on due to a damaged or worn washer, faulty diverter valve, or worn inner cartridge. Replacing any of these components is a job best left to a professional plumber.

What are the most common causes of a leaking single handle bathtub faucet?

The most common causes of a leaking single handle bathtub faucet are worn-out cartridges, damaged seals, and high water pressure.

Ryan Copley

Ryan Copley

Having spent years participating in bathroom, kitchen, and home renovations, Ryan uses this experience to write informative blog posts on a wide variety of home renovation and kitchen topics.

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