How to Replace a Bathtub Spout | Shelly Rhoades’s Guide

Bathtub spout is one of the most important components. Due to its consistent use, it can go bad in many ways. Sometimes, it stops working completely, while other times its diverter can block the water flow or its inside threads can corrode which can damage it or cause leakage issues.

Bathtub spout issue is fairly common in homes.

You can face the issue at any time. Don't think they are just the decorative covers for the pipes. They have multi purposes. It delivers waters to the bathtub, and if you have an advanced plumbing system in your home, it also assists in redirecting the water to the shower head.

On the whole, any issue can compel you to fix the bathtub spout, as we have mentioned above, but 90% of the time, it is the age of the spout that demands the replacement.

It becomes damaged and no longer blocks or transfer the water well. Sometimes, it can be cracked from inside the wall and cause damage on a massive scale. Therefore, as you notice any issue in your bathroom spout, it is pertinent to replace it as soon as possible.

Is there any other option?

When it comes to bathtub spout, we won't recommend any other option, as the issue is mainly not in the small components. The main issue is in the spout. And, you can replace it comfortably too. In fact, usually, people with little DIY skills change it time and time again for cosmetic reasons. It is their aim to match it with the new faucet and compliment their bathrooms.

Is It Expensive?

No, it is not. It is indeed quite an economical project. As far as we believe, it shouldn't cost more you more than $20.

In addition, you can wrap up the entire project instantly. It won't demand too much of your time either. The complexity of this project is simple. It doesn't demand pro-level knowledge and skill. Furthermore, the best part about replacing the bathtub spout is it doesn't even require special tools. Common home tools will be more than enough to fix it.

How to Determine the Type

Now, this step is immensely important. Determining the type of spout is indeed everything. Before taking any step, first, you need to grab the flashlight and look closely beneath the tub spout. There will be either a slip-on or threaded design. It is rather easy to recognize both of them.

For example, if the screw is under the spout, which will be of a tiny size, it means you are dealing with a slip-on model. This model usually fits over the top of the water stub-out pipe.

On the other hand, if there isn't any kind of screw on any side of the spout, it means it is a threaded design. In order to remove this kind of spout, you need to twist it counterclockwise. For that reason, if we say, you need only a screwdriver to remove the bathtub spout, it would be correct.

Replacing the Slip-On Bathtub Spout

Yes, replacing methods for both kinds of bathtub spouts are different. First, let's talk about replacing the slip-on bathtub spout.

Step #1:

Remove the caulking around the slip-on spout. It is quite common among the old models. Carefully scrape it away with the knife or some blade. Once it is done, place the towel on the opening of the tub drain. Since you can lose some set sews in it while opening the spout.

Step #2:

Now, locate the screw which will be under the spout (if it is a slip-on model). This screw won't just be underneath of it, it will be closer to the wall as well. It can have hex heads that can require an Allen wrench. In some cases, small Philips head or flathead screwdriver can assist in unscrewing that too. After removing the screw, you can pull the spout out. If it is stubborn, just turn it slightly to remove it.

Step #3:

Don't fix the new spout on the pipe straightaway. First, assess the front condition of the pipe. Is there any buildup or rough spots on its end? If this is the case, clean it first and then replace the new spout on it. Slide it on the pipe until it meets the wall and fix the new set of screws with the help of a screwdriver.

Replacing the Threaded Bathtub Spout

Replacing the threaded version is also as simple as replacing the slip-on spout.

The steps are almost the same, but there are a few things you must check. For example,

  • It is imperative to match the new spout with the old spout. Any size difference, even if it is one-inch, can create an issue for you. It is indeed better to use a measuring tape.
  • After removing the caulking, use the wrench to remove the spout. Next, clean off the threads. It is important to remove them and remember not to install the new model on the same threads. It won't grab the old thread properly.
  • Next, apply 4-5 wraps of thread sealing tape and ensure it is in a clockwise direction. You also need to use some silicone caulking around the edge of the pipe so that it can prevent leaking. Place the new threaded spout model onto the pipe with the help of a wrench. Tighten it carefully so that it can be aligned correctly.

Concluding Thoughts

Congratulations! Your bathtub spout is ready.

Replacing it isn't a big task. You don't need lots of tools either. However, having them beside you while replacing the spout will definitely help. Mostly, you only need a wrench and screwdriver. However, there are a few materials which you should get while buying the new bathtub spout, such as silicone caulk and thread tape. Both of them can be obtained from a hardware store separately too.

Lastly, make sure the issue is in the spout only. If the pipes are leaking behind it, you need to get professional assistance. It would be tough for you to fix pipelines on your own without professional-level plumbing knowledge.

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