Has Your Bathroom Become A Leaky Cauldron? Here’s How to Fix a Leaking Bathtub Faucet in Calgary

Most of us treat the drip-drop and plink-plonk of a leaking tap akin to background noise similar to the hands on a clock which subtly and quietly tick-tocks along. But apart from noise pollution, what if we tell you that a leaking plumbing fixture is a cause for concern? For example, a persistent bathtub leakage can waste up to one gallon of water or almost 4 liters of water per day! Similar to compound interest, this can really add up as you are technically tacking on an added expense of $30 on your monthly utility bill or $360 per year, literally tossed down the drain. Unfortunately, most Calgary residents are complacent about a leaky faucet and haphazardly assume that it's just inevitable and not something they can readily avoid. But this is a false assumption. A bathtub faucet leak indicates that something is amuck in your plumbing. Suppose you are experiencing a leaking bathtub faucet. In that case, it's best to ask a professional plumber for help, as they can perform everything from a quick fix by tweaking loose nuts and bolts, such as adjusting the bathtub cartridge, to replacing the washer. Or they can even conduct a total overhaul of your plumbing system by replacing the burst water supply pipes of your bathtub.

By relying on a qualified, local, and fully insured Calgary plumber from Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Calgary, you can rest assured that your bathtub faucet leaking is no longer a plumbing nuisance. But before you reach out to accredited plumbing services, we best advise you to acknowledge the basics 101 of a bathtub faucet so you'll know what to expect in due time, whether that's a bathtub repair, replacement, or maintenance service.

What Is A Leaky Bathtub Faucet & Why Is It Troublesome?

For most of us, a bubble bath is not merely a part of our daily grooming but some much-needed self-care and downtime that we need to relax and unwind our tense muscles. Showers are great for starting off the day, but bath time is ideal for ending a long and tiresome day. Calgary homeowners want to soak in a warm, refreshing, and pleasant bubble bath without being bothered by the odd pitter-patter of a leaking bathtub faucet. Despite bathtub leakage being far too common in most households, the number of homeowners who just let it be and don't even try to fix it is something left to be desired. Smart Calgary homeowners know better than to let a broken bathtub faucet be left as is because a leak may indicate a bigger underlying problem lurking deep within the facets of your water supply lines. If you've been susceptible to lower water pressure, for example, it may indicate you have a nasty clog in your water lines. A clog is a solid blockage that is the result of accumulated debris, including soap scum from body wash, shampoo, conditioner, hair strands, dead skin flakes, etc. The clog, of course, is made worse by tossing in items such as towel papers, flushable wipes, single-use disposables such as Q-tips, cotton rounds, etc. Apart from wasted water consumption, a clog can result in a ripple effect of further problems, with the worst-case scenario being sewage backup in which your home's dirty and used wastewater is hurled back into your plumbing fixtures, such as your bathtub faucet. If you've noticed any of the following telltale signs, this highlights that your bathtub faucet leak needs the assistance of an expert plumber:

What Are Some Telltale Signs Your Bathroom Faucet Is Broken?

  • Hairline cracks and fractures on the bathtub
  • Consistent leakages
  • Frequent clogs from sediment buildup, including calcium and limestone deposits
  • Fluctuating water pressure
  • Discolored rust and corrosion
  • Mold and mildew growth
  • Receding caulk around the bathtub
  • Squeaky, loose, or leaky handles
  • Random puddles of water on your bathroom floor
  • Warped flooring
  • Soaring utility bills

Although a clog is preventable by being mindful of what you are flushing down your drain lines and by participating in routine maintenance, sometimes a bathtub faucet leaking is inevitable as the internal parts of the plumbing fixture may be broken. You are sorely mistaken if you think a leaking bathtub faucet will somehow disappear on its own, and it's best not to downright ignore a bathtub faucet leaking either as apart from an uncomfortable bath time experience, you are also allowing your home's plumbing system to fall into disrepair. So if anything, treat a leaking bathtub faucet as a plumbing crisis, as the longer you wait, the more costly the pending and future bathtub repairs and replacements will be.

What Are The Main Culprits Involved In A Leaking Bathtub Faucet?

Bathtub Faucet Components

A bathtub faucet is composed of both the hardware affixed to the wallboard, including the spout that pours water into the bathtub, and its handles which control the flow of water by turning it on or off, including the water temperature. And then there's the valve which attaches the spout and handles to a water line. If any of these parts are busted, it will result in a bathtub faucet leaking.

Types Of Bathtub Valves

This is basically the main control panel for the bathtub faucet, as it regulates the water temperature and the pressure level or rate of water flowing out of the bathtub's spout. Overall it's one of the most important parts of a bathtub faucet, so if it happens to be broken, you will be exposed to a leaking bathtub faucet. Usually, there are two key types of bathtub valves.

Manual Mixer/Pressure Balanced

This is a manual valve and is a generic option in most Calgary houses. This valve is responsible for stabilizing both water pressure and temperature levels. It automatically detects the volume of hot water compared to cold, and by default, the valve is triggered to provide a generous supply of water at the chosen temperature. A manual bathtub faucet allows you to customize your bath time experience, as you can control the temperature level of the water by adjusting the faucet's handle to the desired level. As a result, each time you turn the bathtub faucet's handle, you are controlling both the amount of water or volume and temperature simultaneously. However, a manual bathtub faucet doesn't have a safety backup if you encounter a problem with too cold or too hot water. In other words, a manual bathtub faucet cannot accommodate sudden changes in water temperature and adjust accordingly. It's a more affordable option, too, if you are okay with the fact that water temperature and pressure are not proportional to each other. So if you want to run hot water at a faster or slower pace for your bathtime so you can better lather soap, this is not doable through a manual bathtub valve.


Compared to the manual counterpart, a thermostat is more flexible in the sense that it gives you the ability to select the desired temperature level and adjust as needed. This is because there are two controls, one for temperature and another one for volume or pressure. Generally, hot and cold water are mixed to the correct ratio of temperature and pressure before being distributed through your bathtub faucet. As a result, you always achieve a steady flow of water with an optimal temperature level. For convenience, your preferred temperature will be the same every time you shower, so there's no need to worry about forgetting to preset the settings. As a safety feature, a thermostatic valve is a great option if you are concerned about sudden changes in water temperature, especially if someone happens to flush the toilet or turn on a water-based appliance whilst you are showering, affecting if the bathtub faucet heats up or cools down your bath water.

How To Fix A Leaking Bathtub Faucet:

What Are The Key Culprits For A Leaky Bathtub Faucet?

Broken O-Ring

The O-ring is a small part located inside the bathtub's faucet spout. Its sole purpose is to readily prevent leaks and stop water from splashing every which way from the spout base. If this part is broken, you will notice a puddle of water forming at the base of the bathtub spout.

Worn Out Washer

The washer(s) work in tandem to press down on the valve seat and to forge a watertight seal to stop the flow of water when the faucet is closed. Normally if your bathtub faucet leaking is a problem, a damaged washer is the culprit. If anything, the washer serves as a backup safety mechanism as it encapsulates the bathtub faucet by closing off its opening and preventing any leaks from sneaking through. Every time you turn on the bathtub faucet handle, you create friction against its seat valve. So over time, the washer becomes worn out and loosens up from constant use, and in doing so, this results in a leak. In comparison to an O-ring, a washer is more durable and can withstand higher pressure levels, and last for a longer period of time.

Damaged Cartridge Valve

A basic faucet cartridge has internal openings which control the flow and temperature of the water every time you turn the handle allowing you to command the faucet itself. Similarly, this part can also become worn out or corroded from sediment buildup and needs to be replaced if you hope to stop a bathtub faucet from leak.

Corroded Valve Seat

The valve seat is found at the bottom-most part of a bathtub faucet and is used to turn the water supply on and off. Based on its attached washer, it can open and close to allow water to flow through. If the valve seat has begun to strip away and deteriorate, you will notice water dripping around the faucet handle. Plus, if your bathtub faucet happens to splash out hard water piercing your supple skin, or you have become susceptible to unreliable water temperature, more often than not, the valve seat has broken and needs to be replaced to stop a bathtub faucet leaking.

Frequently Asked Questions About A Bathtub Faucet Leak

What Is The Most Common Cause Of A Leaky Bathtub Faucet?

The most common reason for a leaky bathtub faucet is a worn-out washer. As mentioned, a washer is responsible for forging a watertight seal and preventing water leaks when the faucet is not in use. You can save yourself plenty of cash on your utility bill and permanent and costly water and moisture damage, including mold and mildew growth, by replacing the old and damaged washer with a brand-new one.

What Problems Can A Leaky Faucet Cause?

An unrestricted bathtub leakage puts added stress on your home's plumbing system and can cause drainage pipe clogs and overflows. Plus, excessive water from a pesky leak also bolsters your bathroom's humidity levels and results in mold and mildew growth, permanently damaging your wooden structures and resulting in rotting wood, including ceilings, wallboards, and floor surfaces. Not only are you compromising the structural integrity of your plumbing system, but of your home as well as you will need further repairs and replacements to remedy the aftermath damage.

How Do I Know If My Tub Cartridge Is Bad?

Here are some red flags which indicate that your bathtub's cartridge has fallen into disrepair:

  • Non-stop dripping and water from the spout after you turn off your bathtub faucet
  • Trouble turning the bathtub handle which has become increasingly too rigid to too loose
  • The faucet's handle tends to get stuck in place. It doesn't turn on and unleash the water supply
  • Hot water enters through the cold water outlets, such as the toilet supply lines, and vice versa
  • Fluctuating and inconsistent water temperature
  • Random water pressure levels

Mr. Rooter Plumbing Will Halt The Floodgates From A Leaking Bathtub Faucet–Ask Us Today!

Now that you've educated yourself on the basics of a leaking bathtub faucet, we are confident your much-needed bubble bath time infused with spa bombs and essential oils galore will never be rudely interrupted by a random leak ever again. To prevent a bathtub faucet from leaking, go ahead and reach out to one of our courteous customer contact care representatives, who will gladly schedule a service appointment for a bathtub faucet repair or installation.

Whether you're in Calgary or including nearby areas of Southwest Calgary, Acadia, and Forest Lawn, count on Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Calgary. We also offer other residential and commercial plumbing services, from plumbing inspections to drain cleaning to water heater installation. Give us a call to find out more!