How to Tackle the Most Common Bathtub Plumbing Problems

According to one study, two-thirds of Americans spend at least 30 to 60 minutes each day in their home bathroom. That’s 420 minutes a week!

This is one of the most important and well-used rooms in your home, and it’s important to make sure it’s functioning correctly. While it’s best to let an experienced plumber take a look at any issues that occur, you can take quick action if you know what to look for.

Today, we’re taking a closer look at the most common bathtub plumbing problems, and what you can do to fix them. 

Leaky Tub Faucets

You’ve just filled up the bathtub with warm water, and you’re ready to dip in. Then, as you go to turn off the faucet, you realize that there’s still water leaking from it. Does this scenario sound familiar? 

If so, it’s time to call a bathtub plumber as soon as possible. There are a few culprits that can cause the faucet to leak, and only an expert will be able to diagnose the problem at the source.

One of the most common issues is an old or outdated rubber washer. As this part of the faucet assembly becomes worn down or damaged over time, it can begin to dry out. When this happens, the seal that it creates between the metal valve set and the faucet stem will become less secure, allowing water to seep through. 

It’s critical to address this problem quickly, as leaving it untreated could cause your water bill to spike. Sometimes, the solution is as simple as purchasing a new washer at your local hardware store.

If this doesn’t stop the leak, call a local plumber, like Redline Plumbing LLC, to perform a professional inspection. They may need to perform a complete faucet assembly replacement, which can be tricky to do on your own. 

Leaky Tub Drains

Next, let’s talk about bathtub drains. When your tub is filled up with water, you might not notice anything out of order. However, pay close attention to what happens once you pull the plug. 

If water seems to accumulate around the bathtub, this could be a red flag. The same applies if you see water seeping below your bathtub and onto the ceiling below. This is one of the most serious bathtub plumbing problems you could encounter, as it leads to the most widespread damage. 

In this case, there are two potential problems that might be at work. First, you may have a faulty seal around the tub’s drain assembly. Or, there could be a more widespread problem with the plumbing underneath the drain. 

If you’re handy with plumbing, you might be able to tackle the first issue yourself. To do so, carefully remove the tub drain and apply a new coat of plumber’s putty where it sits. If the problem persists, call a plumber to look at the piping system below the tub. 

Moldy Surfaces

When leaks occur in your bathroom, it doesn’t just damage the function of the space. It can also hinder its appearance and even its sanitation. This is because excessive, untreated water damage can lead to mold growth. 

If you’ve noticed any green, black, or pink spots along your grout, surfaces, countertops, or tile, that could be mold. This is a dangerous type of organism that could be caused by any of the following issues:

  • Lingering moisture due to inadequate ventilation 
  • Damp cellulose in the area (e.g. rugs, wallpaper, wood, drywall, fabric)
  • Leaky pipes, toilets, and sinks 

Mold loves to grow in damp, moist environments, which makes your bathroom an ideal spot for it to hang out. It’s important to call a pro if you notice any signs of mold in your bathroom. These spores can catalyze a host of health problems, especially for individuals who already suffer from asthma or other respiratory conditions. 

You can avoid mold growth in the future by keeping your bathroom clean and frequently wiped down. It’s also important to run your overhead fan any time you take a bath or shower to ensure proper ventilation and airflow. 

Low Water Pressure

There are few things more frustrating than going to take a nice, long bath or shower only to find that the water is only trickling out. When this happens, it could point to a problem with your water pressure. 

To see if this is the case, try switching from cold water to hot water. If the pressure is still low, it’s time to check your faucet cartridge or faucet aerator.

In many cases, mineral deposits in these areas can build up over time, limiting the amount of water that can flow through. This is especially common in households that have hard water

This blockage can be annoying, but it’s relatively easy to fix, especially if your aerator is removable. Simply take it out and allow it to sit immersed in a small container of vinegar overnight. This can help break up and remove any mineral deposits that may have formed on the component. 

If the aerator is not removable or is difficult to get off, you can still achieve the same effect by filling a bag with vinegar and attaching it over the faucet or showerhead overnight. If neither of these options works, a household plumbing expert can pull your cartridges and check your water pressure at the meter to determine the root of the problem. 

Avoid These Bathtub Plumbing Problems

When you go to use your bathroom, you expect everything to be working properly. Whether you’re taking a shower or washing your hands, you anticipate that the water will flow smoothly and your faucets will shut off securely when you’re finished. 

If you’ve noticed that this isn’t the case, then any of these bathtub plumbing issues could be to blame. If you’re comfortable working on the issue yourself, you can do so. However, it’s always best to trust an expert, especially if there’s already water damage involved. 

Looking for more advice on everything DIY and home-related? Be sure to check out more of our helpful guides!