Common Bathtub and Shower Problems

Common bathtub and shower problems and solutions

  1. Water seeps from bathtub (pop-up drains)
  2. Water seeps from bathtub (trip-lever drains)
  3. Control lever won’t stay in position
  4. Water drains too slowly from bathtub (pop-up drains)
  5. Water drains too slowly from bathtub (trip-lever drains)
  6. Drain slow or blocked
  7. Faucet handle leaks (double-handle)
  8. Faucet handle leaks (single-lever)
  9. Water leaks from tub spout or shower head (double-handle)
  10. Water dripping from tub spout or shower head (single-lever)
  11. Water incompletely diverted from spout to shower (tub-spout diverters)
  12. Water leaks around diverter handle (push-pull diverters)
  13. Water incompletely diverted from spout to shower (push-pull diverters)
  14. Weak or uneven pressure from shower head
  15. Shower head leaks

Water seeps from bathtub (pop-up drains)

Possible CauseProcedure
Accumulation of hair or soap around stopperRemove and clean stopper
Accumulation on lift assemblyRemove and clean lift assembly
Lift assembly too longAdjust lift assembly
Lift assembly worn or damagedReplace lift assembly

Water seeps from bathtub (trip-lever drains)

Possible CauseProcedure
Accumulation on plunger Remove and clean lift assembly
Lift assembly too short or plunger wornAdjust or replace lift assembly

Control lever won’t stay in position

Possible CauseProcedure
Lever mechanism corrodedAdjust or replace lift assembly

Water drains too slowly from bathtub (pop-up drains)

Possible CauseProcedure
Accumulation around stopperClean stopper
Lift assembly clogged, corroded, or too shortClean and adjust lift assembly

Water drains too slowly from bathtub (trip-lever drains)

Possible CauseProcedure
Lift assembly clogged, corroded, or too longClean and adjust lift assembly
Lift assembly worn or damagedReplace lift assembly

Drain slow or blocked

Possible CauseProcedure
Drainpipes cloggedOpen drainpipes with a plunger, auger, or hose
Trap blockedIf trap is accessible, unblock through cleanout plug or remove trap
If not accessible, call a plumber

Faucet handle leaks (double-handle)

Possible CauseProcedure
Compression type (newer):
O-rings worn or damaged
Replace O-rings
Compression type (older):
packing nut loose, packing or washer worn
Tighten nut or replace worn parts
Disc type: O-ring wornReplace O-ring
Diaphragm type: O-ring wornReplace O-ring

Faucet handle leaks (single-lever)

Possible CauseProcedure
Disc type: inlet seals worn or disc crackedReplace seals or disc assembly
Ball type: adjusting ring loose or O-ring wornTighten adjusting ring or replace o-ring
Cartridge type: O-rings or cartridge wornReplace O-rings or cartridge

Water leaks from tub spout or shower head (double-handle)

Possible CauseProcedure
Compression type (newer):
washer worn or seat damaged
Replace washer or replace or redress seat
Compression type (older):
washer worn or seat damaged
Replace washer or redress seat or have faucet replaced
Disc type: seat assembly wornReplace seat assembly
Diaphragm type: diaphragm wornReplace diaphragm

Water dripping from tub spout or shower head (single-lever)

Possible CauseProcedure
Disc type: disc cracked or wornReplace disc assembly
Ball type: ball assembly wornReplace worn parts
Cartridge type: cartridge wornReplace cartridge
Faucet body wornHave faucet replaced

Water incompletely diverted from spout to shower (tub-spout diverters)

Possible CauseProcedure
Diverter wornReplace tub spout

Water leaks around diverter handle (push-pull diverters)

Possible CauseProcedure
O-rings wornReplace O-rings or diverter
Diverter wornReplace diverter

Water incompletely diverted from spout to shower (push-pull diverters)

Possible CauseProcedure
O-rings wornReplace O-rings or diverter
Diverter coated with sedimentClean diverter
Diverter wornReplace diverter

Weak or uneven pressure from shower head

Possible CauseProcedure
Mineral buildup on shower headClean or replace shower head

Shower head leaks

Possible CauseProcedure
Connections at shower head and arm looseTighten shower head to arm or seal joint with pipe tape

Leave a Comment

Call for a Quote