How To Remove A Tub Spout That is Stuck – Full Guide
Maybe you’ve decided it’s time to upgrade your bathroom, or maybe the tub spout just isn’t working. Plumbing projects can be tricky, especially if the fixture is stuck and not cooperating.
Bathtub spouts, in particular, can be challenging to remove. If you need to remove the bathroom tub spout that is stuck, read on for a quick guide.
There are many different brands to choose from, including Delta, Moen, and American Standard, just to name a few. If you need to replace parts, you’ll need to know the brand of the bathtub spout so you can purchase the correct part to replace the faulty one.
Types Of Bathtub Spouts
First, you need to figure out what type of bathtub spout you have. There are two main types: slip-on spouts and swivel spouts. Slip-on faucets have a set screw at the bottom near the tub spout. Slip-on bathtub spouts fit on half-inch copper pipes. They do not require a threaded connection.
Screw-in (threaded) bathtub spouts, on the other hand, do not have set screws. They simply twist on the attachment, also known as a nipple or pipe.
When To Replace Your Bathtub Spout
As with most things, bathtub spouts begin to wear out after many years of use. Faucets that have been in use for more than 16 years may begin to wear out. The washer in the faucet may lose its elasticity over time, which can cause the spout to leak.
If your bathtub is leaking, it may be time to replace the bathtub spout. However, bathtub spouts are often difficult to remove, especially on older and corroded models.
How To Remove A Stuck Bathtub Spout
If you’re reading this, it’s probably safe to assume that you’ve already tried to remove your bathtub spout, only to find that the unit won’t unscrew and refuses to move. In this case, it’s time to do some troubleshooting.
What you’ll need
- Wrench pipe
- Allen wrench
- Hot safety gloves
- Hair dryer
Checking The Faucet
First, check the faucet itself. If you are using a slip-on faucet, find the location of the set screw. If it doesn’t have a set screw, you may have a screw-in faucet. In this case, skip to the heading labeled “How to remove a tub spout without a set screw”.
Turn Off The Water Supply
Before you proceed, you need to do a few things to prevent a mess. The first is to turn off the water supply. Do this by turning off the water supply valve. You may need to shut off the main water supply to your home, so make sure everyone in your home knows before you do so so as not to surprise anyone.
Check that you have turned off the water flow to the tub you are repairing by turning on the faucet. There may be some water dripping out of the spout, but it shouldn’t be much. Once there is no longer water coming out of the spout, you will need a few towels.
Cover the drain with a clean towel. This will prevent unpleasant odors from filling the air and help you avoid parts falling down the drain. Now that you’ve done that, you can start removing the stubborn bathtub spout.
Removing The Spout
Now that you’ve turned off the water supply and the towels are on the drain, it’s time to remove the spout. Use an allen wrench to remove the set screw. Simply turn the screw clockwise. Keep going until the faucet starts to loosen.
If the faucet won’t cooperate and won’t loosen, twist the faucet to one side. Use steady pressure as you pull it. Use enough force to remove the faucet, but make sure you don’t use too much force to avoid leaving permanent damage on the surface.
Now, if your attempts are fruitless and the faucet remains stubbornly stuck, there is another method you can try.
Hair Dryer Method
Use your regular hair dryer to heat the faucet. While this method is a bit unusual, it can sometimes work. You will need your heat-proof gloves, as the faucet may burn you. Be very careful when working with electricity.
The heat may cause the faucet to expand as the temperature rises. After you heat the faucet, let the temperature drop slightly until it is safe to work with. Use the previous technique of removing the tub spout with a constant pressure twist. Make sure you do this gently and carefully so you don’t damage the fixture or the pipes behind it.
How To Remove A Tub Spout Without A Set Screw
Faucets without set screws will need to be removed in a different way. If your twist-up tub spout is stuck, then you will need a clean towel and a pipe wrench or pliers. Remember to turn off the water supply before removing the bathtub spout.
Check for caulking or brass threaded fittings before you try to remove the spout. If there is caulk at the bottom of the spout, carefully scrape off the excess caulk before attempting to unscrew the faucet. If there is copper threaded wiring, you will need to cut it off before removing it. Use an electrical conduit cutter to do this.
Once you have loosened any caulk or copper threaded wiring, you can remove the spigot. To do this, wrap a clean towel around the fixture. This will help protect the spigot during removal. Using a pipe wrench or pliers, carefully twist the spigot clockwise to release it.
You will need to exercise caution with spouts that are connected by a copper threaded fitting. Be careful when removing the tub spout from the copper pipe, making sure not to loosen any plumbing connections in the wall.
You can also try using WD-40 to remove stubborn threaded bathtub spouts. Use the extension wand on the can of WD-40 and place it into the bathtub fixture. Apply it thoroughly to the inside of the faucet and give it about ten minutes. Using pliers or a pipe wrench on top of the towel, carefully twist the spout. You will need to use steady pressure as you turn to encourage movement.
How To Remove A Stripped Bathtub Spout
Over time, bathtub spouts begin to wear out, causing the inside of the fixture to be stripped. If the bathtub spout just spins freely when you try to remove it, then you likely have a stripped bathtub spout.
Removing a stripped bathtub spout is not difficult. Before you begin, make sure you have turned off your water supply. Simply turn the tub spout counterclockwise. You will need to pull slightly as you turn the fixture to engage any remaining stripped threads on the tub spout. Once you remove the spout, discard it and replace it.
Many times, the thread adapter for the pipe can also be damaged when the tub spout spins freely. Clean the area thoroughly to evaluate the threads. If they appear to be damaged, replace the end of the pipe as well before reinstalling the replacement.
How To Remove A Corroded Tub Faucet
Corroded bathtub faucets can be tricky, but many of the same techniques can work. You will need a few things, including.
- Steel wire brushes
- A hair dryer
- Penetrating oil
Before you begin, turn off the water supply. Use a wire brush to wipe away as much corrosion as possible before you attempt to remove the corroded faucet. Once you’ve removed some of the buildup, use a wrench to try to turn the faucet. If this doesn’t work, try using a hair dryer.
Once you’ve heated the faucet, try turning it with a wrench. The heat from the corroded part should help loosen or break the bond of the corrosion. You can also use penetrating oil to try to help loosen a stuck tub spout.