How To Fix A Leaky Bathtub

When you turn the bathtub (or shower) faucet on, the last things you want to see are water on the floor outside of the tub or water dripping from the plumbing fixtures.

You’re hoping it’s just water that splashed onto the floor or something blocking the faucet, but sadly it’s not…

If you find that your bathtub is leaking water, act fast before your small problem becomes a BIG one.

Tips for Fixing a Leaky Bathtub

cats sitting in a leaky tub

1) Find the Leak(s)

The obvious first step in fixing a leaky bathtub is to, in fact, find the leak! Even if you know where the leak is, make sure you check all of the main areas of your tub — you could have more than one leak and not even know it! Make sure you check the faucet, the drain, the body of the tub, the grout, and the overflow pipe.

2) Check the Bathtub Body and Grout

Rather than inspecting the body of the bathtub with a magnifying glass, we’ll let you in on an old secret to finding leaks.

  • Wipe down the exterior of your bathtub and the grout with a towel so they are completely dry.
  • Tape newspaper to the exterior of the tub and along the grout.
  • Fill the tub with water.
  • Wait a few minutes and then inspect the newspaper to see if there are any wet spots. If there are then congratulations, you’ve found your leaks!

Grout - If you discover a leak in the grout, empty the tub, wipe down the grout, and allow it to dry. Using a waterproof sealant designed for bathtubs, apply it to cover the weakened grout. Smooth out the sealant and then allow it to dry for a few hours before using the tub.

Bathtub Body - If you discover a leak in the bathtub body, empty the tub, wipe down the exterior, and make sure it’s dry. Apply a liberal amount of a heavy duty waterproof sealant over the cracks. After letting this sealant dry for a few hours, use a piece of fine sandpaper to remove the excess sealant and smooth out the surface of the tub.

3) Repair/Replace the Faucet

If you can see that the faucet is leaking, you’re going to want to repair the faucet (or replace it altogether depending on the damage). Before you remove the faucet, turn of the hot and cold water lines leading toward the bathtub.

Once the water has been shut off, remove the faucet entirely (including the handle, packing nut, and faucet stem) and shake out any water that might be trapped inside. Replace all of the gaskets and washer inside of the faucet, as these are the pieces that are causing the faucet to leak. Reinstall the faucet, turn the water back on, and check to see if that did the trick!

If a bathtub leaks, using it can be a risky play.

If you’re experiencing bathtub leaks (or plumbing leaks that are even more serious), know that you can rely on us for reliable repairs. Our goal at Fox & Sons is to ensure your home has no problems, so when you have a problem — give us a call and we’ll be there!