How to Replace a Two Handle Bathtub Faucet? 9 Easy Steps to Follow

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There are many reasons that you will need to replace a bathtub faucet. Over time, the finishes of your fixtures may scratch or peel off, and become unsightly if not repaired.

You may also find that you must replace a faucet because it is leaking. But How to Replace a Two Handle Bathtub Faucet?

You can repair or replace the cartridge in your existing two-handle tub faucet so long as it is still in working order.

The process requires several simple tools such as screwdrivers, pliers, channel locks or slip joint pliers, a utility knife, and an adjustable wrench.

It takes approximately one hour for most experienced plumbing technicians to complete the job. When installing new parts into your old faucets make sure all connections are tight and secure when finished.

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7 Easy Steps How to Replace a Two Handle Bathtub Faucet ?

  • Turn off the water supply to your home at the main shutoff valve or turn off the individual valves for each fixture you are working on.

  • Disconnect the hot and cold hoses from both ends of the faucet by unscrewing them with a screwdriver in order to access the stem nuts underneath that control temperatures.

The hose will have two separate connections, one is usually metal and screws directly onto the spout and should not be removed in this step.

If so, skip ahead to Step 3. All other stems use a hex nut that can be loosened with an adjustable wrench (see illustration). 

7 Easy Steps How to Replace a Two Handle Bathtub Faucet
  • Once you’ve removed all necessary hoses, Prepare the Bathtub. You will also need to shut off the main valve or it is possible that you could flood your bathroom.

Now, remove any trim from around your bathroom fixtures so that you have access to them. Remove all old gaskets from the base of each fixture, as well as from between each cartridge and handle.

How to Replace a Two Handle Bathtub Faucet

If water has already seeped out into your wall cavity behind these areas, you may want to tape a couple of sheets of cardboard across them before proceeding.

How do you replace a single-handle bathtub faucet

This extra precaution can save you hours of time spent removing all excess moisture trapped in the walls after repairs are completed.

Once this has been removed, you’ll need to unscrew the nut from the spout and drain the tub, then disconnect the hot and cold supply lines. 

Screwing a new fixture onto your old pipes takes only minutes once you’ve removed everything that is connecting it to your bathroom wall.

There will be a few small nuts or screws holding each faucet in place on top of the faucet pipe.

How do you replace a single-handle bathtub faucet

Use an adjustable wrench or channel locking pliers to loosen these nuts before completely removing them.

If your fixtures have brass handles, they may require special time-consuming techniques so exercise caution if this is necessary for your installation.

  • Once The Old Faucets Are Disconnected From The Pipe You May Be Able To Remove Them Entirely. If Not, Then Continue To Step 5.
  • Now That You Have Everything Apart You Will Need To Remove The Old Cartridge From Your Faucets In Order To Replace It With A New One Because This Is Often The Part That Breaks Down Or Gives Trouble.

The cartridge in all two-handle bathtub fixtures is usually the same shape and size. Once they are removed you can easily replace them with a new one that will provide years of trouble-free service.

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  • Using Pliers, Grip, And Pull Out The Old Cartridge By Hand Or Use An Adjustable Wrench If Desired. It Should Be Loose Enough To Pull Straight Back While Separated From The Faucet.

Once you’ve removed the old cartridge, replace it with a new one by reinstalling it in reverse order.

If your fixture has been disassembled to this point, simply screw all fixtures and handles back into place as shown on page 1. Reattach hoses that were previously disconnected (see step 4).

  • Once You Have The New Cartridge In Place It’s Time To Check And Make Sure There Are No Leaks By Adding Some Water To Your Tub Fixture. Open Both Of The Handles A Little Bit And Thoroughly Check For Any Leaks On Top Of Or Around The Spout Area.

If everything is firmly in place and there are no leaks, then attach the hot and cold supply lines (see step 4) and you’re done!

You just saved yourself a good bit of money by installing your own new faucet 🙂 Yeeha. Perhaps enough to take that trip you’ve always wanted.

Let me know if this guide was helpful or if there is anything I missed in the comments below, with your feedback I can make this guide better for everyone who uses it. 

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How to Repair Bathtub Faucet video Review

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ):

How do you replace a single-handle bathtub faucet?

A complete guide I have written in this guide. You can download it as a PDF.

How do you remove a two-handle shower faucet?

I just replaced the cartridge in my American Standard bath/shower lever with a new Moen cartridge. I feel pretty good about it except that now the handles stick out about 1/4 to 1/2 inch past the tub knobs and they look kind of funny since the rest of the older style handle is recessed into the wall. Be aware of the small parts of the unit not to lose those.

Can you replace a two-handle faucet with a one-handle faucet?

Yes. A one-handle faucet is easier to install than a two-handled faucet. The first step in replacing a two-handle faucet with a one-handle faucet is to shut off the main water supply. Move the top or bottom spout of the old faucet so that it does not get in the way when you are working. Wear rubber gloves and old clothes when handling the faucet parts.

How do you replace an old bathtub faucet?

If your bathtub faucet is corroded or leaking and needs to be replaced, you can do it yourself. Bathtub faucets are attached to the wall with a mounting plate that features three screws on one side that hold it in place. When installing the new faucet set, have a helper turn on the water supply valve while you’re tightening the last screw.

How do you replace a tub faucet with no wall access?

You could cut the tub spout off where it enters the wall and attach a new tub spout to just that section of pipe. You might want to wrap some Teflon tape on the threads first to be sure the connection is water-tight. The stub of an old shower arm on which you would connect the new faucet should have threaded holes for mounting it.

How do you fix a broken bathtub faucet?

First, check to see if the hot and cold handles are simply turned off. The faucet should have a “hot” handle and a “cold” handle that turns on the water stream. Turn them both to make sure they are not in an off position. If you’ve tried this, it’s time to get out your tools and do some fun plumbing!

If turning the handles doesn’t work, it is time to take some things apart. You’ll need an Allen wrench and a bucket. The Allen wrench will probably be in your go kit or toolbox. Don’t worry if you don’t have one; we’ve heard that they are inexpensive at hardware stores.

Can you replace the shower handle without replacing the valve?

The easy answer is that you can replace the handle and the valve at the same time, so there would be no need to fix the supply lines. But we think it will look a lot better if you change only the part of the shower faucet that you’re currently unhappy with the handle.

How do you fix a stripped faucet handle?


A stripped faucet handle is a very common household issue and people often wonder how to fix it.

Well, the first thing you need to do is make sure that you can actually repair the stripped faucet handle before you begin because if it’s stripped too badly then you should probably just buy a new one.

I know this sounds obvious but some stripped faucet handles can still be fixed.

First, turn off the water to the handle and then just pull it off of its spindle. Normally there will be enough resistance in the stripped area that you won’t have to use pliers or anything but if this does not stop it from coming off then use a wrench or pliers to stop it from turning any further.

How do you fix a stripped faucet handle?

Next, the stripped area on each side of the handle must be filed until the stripped areas are smooth.

Do not file too much at one time or you will end up with two stripped handles but do not file for too long either because you don’t want to thin down the metal in your faucet.

Just use your best judgment but I recommend filing for around 5 minutes on each side. Make sure you switch hands to ensure both stripped areas get equal amounts of time and wear.

Once the stripped area is smooth go ahead and put the handle back on the spindle but do not turn it all the way yet.

Now that you know exactly how much to file off, you need to make sure that there won’t be any stripped areas left.

So now using a wrench or pliers, carefully clamp down on the stripped portion of your faucet and again slowly rotate through 360° degrees until there is no resistance at all in the stripped area which means there are no stripped areas left. If you feel any resistance.

Then start over because somehow somewhere along the way you stripped the handle again.

After this is complete, your stripped faucet handle should be as good as new because all of the stripped areas are gone but make sure to test it by starting and stopping water flow through it several times just in case if there are any stripped areas that were missed.

There you have it a stripped faucet handle repair with no hassles at all and your faucet will work like brand new!

Last update on 2021-09-23 at 08:51 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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