Bathtub and Shower Valve Repair

American Rooter is here to help you with your bathtub and shower valve repair needs. Before calling a plumber, you may want to review our recommendations and tips below.

 

Bathtubs and shower valves require maintenance. Water valve seats can begin to wear resulting in dripping and sometimes serious leaks. Shower heads can become plugged with calcium and other hard mineral deposits. Caulking can become hard and brittle, allowing water to get past, potentially causing damage to shower walls and the supporting structure.

 

Leaking Valve

If you can visually observe water leaking from your shower or tub valve, the valve seats should be inspected to see if they are loose or have simply worn out and need to be replaced. This process can be a little tricky, and we recommend that you call in a plumber to not only inspect the valve, but to also inspect for possible water seepage behind the shower wall.

 

Clogged Shower Head

Over time, shower heads can build up with mineral deposits such as calcium and lime. With the proper pliers, the shower head can be removed and soaked for a couple hours in a container filled with CLR. CLR can be purchased from your local department store. CLR breaks down the deposits so that water can pass through the shower head. When you replace the shower head, it’s advised that you use some plumbing tape to seal the shower head threading during the re-install process.

 

Inspect Caulking for Signs of Seepage

A good approach is to inspect your shower and bathtub caulking for signs of water seepage. Water seepage isn’t always easy to detect, as the water can actually get behind the shower panels by going through the cracks in the caulking. Look closely at every seem where caulking has been used to make sure the caulking hasn’t separated from the surfaces where it was applied.   See the tip below.

 

Bathtub Caulking

 

TIP: CAUTION: Wear proper eye protection before working on any plumbing project! It’s hard to see in the picture above, but the caulk line between the tub and the wall has become separated where water can seep past. Eventually water will work it’s way behind the wall panel and damage the supporting wallboard and structure.

Use a caulk removal tool to extract the old caulking, and inspect for damage by gently pushing on the wall panel to see if the wallboard behind the shower panel has become soft and saturated with water. If so, you should call in a plumber to inspect the damage and to get recommendations.

When re-caulking, use special bathroom  caulk for this application, as general purpose caulk will not hold up to water exposure..

Before new caulk is applied, the area should be free of debris and water. Clean thoroughly with a rag so that the caulk will adhere to both the tub and wall panel.

Wait 24 hours for the caulking to completely cure, and visually inspect for shrinkage and areas where caulking may not have adhered properly.


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