How to Replace a Slip-On or Threaded Bathtub Spout

During the course of your homeownership, you may decide that your bathtub spout needs to be updated. Surprisingly, replacing an outdated bathtub spout isn’t all that difficult to do. You may want to try and replace the bathtub spout yourself. Here’s how:

Prepare the Work Area

Prepare your work area by shutting off the water supply to your home’s bathtub and covering the bathtub drain. Doing so will help to prevent any screws or tools from accidently falling down into the drain. You’ll also want to grab a roll of Teflon Plumbers’ Tape, a tube of silicone sealant, a pipe wrench, a screwdriver and some hex wrenches. It is also a good idea to have a force cup plunger with a short, removable, wooden handle nearby. If you don’t already have those items at home, you may purchase them through most hardware and home improvement stores. Of course you’ll also need to purchase a replacement bathtub spout. I’d recommend that you pick a replacement bathtub spout that is the same length, width and attachment style as your old one. Otherwise, it may not fit.

Remove the Old Bathtub Spout

In my experience, there are several basic types of bathtub spouts. I am most familiar with two different types. The first type of bathtub spout that I am familiar with doesn’t have a set screw. As such, it tends to be a bit harder to remove. In order to remove it, you will need a pipe wrench. Wrap the pipe wrench around the bathtub spout and turn it counterclockwise until it breaks free from the pipe nipple. Depending on how long the bathtub spout has been in place, you may need to put a lot of muscle into getting it unscrewed.

The second type of bathtub spout that I am familiar with is held on by a set screw. Hence, you will need either a screwdriver or a hex key in order to remove it from the pipe nipple. In my experience, the set screw is typically located on the underside of the bathtub spout’s base. Once you’ve located the set screw, simply remove it and the bathtub spout should just slide right off of the pipe nipple.

Install the New Bathtub Spout

Once the old spout has been removed, you can turn your attention towards installing the new one. If your new bathtub spout employs a screw set system, installation is very easy to complete. Just slide the new bathtub spout over the pipe nipple and secure it into place with the screw set. After the spout is in place, you may also want to consider running a bead of silicone caulk where the bathtub spout connects to the shower stall wall. That’s all there is to it.

If your bathtub spout has threads instead of a screw set, you’ll need to do a bit more work. Start by wrapping the bathtub spout’s threads and the pipe nipple threads with Teflon Plumbers’ Tape. Once that is done, place the new bathtub spout over the pipe nipple and twist it into place. You will need to make sure that the bathtub spout is on securely. Otherwise you could end up with leaks. One way to do that is to remove the short wooden handle from your force cup plunger and use it as leverage. Insert one end of the plunger’s handle into the bathtub spout’s mouth and then use it to give the spout a good twist. Once the spout is securely in to the proper position, finish the job by applying a thin bead of silicone sealant where the base of the spout and the wall meet.

Source: Personal Experience

Killeen Gonzalez has a history of completing DIY home improvement projects with her family.

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