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Bathtub Faucet Won’t Turn Off [4 Causes & Solutions]

You’re planning to have a relaxing bath in your bathtub.

But suddenly, the bathtub faucet has gone bad.

Water is spilling from the tub, and you don’t know what has gone wrong.

The bathtub faucet won’t turn off.

A bathtub faucet can fail to turn off if the valve inside it is broken. A damaged or loose faucet handle also can be the reason. If it’s loose, you can tighten it. But if it’s damaged, you’d have to replace it. The same is true for the faucet stem or cartridge. If it’s faulty, replace it.

Wanna know the details? Then keep up with us until the end. I offer you the solutions as well.

Let’s begin!

Why the Bathtub Faucet Won’t Turn Off

The time we spend in the bathtub is pure bliss for most of us. But it can be a nightmare soon if the faucet gets broken. Imagine being unable to stop the constant water flow spilling everywhere. 

Think about the mess it’s creating and will be leaving behind. It must be a pain dealing with all this watery mess later. But first, you’ve to do something to stop the water.

Calling in a plumber is easy, but it’s not the fastest way. You can at least try to unravel the problem and try something fruitful.

Clueless about the issue? I am about to help you with that. Here I’ll discuss what may have gone wrong with your bathtub faucet. I’ll also give you the solutions.

That’s why stay tuned!

Reason 1: A Broken Valve

If the faucet isn’t turning off, the valve inside it is broken. There’s a valve inside the bathtub faucet which controls the water flow.

With time it gets worn out and gets damaged for longtime usability. When that happens, it fails to control the water flow. Thus it might be the reason why the faucet won’t turn off.

Rather than fixing a broken valve, a replacement would be much better. But remember to match the height of the shower valve to your faucet. This one is a complicated task to do by yourself. So, you better get professional help on this matter.

Reason 2: Damaged Faucet Handle

A damaged faucet handle could be why it won’t turn off. Inside every faucet, a stem allows the water flow to go up. Its positioning is very much related to the faucet handle.

If the handle gets broken, the stem inside doesn’t get enough grip. As a result, it may leak. The solution would be shower handle replacement.

You can hire a plumber to do the job. But if you wanna DIY, here’s the guideline for it. 

Step 1: Removing the Old Handle

First, turn off the water supply to the faucet. To remove the handle, you’ve to remove the cap or button. Use a flathead screwdriver to detach it. 

There should be a metal screw inside that connects the handle to the shower faucet. Use a screwdriver to undo it. Pull or twist the handle to get it off the faucet. Do the same for removing shower handles without screws.

Step 2: Replace with New Handle

Attaching a new handle is just the reverse process of step one. Get yourself a new shower handle that’s compatible with the faucet. Join it by attaching the screw.

Lastly, place the cover on it. See if the handle is tightened correctly. The installation process may differ depending on the style of the handle.

Reason 3: Loose Faucet Handle

Even if the faucet handle isn’t broken, it may still fail to work. That is, if the handle isn’t tightened correctly. Bathtub faucets may turn loose over longtime use.

If the handle is loose, the stem won’t get the grip. That can be the reason you were searching for it. Unlike the policy before, you won’t need to replace the handle here.

Just tightening it would do. Here’s how to do it-

Step 1: Open Up the Cover

Get a flathead screwdriver to remove the cover from the faucet handle. Once the cover comes off, a screw inside will be visible. It keeps the handle adjoined to the faucet body.

Step 2: Tightening the Screw

The faucet handle gets loose if the screw gets loosened. You’ve to tighten it using a screwdriver or a wrench. Once you’ve tightened the screw, put the cover back and test the handle.

See if it can turn off the water supply now. If the problem was only the loosened screw, this should be enough. But if the problem remains, then the next segment may come helpful.

Reason 4: Damaged Bathtub Faucet Stem

We talked about the stem before. It’s seated beneath the faucet handle and allows the water to run to the faucet. They also go by the name cartridge.

Only the difference is that the stem is used for double-handle faucets for running hot & cold water. Cartridge, on the other hand, runs both hot and cold water through it.

A broken shower stem causes problems like hydramax shower leaking issues. Worst case scenario, your faucet won’t turn off at all. In such cases, the stem needs to be replaced.

And this task is a bit complex. I’ll try to give you a demonstration of how to do this. 

Step 1: Removing the Stem

Turn off the bathroom shut-off valve to block the water supply. After that, remove the handle from the bathtub faucet. You can follow the previous segments to know how to do it.

Once the handle comes off, the stem will be visible. Use a wrench to remove the wrench from the tub. 

Step 2: Inspect For Damage

After removing the stem, inspect it for any damages. Sometimes it’s only the ridge that’s faulty in the stem. The ridge sits on the tip of the stem and connects with the handle.

If it wears out it fails to tighten around the stem. Thus the faucet fails to turn off. If the ridge is faulty, you can make a replacement. You can simply buy one from the market.

We suggest you the following products-

Product 1
Product 2

If the ridge isn’t the issue, then the whole stem has to be replaced. But for a temporary fix, follow the later steps.

Step 3: Clean Up the Stem

The stem can be quite dirty due to its prolonged use. Debris and mineral water clung to it, making its efficiency shorter. Use a toothbrush to clean the dirt off it. Repeat cleaning the stem a few times until all the dirt gets removed.

Step 4: Wrap With Thread Tape

To work with a damaged stem, you’ve to give it some support. You’ll require some thread seal tape. Wrap the stem tip with the tape twice. After that, put pressure on the faucet handle through the wrapped stem.

Make sure the handle isn’t sliding off the thread seal tape. Rotate the handle as necessary to make it reach the stem’s end. You can use a wrench to do it but make sure it’s locked in the accurate space.

Step 4: Testing

Now that the handle is connected again, it’s time to check. Turn off the water faucet to see if the water runs again. If it does, better leave it to a plumber’s hand.

This is a momentary solution to a faulty stem problem. Because the threaded tape inside won’t last long. It’ll wear out soon. It may survive for a couple of months at best.

After that, it’ll be good to replace the whole stem. Or better if you choose a new tub faucet.


Why does my faucet keep running after turning it off?

A worn-out rubber washer might be the culprit to your problem. The rubber washer compresses the water flow. But when it wears out, it loses its elasticity and shape. Thus fails to cover the whole opening.

How to fix a spinning bathtub faucet handle?

Turn off the water supply of the faucet. After that, remove the cover plates on the faucet handle. Unlock the screw inside, and you’ll see the cartridge. Remove it and install a new cartridge.

How to tell if the faucet cartridge has gone bad?

If the faucet cartridge has gone bad you’ll see the faucet leaking. It’ll also give you a hard time fixing the water temperature. The cold and hot water supply lines may swap as well.

Final Words

Hopefully, now you know why your bathtub faucet won’t turn off. It can be any one of the reasons mentioned or a few altogether.

Ultimately, they are one of the heavily used features of our home. 

It is not startling if they go bad. But if it has a warranty doesn’t do anything by yourself. It voids the warranty.

Good luck with the renovations!