Like sink faucets, tub faucets can be compression style or washerless. To take apart any style tub faucet, pry off the cap, unscrew the handle, and remove the escutcheon. In a compression faucet, you’ll see the stem and packing nut. You may need to use a deep-socket wrench to grip and loosen a recessed packing nut. To repair a washerless tub faucet, remove the stop tube and draw out the retainer clip to get at the cartridge.
- If your shower head leaks where it meets the arm, you probably need to replace the washer. To reach it, loosen the collar, using tape-wrapped rib-joint pliers. Unscrew the head from the adjusting ring.
- Erratic or weak pressure usually indicates mineral buildup. To restore proper flow, clean outlet holes with a pin or unscrew a perforated face plate and soak it overnight in vinegar, then scrub it clean.
- If the shower head pivots stiffly, check he washer for wear and coat the swivel ball with petroleum jelly before reassembling.
Though it may difficult to unclog a shower drain with a plunger, it’s worth a try. If that doesn’t work, maneuver a snake down the drain opening into the trap. As a last resort, you can use a garden hose.
- Attach the hose to an outdoor faucet or to an indoor faucet with a threaded adapter.
- Push the hose deep into the drain and pack rags into the opening.
- Turning the water on in short, hard bursts should open the drain.
CAUTION: Never leave a hose in any drain: a sudden drop in water pressure could siphon sewage back into the fresh water supply.
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