Bathtub Faucet Won’t Turn Off (How to Fix)

A bathtub is one of the world’s most peaceful and relaxing places. It allows us to take a break from our busy lives and relax. However, it can also get frightening if we don’t turn off the water after taking a bath.

To fix a bathtub faucet that won’t turn off, you can either tighten the handle, remedy the bathtub faucet stem, or repair it. If all methods fail, you can contact your trusted plumber to do the work for you.

This article will elaborate on why your bathtub faucet won’t turn off and how to fix it.

What Are the Primary Causes of a Bathtub Faucet Not Turning Off?

Even though you have tried turning off the faucet several times, the water still keeps running. It is a problem that you need to fix immediately. You must realize that you must turn on the bathtub faucet properly to prevent it from running continuously.

Broken Faucet Handle

Although a damaged handle might not be the main reason your water faucet won’t stop working, it could prevent it from pouring into your bathtub. The stem of the water flows through the handle and then flows into the basin.

Sometimes, the handle gets cracked. Also, the stem might get damaged. It could cause the water to flow through it. Since the branch won’t have a proper grip, it will constantly flow through.

There are two types of handles for your bathtub: double-handled and single-handled. The former is easy to replace, and it’s also the standard choice. However, you might have difficulty replacing the handles if you’re a modern-day user.

Worn-Out Valve

If the water still doesn’t stop flowing in your bathtub, there could be an issue with the valves. These are the water flow controls that regulate the flow of water. If these valves have worn out, you need to contact a repair service. They will then have to take the faucet apart and put it back together.

When your sink faucet is having issues, the issue may be related to the type of valves involved. These are small and operate similarly to those in your bathtub. You should replace these before the water stops running.

Bathtub Faucet Won’t Turn Off (How to Fix)

After analyzing the various factors that cause a bathtub faucet not to turn on properly, we have identified the main issues.

Tighten the Spout Handle

If the handle gets loose, the faucet may not turn off. It happens for various reasons, such as a damaged valve, a broken stem, or a loose sprout. The easiest route to fix this is to tighten the handle.

You can use a flathead screwdriver to remove the cover of a faucet. After you have taken off the surface, start tightening the screws using either a standard or adjustable wrench.

After you have turned off the water, try to switch it back on. In most cases, it should work. Sometimes, though, the water faucet will still not turn on after you have tried to tighten the handle. It means that the issue is serious.

Remedy the Bathtub Faucet Stem

When the faucet handle is not turning off the water, you need to try replacing or fixing the damaged stem inside it. Doing so will take some time and preparation.

If your bathtub water doesn’t turn off properly, you might want to fix the stem inside the handle. However, this temporary fix will only last a couple of months, and you must replace the entire faucet stem.

  • Pry off the Stem

Before you start fixing the bathtub faucet stem, make sure that you turn off the water source. Doing so will prevent any water from flooding and causing any mess. Also, it will help keep the bathroom clean. Turning the handle of the bathtub faucet on its right will reveal the stem.

If you want to avoid damaging your hand, remove the stem using a tool such as a wrench. After attaching the handle, move it until the stem is off.

  • Investigate the Stem

Check the stem carefully to see if it has any faults or damage—the rims or ridges on the tip of the branch connected to the handle’s inner part.

Due to the long-time use of this feature, the ridges will eventually wear out and won’t allow you to tighten them when you turn the water off. This issue will cause the faucet to fail and cause the water to flow into the bathtub.

  • Clean the Stem

Sometimes, the stem can get damaged or caught in debris. It can lead to the faucet stem becoming loose and eventually breaking. Getting rid of these deposits is essential to prevent them from happening in the future.

  • Wrap It With Thread Tape

For temporary repairs, you can cover the damaged stem with thread-wrap tape. You can wrap the valve’s tip twice and then press the container’s handle.

Ensure the handle covers the stem adequately to avoid accidentally sliding off the thread tape. You can also safely rotate it until it reaches the end, and it will lock properly. You can do this using a simple tool such as a chuck or a wrench.

  • Remount the Handle

After you have remounted the handle of the bathtub faucet, check if it still works. Doing so will most likely solve the issue, but it’s crucial to replace it immediately. This method is temporary and should only work if you return it in a few months.

Repair the Bathtub Faucet

If the methods mentioned above don’t stop the water from dripping from the bathtub faucet, then you need to fix the issue. Doing so can be done at home, without the help of a professional.

To prevent flooding in the bathroom, turn off the main water line. It will prevent the water from rushing through the toilet. You should then open the supply line valve in your basement or garage.

At this point, your smartphone camera is a good tool. It can take good photos of the faucet and its handle. These will help you quickly purchase the parts needed for the repair. You can also use the images to describe the issue to the professional.

When you have all the necessary parts, start working on the issue. First, you need to remove the handle of the faucet. You can also access the screws under its decorative cover.

After finding the packing nut:

  1. Use the adjustable wrench to remove the faucet’s stem.
  2. If you can’t remove it using your hands, use the tool to remove it. If the spout stem is in good condition, you don’t need to replace it.
  3. Follow our Method Two if the fixation issue persists.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Clean the Bathroom Faucet?

You can usually clean a bathroom faucet using various products, such as water, dish soap, and a cleaning cloth. However, checking the manufacturer’s instructions before using any of these methods is essential.

Avoid using sponges or stiff-bristled brushes for surfaces like stainless steel or Chrome. These could damage the finish. After scrubbing, use a dry cloth to buff the surface and prevent water spots.

Do You Have to Shut off Water to Change Bathtub Faucet?

If your bathtub has a single handle design or two handles, you need to replace or remove it. The stems connecting the pipes will need to go. Before doing so, shut off the water supply so the plumbing can’t spray.

You can follow many how-to articles and videos online to save money but ensure that you have the right equipment.


If the bathtub faucet doesn’t turn on, you fix it by tightening the handle or the faucet’s stem. If the grip is not tightening correctly, try removing it and inspecting the branch. If it fails, try fixing it with thread-seal tape.

If you have a reasonably old bathroom faucet, it probably won’t be a big deal to replace it. Doing so will allow you to avoid damaging the part and ensure it’s still working correctly.

If the handle has cracks, you might not be able to find a replacement. Contact the plumber if the water still flows after you apply these three methods.