How To Change The Faucet In An Old Claw And Ball Foot Bathtub


If you've moved into an older home with a traditional bathtub, you may appreciate the charm of the legs that resemble an eagle's claw clutching a ball. These little touches can add a charm to your bathroom that sleek modern tubs cannot replicate.

However, while older enameled coated cast iron tubs can retain their charm over decades, faucets can deteriorate to a point that they need to be replaced. Luckily, you have a wide variety of choices in a replacement faucet.

What type of faucet should you choose?

The style of faucet that you choose is a matter of choice, but the distance between the faucet handles is crucial, because the supply lines must fit through the openings in your tub. While a four inch distance is standard, an older tub may possibly have a wider distance. 

This would require ordering a special faucet from a plumbing supplier, and the selection would likely be more limited. You must measure the distance between the hot and cold faucet handles before shopping for a new faucet.

Assuming that your old faucet is a standard size, you can choose from a wide selection of faucets to meet your functional and aesthetic needs. You may decide upon an intricately designed faucet that matches the artistry of the tub, or you may go for function and pick a faucet that has a hand shower attachment and a third faucet handle that you can toggle to switch from the hand shower to the faucet at will.

Any model of faucet that you choose will be installed in the same manner, no matter how plain or intricate. 

Supplies needed to install a new faucet

Pipe wrench or large adjustable wrench

One roll of Teflon tape

One small tub of plumbers putty

Removing the old faucet

You will begin by turning off the supply valves to both the hot and cold supply lines of the faucet. If no valves are available, as may be the case in an older home, you'll need to turn off the main water supply valve of your home, then open both faucet handles to empty the lines of any remaining water.

This may be the trickiest part of the task, because you will need to loosen and remove the large nuts that connect to the two supply lines and hold the faucet in place. If the nuts have been connected for many years, they will likely be resistant to removal.

You may need to spray the nuts with a lubricant that is designed for loosening nuts and other rusted or otherwise fused components if they refuse to budge. Use short bursts of pressure to turn the nuts in a counterclockwise direction until they break loose and turn freely. 

When both nuts are removed, you can pull the faucet from the tub. You will encounter an unpleasant buildup of old plumbers putty, mold, and other contaminants under the old faucet base, which will need to be cleaned from the tub before you can proceed.

Installing the new faucet

You must first prepare the faucet for wrapping a few layers of Teflon tape in a clockwise direction around the threaded ends of the hot and cold supply lines of the faucet. This will help to prevent leaks at the connections.

Next, you will scoop a small portion of plumbers putty from the container and rub it between your open palms until a 1/4" round bead of putty is formed. You will then press the bead of putty around the inner perimeter of the faucet base. The putty will keep the faucet from leaking from the base.

After the putty is applied, slip the hot and cold supply lines through the openings in the tub and press the faucet base against the tub surface. Turn each connecting nut by hand in a clockwise direction until the faucet is secured against the inside surface of the tub, then use the wrench ti tighten the nuts fully.

Turn on the supply valve(s) and enjoy a bath with your new faucet. Throw in a few bath bombs as a reward. Although they may seem incongruous with your traditional bathtub, you deserve a treat for all of your hard work.

For more information, you will want to contact a company such as Roto-Rooter Sewer & Drain Cleaning Service.


14 June 2017

Learning All About Plumbing Materials

Hey everyone, my name is Marcell Robins. I am excited to share information about plumbing supplies on this site. Plumbing repair services caught my attention after a pipe burst during the last winter storm. The temperature dropped so quickly that we did not have time to prepare the home for the changes. As a result, one of the pipes running under the laundry room froze shut and popped open at the seams. When the water thawed, it started leaking like crazy beneath the house. It was at that point that I started to learn about the wide range of materials used for plumbing repairs. I want to share that knowledge with you to help everyone correctly maintain the plumbing components throughout their home. Thanks for coming to my website.