Tub Spout Leaking From Back? (Reasons, Solutions & More)

By - Ron Singh

Updated -

If you have a tub spout leaking, it can be troublesome to find the source of the leak.

For example, is the top portion of the spout where the shower diverter attaches to the tub or comes from the water supply line? In addition, your water pressure may eventually suffer if you have a leaky tub sprout.

A tub spout leaks from the back when water escapes from the tub-wall joint, around or beneath the faucet.

This leak occurs when the joint or spout deteriorates, or both, such as when dropped; replace the faucet. This article explains how to fix a tub leaking from the back.

Your tub spout leaking from the back can be due to a worn-out washer, a faulty seat washer, a diverter, or piping issues, but whatever the case may be, you can quickly rectify it. However, you may need to change the part to fix your leaky tub spout. First, you must know the cause and how to fix it.

Tub Spout Leaking from Back When Shower Is On

Tub Spout Leaking from Back

If your tub spout is leaking from the back, the tub spout seal is likely damaged. When you turn on your shower, does water drip from the back of your tub spout? If so, you probably have a leaky tub spout. 

While a leaky bathtub faucet may not seem like a big deal, it can waste a lot of water (and money!) over time.

The good news is that it’s usually pretty easy to fix a leaky tub spout. To fix a leaky tub spout, you’ll need to replace the seal to fix a leaky tub spout. 

Delta Tub Spout Leaking from Back

Delta makes great and durable shower faucets, but that doesn’t mean they’re problem-free. For example, leaky bathtub faucets are standard and easy to fix.

However, you must know if you can fix a delta tub spout leaking from the back or if you need a professional before trying to fix it, so it’s vital to know why shower faucets leak.

Your delta tub spout is leaking from the back due to one or more of the facts listed below.

  • The nuts may be loose; this may be the case if you notice a leak around the nut or at the handle’s bottom end.
  • The washer is old and has seen better days.
  • It appears that the washer was not correctly installed.
  • The washer does not have the correct dimensions.
  • The quality of the washer is poor.

Now that you know what can cause a leaky tub spot, you can then go ahead and fix it.

You can go ahead and restore it by following the steps below:

  • Turn off the faucet’s main water valve and release water pressure by opening the tap.
  • Find the handle-to-faucet screw; it’s generally behind or below the faucet lever. If not, look under the cap, then remove the screw with a Phillips or Allen wrench. Next, remove the handle and any temperature-limiting disks.
  • Remove the cartridge’s pin with needle-nose pliers, then the cartridge from the valve.
  • Look for mineral deposits in the cartridge; if they’re there, soak the minerals overnight in white vinegar. The deposits hinder the cartridge from closing, causing leaks. If the cartridge is pitted or cracked, replace it.
  • Cut out the old O-rings with a utility knife. Replace them and oil the new washers with plumber’s grease to make installation easier.
  • Remove the valve seat gaskets with a flat-head screwdriver. Then, replace it with a new one.
  • Replace the pin on the collar after pushing in the new cartridge. Replace the handle and cap after resetting the temperature limit.
  • Check for leaks by running water.

What Causes a Leaking Tub Spout?

A variety of things can cause a leaky bathtub faucet. The most common cause is a worn-out washer.

Over time, the washer will become brittle and no longer provide a tight seal. As a result, it will allow water to seep through, causing the faucet to drip.

Another reason for a leaking bathtub faucet is a loose packing nut under the handle that secures the valve stem.

You can still use the tap if the nut becomes loose, but removing the handle reveals a space between the faucet body and cartridge.

If left unrepaired, this gap will produce enough water pressure loss that your tub won’t fill quickly or entirely.

Damaged drain flanges can cause a leaky tub spout. Tightening a worn-out faucet washer or replacing a loose packing nut may fix leaks.

If your tub’s water pressure is low after repairing any apparent leaks, there may be a hidden leak in the drain flange; if so, call a plumber before the problem causes more harm. 

Sometimes a leaky tub faucet can be traced to loose piping rather than worn-out components. As with your drain flange, you may need to hire a plumber to make any necessary repairs.

In most cases, it will be easier and less expensive before they cause more extensive damage to your home.

Other causes of a leaky tub spout can be a faulty seat washer loosening up from the constant opening and closing of the seat washer.

It could also be due to your tub spout diverter; if it is clogged, you can’t turn off the water after showering. And this will cause your tub spout to leak.

In most cases, it’s more cost-effective to correct a leaky tub spout before it causes damage to your home.

A small leak may not seem like a big deal, but over time, small leaks can accumulate and cause enough water damage that your ceiling or floor will begin to crack.

Leaky bathtub faucets can also waste hundreds of gallons of water each year, adding expense to your utility bill.

How Do You Fix a Leaky Tub Spout?

Depending on the leak’s severity, there are a few ways to fix a leaky tub spout. You can try tightening the packing nut with a wrench for a small drip; if that doesn’t work, you may need to replace the washer.

You may need to replace the entire valve stem for a more severe leak. To do this, you’ll need to follow the procedure in the table below.

Spout InspectionTo fix a leaky tub spout, first determine the cause. Check the tub spout’s base and observe the water flow and leak rate; you can evaluate the problem. For example, a leaky tub spout or tub spout seal might cause a drip.
Tighten the faucet.Focus on the essentials before fixing a tub spout. Right-turn the tub spout (i.e., tighten it) if it’s loose. Watch the tub spout base; it shows if water still leaks when you tighten it.
Water valve offIf water leaks after pulling the leaky tub spout, the fixture or seal is broken. Close the water valve to test it. Leave the shower on after turning off the water; this removes the tub spout’s surplus water.
Unscrew the tub spout.Twist to the left, then pull out when the tub spout loosens. Don’t harm the internal components.
Internal seal checksThere is an inner seal around the tub spout pipe; you have to check if the seal is loose or cracked. Aging plumbing can degrade, causing this. To fix this, replace the line or repair the tub spout seal.
Tub Spout ReplacementIf the tub spout seal is intact, replace it. Position the tub spout and twist to the right as this secures the fixture. Tighten to prevent water leaks.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix Tub Spout Leaking from Back?

The cost of fixing a tub spout leaking from the back depends on the severity and the cause. If the leak is minor, you may be able to fix it yourself with some caulk or a new washer.

However, if the leak is more severe, you may need to replace the entire tub spout. The average cost for replacement parts (labor costs included) can range from  $50 to $250.

If you are replacing the whole unit, expect to pay anywhere from $150-$250. Here is the list of different replacement types:

  • It costs $100-$250 to replace the head, the cartridge, or washer.
  • For the diverter, it costs $150-$350 to replace.
  • If it’s a handle or valve problem, replacing it costs $150-$350.


In conclusion, your leaky bathtub faucet isn’t something you can’t remedy.

Although the causes can range from a faulty seat washer to a worn-out washer or a tub spout diverter, whatever it is, you can get it fixed with just a few steps and the right tools!

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