How To Remove A Tub Spout That's Stuck

How To Remove A Tub Spout That’s Stuck? – With These Easy Tips

When it comes to issues with your plumbing, quite often, it isn’t an easy job.

The most common problems occur in the bathroom, with the tub spout being the culprit nearly every time.

Your tub spout might need replacing if it isn’t working correctly or there are visible signs of corrosion.

Sometimes it isn’t as easy as just going in and pulling the spout out. It could be corroded or just simply stuck.

If a spout cannot be turned easily, then you need to look for additional ways to remove the tub spout that is stuck.

Even if it seems completely impossible to budge with the right tools and a little elbow grease, you can easily release the spout.

How To Remove A Tub Spout That’s Stuck

The best way to remove a tub sprout will depend on the type that you have. If you have a screw-on spout, then you can twist the spout off.

If the spout is old, you might need to try using a pipe wrench or a good pair of pliers and turn counterclockwise. Internal threading and chalking can make some tighter than the others.

If so, scarp away the caulk and then twist off if you have threaded fitting, these need to be snipped off with wire cutters before you can twist the spout off and away from the copper piping.

How To Prepare The Work Area

Before you go to work on the stuck spout, you need to ensure the area is ready for work. Use an old towel to cover up the drains.

This will stop anything you drop going down the drain like screws and will help prevent stinky drain odors from coming up to the surface.

You then need to make sure that you have shut off the water main by turning the control valve.

Once you have secured that, you can go and start work on the tub spout.

What Type Of Spout Do You Have?

You need to figure out what type of spout you have, which will determine the right way to remove your tub spout. You need to take a close look at the base of the faucet, and if there is a little cavity at the end, then you have a slip-on faucet.

A slip-on faucet slides over the copper pipe and then is secured down with a set screw which is located underneath. If you have the type that screws on, you will not see a retaining screw on the water pipe as it is only screwed on just to fasten it. The easiest way to remember is if there aren’t any screws that connect to the spout, you can call it a screw-on, and if there are screws, then it is a slip-on.

How To Remove A Tub Spout That Screws On


If you know that your spout is a screw-on then, you can remove it by twisting with your hand. If you have a tub spout that is significantly old, then you will need to reach for your pliers. If you don’t have pliers, a pipe wrench will work the same. You just need a tool that will help you to grip onto the base of your spout and spin it clockwise to help release it. Caulking and internal threading can stop the spout from coming off easily, but there is a way to fix this. You can either scrape the excess away from the base of the spout then you can try twisting it off.

This should allow some of the hold to loosen so you can remove the spout easily. If your spout has threading fitted, then you need to snip this and then rotate the spout off. Be sure to use special care, so you don’t cause any damage to the pipe connections that are located in the wall.

How To Remove A Spout That Slips On

In order to take out a slip-on spout, you need to find and unscrew the screw that secures the spout it its current location.

You will need to turn the screw in a clockwise direction so you can release it. Be careful not to let it fall into the drain as it will block up the pipe.

When the screw has been removed, you need to hold the spout tightly and pull it towards yourself.

A strong turn can move the tub spout, but you need to be gentle here as it’s possible to cause damage to the internal pipe works by yanking the spout firmly away from the wall.

If the spout doesn’t budge after you have used pressure, there might also be threads that are connected to the internal pipes.

You can cut these with a hacksaw or a tubing cutter, and then you need to turn counterclockwise.

Once you have cut the thread, you might need to insert a screwdriver directly into the spout opening and use it as extra leverage when you are twisting it off.

What Problems Can You Face?

The mineral build-up, corrosion, and caulk can help your tub spout stick to the back wall and end up setting them in place, making it hard to remove.

You can scrap the caulk or mineral build-up, which can help it to become unstuck and make it easier to remove from the wall.

You can use a small knife such as a box cutter or a sharp razor and try to get it in between the spout and the back wall.

Darkness can become a problem, and in this case, it is best to use a flashlight so you can locate the parts and ensure there is nothing getting in your way.

You want to make sure your razor or putty knife doesn’t cause any damage to the inner pipework when you are using it; it is possible but rare for your spout to have a brass adapter that is located inside and connects to the pipe.

If you have this, you can jiggle the tub spout first, then continue twisting. Most times, the jiggling can be enough to move the brass adapter.

Using A Hairdryer To Unstick A Tub Spout

If the methods above are not working for you, then you can opt to use a hairdryer.

Turn on your hairdryer and aim close to the tub spout base and hold for a minute or two.

The heat from the dryer will create an expansion as it grows hotter.

For safety against any electrical shocks, you want to ensure you have turned the main water off first and ensure there is no water lingering around near the power socket or the hairdryer.

Turn off the hairdryer, and then try to grip the spout tightly and give it a few good tugs.

Using Vinegar To Remove Calcification

If you have an old house, chances are it is the original spout, and it might be hard to remove due to calcification that occurs over time.

If you have this, you can fix it by using vinegar. The vinegar is very effective at removing calcification from the spout of your tub.

To use the vinegar, you can soak a clean cloth or paper towel in white vinegar and wrap it over the tub spout tightly.

Leave it to soak overnight, which ensures the vinegar gradually gets rid of the calcification.

Once the calcium build-up has been removed, then you can go ahead and try to remove the spout.

I Don’t Have A Retaining Screw. What Can I Do?

If there isn’t a retaining screw, then you don’t need to worry. There is plenty of other methods that you can try, and this is done by towels and a pipe wrench.

First, you need to get your paper towels and wrap them around the tub faucet which will be used for protection from the clamping that comes from the pipe wrench.

Once you have it all in place with a hard tight grip, you want to turn the wrench in a counterclockwise direction.

This should detach the tub spout from the pipework.

Why Would You Need To Remove The Spout?

When it comes to replacing your tub spout, there are several reasons why you might need to do this, such as the diverter’s filter is completely worn and will then cease to push the water to the spout head.

The threads that are connecting the spout of the tub can leak over time which causes water to drip down the wall causing damage and mold.

The spout might have corrosion or flaking and may just require a reseal.

Replacing The Spout Of Your Tub

Once you have successfully removed the spout, you need to replace it with one of a similar style and the same length.

You need to measure the length of the faucet and record this so you can be sure that you get the right one that will securely fit.

Grab some Teflon tape over the water pipe if you need to install a screw-on faucet.

If you are installing this type, then you need to make sure that there are threads at the end of the pipe that supplies your water.

You need to wrap three layers over the threads, which will make it easier for you to screw on the new faucet.

The Teflon tape works well if you have a water supply pipe that has been stripped. Now you can screw the new screw-on tub faucet onto your supply pipe.

Make sure you screw the new tap onto the threads properly to attach it. You need to keep turning clockwise until your tub faucet is connected to the pipe tightly.

If using a slip-on, then you need to connect the tub faucet over the pipe.

Make sure you line up the holes that are inside the faucet with your main supply, and then you need to push the end of the faucet over the pipe, so it goes on.

Now you can tighten the screw that is located at the bottom of the tub faucet and turn it clockwise. You want to keep turning until it is tight and secure. Your faucet is now on and ready to use.


Ending up with a tub spout that is hard to remove isn’t rare and comes most often with leaks that form build-ups and with aging.

It doesn’t matter which type of tub spout you have and whether it has a brass adapter or not; there are ways to get around a spout that won’t budge.

With vinegar, pressure, a hairdryer, and the use of the right tools and equipment it can be done.

There is no way to prevent your tub spout from needing to be replaced but ensuring the area around the spout is kept dry, and you remove the faucet every 12 months or so and give it a good clean underneath and put it back can help prolong the life and effectiveness of your tub spout.

Have patience and a little elbow grease, along with the tips above, will help your tub spout become unstuck in no time at all.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Remove A Tub Spout That’s Stuck

Can An Old Tub Spout Be Removed?

It is possible but it might be difficult. Using a wrench around the faucet and rotating counter-clockwise for 3 rotations should loosen the faucet enough; you can then unscrew the rest by hand. If not, it might need to be forcibly cut.

Can I Use WD40 On My Tub Spout That’s Stuck?

Spray a small amount first, let it sink in, then try removing the spout if you don’t have any luck considering spraying and leave for a few hours, which should help to loosen things up.

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