How To Replace A Roman Tub Faucet With No Access Panel

Replacing a Roman tub faucet without panel access is a straightforward process that requires shutting off the faucet and removing old screws. It’s not as complicated as it may sound, and anyone can do it with the right instructions.

For many homeowners, plumbing repairs can be daunting, and they prefer to leave it to the professionals. However, some upgrades and repairs can be done without risking any damage.

If you want to replace a Roman Tub faucet without access to the panel, start by turning off the water supply and loosening the set screw to remove the old spout. Remove the handles in the same way. Next, place the o-rings around the cartridges and spout, and apply the plumber’s putty before installing the new spout and handles.

Replacing a Roman tub faucet is simpler than installing a new one, and it is even easier if you have prior experience installing a sink faucet. Unlike installing a new faucet, the water supply lines are located below the deck, and the parts to be replaced are on top, making the process less messy.

What Is A Roman Tub Faucet?

Selecting plumbing fixtures for your home can be overwhelming with so many options. There are different types of faucets, mounting methods, and finishes. However, a Roman tub faucet is a reliable and classic choice for your bathtub.

Roman tub faucets are designed to be installed on the deck of the tub and cannot be mounted on a standard bathtub rim or adjacent wall. To install a Roman tub faucet, you need a tub deck or the wide lip of a drop-in tub.

Roman tub faucets are typically used with jacuzzi or drop-in tubs with three or more faucet holes for installation, allowing for a hand shower attachment. These faucets are known for their signature arched spout and are available in various handle configurations and finishes to suit different aesthetic preferences.

Don’t Want To Read About How To Replace A Roman Tub Faucet, Watch This Video Instead.

Replacing A Roman Tub Faucet

If you’re replacing an existing Roman tub faucet and the valves are still in good condition, you’ll only need to purchase the trim kit. Plumbing fixtures typically come in two parts: the trim and the valves. By only purchasing the trim kit, you can save money and avoid having to go “below deck” to replace the valves.

Tools for the Job

  • Allen wrench or hex key
  • Putty knife
  • Flathead or Phillips head screwdriver
  • Plumber’s putty (optional)
  • Rag
  • New faucet trim kit

Step 1: Turn off the water

  • If you see an access panel on the tub’s side, turn off the water from that point. Keep in mind that an access panel might be hidden in the closet of an adjacent room.
  • But if there is no panel, you’ll need to turn off the water from the house’s main water line. Usually, you can find the shut-off valve near your water heater.
  • To ensure your safety, turn on the faucets all the way, letting them run until all the water has drained. This step will prevent you from getting scalded by hot water or soaked by anything left in the pipes.

Step 2: Out with the old

  • Loosen the set screw at the faucet’s base using an Allen wrench or hex key. The set screw is designed to be inconspicuous, so check the back or underside of the faucet if you can’t find it at first.
  • Gently pull the old spout straight up to remove it. Use your screwdriver to unscrew any remaining elements at the base of the faucet. If the faucet is caulked or sealed, you may need to insert a putty knife between the faucet base and tub deck to loosen it.
  • Repeat the same process with the handles. The set screw may be located at the back or top of the handle or hidden underneath a decorative cap that can be removed with a flathead screwdriver. • If you can’t find a set screw, try twisting the base counterclockwise to remove it. Remember, lefty loosey and righty-tighty!
  • Remove any remaining putty or caulk from the tub deck, ensuring that the surface is clean and ready for the new faucet installation.


Step 3: In with the new

  • Ensure a tight seal at the bottom by placing rubber o-rings, which can be found in your trim-out kit, around the plumbing cartridges and spout pipe. Ensure the rings are positioned to the bottom, so they are flush with the tub deck.
  • Before using plumber’s putty, check whether your Roman tub faucet model recommends it. Plumber’s putty can provide an extra layer of protection against leaks.
  • Install the new handles over the existing cartridges, and either twist the base clockwise or secure the set screw with your hex key, depending on the model’s installation specifications.
  • Slide the spout over the faucet pipe and press down firmly. Unlike other spout styles, this type of spout is unlikely to turn. Once the base is flush with the tub deck, tighten the set screw.


Step 4: Test it out, and dive in

  • After installing the new faucet, turn the water back on and test it for leaks. Even a small leak can cause significant problems in the long run, so make sure to address it promptly.
  • If you do find any leaks, carefully retrace your steps to identify the source of the problem. Once you’ve fixed the leak and ensured that your new faucet and handles are properly installed, your Roman tub filler is ready to use.

Related Questions

What is a Roman soaking tub?

The name “Roman tub filler” is derived from the Roman soaking tub, which is the ideal place to relax after a hard day. These tubs are inspired by the legendary ancient Roman baths.

While it cannot replicate a genuine Roman bathhouse’s grandeur, serenity, and luxury, the Roman tub tries its best. Its deep basin allows one to soak up to their neck and even fit two people. Moreover, it is larger in size, wider, and often longer than a typical bathtub.

Unlike whirlpool or jacuzzi tubs, the Roman soaking tub does not have any high-tech features such as jets or showers. Its sole purpose is for you to relax and unwind by soaking in the water, as the name suggests.

What is a cartridge, and how do I know if I need to change it?

Cartridge valves are responsible for regulating the flow and temperature of water in a faucet. They offer more accurate control over water flow and temperature than other valve types. It is relatively easy to replace them if you need to replace them. However, it can be challenging to determine when to change them.

In the case of replacing only the trim, it is unnecessary to change the cartridge unless it is damaged. But, if you’re experiencing trouble with regulating the temperature or water flow, it may indicate that it’s time to replace the cartridge.

In case you notice a cloudy white substance when you open up the faucet, it is most likely due to mineral deposits. In such a situation, soaking the cartridge in white vinegar can prove to be helpful in restoring its functionality. However, if you see visible damage like cracks on the cartridge, it’s best to replace it as soon as possible.

It’s essential to note that cartridges are unique to each plumbing fixture, so you’ll need to order them from a manufacturer or specialty store. However, it’s important to keep in mind that leaks often indicate a defective o-ring or washer rather than the cartridge itself.

Do You Need a Faucet, Fixture, or Pipe Repair or Replacement?

That sounds like a great plan! Remember also to take good care of your new fixtures to make sure they last long and stay in good condition. Regular cleaning and maintenance will help prevent any issues and keep your bathroom looking and functioning its best. Enjoy your new space!

Leave a Comment