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How to repair a leaky ball faucet

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A ball faucet can leak due to a number of reasons, but most times, it’s because of worn out parts. It’s fairly easy to figure out which part is the culprit by studying where the leaking is happening.

If it’s leaking at the base, for example, that usually means the O-ring at the bottom of the faucet is the cause. If it leaks at the aerator or spout, the water levels are not properly controlled by the spring controlled rubber seals or ball lever, so they need to be changed.

Disassembling the faucet, and doing a visual inspection of the parts is usually enough to find the problematic part, but if none of the parts seem obviously worn out, you can always compare the used parts with the new parts from the repair kit, but always make sure the buy the repair kits the same model as your ball faucet. We also recommend you buy them with brass ball lever, because even though they are more expensive, they last longer. Repair kits usually contain cams, cam washer, O-rings and rubber seats, perhaps even a nifty little tool similar to an allen wrench on one end, and spanner wrench on the other.

Let’s start:

  • Turn off the water supply (usually under the sink). If you can’t find it, turn off the main valve instead.
  • Loosen the handle’s set screw with an allen wrench, remove the lever handle and you’ll be left with the exposed faucet top cap.
  • If the leak is occurring at the base of the faucet spout, try tightening the locking collar with a spanner wrench and check to see if that fixes it. If it stops, all you have to do is replace the handle.
  • If the leak happens at the spout, grab the faucet top cap with a pipe wrench and turn counter-clockwise. Be careful not to destroy the top cap finish. We recommend you cover the wrench jaws with a piece of cloth to prevent this.
  • Once you remove the cap, you’ll see a plastic component with a lever coming out of it. That’s called the cam. Remove it along with the cam washer and control ball.
  • Check the control ball for wear and tear. If it seems damaged, replace it with a new one from your repair kit.
  • Inside the faucets’ body you’ll find a rubber valve seats and springs. Lift them up using a flat blade screwdriver.
  • Lift up and twist off the faucet spout to remove it as well.
  • To remove the O-ring at the base of the faucet, try getting behind it and lifting it with a screwdriver. If that fails, you can try cutting it with a utility knife.
  • Replace the O-ring with a new one, but make sure to coat it in heatproof plumber’s grease. To install it, just place it over the faucet base and slide it down to set it into its’ groove.
  • To re-attach the faucet, you simply press it back over the O-ring. Make sure it’s perfectly seated at the base of the faucet.
  • To replace the valve seats and springs, just place the springs inside the rubber seal and slide it down into the receptacles. Adjust them in place with the tip of a screwdriver.
  • Replace the control ball by placing it its’ alignment peg in the slot located on the ball assembly housing. Next, put the cam washer over the ball and lever using the cam’s alignment log, and press it into place.
  • Put back the faucet top cap and re-attach the lever handle.

Congrats! You can now turn the water back on and check for leaks.

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By signing a service agreement, you're adding another layer of protection. Under the agreement, we'll maintain your system, and if anything happens during the year that we should have caught during your service call read more