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How to Fix a Ball Faucet

Dripping sink faucet repair 

The ball-type faucet is used by Delta, Peerless, and a few others.  The ball fits into the faucet body and is constructed with three holes – a hot inlet, a cold inlet, and the outlet, which fills the valve body with water that then flows to the spout or sprayer.

According to your reliable Concord plumber, depending on the position of the ball, each inlet hole is open, closed, or somewhere in-between. The inlet holes are sealed to the ball with valve seats, which are pressed tight against the ball with springs.  If water drips from the spout, replace the seats and springs.  Or go ahead and purchase an entire replacement kit and replace all or most of the working parts.

Plumbing Pro Tip of the Week

Tip #1  Turn off the hot and cold water at the stop valves and open the faucet to let any water drain from the pipes.  Plug the sink drain with a towel to avoid losing small parts.  Pry off a red and blue hot/cold button or a knob-handle button, if present, with a small screwdriver or dull knife.  Loosen the setscrew hidden underneath with the hex wrench o the ball faucet tool. Now remove the handle.

Tip #2  Wrap the jaws of your channel-type pliers with masking tape to protect the faucet finish.  Grasp the faceted or knurled edges of the round ball cap with the pliers and twist to remove.

Tip #3  Pull out the ball, noticing for later how a pin in the faucet body fits in a slit in the ball. Clean the ball with white vinegar and a toothbrush or replace it if it is scratched.

Tip #4  If your faucet drips from the spout, it’s because the seal between the ball and the hot- or cold-water intake has failed.  Pull the neoprene valve seats and springs from the intakes with a screwdriver.  Note how the cupped sides of the valve seats fit over the narrow sides of the springs and how the wide base of the springs fit into holes in the intakes.

Tip #5  Replace parts in the reverse order they came off.  Each spring/seat washer combo can be lined up on a screwdriver, set in place, and pushed in with a finger.  The pin in the faucet body fits in a slit on the ball.  The pointy side of the cam faces forward, and lugs on the sides of the cam fit in notches in the valve body.

Tip #6  Make sure the adjusting ring is partly backed off before screwing the cap on.  After the cap is on, gently tighten down the adjusting ring with the ball faucet tool.  Remove the aerator, turn on the water supply and test.  If water leaks from under the handle or if the handle action is stiff, tighten or loosen the adjusting ring.  Replace the aerator.

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