Ball Faucet Repair and Installation

Ball Faucets

On the outside a single-handle faucet looks a lot like a disk faucet, but it has a narrower cylinder under the handle. Inside is a metal or plastic ball with grooves and holes. When the handle turns, the grooves or holes line up with rubber-sealed inlets in the faucet body to allow water to flow.

This type of faucet can become clogged by small particles. If water flow is slow or erratic, disassemble and clean the inlets.

Getting the parts
If water seeps out below the handle or drips out the spout, tighten the cap or the cap-adjusting ring. If that does not solve the problem, buy a rebuild kit for your model. If water seeps out the base of the faucet, replace the O-rings. If water drips from the spout, replace the seats and springs. Less commonly a ball is damaged and needs to be replaced.

Prestart Checklist

Less than an hour for most repairs

Hex wrench, screwdriver

Shutting off water, dismantling a faucet, installing small parts

Shut off the water, close the sink stopper, and place a rag in the sink to catch any parts

Repair kit (including O-rings, seats, springs, and other plastic parts), perhaps a new ball

Step 1

Shut off the water and turn the faucet on until water stops running. Loosen the handle setscrew with a hex wrench, sometimes included in a repair kit. Lift off the handle and unscrew the cap.

Step 2

Remove the plastic cam and lift out the ball. If the ball is worn, replace it along with the seats and springs.

Step 3

Carefully insert the tip of a screwdriver into a seat and pull it out. This may take a couple of tries for each seat.

Step 4

Use the same technique to remove the springs. Clean or flush out debris in the faucet body. Purchase springs and seats for your faucet model.

Step 5

Replace the springs and seats and press them into place with your finger. Insert the ball so it sits snugly. Add the washer and screw on the adjusting ring. You may need a special wrench to tighten the ring. If the faucet still leaks, tighten the ring further.

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