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Fixing leaky faucets

A leaky faucet is the most common home plumbing problem. Most faucet problems are east to fix, and you can save time and money by fixing them yourself. There are four basic types of faucet design: ball, cartridge, disc, and compression. Cartridge, disc, and ball faucets are all known as washer-less faucets. The compression design is mostly used in double handled faucet, with washers or seals that eventually wear out and must be replaced.

Fixing a ball faucet

Ball faucets have a single handle and can be identified by a hollow metal or plastic ball inside the faucet body. Start by turning off the water at the shutoff vales or the main supply valve near the water meter.

  • Loosen the setscrew and remove the faucet handle.
  • Remove the faucet cap, using channel-type pliers.
  • Remove the faucet cam, cam washer, and the rotating ball.
  • Take out the old springs and neoprene valve seats.
  • Replace o-rings, then install new springs and valve seats.
  • Install ball, cam washer, and cam. Replace cap and handle.

Fixing a cartridge faucet

Cartridge faucets can be identified by a cylindrical metal, or plastic cartridge inside the faucet body. The cartridge holes a movable stem thatís controlled by lifting the handle. Before starting, turn off the water at the shutoff vales.

  • Pry off the index cap and remove the handle screws.
  • Remove the faucet.
  • Remove the retaining ring and retaining clip, if present.
  • Insert a new cartridge in the same position as he old one.
  • Remove the spout. Remove and replace the o-rings.
  • Reattach the spout, handle, handle screws, and index cap.

Fixing a Dics faucet

A disc faucet has a single handle and can be identified by a wide cylinder inside the faucet body. The cartridge, contains two tight fitting ceramic disc. The disc has inlet holes for hot and cold water and an outer hole to the spout. Before starting, turn off the water at the shutoff valves.

  • Remove the setscrew and lift off the handle.
  • Remove the escutcheon cap, mounting screw, and cylinder.
  • Remove and clean neoprene seals.
  • Clean the cylinder openings with an abrasive pad.
  • Return the seals to cylinder openings and reassemble faucet.
  • If the faucet continues to leak, replace the cylinder.

Fixing a compression faucet

Compression faucets have separate handles for hot and cold water, and can be identified by a threaded stem assembly inside the faucet body. The stems come in many styles, but all styles use neoprene washers or seals to control the flow of water. Before starting, turn off the water at the shutoff valves.

  • Use a handle puller to remove corroded handles.
  • Unscrew the stem assembly and inspect valve seats for wear.
  • Remove brass stem screw and stem washer from assembly.
  • Unscrew the treaded spindle from the retaining nut.
  • Cut off and replace the o-ring with the same kind.
  • Install a new washer and packing string.


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Fixing leaky faucets

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