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How To Repair a Leaking Ball Faucet

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Repairing a Ball Faucet
How To Repair a Leaking Ball Faucet

Ball faucets are found in the kitchen and bath. They look similar to disk faucets but operate with a special ball that controls the flow and mixture of water.

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Introduction, Difficulty Level and Needed Tools
Repairing a leaky faucet is a very common home plumbing repair. However, due to the variety of faucet types found in the home, trying to figure out what type of faucet you have can make getting started on this simple task seem a bit daunting. For example, a single handle faucet may be either a ball type faucet or a disk faucet.

In this tutorial we will deal with a special type of washerless faucet called a ball faucet. The ball faucet has a single handle which controls a special plastic or metal ball inside the faucet body. This ball has chambers or slots in it, along with rubber O-rings and spring loaded rubber seals. Depending on the ball's position, the ball / lever assembly controls the flow and mixing temperature of the water coming out of the faucet.

The ball faucet was brought to market in 1954 by Delta faucet and made popular as a single lever kitchen faucet by Delta Faucet® and its DIY brand Peerless® starting in the 1970's. They also are popular as a bathroom faucet.

So how can these faucets leak when they have no washers? Well, ball faucets leak as the spring loaded rubber seals dry out, the springs weaken, the rotating ball acquires buildup or the rubber o-ring dries out. In the tutorial Single Lever Ball Faucet Quick Fix I give you some tips for an emergency repair of a ball faucet if you don't have the necessary repair kit, but this tutorial will provide instructions for an actual repair of the faucet.

    Difficulty Level
  • Easy
    Needed Tools and Materials
  • Allen Wrench
  • Pipe Wrench or Channel-Lock Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Utility Knife
  • Ball Faucet Repair Kit (specific to faucet model being repaired)
  • Replacement Lever Control Ball (if needed)
  • Heatproof Plumber's Grease

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