Home Maintenance For Dummies
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Knowing how to fix a leaky faucet will save money, and it’s easy. To fix a leaky rotary ball faucet (or rotating ball faucet) you usually just tighten the cap or cap-adjusting ring. Tightening the cap works because most leaks in rotary ball faucets occur around the handle or spout. If that doesn’t stop the leak, buy a repair kit and replace the faucet’s internal parts.

Gather your materials, turn off the water, and empty the pipes.

Gather your materials, turn off the water, and empty the pipes.

You’ll need a hex wrench, screwdriver, silicone grease, and utility knife as well as a repair kit for your brand of faucet (which includes O-rings, seats, and springs) and a replacement faucet ball, if needed. Shut off the water under the sink, and let the faucet run until water stops.

Loosen the setscrew in the faucet handle.

Loosen the setscrew in the faucet handle.

Use a hex wrench to loosen the setscrew.

Remove the handle and unscrew the cap.

Remove the handle and unscrew the cap.

Use a rag or a pair of cushioned pliers to unscrew the cap.

Remove the cam assembly from the faucet.

Remove the cam assembly from the faucet.

The plastic cam and cam washer are usually one piece.

Remove and inspect the ball.

Remove and inspect the ball.

Lift out the ball. Inspect each part for damage. Replace with parts from the kit as needed.

Insert the tip of a screwdriver into the rubber seat and pull it out.

Insert the tip of a screwdriver into the rubber seat and pull it out.

It may take a couple of tries to remove each seat in the faucet body, so be patient.

Use the same method to remove each spring.

Use the same method to remove each spring.

You may need to twist the springs slightly to break them loose from the faucet body.

Remove the spout assembly to access the O-rings.

Remove the spout assembly to access the O-rings.

Simply lift off the spout and pry off the old O-rings. Cut them off with a utility knife if necessary.

Grease the faucet and install new O-rings.

Grease the faucet and install new O-rings.

Coat the faucet body lightly with silicone grease, and install new O-rings.

Install the new springs and seats by pressing them in place with your fingers.

Install the new springs and seats by pressing them in place with your fingers.

Be sure to insert the springs before the seats.

Insert the ball so that it sits snugly.

Insert the ball so that it sits snugly.

The small tab on the ball should fit into the notch in the faucet body or the faucet won’t work.

Screw on the cam and cap and reinstall the handle.

Screw on the cam and cap and reinstall the handle.

Tighten the setscrew in the handle with a hex wrench.

If your faucet has a plastic ball, replace it with a metal one. Plastic types can wear out in less than a year, which means that you’ll be doing this repair again before you know it.

About This Article

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James Carey is a nationally-recognized expert on home building and renovation with over 60 years of experience as an award-winning, licensed contractor. Carey reaches millions of people nationwide through a weekly radio program and syndicated newspaper column titled On The House. His website onthehouse.com consists of over 13,000 pages of home improvement tips and information. Morris Carey is a nationally-recognized expert on home building and renovation with over 60 years of experience as an award-winning, licensed contractor. Carey reaches millions of people nationwide through a weekly radio program and syndicated newspaper column titled On The House. His website onthehouse.com consists of over 13,000 pages of home improvement tips and information.

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