It’s not surprising that sink faucets leak and drip. Any fitting that contains moving mechanical parts is susceptible to failure. But add to the equation the persistent force of water pressure working against the parts, and the real surprise is that faucets don’t fail more quickly or often. It would be a bit unfair to say that the inner workings of a faucet are regarded as disposable by manufacturers, but it is safe to say that these parts have become more easy to remove and replace.
The most important aspect of sink faucet repair is identifying which type of faucet you own. In this chapter we show all of the common types and provide instructions on repairing them. In every case, the easiest and most reliable repair method is to purchase a replacement kit with brand new internal working parts for the model and brand of faucet you own.
Eventually, just about every faucet develops leaks and drips. Repairs can usually be accomplished simply by replacing the mechanical parts inside the faucet body (the main trick is figuring our which kind of parts your faucet has).Almost all leaks are caused by malfunctioning faucet valve mechanisms. Whether your sink faucet is a one-handle cartridge type (left) or a two-handle compression type or anything in between, the solution to fixing the leak is to clean or replace the parts that seal off the hot and cold water inlets from the spout.
Problem : Faucet drips from the end of the spout or leaks around the base.
Repair : 1. Identify the faucet design,
then install replacement parts,
using directions on the following pages.
Problem : Old worn-out faucet continues to leak after repairs are made.
Repair : 1. Replace the old faucet.
Problem : Water pressure at spout seems low,or water flow is partially blocked.
Repair : 1. Clean faucet aerator.
2. Replace corroded galvanized pipes with copper.
Problem : Water pressure from sprayer seems
low, or sprayer leaks from handle.
Repair : 1. Clean sprayer head. 2. Fix diverter valve.
Problem : Water leaks onto floor underneath faucet.
Repair : 1. Replace cracked sprayer hose.
2. Tighten water connections,
or replace supply tubes and shutoff valves.
3. Fix leaky sink strainer.
Problem : Hose bib or valve drips from spout
or leaks around handle.
Repair:1. Take valve apart and replace washers and O-rings. Common Faucet Types
A leaky faucet is the most common home plumbing problem. Leaks occur when washers, O-rings, or seals inside the faucet are dirty or worn. Fixing leaks is easy, but the techniques for making repairs will vary, depending on the design of the faucet. Before beginning work, you must first identify your faucet design and determine what replacement parts are needed.
There are four basic faucet designs: ball-type, cartridge, disc, and compression. Many faucets can be identified easily by outer appearance, but others must be taken apart before the design can be recognized.
The compression design is used in many double-handle faucets. Compression faucets all have washers or seals that must be replaced from time to time. These repairs are easy to make, and replacement parts are inexpensive.
Ball-type, cartridge, and disc faucets are all known as washerless faucets. Many washerless faucets are controlled with a single handle, although some cartridge models use two handles. Washerless faucets are more trouble-free than compression faucets and are designed for quick repair.
When installing new faucet parts, make sure the replacements match the original parts. Replacement parts for popular washerless faucets are identified by brand name and model number. To ensure a correct selection, you may want to bring the worn parts to the store for comparison.
Ball-type faucet has a single handle over a dome-shaped cap. If your single-handle faucet is made by Delta® or Peerless®, it is probably a ball-type faucet.
Cartridge faucets are available in single-handle or double-handle models. Popular cartridge faucet brands include Price Pfister™, Moen, Valley, and Aqualine.
Compression faucet has two handles. When shutting the faucet off, you usually can feel a rubber washer being squeezed inside the faucet. Compression faucets are sold under many brand names.
Disc faucet has a single handle and a solid, chromed-brass body. If your faucet is made by American Standard or Reliant, it may be a disc faucet.
Faucet Repair Kits
Repair kit for a ball-type faucet includes rubber valve seats, springs, cam, cam washer, and spout O-rings. Kit may also include small Allen wrench tool used to remove faucet handle. Make sure kit is made for your faucet model. Replacement ball can be purchased separately but is not needed unless old ball is obviously worn.
Replacement cartridges come in dozens of styles. Cartridges are available for popular faucet brands, including (from left) PricePfister™, Moen, and Kohler. O-ring kits may be sold separately.
Universal washer kit contains parts needed to fix most types of compression faucets. Choose a kit that has an assortment of neoprene washers, O-rings, packing washers, and brass stem screws.
Replacement cylinder for disc faucet is necessary only if faucet continues to leak after cleaning. Continuous leaking is caused by cracked or scratched ceramic discs. Replacement cylinders come with neoprene seals and mounting screws.Compression Faucets
A compression faucet has a stem assembly that includes a retaining nut, threaded spindle, O-ring, stem washer, and stem screw. Dripping at the spout occurs when the washer becomes worn. Leaks around the handle are caused by a worn O-ring.
Remove the faucet handles so you can grasp the retaining nut for the stem assembly with pliers. Loosen the nut and remove the entire stem assembly.
Remove the old O-ring and replace it with a new one. Also replace the stem washer. Clean all parts with white vinegar, scrubbing with an old toothbrush if necessary. Coat the new O-ring and stem washer with heatproof grease and reassemble the valve.Cartridge Faucets
Both one- and two-handle faucets are available with replaceable plastic cartridges inside the faucet body. These cartridges (used by PricePfister™, Sterling, Kohler, Moen, and others) regulate the flow of water through the spout, and in single-handle faucets they also mix the hot and cold water to alter the temperature out of the spout. To locate the correct replacement cartridge for your faucet, knowing the manufacturer and model number is a great help.
Remove the faucet handle and withdraw the old cartridge. Make a note of how the cartridge is oriented before you remove it. Purchase a replacement cartridge.
Install the replacement cartridge. Clean the valve seat first and coat the valve seat and O-rings with heatproof grease. Be sure the new cartridge is in the correct position, with its tabs seated in the slotted body of the faucet. Reassemble the valve and handles.
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 (not visible here)—a hot inlet, a cold inlet, and the outlet, which fills the valve body with water that then flows to the spout or sprayer. 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.
Remove the old ball and cam after removing the faucet handle and ball cap. Some faucets may require a ball faucet tool to remove the handle. Otherwise, simply use a pair of channel-type pliers to twist off the ball cap.
Pry out the neoprene valve seals and springs and replace them with new parts. Also replace the O-rings on the valve body. You may want to replace the ball and cam, too, especially if you’re purchasing a repair kit. Coat all rubber parts in heatproof grease, and reassemble the faucet.Disc Faucets
The disc-type faucet used by American Standard, among others, has a wide disc cartridge hidden beneath the handle and the cap. Mounting screws hold the cartridge in the valve body. Two tight-fitting ceramic discs with holes in them are concealed inside the cartridge. The handle slides the top disc back and forth and from side to side over the stationary bottom disc. This brings the holes in the disks into and out of alignment, adjusting the flow and mix of hot and cold water.
Disassemble the faucet handle and remove the old disc. You’ll need to unscrew the three long mounting screws all the way to get the cylinder containing the ceramic discs out of the faucet.
Replace the cylinder with a new one, coating the rubber parts with heatproof grease before installing thenew cylinder. Make sure the rubber seals fit correctly in the cylinder openings before you install the cylinder. Assemble the faucet handle.From: The Complete Guide to Plumbing, 978-1-58923-378-2