Leaking bathroom or kitchen faucets can cost money and try your patience. Learn to repair three types of single-handle faucets – ball, cartridge and ceramic disc.
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A leaky spout means damaged parts inside the body. A leak at the base indicates damaged seals around the body.
Turn off the water with the shut-off valves. If they’re stuck, shut off the main water valve for the house.
Move the faucet handle to the “on” position to relieve any remaining pressure and release any water in the line. Close the drain and place a towel in the sink to protect the surface and catch any dropped parts.
As you disassemble the old faucet, lay the parts in order on a flat surface and snap a picture for reference. Then, put those parts in a plastic bag and take them to the store with you when shopping. You may require only one part, but it may be best to buy a kit and replace everything, including a new aerator if yours is damaged.
Remove the aerator and inspect it for damage. If it’s stuck, soak a towel in white vinegar and wrap it around the aerator, securing it with a rubber band or string, for an hour. Then, gently remove it with a towel and pliers.
Loosen the set screw and take off the handle. Use a wrench to remove the cap.
For leaky spouts, remove the cam, washer and ball.
Use a small screwdriver to remove the seats and springs.
To repair leaks at the base, remove the spout and replace the O-rings. Add a little plumber’s grease and replace the spout.
Install new seats on new springs. Replace the ball, taking care to line up the holes. Replace the washer and cam. Reassemble the faucet. Turn the handle to the “on” position.
Remove the cap and take out the screw and clip. Take off the handle and trim ring.
Unscrew the retainer nut and pull out the old cartridge. Install a new cartridge.
Reassemble the faucet, avoiding over-tightening, and turn the handle to the “on” position.
Remove the handle and trim ring.
Unscrew the retainer nut and pull out the cylinder.
Install a new cylinder and reassemble the faucet. Turn the handle to the “on” position.
For all faucets, turn the water supply valve back on slowly. Too much pressure can damage the new parts. Let the water run freely for a few minutes to flush any debris from the new components.
If your aerator shows buildup, soak it in white vinegar to remove deposits. Rinse it thoroughly and screw it into the faucet. If your aerator is damaged, install a new aerator.