Repairing Compression Faucets

1-2 hours

Repairing a leaky compression faucet is a breeze with the right parts

Repairing Ball-Type Faucets

Repairing a compression faucet is a fairly easy project you can do yourself. Most leaks with compression faucets occur at the spigot or the handle and are caused by defective cartridges or worn O-rings.

Note: This guide will help you fix compression faucets, which have two knobs or levers - one each for hot and cold. 

Ball-type faucets have a knob directly above the spout that controls water flow and temperature depending upon the direction it’s twisted. Read this guide for repair information for ball-type faucets.

If your faucet has a lever on top of the spout that uses an up/down motion to regulate water flow and left/right motion to control temperature, you’re working with a cartridge sink faucet. Check out this guide for repair information for cartridge sink faucets.

WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS PROJECT

1
Turn Off Water
Turn Off Water - Repairing Ball Type Faucets

• Turn off the water at the shutoff valves under the sink. 
• Make sure the water is completely turned off by placing the faucet fully in the on position for both hot and cold. 
• Allow any remaining water to drain out.

2
Remove the Cap
Remove Cap - Repairing Ball Type Faucets

• Loosen the handle setscrew and remove the handle. 
• The set screw can often be found just under the handle when it’s tipped back, or hidden behind a small rubber button. 
• Use a pair of water-pump pliers to remove the cap. Protect the finish by wrapping the pliers’ jaws with masking tape or cloth.

3
Remove the Cam and lift out the Seats
Remove Cam and lift out Seats - Repairing Ball Type Faucets
Remove Cam and lift out Seats - Repairing Ball Type Faucets

• Loosen the cam housing and lift off the cam housing, seal and ball. 
• Inspect each part for damage. 
• Note how the cone-shaped springs are installed in the seats – you will need to install replacement springs in the same order as you remove them as you look to lift out the seats. 
• Use tweezers or a screwdriver to carefully remove the valve seats and springs. Remove the spout by twisting and lifting it at the same time.

4
Replace the O-Ring
Replace O-Ring - Repairing Ball Type Faucets

• Remove the O-ring from the housing, using the tip of a screwdriver if necessary. 
• Take all parts in need of replacement with you to your local store. 
• If all parts are in need of replacement consider buying a repair kit for your facet instead of individual parts. 

Tip: As a last resort if you can’t slip the O-ring from its groove, cut it with a utility knife and then coat the new O-rings with silicone grease and install them on the faucet cylinder.

5
Reassemble the Faucet
Reassemble Faucet - Repairing Ball Type Faucets

• Reattach the spout by pressing downward until it rests on the slip ring. 
• Install the new valve seals and springs in the same order as they were removed. 
• Insert the new cam and screw on the housing and cap. 
• Turn the faucet to the on position and slowly turn the water on and check for leaks.