Repairing a leaky compression faucet is a breeze with the right parts
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'll Need
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.