Repairing Compression Faucets

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

1-2 hours
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'll Need

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.