How to Fix A Ball Faucet | Shelly Rhoades’s Guide
To meet consumers' needs, faucets come in different models. One of the most famous models is the ball faucet. Unlike single or double handle cartridge faucets, there is a metal ball inside it. It is with spring-loaded rubber seals, and it makes the faucet much more durable too.
This kind of faucet was first designed in 1945 by Landis H. Perry. The key purpose of this design was to offer a combined volume and blending control.
For that reason, it proved very successful in the very early stages.
Within 4-5 years, the company who acquired its rights crossed $1 million sales target.
The design wasn't the only thing that made this product successful. The simple and effective means of repairing also compelled consumers to opt for it over other faucet designs. In addition, it provided more accurate control, and it was durable too.
How to Fix A Ball Faucet
In order to fix a ball faucet, first, you need to understand how it actually works.
The ball faucet uses hollow, perforated and pivoting ball in this faucet that controls the entire function of it. When there is a flow of water, it means the hole of the ball is in line. If the flow is disconnected, the ball has been turned 90-degrees by the handle.
In other words, the handle controls the overall movement of the ball.
In case you are thinking why these faucets are more popular than single and dual-handle cartridge faucets, it is because:
- When it comes to shutoff and control, it is an excellent choice.
- It keeps the faucet closed securely, even after many hours of no use.
- Because of its proper support, it can be used for industrial use also.
Apart from this, the great thing is it can't be cracked in the winter season. Many single or double handle cartridge faucets break in the winter season due to the expansion of ice forming. Luckily, this isn't the case with a ball faucet.
It supports different temperatures and can't be cracked easily like other models. Also, they are often chrome plated. Manufacturers use this feature to ensure their durability.
Step #1 - Know the Components
In a ball faucet, there are different kinds of components which you need to know first. For example, handle, cap, spout, cam, cam washer, ball, inlet seals and spring, and the faucet body. You have to remove these components in the same sequence.
In some cases, you have to replace all these components too in order to make the faucet work perfectly. However, you need to check them first, as mostly the replacement of ball is all you need to make your faucet work properly.
Other than that, you must gather some other tools too like hex wrench, screwdriver, silicone grease, and utility kit.
Step #2 - Turn Off the Water
It is time to turn off the water and let the faucet run until water stops.
You don't have to shut off the main supply line. The faucet flow valve is usually under the sink. Just turn it off from there, move the handle faucet to the 'on' position, and wait for the water to run off.
If you can't find the shutoff valve, the only option you have is to temporarily shut off the main valve. This will stop the supply of water in the entire home, but it will be only for a few minutes.
Step #3 - Disassemble the Ball Faucet
This step demands proper concentration.
Get the hex wrench and start loosening the set screw. You have to turn it counter-clockwise in order to remove it. But, before you do that, make sure there is a towel or any kind of cloth in the sink to catch the drop parts.
Take the faucet apart and remove ball assembly too. There can be some additional accessories as well, depending upon your model.
Once the ball is out, clean it in case there is any mineral deposit on it.
Next, inspect the damage. If it is damaged in any way, or if it isn't smooth anymore, you need to replace it with the new one. Besides, it is better to buy the O-rings and inlet seals and spring too. They are quite economical.
Step #4 - Assemble It again
Don't just insert the new O-rings rubbers seals inside the faucet body.
First, rub some petroleum gel onto them. It will make them smooth and relieve the dryness. Place them on the faucet it, and make sure they are seated well, as if they aren't seated well, you can't install the valve seats and springs on them.
You can use a screwdriver for this process too.
It assists in sliding them inside the faucet body. Once it is seated well and the springs are on their place too (which is kind of like a reverse process), install the new control ball according to the right alignment.
Make sure the ball is super clean.
Next, place the washer and cam on top of it and reattach the handle by tightening the Allen screw. You have to reassemble everything in the reverse order you took the faucet apart.
Step #5 - Turn the Water On
It is time to check the leakage.
Turn the water on and check for leaks.
Ensure the pressure isn't fully on, as too much pressure on the new ball and springs can damage your entire effort and create the leakage problem again.
Besides, let the water run freely on a slow pressure for a few minutes.
It will take the debris out of new components.
All in all, fixing a ball faucet is rather easy. It doesn't require extraordinary plumbing knowledge. In general, you have to disassemble and assemble it again in the reverse process after installing the new ball and springs. If you don't have the repair kit for this process, you can get it from any hardware store.
Some people think repairing the ball faucet is a lot tougher than repairing a single handle cartridge faucet, which is not true.
The process is the same, all you need is to replace the ball instead of the cartridge.