How to Fix a Leaky Faucet

Water faucet leaks can be annoying to say the least, but they can also cause corrosion on fixtures if relentless dripping goes unrepaired. Cheaper builders' grade faucets are generally ball style spigots which feature a ball joint that is rocked back and forth for hot or cold water. With ball style spigots, the usual culprit for a leaky faucet is the inlet seat spring. These springs will lose their tension over time and start to wear and compress. Although they are not as prone to leaks as compression faucets, leaks can happen due to sediment buildup and worn springs and seals.

Preparation

Before fixing a bathroom sink faucet, close the drain stopper to prevent any parts from falling down the drain during your repair. Keep your parts bag handy to keep from losing them while removing the faucet assembly.

Step 1 - Shut Off the Water Source

Make sure the water is turned off by shutting off both the hot and cold valves underneath the sink area. After closing the valves, it's always a good idea to verify that the water is indeed off by turning the handle of the faucet.

Step 2 - Remove the Faucet Head

Remove the front cap on the ball by prying it off gently with a screwdriver to access the screw on the faucet handle. Unscrew the round faucet handle and reveal the ball joint by using your Phillips head screwdriver.

Step 3- Remove Ball Joint Assembly

Using your Allen head wrench, loosen up the ball joint head and it should slide off of the mount for you. When unscrewing any of the parts, pay careful attention not to scratch the finish of your faucet. Using your Allen wrench again, loosen the base cam assembly to remove the entire ball joint.

Step 4 - Remove Inlet Seat and Spring

Once the ball joint is removed, you can now access the inlet seat springs. Using your needle nose pliers, pry the seat spring off of the inlet. Place inside your parts bag and take the specific size spring to the hardware store to match up what parts you will need in order to complete the repair.

Step 5 - Install New Inlet Spring

Place your new inlet spring back inside the seat and use your needle nose pliers or your hand to work the seat back into holes. Make sure they are seated properly and are not kinked or crooked in any way to avoid any possible future leaks.

Step 6 - Reinstall Ball Joint

Reinstall your ball joint by taking a dab of plumbers grease and working it over the openings on the ball base. Place your ball joint back into the inlet by finding the groove on the ball joint base and make sure it gets seated over top of the inlet pin on the one side.

Step 7 - Reinstall Cam Assembly

Find the groove on the side of your new cam assembly and align the cam assembly down over the ball joint base of the groove. It's important to apply pressure and make sure this stays aligned while screwing it down over the sink head or you will have problems with your sink not sealing properly. Once screwed on, tighten up the cam assembly using your adjustable wrench.

Step 8 - Reinstall Ball Joint Mount

Using your Allen wrench, reinstall the ball joint mount by sliding it down over the ball joint and tighten up the ball joint head by turning it clockwise.

Step 9 - Reinstall Faucet Handle and Sink Cap

Replace the round faucet handle over top of the ball joint mount and reinsert screw. Tighten with your Phillips head screwdriver. Replace front sink cap by snapping it back in place.

Step 10 - Reinstall Aerator and Turn Water Back On

Turn your water valves back on underneath your sink and replace the tap aerator onto the underside faucet tip by hand tightening counter clockwise. After turning the water back on, let your faucet run on hot and cold in order to flush out any grease residue that may still be left behind.

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