How to Fix a Leaky Ball Valve

What You'll Need
Replacement components
Lubricating oil
Petroleum jelly
Rags or sponge

Being able to fix a ball valve can be a useful skill to have. This will ensure that you can rectify any defect which arises that might cause it to leak. By following a few easy steps, you will find that you are able to undertake the task without the assistance of a professional.

Step 1 – Empty Cistern  

To begin the process of fixing a leaky ball valve, ensure that the first step you take is to turn off the water supply to the toilet. At this stage, you can remove the lid of the cistern and set it aside to allow you to empty the water within the tank. This step is required to give you better access to the components that you need to repair.

After lifting the cistern lid out of place, carefully lay it flat where it cannot fall over or be stepped on. Empty the water remaining in the cistern or bail it out with a jug. Use a rag or sponge to soak up any large traces of water.

Step 2 – Inspection

Once the cistern lid has been removed and the water is cleared, you will be in a position to examine the components of the ball valve within the tank to determine the cause of the leak. No matter what defect is causing the problem, it is likely to be more prudent to install a replacement rather than attempt repair. All the relevant components will be available within a kit that can be obtained from hardware stores and plumbing supply stores.

Step 3 – Remove Existing Parts   

Disassemble the mechanism for the existing valve by initially removing the angled pin that holds up the float arm, this should be done by straightening the arm and removing any fasteners before sliding it out of place. You will then be in a position to unscrew the end cap which will allow you to remove the piston which controls the float arm. With the components always being  suspended in water, you may find that the fasteners prove stiff enough to require a touch of lubricating oil to help remove it. After loosening the cap, the piston and end washer that makes up the ball valve can then be slid out of place.     

Step 4 – Assemble

Make use of the instructions that come with the new ball valve kit as well as your knowledge of the original assembly. This will be required to help you assemble the new components. Reverse the work you have previously undertaken by slipping the washer and piston into place first. Before screwing the end cap back into place, rub a small amount of petroleum jelly onto the thread to ensure that you do not have a problem if it has to be removed in the future. Tightly screw the cap back into place before reattaching the pin to support the float arm.    

Step 5 – Test

Once the assembly is complete, turn on the water supply and watch the cistern refill to make sure that the leak has been repaired.