Repairing Single-Handle Faucets
Plumber Steve Cory explains how to repair cartridge, ball, and disk faucets.
Single-handle faucets are often divided into three types: cartridge, ball, and disk (also called ceramic disk). The distinction between the three types has become blurred over the years, and in newer models the major replacement part for all three types may be called a “cartridge.”
To make repairs, shut off the water and follow the instructions on the next page for disassembling. Once you pull out the insides, you can determine which type of faucet you have, and you can look for exact replacement parts. If parts are difficult to find, consider installing a new faucet.
Disassembling a single-handle faucet
To get at a single-handle faucet valve, you usually need to remove the handle, then a retainer ring or clip of some sort.
Before you begin disassembly, shut off the water by turning off the stop valves under the sink. Open the hot and cold valves to ensure that the water is shut off.
If you have a ball faucet, a repair kit for your model will include springs and rubber seats, and perhaps a new ball as well.
|TIP: Pull the ball out gently and slowly, to ensure that the springs don’t fly out.
|TIP: If a ball-type faucet leaks at the base of the spout, remove the spout and replace the large O-ring that seals the spout at the bottom.
Disk or Cartridge Faucets
A ceramic disk cartridge rarely wears out, but the rubber O-rings and gaskets do. Still, you may find that a repair kit includes the cartridge, just to make installation easier.
Excerpted from Plumbing (The Taunton Press, 2016) by Steve Cory.