How to repair a Ball-type faucet

Step-by-steps advices on how to repair Ball-type faucets.

Tools and materials

  • slip-joint pliers
  • flat-head screwdriver
  • utility knife
  • Allen wrench
  • rags
  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • faucet repair kit
  • plumber’s grease

Step 1: Inspect the faucet

  • The handle of the ball-type faucet rests on a dome-shaped body and is attached by a set-screw. Use an Allen wrench to loosen the set-screw enough to lift off the handle.
  • If the faucet is leaking from the base of the spout, use a spanner wrench to tighten the locking collar by turning in a clockwise direction.

  • If the leak stops once the locking collar has been tightened, no further repair is required. Just reattach the handle.

Step 2: Disassemble the faucet

  • Shut off the  water valves under the sink. Use slip-joint pliers to twist off the domed cap.
  • Lift out the plastic cam and cam washer to expose the rotating ball. Take out the ball and inspect it for signs of wear.
  • Inside the faucet are two rubber valve seats that form a watertight seal against the rotating ball. Remove the valve seats by snaring them with a screwdriver.

Step 3: Replace the valve seats

If the valve seats appear worn, replace them by lining up new springs and seats on the end of a screwdriver and carefully dropping them into place. Use your finger to press them in firmly. New valve seats should stop any leaks coming from the end of the spout.

Step 4: Inspect the O-rings

If the leak originates from the base of the faucet, pull off the spout and inspect the O-rings. If they appear worn, pry them loose with the hooked end of the spanner wrench. Coat the new O-rings with heat-proof plumbers grease, and pop them into place with the spanner wrench.

Step 5: Reassemble the Faucet

  • Reassemble the faucet by putting the parts back in this order: spout, ball, plastic cam and cam washer, and domed cap.
  • Tighten the collar ring with the spanner wrench and replace the handle.
  • Turn the water on at the shutoff and check for leaks.


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