Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Single Lever Faucet Repair

Single lever faucets sit on a rotating ball assembly. When the faucet lever is raised, the rotating ball works to control the flow of water. The manipulation of the lever from left to right moves hot or cold water into the mixing chamber. Faucet leaks occur when seals and springs wearing out.

Basics Before Starting Repairs

Before beginning any type of plumbing repair the first rule is to always shut the water supply off. Check for a shutoff valve under the sink or cut off the supply at the main valve. It is a great idea to check for worn or corroded parts while repairing a leak, so make sure to have washers and O-rings nearby in case any need to be replaced. Try to block the sink drain so that no small parts or pieces are lost if they are dropped. It may also be advisable to line the sink with a cloth to protect against any chipping from the tools.

Make sure to line up the parts in the order they are taken off so that there is no confusion when reassembling. The tools and materials needed for repair are: adjustable wrench, penetrating oil, screwdriver, washers and channel lock smooth-jawed pliers. At times during the repair it may be necessary to add oil to sticky parts and wait several minutes before reattempting to move the part. Trying to force a stuck or corroded part may result in more damage.

Troubleshooting and Repair

After turning off the water supply, lift the lever to drain the water. Use an Allen wrench to loosen the lever's screw set and remove the lever. When loosening the adjusting ring make sure that the adjustable pliers are covered with cloth or tape. When removing the cam and assembly ball, use caution as you may have to pry the spout lose at the base or use excess force to lift it off. Worn seals and springs should then be removed with long-nose pliers. Pull the O-rings away from the body and then roll on the new ones until they fit properly on the correct grooves.

Reassemble the parts in reverse order. When replacing the ball, be sure to align the slot in its side with the pin inside the faucet body. When replacing the spout, push down with force until there is a clicking sound indicating the spout has moved over the O-rings. After the spout seems secure, hand tighten the cap to make sure the seal is set between the cam and ball. If there is a leak around the lever after testing the faucet try tightening the adjusting ring a little more.