The leaky faucet – the most common annoyance to DIY Toronto plumbers since the advent of running water.
This plumbing rite of passage can cause sleep deprivation and soaring water bills, but with some basic tools and a little elbow grease, you can have your faucet back up and running (or not running) in no time! Let’s take a look at the most common kitchen spout: the ball-type faucet.
How does a ball-type faucet work?
A ball-type faucet is a widely-used one-arm faucet that swings from left to right to control water temperature and up and down to control water pressure. It makes use of a nifty ball bearing inside the faucet that has two water line openings: one for hot and one for cold.
When the faucet is turned on, the ball rolls so that the openings line up with two seats underneath. This is where hot and cold water combine to come out of the faucet as one stream of water. When turned off, the seats (due to the pressure of springs underneath them) are sealed against the solid section of the ball so no water can leak out. It is actually a fairly simple device!
What can go wrong?
There are many different parts that make up a ball-type faucet, making it difficult to decipher what is actually causing a leak. One common problem is the scoring of the rubber seats underneath the ball. With constant movement against the ball, small marks can appear on the seats from all of the friction.
High-pressure city water will find its way through the nicks in the rubber and leak out of the spout. If your leak is coming out of the sides of the fixture instead of the spout, you likely have a faulty O-ring. O-rings create a seal that prevents water from seeping through the sides.
What can you do?
Since finding the exact cause of a leak can be tough, it’s best to purchase a ball faucet repair kit from a hardware store. A kit should not run more than $20 and as long as you are taking your faucet apart, you might as well make sure all of the internal parts are in top shape!
Closely follow the disassembly and reassembly instructions in your repair kit to replace all of the internal components. The new parts should take care of that annoying leak.
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