How to Repair and Install a Ball Faucet

With a few replacement parts, you can fix that leaky tub or shower faucet before the dripping causes serious damage.

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A ball faucet has a metal or plastic ball with grooves that control flow. Small springs press rubber seats against the ball. Replacing the seats and springs usually will stop a leak. However, the ball may also need to be replaced.

Tightening the adjusting ring with pliers or a special tool may stop a leak. If water flow is slow or erratic, remove the seats and springs and flush out any debris.

For more problematic leaks or issues, you may need to remove and replace several parts in your faucet. To relieve some of that stress, we have easy instructions below. This is a fairly quick project once you have the right parts and you should be done in an hour or two. 

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What Is a Ball Faucet?

A ball faucet has an adjusting ring, which controls how tightly the cylinder (which contains the ball mechanism) presses against the seats. Sometimes inlets become clogged with debris.

What You Need

  • Screwdrivers
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Groove-joint pliers
  • O-rings
  • Seats
  • Other rubber parts
  • Silicone grease
  • Cylinder if needed

Step 1: Remove Hardware

Shut off the water and turn the faucet on until water stops flowing. Remove the handle and escutcheon. Pry off any retaining clips, unscrew the retaining ring, and pull out the cylinder.

Step 2: Replace Parts

Take the cylinder with you to buy replacement parts. Most O-rings can be removed easily with your fingers. Replace all rubber parts. With a rag under the faucet body, slowly turn on the shutoff to flush out debris.

Step 3: Assemble Faucet

Apply silicone grease to the rubber parts. Reinsert the cylinder, reattach the retaining clip (if there is one), and screw on the adjusting ring. Tighten the ring if the faucet leaks.

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