How to Fix a Ball Shower Faucet That Won t Turn Off
Repairing a shower faucet is a project the homeowner can perform.
Ball faucets are characterized by a single handle and are popular in sinks and bathtubs. Instead of having washers, like a compression faucet, ball faucets operate by moving the faucet handle from side to side to rotate a ball with two inlet seals that mix hot and cold water to the desired temperature. The flow rate of water is also determined by moving the handle up or down. Ball faucets have more parts than other faucets, putting them at risk to develop more leaks. The repair of ball faucets is a straightforward process; doing it yourself will save on costly plumbing repair bills.
Turn off the water supply to the shower faucet by locating the access panel behind the shower. Turn off the main water supply to the house when the access panel behind the shower is unavailable. Turn on the shower’s faucet to drain the water line after the water supply is turned off.
Remove the set-screw located underneath and at the base of the faucet handle with an Allen screw requiring an Allen wrench.
Pull the handle straight off the faucet body.
Grasp the metal cap under the handle with a pair of adjustable pliers and remove it by turning it counterclockwise.
Clamp the pliers to the plastic collar beneath the metal cap and unscrew it counterclockwise until it comes off.
Locate the special tool in the faucet repair kit to remove the cam along with the cam washer and the rotating ball.
Place the needle-nose pliers into the faucet body and remove the rubber inlet seals and small springs located at the base of the ball.
Cut off the O-rings with a small knife, coat the new ones lightly with heat-proof plumbers grease; roll them back into place.
Replace the old rubber inlet seals and the small springs with new ones at the base of the ball.
Reassemble the faucet in the order you disassembled it. Turn on the water supply, allow the trapped air to blow out the faucet and then ensure that the leak is fixed.
Things You Will Need
- Allen wrench
- Adjustable pliers
- Faucet repair kit
- Cam removal tool, included in kit
- Needle-nose pliers
- O-rings, included in kit
- Plumber’s grease, heat proof
- Rubber inlet seals, included in kit
- Small springs, included in kit
- Place a towel over the drain in the shower so you don’t lose any parts.
- Lay the parts of the faucet on a sheet of newsprint in the order in which you remove them. This makes it simpler to reassemble it.
- Plumber’s grease is available at home improvement stores.
- Do not use force when working on the faucets; broken parts complicate the project.
- Take the disassembled faucet to the hardware store to ensure you get the correct parts replacement kit.
About the Author
Freelance writing since 2009, Tom Ross has over 30 years of corporate management and hands-on experience in the supermarket industry. Ross was featured on the cover of Instore Buyer magazine and his articles have appeared on various websites.