Have you ever wondered why your single lever faucet starts to leak after years of use and little maintenance? Chances are really good that the simple reason why is because the ball valve that controls the flow of water from your pipes to your faucet has started to break.
The ball valve is the simple ball-shaped mechanism that works as the “on and off” switch for your faucet. If you’re not sure if your faucet uses a ball valve to control water flow, the easiest way to tell is to look for the dome-shaped cap under the faucet handle.
Once you’ve identified the dome-shaped cap, you can be sure you’re looking at a ball valve faucet. While you can certainly hire a plumber or faucet specialist to come and do the replacement, it’s also a job that people with little training can do. If you are interested in the process of replacing a ball valvethen you have absolutely come to the right place.
Ball valve base
Before we break down how to replace a ball valve, let’s break down some basic facts about these wonderful marvels of modern engineering.
Ball valves are called ball valves because they have both a ball and a stem. The ball has a small opening inside it and when the valve is on, that opening aligns perfectly with the pipe, thus allowing a free flow of liquid through the pipe. By turning the lever, the ball then rotates so that the opening in the valve rotates to be perpendicular to the flow, and shuts off.
One wonderful thing about ball valves is that they are known to be very durable and able to last for a very long time under heavy use. They can also work perfectly even if they have not been used for a long time.
Ball valves are also very ideal when an operator needs to be able to turn things on and off without losing pressure. Ball valves are known to seal very well and are really simple to use as a small turn of the handle is the difference between a valve being on or off.
Beyond that, they are very reliable.
That being said, one thing they lack is finer or more precise control. For that reason, it is considered better to use ball valves in scenarios in which you want to turn off or start to turn off easily and you do not need to fine tune the amount of flow that is going through the valve. That is one of the main reasons why ball valves are referred within the industry simply as “shutoff valves.”
Another thing to keep in mind is that ball valves tend to cost a little more than gate valves. Finally, another thing to consider as a potential drawback is the fact that ball valves require a certain amount of space to operate because a full 90 degree turn is required in order to use the valve lever. ball valve control.
How to replace your kitchen faucet ball valve
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s go step by step on how you can replace your ball valve like a pro on your own!
1. The first thing you should do is turn off the water from your faucet. If you now have a functioning shutoff valve for this specific sink, you will have to turn off the main shutoff valve for the home. From there, expose the Allen screw by lifting the faucet handle and unscrewing it. Locate the cap and stem for the ball valve under the faucet handle now removed.
2. Unscrew the cover and remove it to see the cam and ball valve seal. Then, remove the ball itself to find the valve two water seals. Remove the old water seals and springs and remove the O-ring mouth seals.
3. Buy a faucet repair kit for your brand. The kit will contain new valve seals and springs as well as a brand new valve ball. If special tools are needed, they will likely be included in this package as well.
4. If you are replacing the nozzle, you will now install the new O-rings that will seal with a nozzle by bending them and guiding them into grooves that seal the valve body. From there, coat them lightly with faucet grease and install them with the narrow end pointing up. Then place the new valve ball into the valve body. Look for the alignment pin on one side of the valve body. This will help you align the long slot of the valve ball with the pin as you insert it into the valve body.
5. Place the new valve cam and seal it into the faucet body on the ball. After that you will want to connect the orientation tabs on the cam and seal with the selected slot on the body of the faucet. Next, screw on the dome-shaped lid and tighten it with your pair of pliers. Slide the faucet handle over the exposed stem of the ball valve and tighten it in place by tightening the screw. Then move your handle to the off position before you go and turn the water supply back on. Move the faucet handle up and down to make sure there are no leaks and that the movement is smooth.
There you have it. If you follow these simple steps, you should have no problems replace worn or leaking ball valve in single-lever kitchen faucet.