There are all kinds of faucets, and each type of faucet has its own valves and unique leak problems. Out of these, ball faucets have the most frequent leak issues. If you have a ball faucet with a single handle for controlling both hot and cold water, you will eventually find this to be true. Here is more on ball faucets, their leaks, why the leaks happen, and how to fix them.
What Ball Faucets Are
Ball faucets are any type of faucet where the handle operates on a pivoting ball. The interior of this faucet includes several valve heads, on top of which the ball valve moves and causes the opening and closing of the valve heads. The valve heads to the right control the flow of cold water, while the valve heads to the left control hot water. When you push the handle straight up the middle and back, it opens both hot and cold water valve heads for warm water.
Ball Faucet Leaks
Ball faucet leaks come from just underneath the ball valve. You can usually see a steady stream of water when you open and close the tap, or when you apply pressure to the top of the faucet. The worst of these leaks will cause projectile streaming from the base of the ball valve.
Why the Leaks Happen
There are a few reasons why these leaks occur. The valve heads are worn out, the ball valve itself is shot or loose, or the water you use is "hard" and has caused deposits to build up in side, thus preventing the proper motion of the faucet handle. There is really nothing you can do to prevent the leaks with a ball faucet, except for using softened water to prolong the inevitable.
How to Repair Them
To repair a ball faucet leak, you will first have to shut the water off under the sink. Then dismantle the faucet itself. Replace the valve heads. Check the o-rings at the base of the faucet and replace those. Then replace the handle and ball valve. Put the whole faucet back together. Then turn the water back on. Slowly test the flow of the water through the tap. There should be no leaks or jettisons of water coming from the base of the ball valve. If there are still problems, you should call a plumber to assist you with professional faucet repair.