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List: Posted: 01/28/11
Faucet seals will eventually wear out and crack after frequent use. There is no way to repair these seals, but you don't need to call in a plumber. Home replacement is fairly easy if you follow these tips.
If you are using a cartridge system, you must take the faucet apart piece by piece. Turn off the water by closing the valves and then unscrew the faucet handle. Remove the cap by turning and then unscrew the cartridge screws at the top. Next, take off the nut under the cap.
After removing the cartridge and seals, you can replace them with a new cartridge by simply sliding it in. Tighten the faucet screws and put the handle back on, screwing it back into the mount. Tighten the faucet.
If you have a compression faucet, you must use rubber washers as a sealer. Take off the cap on the handle, and remove the screws using a crescent wrench. Unscrew the stem and replace the seat washer. Coat it with plumber's grease. Reassemble.
If you have a ball-type faucet, this is slightly more complicated. The easiest way to go about this repair is to buy a faucet replacement kit and replace the whole thing. Remove the handle and use pliers to remove the cap and collar. Loosen the faucet cam and lift it, the washer and the ball. Go into the body using needle-nose pliers and then remove the inlet seals and accompanying springs. Remove the o-rings and replace, along with plumber's grease. Install new everything for the faucet, including springs, valve seats and cam washers.
If you have a ceramic-disk faucet, simply push the faucet handle back and lift it. Take away the cap, unscrew the mounting screws, and remove the neoprene seals from the cylinder with a screwdriver. Replace the seals and clean the openings with a scouring pad and distilled white vinegar. Rinse, replace and reinstall the faucet.
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