Leaking Faucet: How to Repair a Ball Faucet, Cartridge Faucet, and Ceramic-Disk Faucet

In our last blog post, we covered how to prepare your sink in order to fix it and how to repair a compression faucet. The blog post will include the instructions on how to fix ball faucet, cartridge faucet, and ceramic-disk faucet.

ball faucet

It’s easier to figure out if this is a ball, cartridge, or ceramic-disk faucet by looking at the inner mechanisms.

HOW-TO: Fix a Ball Faucet

  1. You have to buy a replacement kit because of the ball faucet has several parts that need replacing and specials. Don’t worry! You don’t have to replace the entire faucet and the kits tend to run at twenty dollars.
  2. You must unscrew the handle and remove it.
  3. You use your pliers to take off the cap and collar. Afterward, loosen and remove the faucet cam, washer, and ball. You’ll recognize it because it looks like a human ball and socket joint.
  4. You need to use needle-nose pliers to reach into the crevice and take out the inlet screws and springs.
  5. You should replace the O-rings by cutting out the old ones, rubbing the new ones in plumber’s grease, then installing them.
  6. You should install the cam washers, valve seats, and springs that are in your kit. It’s done in a reverse process from when you started the how-to guide.
  7. You can now put your faucet back together.

HOW-TO: Fix a Cartridge Faucet

  1. You should remove the handle by prying off the decorative cap and unscrewing it.
  2. If necessary, take off the retaining clip to get at the cartridge. It’s a plastic item that holds the cartridge and you can remove it with pliers
  3. When you have your cartridge in hand, pull it so it’s lengthened.
  4. You should remove the faucet to look for the O-rings.
  5. You should replace the O-rings by cutting out the old ones, rubbing the new ones in plumber’s grease, then installing them.
  6. You can now put your faucet back together.

HOW-TO: Fix a Ceramic-Disk Faucet

  1. You should take out the escutcheon by removing the handle. It sits directly underneath it.
  2. You should take out the disk cylinder, which will expose the neoprene seals underside.
  3. You should pry out those seals, cleaning them and the disk cylinder with white vinegar. Let it soak for several hours then see if you can still use it.
  4. You can now put your faucet back together, but be careful! At this point, you should test turning the water on because if it’s too forceful, you may crack the ceramic disk.

Plumbing System: How Does It Work

Your plumbing system abides by the laws of gravity, pressure, and water, in its attempts to maintain a natural level. If you understand the basics of plumbing, it’ll help you with the basics back home.

plumbing system specifications

Plumbing System: Two Separate Sub-Systems

  • FRESH WATER SYSTEM 

Your plumbing system contains two sub-systems. There is one that carries the freshwater into your house and another that the carries wastewater out of your house. It’s important that these don’t overlap because they serve two different functions.

The fresh water comes into your home pressurized so it can travel around your home. As you bring the water into your house, there’s a meter that keeps track of how much water you use. The main water shutoff, or the valve that your water runs through, is generally located close to the meter as a result. You must be able to locate your main water shutoff or your house can be flooded in a plumbing emergency. If you find that the water doesn’t go too far from a confined area, you could turn off the individual stop valves.

When you need cold water, the system is ready. Your hot water, on the other hand, goes through a different process because a line carries it to the water heater. The thermostat on the water heater maintains a temperature between 120 degrees F and 160 degrees F based on the owner’s choice. The 120 degrees F is usually enough for most purposes. After the water heater warms the water, the water line sends the heated, pressurized water to the needed fixtures.

  • DRAINAGE SYSTEMS

The drainage system doesn’t use pressure but instead uses gravity. Your waste matter leaves your house because of your drain system’s pipes all angling downward. Your waste, then, proceeds to either a septic tank or a sewage treatment facility.

There’s more to the drainage system like vents, traps, and clean-outs. For example, the vents on your roof make air enters the drainage system. It helps the wastewater to flow properly and the traps to work well.

You might wonder what is a trap? Your trap is a curved or S-shaped pipe located under a drain. If you ever want to have a peek at one, look under your sink or any other fixture. The water from a basin flows enough to pass the trap and enter the drainpipe, but some water remains in the trap, so sewer gas doesn’t return into your home.  Your clean-out is a plug that gives you an easy way to take out any blockage that might back up a trap.

To get the best out of your drain system, you have to make sure everything is working in proper order. You can examine your pipes better by entering your basement or crawlspace, but you can also save yourself the trouble by asking your local plumbing agency.

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CLIMB Works: Outbreak of E. Coli

CLIMB Works in Sevier County has come under scrutiny for a recent string of stomach issues caused by drinking water along the zip-line course. Five hundred and forty-eight customers reported illness and all affected individuals drank water from the zip-line during mid-June. Their symptoms mostly included diarrhea and vomiting. The Tennessee Department of Health has not released their official report. The preliminary results stated that there was E. Coli in the CLIMB Works well water around the course. Todd Keith, one of our own Knoxville Plumbing water quality specialists, informed WATE-TV and WBIR-TV how to prevent such tragedies from occurring in your home or business.

Your Home: Filtration System Testing

It is your responsibility to maintain your water quality by having it tested and perhaps installing a water filtration system. You need to have the quality of your water tested at least once a year for contaminants, even if you have a filtration system in place. Your water will adapt to the changes in your system’s surroundings which can vary significantly within two weeks by events such as oil spills, or even an animal climbing into your well. Our Knoxville Plumbing experts look for ground conditions like sewer leaks or breaks in the water lines, run-off water, and feces that may be in your water filtration system’s environment.

CLIMB Works is near an area where sediment, chemicals, bacteria, and PH has the capacity to shift over time, which could’ve affected their water filtration capabilities. The best choice would be to do once a year testing to make sure bacteria doesn’t enter through the system.  

CLIMB Works: Updated Filtration System

CLIMB Works

548 people suffering stomach issues due to unclean water

CLIMB Works is in the process of installing a new water filtration system. They also offered free bottled water to thirsty patrons. If they upgrade their systems on a regular schedule, hopefully, CLIMB Works will not have the same problem again.

Knoxville Plumbing: Our Services

Knoxville Plumbing offers free in-home water quality test for certain minerals like iron or sulfur and many other contaminants. In order to test for E. Coli, Knoxville Plumbing will need to send samples to a certified lab for detailed results, which requires a fee

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Tools Every Household Needs

Are you a new home owner? Newly fledging your parent’s nest? Recently divorced or made single? Creating a new work space in your garage or craft room? Having a basic tool set for yourself is a must and also makes a great gift for any loved one who finds themselves in one of these situations. […]

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Tips For Easter Dinner At Your House

Easter, Christmas, or any other large dinner party ordeal can be stressful for one cook to handle. Here are some suggestions to make the holiday a breeze for you, so you can also enjoy the holiday and be in the moment.

Damage Control

Prior to recruiting buddies and making cooking arrangements, there are a few things you can do to prevent accidents from further stressing you. First, you may want to walk around your home and put away any breakables and valuables. Bring out games for children to stay occupied and create an inviting environment for people to “hang out”. You might decorate the table and display drinking glasses. Buy ice. Chill a bottle of wine or be sure a variety of beverages are ready and available. Because dinner parties and extravagant holidays are a major contributor to plumbing issues, follow some of these guidelines to keep your pluming in proper working order. Purchase garbage cans with lids for the kitchen and all bathrooms. Most people flush or put items in the garbage disposal to send them away before their smell permeates the atmosphere. Sanitary napkins and even “flushable” wipes should not be sent down the plumbing, but may be out of embarrassment. Garbage cans with lids offer a safe place to put unwanted discards. Also equip each bathroom with a great scented product, a toilet brush, plunger, and an adequate, visible supply of extra toilet paper. If you do use your garbage disposal while cooking, be sure to turn it on frequently to keep it from clogging.

Recruit

Recruit the help of little ones. One or two children, 7-16 can be really helpful in carrying out little tasks that keep you in the kitchen monitoring your food. Children can set the table, entertain guests and give house tours, and serve appetizers.

Store-made Items

Pre-made desserts, appetizers, sides, anything you can get that won’t sacrifice quality but will save you time is extremely helpful. Your main priorities should be preparing and checking on the protein of the meal (which is traditionally ham or lamb), a casserole or two, and any other oven baked items.

Take Care of Yourself

The best holiday hosts are those who seem relaxed and are enjoying themselves as they do it. Make sure you have everything you could want and need for the day, including your favorite beverage, an outfit that you feel good in, and an apron. Sometimes aromatherapy can be helpful, if only used in times of stress. There are several essential oils you can choose from, often at the grocery store, that claim to relieve anxiety and stress. You can purchase one at the same time as all your other dinner items, and put some on a cotton ball or handkerchief to keep in your pocket on Easter Sunday!

Water Use Basics During a Drought

A drought is a period of time that is drier than normal. There are three kinds of drought; meteorological drought which is lack of rain, agricultural drought which is lack of moisture in the soil, and hydrologic drought which is reduce water from bodies of water, either below ground water sources or streams. Places like California are under drought regulations regularly. Here are some tips to ensure you know what to do during a drought or an emergency situation that requires you conserve the most water.

Water Saving Plumbing Fixtures

Consult your trusted plumber to give you the best recommendations for replacements and upgrades to your plumbing that will not only conserve water on your water bill today, but well into the future. These innovations will effect the following generations to come and help you feel your best about the efforts you made to save valuable resources in your lifetime. Also be sure to fix leaks as quickly as possible. Leaks are responsible for a lot of unwanted water spending. You can also flush your toilet less or place a brick in the tank because filling completely up between flushes is not necessary. The internet is full of countless other tips for saving water in your bathroom.

Water Lawns at Opportune Times

If you are going to water your lawn, do it less often and cut your grass less often so it will retain the water you do give it. Be sure to water your lawn in the early morning or late evening to insure it soaks up the most moisture before it gets evaporated with the help of the sun.

Rain Water Collection

Collecting rain water in specifically designed rain barrels is one of the most effective ways to save water in the event of drought or emergency. This water is safe to use on virtually anything but drinking, including to water your plants and lawn or wash your car. You can also devise your own collection from the run off of your home’s gutter system. Water can also be collected from your water supply in your home, below kitchen sinks. A bucket can collect your water waste and be used on your outdoor plants.

In the coming years, common knowledge on defining a drought and regular water regulations will need to be employed. In other countries, drought is considered the normal condition or clean drinking water is not at all available. We are fortunate we have the water we do today and should do all we can to protect it. Employ these three things in times of drought, or just on a regular basis, to be a responsible citizen of earth.

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Credentials and Education Needed To Become a Plumber

Although from state to state the requirements for becoming a plumber can vary, there are usually two ways to obtain your plumbing license. One way is to go to college for 2-3 years to obtain the knowledge and experience necessary to work in the field and the other is to do a much longer apprenticeship beneath a “master plumber”. Both ways are respected in the trade and matter only to the aspiring plumber, to choose the option that best fits his lifestyle and resources.

Formal Education

To best prepare for the field, an aspiring plumber should first get their high school diploma or GED. If they know they want to be a plumber they will need a solid background in science, math, and computers. If they are able, in high school or college, taking courses in drafting and blue print reading is very helpful in the trade. Trade school, vocational school, or technical schools all offer plumbing programs that will give you the foundation in more advanced plumbing studies such as water supply and drainage systems and piping equipment. Schooling can take 2-3 years. After you’ve received your diplomas you will want hands-on experience with an employer willing to mentor you your first few years of work.

Apprenticeship

Doing an extensive apprenticeship program that may last as long as 5 years under an experienced plumber in place of going to school for a formal education is another option available to aspiring plumbers. The steps following are the same, 2-3 years experience after your apprenticeship has ended will qualify you for what they call your journeyman’s license. Journeyman plumbers can go onto become master plumbers after they’ve received 1-5 years more experience in the field (depending on the state) by taking another exam.

Licensing

After you’ve completed one of the two routes listed above to gather all the knowledge and experience necessary for licensing, you will probably take an exam. The exam will include a lot of the information you learned in school, on the job, and will likely include local codes as well. As previously mentioned, journeyman can continue onto becoming master plumbers by continuing to work in the field and then taking the master plumber’s exam.

Job Outlook

Plumbers average 20.00 per hour and have been staying around 5% unemployment rate which is good. The trade is expected to remain the same into the future. Newcomers will likely have job openings when they are ready to fill them, as plumbers retire. Most plumbers find their work in construction, but there are a number of job applications for plumbing.