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Leaking Ceramic Faucet Fix



so we have a dripping faucet in the bathroom this isn't the sound of the faucet what you're hearing is a faithful reenactment of my wife asking me to fix it and I can't blame her I checked the Machinery's handbook and although my drip rate isn't quite DEFCON five the amount of time this having gone on puts me in the get er done range now although this seems like a clear-cut case of spousal abuse cartridge replacement I ran into a few problems problem number one I don't have fingernails I don't have the tool to get this thing apart you may notice that didn't stop me from trying though I need some sort of gigantic security hex the kind with a big hole in the middle I'm hoping to avoid making a tool for this so I'm gonna try to cobble something together from number two now these things aren't usually that expensive it looks like they're typically anywhere from fifteen to twenty-five dollars or so I just happen to be the lucky guy with that one special faucet this is a ceramic disc or a ceramic plate valve and we'll get into that in a minute now they're not meant to be user serviceable and I don't know about you but to me that sounds like a challenge I'll likely end up having to buy the replacement but I thought it might be interesting trying to take a shot at this thing maybe save 100 bucks and use that to buy more film and processing to keep making videos now I think these things are supposed to last forever and forever technically speaking means about 20 25 years or so this thing happens to be going on 10 now before I decided to take as a part my first course of action was to sort of wash it all as one piece you know maybe some debris or something got in there and I did that a couple of times without any luck now these are called ceramic discs or ceramic plate valves because the actual valve is a pair of ceramic discs as I move the stem that disc in there opens up one or both holes depending if I'm doing hot cold or a mix of the two here you see a white ceramic plate and sort of that dark gray ceramic disc if any debris gets in between those two surfaces or there's any scratching that certainly would cause a leak though the first thing I'm noticing is sort of the o-ring residue on the bottom of the ceramic face doesn't look continuous so the first thing I might try if I get lucky is reverse sort of this little seal here the face feels a little I don't know fuzzy with any luck that's a simple 2d part and it'll still fit when I flip it picking out over the sharp tool is always a good idea let's see if I can't get these ceramic plates out of here through the plastic I can see a couple of little steps so one on one side and two in the other because this part snapped in from the top with an o-ring on it I assume this is what was holding it in so if any luck that was easier than I thought so what you're looking at here is the two valve phases the two ceramic parts these would sit like that and one slides on the other the seal being created by the incredible smoothness of both those phases I don't know if you've been following mr. Pete's videos he's done a two-parter so far on surface roughness I think he's down in the 64 32 average roughness range for scale something like this is submicron so less than 1 probably 0.5 or maybe even less than that now I've been looking at these under high magnification and I don't really see any scratches I mean it probably doesn't take much the surface in the center looks a little dull compared to the perimeter so something has happened there I suppose I don't know enough about these things to recognize if that's the problem or not they are a bit dirty maybe that was it but I don't really see any smoking gun here so I'll be honest with you I expected to find these surfaces scratched and thought I might even get into some honing or at least trying to hone those faces back and I could have sworn I had submicron lacking paste but it turns out the smallest I've got is one micron that's de paste from DMT diamond compound but now that I see these surfaces not having the right paste is probably for the best as I bet I would have done a real number on these things so I cleaned off all the parts best I could just some warm water and compressed air as I was doing that it dawned on me that that white goopy gross stuff was probably some kind of a lubricant and since it had sort of caked up a bit I figured it must have been something more Teflon instead of silicon based so I added a few dabs of food grade Teflon Lube as I've been putting this together I realized that the only sealing surface in this valve body are the actual ceramic plates so water comes in down from the bottom hits this plastic part and then if there weren't a seal here I mean it goes you know fills those holes and then stops at the ceramic plates but without a seal here it could just walk its way completely around the valve body and out the faucet and since there's no face seal here there must be some kind of a gasket or oring inside the body of the faucet itself something that this could press down against to create that secondary seal I didn't really think the look down in there so I'm going to do that before I install this if there are a rings maybe I'll replace them if there's something funny I might just try to flip it over like I did with this red one in here and sure enough there a couple of seals down in the faucet body there are some strange ones though they're like cups heels or piston seals they're spring-loaded from the bottom they don't look bad but I stretch the springs out just a hair figure a little more preload probably couldn't hurt all right so that does it maybe I got lucky here maybe it was just one of the seals down in the faucet body maybe it just needed a little clean I'll be accepting wagers down in the comment section for how long you think this fix will last but if nothing else it bought me some time thanks for watching

20 Comments

  1. thersten

    You're definitely overthinking this. The cup seals ALWAYS go bad. The cheap ones last 8 months. Your ceramic valve however still has 15 years left 👍

    Reply
  2. Bob Proxmire

    This video helped me with the repair of my kitchen faucet. those rubber cup seals worked great, i had to purchase them twice as the universal part (which for all the world look exactly like the factory part) didn't work. But the original equipment manufacturer part is working well months later. Thank you for this video.

    Reply
  3. murphymb

    Those little cup seals are typical of a Delta brand faucet. Easy to replace and with some good plumber's grease (your teflon should work well), the replacements should last longer than the original set.

    Reply

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