Replace the ball when you do the seats.
I've had to mess with and/or replace the rubber valve seat on the hot water side of a Delta-Peerless-type single handle ball faucet about once a month since I moved in with a friend of mine. The faucet is nice looking but a no-name brand, so I can't get OEM parts and my housemate (the owner) is not keen to replace it because she wants it all to match and finances are a little tight right now.
Therefore, two questions:
1) Is there something better than the usual rubber valve seats you get in the replacement kits? Are there silicone ones or something?
2) What does this indicate about the hot water? I've put a hose on the drain valve and let it run a couple times this year. Is there something else that could be disintegrating these rubber valve seat? Water quality? We live in Seattle which I thought had pretty decent water.
Last edited by dlawb; 06-24-2009 at 04:44 AM.
Replace the ball when you do the seats.
That ball and seat design is so time-proven and reliable that many many knock offs, and now including Price Pfister are using it. The seats normally provide many years of leak free service, so I can't understand why you have trouble. Most likely, you could use Delta branded seats, which may be better quality. Inspect the ball, always use new springs, and double check everything clean , with a tiny dash of plumbers grease on rubber and threaded pieces.
Third party Delta parts will fail rapidly. Genuine Delta rubber seats will last for years, IF the adjusting cap is not too tight. But you should ALWAYS replace the ball when you repair the faucet.
...I have replaced the balls. I now have five - three steel, one plastic, one brass (that's currently in the tap).
But it's so bad that every time I have examined the hot water valve seat it's either starting to roughen or it already has visible chips out of it. I just don't get it.
I've tried keeping the tightening ring loose but I always end up having to tighten it as the darn thing starts to leak. I've cleaned out the holes in which the rubber and springs sit with a scrub pad. I've scrubbed the ball itself, in the case of the brass one.
I've tried different repair kits and definitely some have lasted a little longer but they've all broken down way before their time.
I just don't get it!
Could I have gotten some kind of grease in there that keeps attacking the rubber? Why wouldn't it attack the cold side? I've cleaned the thing out a number of times and I assume that all that water rushing by would tend to clean it out more.
My guess has been that either there is some junk of some kind coming from the hot water heater that is abrading the valve seat or that the valve seats are starting to melt and then sticking to the valve. We do keep the water pretty hot, but we like it that way.
Any more ideas?
What kind of grease are you using? It must be silicon plumber's grease (it will say certified for potable water use). Anything petroleum based is likely to ruin the rubber quickly.
Depending on the scrub pad, you could have scored the seats and it may never seal well. Shiney is one thing, scored is another.
Important note - I'm not a pro
Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013
In reverse order, I used one of those green plastic scrubbies - you know, the 3M ones. My understanding was that - for soft metals - those are the equal of a wimpy, super-fine steel wool and for hard metals they barely make an impression.
I got some new silicon grease and yet another kit and I'm hoping this does it, but if experience is any guide, it won't last for more than a couple months.
My thought is to completely clean the fitting once more - no abrasive - replace the ball, seats and springs once more, making sure to grease liberally.
I'd just love to know if there is a "Rolls Royce" alternative to the standard innards of one of these faucets - teflon, silicone, that kind of thing.
I also checked all the hot water valves in the house and I'm finding them a little sticky and that they tend not to shut off completely.
I have NEVER greased the internals of a Delta valve, and sometimes grease is the worst thing to use on rubber. Your water would have to be WAY to hot for comfort to even start to soften the seat rubber.