Once again, the faucet O-ring seals are leaking. This happens about every two years, perhaps due to mineral buildup in the spout body despite the water softener. Fortunately, it’s a dribble rather than a spurt, so it’s not an emergency.
This is a Home Depot (or was it Lowe’s?) faucet, but they do not stock repair parts. Go to FaucetDirect.com, order these parts:
- 060366-0070A SPOUT SEAL KIT (on the main column)
- 060343-0070A SPACER WITH O-RINGS (below the valve cartridge)
- 030126-0070A BUTTON AND SCREW KIT (if you booger the button)
Of course, order two or three of each, because FD has punitive shipping rates. Ten bucks for a few envelopes of O-rings? Sheesh… but the last time I tried to get ’em locally, they were No Stock. If I’ve got to wait around, I’ll have ’em delivered to my door.
[Update: that comment suggests you can now get ’em from Amazon.com]
The first puzzle is how to get the faucet apart. After making a mess of it the first time, it turns out you poke a small flat screwdriver inside the handle and pop the red-blue button out. It’s held on by two small tabs, one on each side, and if you can just push one then it’ll ease right out. It is not a screw head, despite the recessed slot down the middle.
Poke a 3/32″ hex key in the hole, back out the setscrew a few more turns than you think it takes, pull the handle off.
The plastic cap retainer has two arms holding the escutcheon ring in place. Push inward, remove the escutcheon. The retainer is probably hopelessly jammed into the top of the faucet spout, so if it doesn’t come out, that’s OK.
Loosen the three screws holding down the valve cartridge, pull it straight up and out. You did turn the water off first, right? Remove the plastic spacer plate and three O-rings below it if you can; the plate may not fit through the retainer.
Now, get comfortable on the sink. Pull-and-twist the spout straight up with far more force than you think necessary. It will suddenly fly off and bloosh the water that’s been standing in the faucet column all over the place.
You’re left with a rather grody column and the two offending O-rings. Note the orientation of the silver flange ring at the bottom and the lower white plastic bearing ring. There may be three O-rings stuck to the top surface; they belong inside the spacer plate.
Remove all that hardware and scrub the grodosity off the column.
Hint: if you’re weak of stomach, never look inside your drinking water fixtures, because you’ll never drink tap water again.
I generally soak the spout in vinegar for a bit, scrub it out with a toothbrush, ease the remaining deposits off with a small screwdriver, then scrub the whole thing down with a ScotchBrite pad.
I apply a very very very thin layer of silicone lubricant to the bearing surfaces inside the column, which makes the next step possible.
Put the flange ring, the new O-rings, and plastic bearing rings in place, then slide the spout assembly straight down over the column until it bottoms out with a thump.
Install the new spacer plate & its O-rings, then reassemble all the other doodads in reverse order, turn on the water, and you’re done.
Then forget all the crud you saw in there that you couldn’t clean out.