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Soap Dispenser Pump Lube Job

When I replaced the kitchen counter & installed a new sink, I added a soap dispenser, mostly because the stainless steel sink had three holes that needed filling. After nigh onto a decade, the dispenser pump is now getting sticky: difficult to push down and reluctant to pop up.

Soap dispenser pump

Soap dispenser pump

The problem seemed to be that the O-ring wasn’t sliding nicely along the internal bore.

The catch is that both ends have ball check valves, so you can’t just squirt lube into the bore. I tried prying the thing apart, but the snap-together cap has a really aggressive closure.

So I shoved the exit valve ball (on the left of the picture) out of the way with a pin punch, wedged it into the end of the spring, and squirted the least amount of silicone lube I could manage into the pump. A bit of fiddling un-wedged the ball and got it back in position.

The pump works fine now, but I have my doubts as to how long the lube will last with continuous exposure to soap and constant sliding.

The thing probably needs a new O-ring and I’m certain of two facts:

  1. Getting the pump apart will wreck it
  2. The O-ring isn’t a standard size
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  1. #1 by Peter on 2010-09-14 - 13:22

    Somebody really needs to make a serious soap dispenser that looks good and is built like a brick shithouse. I hate spending $15 every few years when it stops working. I’d rather spend $40 or $50 and be done with it forever.

    • #2 by Ed on 2010-09-14 - 15:57

      As nearly as I can tell, there is absolutely no correlation between price and performance these days. You can spend top dollar at your local big-box retailer and get exactly the same thing as you’d get by sending a few bucks directly to China through eBay/Paypal.

      Color me frustrated…

      • #3 by david on 2010-09-14 - 17:12

        Just build your own using a peristaltic pump. Exposing your pump to the working fluid is a sucker’s game…

        • #4 by Ed on 2010-09-14 - 17:29

          *wince*

  2. #5 by Mark on 2012-01-29 - 18:13

    Thanks for the hint. My pump has air holes on the sides, so I was able to inject silicon compound into the sides and eventually work it down towards the o-ring by jamming the pump up and down with vice grips.

    I would have just bought a replacement pump from Kohler, but their parts website has crashed with an SQL error.

    • #6 by Ed on 2012-01-29 - 19:23

      Air holes? Must be one of those pumps that spits foam in your hand. At least that makes it easier to get the lube to the spot marked X…

      Glad to help!

      website has crashed with an SQL error

      And you’d like to send the webmaster a heads-up, but the whole site is dead… and webmasters don’t pay any attention to incoming heads-up messages from total strangers, anyway. Pfui!

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