The market for sanitary products pleasantly surprises with its diversity. It is easy to purchase a new device to replace the failed one. Often the cause of the breakdown is a problem with the crane box, which you can repair yourself.
The device and principle of operation of the crane box
The faucet box, or in other words, the valve head of the mixer, is a locking mechanism with which you can not only supply and shut off water, but also regulate its temperature and pressure.
So, the device consists of ceramic and brass parts:
- jumper (metal case), where there is a mounting thread and a rubber seal;
- fitting (pipe) located in a metal jumper;
- stem or rotary mechanism, the design of which depends on the shape of the valve head;
- washer, which fixes its location in the crane.
Some manufacturers provide their models with a fat chamber, through which smooth operation is achieved, as well as an increase in the duration of the mixer.
By external influence on the valve, the shutter, which is located in the rotary stem, is set in motion.
Varieties of model structures crane-box
The modern plumbing market offers a wide selection of models of this device. To an ordinary non-specialist, at first glance it may seem that the details are the same, but this opinion is erroneous.
Crane boxes according to the variant of the water locking element are classified as follows.
When the mixer valve rotates, a rod is set in motion, which presses or releases the rubber gasket. She, in turn, opens or closes the faucet valve seat, and with it regulates the water supply.
The advantages of this type are:
- an abundance of spare parts for each type of mixer;
- repair of a worn-out crane box can be done with your own hands;
- it is possible to manufacture rubber gaskets independently;
- affordable price.
The disadvantages of this type include:
- short service life;
- the need for a large number of valve turns;
- over time, the smoothness of the ride decreases, and noise or creaking also appears.
Based on the name, it is clear that ceramics are used in the design. However, only disks are made from it, which are responsible for supplying or shutting off water.
The advantages include:
- a relatively small number of revolutions required to open or close the mixer;
- smooth running, silent.
The main disadvantages are the need to use filters for water purification, as well as the high cost of the ceramic mechanism.
At the heart of the water locking device, a metal ball is used, which is responsible for the supply of water.
Positive aspects of the model:
- long service life;
- speed, noiselessness when opening and closing the mixer.
- high sensitivity to water quality;
- unsuitable for recovery.
Before repairing (replacing) the axle box, it is worth double-checking which model of the axle box is installed in the mixer. Knowing this information will allow you to buy the right spare part, thereby speeding up the repair work.
The mixer needs to be repaired if:
- it leaks when the valve is closed;
- liquid seeps out from under the valve;
- uneven jet of water — the appearance of «spitting»;
- the flywheel is not fixed in the extreme positions.
Malfunctions of water locking devices occur for the following reasons:
- Wear of sealing parts. The rings lose their elasticity, as a result of this, depressurization occurs, and then leaks.
- The accumulation of dirt between the discs, and as a result — a loose connection of the plates, followed by the flow of water.
- Abrasion of elements between the stem and body. The problem is extremely rare; in this case, it is necessary to replace the entire mechanism.
- Abrasion of ceramic plates. The breakdown occurs due to poor quality water.
- Has become attached to the body of the crane box.
To find out the causes of malfunctions, you need to remove the mixer and disassemble it.
Necessary and sufficient tool
In order to disassemble the valve head, to replace worn parts, you need to have the following tools at hand:
- gas or adjustable wrench;
- screwdriver set;
- cap keys;
- fum tape;
- waterproof lubricant.
It is possible to accurately select the parts necessary for repair, as well as to find out the reason why water is dripping, only after disassembling the valve.
Removing the water stop
The dismantling of the problematic mechanism is carried out in the following sequence:
- The valve head flywheel is dismantled by unscrewing the locking screw holding the part.
- Using a gas or adjustable wrench, remove the mixer apron.
- Opposite to the course of the hour hand, the axle box is unscrewed (using an adjustable or wrench).
Then the threaded parts of the mixer are cleaned, and inspection and troubleshooting are performed.
Valve head repair
Several types of gaskets are used in both worm and ceramic valve heads. Sometimes improper use leads to wear and then to the appearance of a leak.
In order to repair the locking mechanism, it is not necessary to disassemble the mixer, it is enough to remove the rubber ring from the seat. After that, the new gasket is treated with a waterproof lubricant and mounted.
If it so happened that the right material is not at hand from which a new gasket can be cut, then the leak can be eliminated for a short time using silicone sealant. The problematic part is covered with a thin layer of silicone, allowed to dry, and then reinstalled.
Replacing the pressure washer
The second gasket made of caprolon or fluoroplastic serves to compensate for the gaps between the ceramic plates. During operation, the mechanism is systematically subjected to loads, under the influence of which the washer becomes thinner and water seeps through.
To replace it, the axle box must be disassembled. It is necessary to remove the retaining ring, remove the stem and dismantle the washer. All removed parts are cleaned, lubricated with special grease and assembled.
If during the restoration work it was not possible to find a suitable washer, then you can “increase” the thickness of the worn one. To do this, glue tape or put a plastic washer, which will eliminate the flow of liquid for a short period of time.
Extraction of foreign elements
In the event that the mixer is leaking due to the accumulation of rust or debris between the plates or discs, the crane box must be completely disassembled. All its elements should be thoroughly cleaned. Plates need to be meticulously inspected. If deep scratches are found on them, it is better to replace the parts to avoid water leakage.
It can be difficult to find new plates identical to damaged ones. Under such circumstances, you can try to grind the old ones. Fine-grained silicon carbide or aluminum oxide powder is suitable for this. One of these products is mixed with technical oil. The resulting paste is applied in a thin layer on a piece of glass, and then you can start grinding. Paste must be added until the desired effect is obtained.
When the damaged areas are sanded, the plates must be rubbed together, rinsed again and the mechanism is mounted.
Rubber Crane Repair
Worm axle boxes leak for many reasons. Basically, the faucet spins or leaks due to rubber gasket failures and physical wear. If water oozes between the mixer and the faucet box, then a new rubber ring must be installed. In the event that the faucet itself gave a leak, it is necessary to replace the sealing cuff.
The order of work is as follows:
- the mixer is dismantled and disassembled (the same as for devices with ceramic plates);
- parts are cleaned and washed;
- the retaining screw is unscrewed and the problematic gasket is removed;
- cuff is installed, lubricated and assembled.
If it was not possible to find an identical gasket, then the protruding edges can be carefully trimmed.
Recommendations of experts and possible difficulties
By adhering to the following simple tips from experts, everyone can restore the mixer to working capacity.
- If, during dismantling, it is not possible to remove the stuck crane box, then it should be treated with vinegar or a solution of citric acid, and left for a couple of hours. The chemical reaction will loosen the deposits and allow the mechanism to be pulled out.
- It is possible to increase the service life of the mixer with careful handling and installation of water filters.
- If it is not possible to purchase spare parts, then the leak can be temporarily eliminated with the help of silicone sealant. A thin layer of silicone is applied to the problematic gasket and a crane box is installed. This simple and uncomplicated method is not suitable for long-term operation.
- When assembling the device, ceramic discs must not be turned over, as the sides have lapped surfaces that ensure tightness.
- To avoid scratches when disassembling the mixer with your own hands, you can wrap it with a cloth.
- Buying a mechanism in specialized plumbing stores can cost a little more, but the quality of the goods is much higher.
- During the replacement of the gasket, it is necessary to inspect the mixer for chips and cracks, the formation of which indicates the need to replace the entire mechanism.
Thus, it is quite possible for everyone to repair the crane box and thereby restore the mixer’s performance with their own hands, subject to the requirements and recommendations described in this article.