If you have a leaky faucet, you may need to replace the cartridge. Cartridge faucets operate using a rotating plastic or a metal disc with holes to control water temperature and pressure.
Cartridge faucets commonly have one or two handles that rotate 90-degrees. It should be simple for you to replace the cartridge in the faucet yourself by following these tips.
Prepare to Work
To replace the cartridge, gather:
- plastic or latex work gloves
- Phillips and flat-blade screwdriver
- needle-nose pliers
- Allen wrench
- cartrdige puller
- utility knife plumber's grease
Look for the shut-off valves sunder the sink, and rotate them to the right to close them. If you can't locate the valves, turn off the main water supply, which is near the water meter. Open hot and cold handles to release remaining water in the pipes.
Disconnect the Old Cartridge
To access the cartridge, remove the decorative caps on the handle by hand, then use the suitable screwdriver to detach screws. Detach the handle using the wrench, lay the parts aside, and store screws in a small container.
Look for the lock ring or nut on the cartridge. Remove the lock nut with the screwdriver, or the ring using pliers. Pull the cartridge out of the faucet spout, using the wrench, and remove the sleeve by pulling it off, if it has one.
You may prefer to use the cartridge remover that is available in some replacement kits, which is also useful for removing stripped or stuck cartridges. Push the puller snug on the cartridge, secure the tabs of the tool over the cartridge, and rotate it to the right and left with pliers. You may need to tighten the screw on top with the screwdriver.
Check the cartridge for a damaged O-ring (the rubber ring) and debris. In some cases, the cartridge may just need a new O-ring. piece. Slide the O-ring off the cartridge, and use it to buy a replacement.
If you can't remove the O-ring, cut it with a utility knife. Clean debris from the cartridge by soaking it in vinegar, then wipe it with a damp rag. Slide the new ring in place, and try the faucet again.
Install the New Cartridge
Cartridges with significant damage need replacing. If possible, buy a brass cartridge, so it will last longer. Carefully insert the new cartridge in place, and tighten the fasteners.
Restore water, and test the repair. If hot comes out of the cold side, detach the handle, and rotate the cartridge 180-degrees. For more information or assistance, contact a specialist in fixture installation.