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How to fix a cartridge faucet


 

SHOPPING TIP

Replacement cartridges are not interchange able among brands or sometimes even among models from the same manufacturer. It’s always a good idea to bring the old cartridge with you to the hardware store to help you select the correct replacement.

 

Step 1. Turn off the water at the stop valves. To avoid losing small parts, put a rag in the drain if it has no stopper. Some cartridge faucets have an index cap covering a handle screw. Other handles, especially on one-handle faucets, are secured with a recessed set screw that can be loosened with a 3/32” or 7/64” hex wrench. A lever type handle with no set screw may be removed with channel-type pliers.

Both one- and two-handle faucets are available with replaceable plastic cartridges inside the faucet body These cartridges (used by Price-Pfister, Sterling, Kohler Moen, and others) regulate the flow of water through the spout, and in single-handle faucets they also mix the hot and cold water to alter the temperature out of the spout. To locate the correct replacement cartridge for your faucet, knowing the manufacturer and model number is a great help.

 

 

Step 2. Remove the retaining nut, if there is one, with channel-type pliers. A recessed nut with notches can be removed with open needlenose pliers or a tool provided by the faucet manufacturer. With other kinds, you’ll remove a sleeve and three screws before extracting the cartridge.

 

Step 4. Purchase a replacement cartridge. Apply heat-proof grease to the valve seat and 0-rings, then install the cartridge in the correct orientation and with its tabs seated in the slotted body of the faucet.

 

Step 3. Record the direction the cartridge is facing by noting the orientation of some distinctive part of the cartridge (some are cast with an orientation tab that generally should point straight forward). Pull the cartridge straight up and out with pliers. You may need to twist the cartridge back and forth to break the seal.

 

Step 5. Reattach the handle, remove the aerator, turn on the water, and test. If the faucet doesn’t work, the cartridge may be facing the wrong direction. Remove it and reinsert it facing the other way, still making sure the tabs fit into the slots on the valve body.

 

 

 

 

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