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Fixing Cartridge Faucets

Project Overview

Fixing Cartridge Faucets

Cartridge faucets often are the single-lever faucets you'll find on kitchen sinks. Leaks usually are caused by worn-out cartridges and old seals. On cartridge-type faucets, those rubber seals are called O-rings. The best way to repair a cartridge-type faucet is to completely replace the cartridge and the O-rings. When you buy a replacement cartridge, look for repair kits that include the correct O-rings

6 Steps

  1. Turn Off the Water
  2. Remove the Faucet Handle
  3. Remove the Threaded Retaining Ring
  4. Remove Old Cartridge and Replace
  5. Expose the O-Rings
  1. Reattach the Spout
Show all steps »
Turn Off the Water

Step 1

Turn Off the Water

First, turn off the water supply at the shutoff valves. Then, use the tip of a screwdriver to pry off the index cap on the top of the faucet. Once it's off, remove the handle screw underneath the cap.

Remove the Faucet Handle

Step 2

Remove the Faucet Handle

Remove the faucet handle by lifting it up and then tilting it backwards slightly.

Remove the Threaded Retaining Ring

Step 3

Remove the Threaded Retaining Ring

Remove the threaded retaining ring with slip joint pliers. Remove any retaining clip holding the cartridge in place.

Remove Old Cartridge and Replace

Step 4

Remove Old Cartridge and Replace

Grip the top of the cartridge with the pliers. Pull straight up to remove the cartridge. Install the replacement cartridge so that the tab on the new cartridge faces forward.

Expose the O-Rings

Step 5

Expose the O-Rings

To expose the O-rings, remove the spout by pulling it up and twisting slightly. Cut off the old O-rings with a utility knife. Coat the new O-rings with heatproof grease and install them.

Reattach the Spout

Step 6

Reattach the Spout

Reattach the spout. Screw the retaining ring onto the faucet, and tighten the ring with the slip-joint pliers. Attach the handle, the handle screw and the index cap. Turn the water back on.

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Project Details

Skill Level: Beginner

Time: 1 hour

Before you start, read this »

Due to differing conditions, tools, and individual skills, The Home Depot® assumes no responsibility for any damages, injuries suffered, or losses incurred as a result of attempting to replicate any of the home improvement ideas portrayed in this website Before beginning any home improvement project, review it thoroughly to ensure you or your contractor can finish the project and if any doubts or questions remain, consult local experts or authorities. Because codes and regulations vary greatly, you always should check with authorities to ensure that your project complies with all applicable local codes and regulations. Always read and observe all of the safety precautions provided by any tool or equipment manufacturer, and follow all accepted safety procedures.


  • Replacement Parts as Needed
  • Heatproof Grease


  • Pliers-slip Joint

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