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
- Turn Off the Water
- Remove the Faucet Handle
- Remove the Threaded Retaining Ring
- Remove Old Cartridge and Replace
- Expose the O-Rings
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
Remove the faucet handle by lifting it up and then tilting it backwards slightly.
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
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
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
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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Skill Level: Beginner
Time: 1 hour
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- Replacement Parts as Needed
- Heatproof Grease
- Pliers-slip Joint
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