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

SEE ALL THE STEPS

  •  There are 6 steps to completing this project:
    Step 1  TURN OFF THE WATER
    Step 2  REMOVE THE FAUCET HANDLE
    Step 3  REMOVE THE THREADED RETAINING RING
    Step 4  REMOVE OLD CARTRIDGE AND REPLACE
    Step 5  EXPOSE THE O-RINGS
    Step 6  REATTACH THE SPOUT
MATERIALS YOU WILL NEED

  • Replacement Parts as Needed
    Heatproof Grease
TOOLS YOU WILL NEED

  • Pliers-slip Joint
    Utility Knife

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.


2  REMOVE THE FAUCET HANDLE


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


3  REMOVE THE THREADED RETAINING RING


Before you insulate on the walls, insulate the spaces between the joists above the foundation. Wearing a mask and protective clothing, use a utility knife to cut fibreglass insulation to fit between the joists; pack loosely in place. Compressing insulation will reduce its ability to do its job.


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.


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.


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.