How to Replace the Faucet Cartridge?
Replacing the cartridge of a bathroom faucet is one of the simplest jobs in the household. It only takes a few minutes and can be done by even a less experienced handyman. You just need to have the right tools and accessories at hand. Of course, you also need a new cartridge and the right choice is probably the biggest problem.
Choose the right cartridge.
A defective cartridge is usually to blame for a washbasin faucet no longer working properly. Together with the aerator, it is the most stressed part of the faucet. It has a major impact on the smooth functioning of the entire fitting.
Unfortunately, there are a large number of cartridges and each manufacturer has its own type. Unfortunately, unlike cell phone chargers, cartridges are not standardized. And with that comes some problems.
Typically, there are about ten types of faucet cartridges. They vary in diameter. There are also low-pressure and high-pressure fittings. The number of connections and their position is also different – there are two or three. If you choose the wrong cartridge, no matter how hard you try to improvise, you will not be able to install it on the sink faucet.
It's good to have a spare cartridge.
Some manufacturers create additional problems by producing completely new cartridges for each new series of basin faucets. Fortunately, established brands do not have this problem. In addition, according to EU law, the requirement applies that manufacturers can still supply the corresponding spare parts for 5 years after the end of production.
Once a faucet's cartridge cannot be replaced, the customer must purchase a new faucet, which will bring little joy to most of us. We, therefore, recommend that you always order a replacement cartridge when purchasing. They usually cost a few euros and buying them is significantly cheaper than buying a new fitting.
Now we come to the actual replacement of the cartridge.
Step 1 - Prepare the replacement cartridge and the necessary tools: screwdriver, Allen key, and wrench.
Step 2 - Turn off the hot and cold water supply. These are usually angle valves under the sink or in the risers. Then open the basin faucet to allow the remaining water and air to escape.
Step 3 - Remove the colored red and blue locking cap under the lever. It will surprise many users that it is not only the hot and cold water indicator but also the screw cap that holds the lever. The colored cap is best removed with the tip of a knife. Set them aside so you can easily find them later.
Step 4 - Unscrew the tiny screw inside. Use an Allen key to do this. Even if there are many models of cartridges, most manufacturers at least agree on the size of the screw. You should use a 2.5mm Allen key.
Step 5 - Carefully pull the control lever out of the body of the basin faucet. Now unscrew the decorative ring. Sometimes it's just attached loosely.
Step 6 - Now loosen the cartridge retaining ring that is holding the cartridge in the fitting body. Never use a pipe wrench for this. This is because if the cartridge retaining ring is badly rusted, using a pipe wrench may result in you damaging the cartridge retaining ring that is lying flat. Then you might not be able to unscrew it at all. It is better to use a flat wrench or cartridge lock wrench.
Step 7 - Unscrew the cartridge retaining ring and you are ready to remove the cartridge. Make sure there are no foreign objects on the faucet body.
Step 8 - Now attach the seals to the new cartridge. Then insert the cartridge into the fitting the right way around. The lugs on the cartridge must slide into the holes in the fitting housing.
Step 9 - Now put the cartridge retaining ring and decor ring back on and tighten. Then reattach the control lever with an Allen key. Now all you have to do is put the hot and cold water indicator (sealing cap) back on.
Step 10 - Turn on the hot and cold water supplies. The replacement of the cartridge of the washbasin faucet is now complete.