Cartridge Faucet Repair and Installation

Cartridge Faucets

Several manufacturers make single-handle cartridge faucets. Each model has a cartridge of a slightly different design. A cartridge may have a cylinder with grooves or it may be tapered so water can pass through when it is turned.

Getting the parts
If water leaks out the spout, you'll have to replace or repair the cartridge. If a leaky faucet's cartridge is plastic, replace it; if it's metal you may need to replace only the O-rings. If water wells up below the handle, replace the O-rings around the faucet body. Many repair kits contain both the cartridge and the O-rings.

Checklist

Time
Less than an hour for most repairs

Tools
Screwdrivers, hex wrench, stem puller

Skills
Shutting off water, dismantling a faucet, installing small parts

Prep
Shut off the water, close the sink stopper, and place a rag in the sink to catch any parts

Materials
Replacement cartridge or O-rings and seals, silicone grease

Step 1

Shut off the water. Turn on the faucet until the water stops running. To remove the handle, pry off the decorative cap and remove the screw, using a hex wrench or screwdriver as needed. Lift off the handle.

Step 2

Unscrew the cap or retaining ring. If you find a handle-attachment mechanism, note how it is attached so you can replace it correctly.

Step 3

Many cartridges can be removed simply by pulling up with pliers. If it's stuck you may need to buy a stem puller designed for your faucet.

Step 4

Remove the spout. Pry off any damaged O-rings and replace them with new ones. Apply a thin coat of silicone grease and replace the spout.

Step 5

Replace either the O-rings on the cartridge or the entire cartridge. If the cartridge is not greasy, apply a thin coat of grease and push it into position.


Comments (2)
8607256931
paula19461 wrote:

I need to replace cartridge in my Moen faucet. It does not have a handy little screw on top like the picture above. I have the tool to pull the old cartridge but have no clue how to get the handle off.

1/14/2011 12:12:08 PM Report Abuse
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