Tub and Shower Cartridge Faucet Repair and Installation


Once you shut off the water and remove the handle and escutcheon, you can quickly determine whether your single-handle tub and shower faucet is a cartridge, ball, or disk type.

Getting the parts
Tub cartridge faucets work just like sink cartridge faucets. Usually the faucet only turns water on and off; a diverter valve on the spout directs water to the showerhead or the spout. A number of manufacturers make cartridges of varying designs, so take the cartridge with you when you shop for parts. You may need to replace the entire cartridge. Follow the steps remove it.


An hour or two for most repairs

Screwdriver, hex wrench if needed, groove-joint pliers, cartridge puller if needed

Shutting off water, dismantling a faucet, installing small parts

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

Cartridge or repair kit for your faucet model, silicone grease

Step 1

Shut off the water and turn the faucet on until water stops running. To remove the handle you may need a hex wrench, which is sometimes included in a repair kit. Remove the screws holding the escutcheon and slide out the escutcheon.

Step 2

If there is a chrome sleeve, unscrew it or pull it out. Use a small screwdriver to pry out the retaining clip that holds the cartridge in place.

Step 3

Some cartridges can be removed easily with pliers; others require a special cartridge-pulling wrench (usually available at hardware stores or home centers) made for a specific brand of faucet.

Step 4

If the cartridge is in good shape, replace the O-rings and any other worn parts. (It doesn't cost much more to replace the cartridge.) Rub the O-rings with a thin coat of silicone grease.

Step 5

Insert the new or repaired cartridge into the faucet body, oriented as it was originally. Slide in the retaining clip and replace the handle and escutcheon.

What If... You find a tapered cartridge?

This cartridge works by virtue of its tapered shape, rather than a series of grooves. Note the cartridge's orientation when you remove it so you can put it back the same way. If hot and cold are reversed after you reinstall the cartridge, turn it 180 degrees.

Comments (7)
mcgoodnowgmail wrote:

how do I remove the handle

4/7/2015 10:46:54 AM Report Abuse
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One Hour or Less

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