One type of faucet that you can use in your home is cartridge type faucets. A cartridge type faucet functions with a handy moveable stem cartridge that moves in an up and down motion. You will be able to control the flow of the water with the single handle by moving it up and down.
To manage the water temperature, you will slide the handle left or right for the desired temperature. The biggest advantage to the cartridge type faucets is that when they are lowered to the off position the water cuts off smoothly without having to apply any pressure to the faucet.
Regardless of what type of faucets you use in your home, from time to time you will need to repair them. Now that you know what cartridge type faucets are, let’s talk about how to repair one.
Turn off the Water Supply
Make certain to turn off the water supply to the faucet that you will be replacing the stem cartridge on. You also might want to have some handy towels near-by in case of additional water spilling when completing this project.
Remove the Covering
The handle or covering to cartridge type faucets have to be removed to gain access to the attachment screw for the unit. You should be able to easily unscrew the actual handle or cover from the body of the cartridge type faucet.
Remove the Faucet Body
The next step is to find the attachment screw. It will either be a Phillip’s head screw near the top of the faucet body or will be a small single Allen screw near the bottom front of the faucet body.
Unscrew this attachment screw with the appropriate screwdriver and completely remove the faucet body from the actual faucet stem cartridge.
Remove the Locking Nut
You should now see a perpendicular stem cartridge, a screw at the top of the cartridge and a locking nut at the bottom of the cartridge. You will first want to remove the locking nut with pair of Channel-Lock pliers or with a pipe wrench. Make sure to keep all the hardware in safe place such as a quick lock plastic baggie.
Remove the Actual Stem Cartridge
With a little effort, you should be able to lift the actual stem cartridge out of the faucet unit. You can take this cartridge with you to the local hardware store if you have not already purchased a replacement cartridge. It is often easier to find an exact match if you have the old stem cartridge with you.
Replace the Top Screw
If your cartridge type faucet had a screw in the top that you removed, now is the time to replace it.
Replace the Stem Cartridge
Next you will want to align the grooves in the stem cartridge with the ones on the actual body of the faucet and place the stem cartridge back onto the faucet.
Replace the Lock Nut
Once the stem cartridge is in place, put the lock nut back on the unit. Securely tighten it but be careful not to over-tighten and strip the nut.
Replace the Faucet Body
Now you are ready to replace the faucet body. Align the body up over the cartridge and secure with the screw that originally released it from the unit.
Install the Cover or Handle
The final step is to replace the cover or handle for the cartridge type faucet. You are now ready to go again and your cartridge type faucets should not have any leaks in your home.