Step-by-step instructions for replacing the cartridge in the faucet

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When the mix­er fails, you should not go in search of a new one. It is enough just to change the car­tridge in the tap. More­over, the cost of this small detail is sev­er­al times less than the price of a new mix­er.

The principle of operation of a single-lever mixer

Unlike designs equipped with two valves (for cold and hot water), sin­gle-lever mix­ers have a sin­gle han­dle, with which not only the tem­per­a­ture, but also the pres­sure pow­er is smooth­ly reg­u­lat­ed. Such devices are often called ball, artic­u­lat­ed or joy­sticks.

Water is mixed in such devices using car­tridges or ball mech­a­nisms:

  • ceram­ic disc car­tridges. Con­sists of sev­er­al per­fect­ly ground ceram­ic discs with three holes; one for cold, the sec­ond for hot water, and the third for the exit of the final jet; liq­uid mix­ing is car­ried out in the upper com­part­ment; when the crane lever is turned, the disks are dis­placed, while the holes may par­tial­ly or com­plete­ly coin­cide; a spe­cial plate is used to adjust the pres­sure;
Appear­ance of the car­tridge
  • ball mix­er: its insides look like a care­ful­ly pol­ished hol­low ball with three holes; with the help of a lever, the ball is dis­placed, while the holes over­lap, due to which the water inflow and its out­put pow­er are adjust­ed;
The inter­nal struc­ture of the ball car­tridge

When ball devices fail, they most often can­not be repaired. Plus, because of the mix­ing inside the ball, it quick­ly becomes clogged with scale, which is the most com­mon cause of break­age. In such devices, rub­ber seals also wear out quick­ly. Replac­ing a disc car­tridge in a kitchen or bath­room faucet is not a prob­lem.

Causes of cartridge failure

First of all, the process of wear of this equip­ment is sig­nif­i­cant­ly affect­ed by impu­ri­ties con­tained in water — sand, rust, as well as salts dis­solved in it. When they get between the discs, the fric­tion is much more intense, the ceram­ics grad­u­al­ly wear out, and the car­tridge begins to leak.

When the car­tridge is clogged with rust and lime salts, the tem­per­a­ture and water pres­sure may also decrease. In this case, it is enough to clean it. Cheap Chi­nese faucets often have a small inlet, and no amount of clean­ing will help here. It will only help to replace the device with a bet­ter one.

Weak water pres­sure can occur when the faucet strain­er is clogged. In this case, to fix the prob­lem, it is enough to remove the mesh at the end of the gan­der and clean it well. Poor water sup­ply is also pos­si­ble when water pipes are clogged. You can check this by shut­ting off the valves for its sup­ply and remov­ing the mix­er, and then open­ing them slight­ly again. If water enters the pipes with­out prob­lems, then the prob­lem is in the mix­er itself.

To increase the pres­sure, some­times it is only nec­es­sary to clean the strain­er

The rea­son for the low pres­sure may also lie in the dam­age to the rub­ber gas­ket. Hav­ing shift­ed from its place, it is able to block the flow of water. The noise of the crane may appear with a sharp pres­sure drop. To elim­i­nate it, it is enough to replace the seal­ing gas­ket.

When pur­chas­ing a low-qual­i­ty faucet or long-term oper­a­tion of the prod­uct, car­tridges often jam due to the appear­ance of cracks or dis­place­ment of disks. At the same time, the crane han­dle starts to move jerk­i­ly or stops mov­ing alto­geth­er. In this case, the car­tridge can­not be repaired — it will have to be changed. Due to such a defect, water leak­age from under the mix­er lever is also pos­si­ble.

Advice! Only the col­lapsi­ble car­tridge can be cleaned and lubri­cat­ed. If this part is non-sep­a­ra­ble, there is only one way out — its replace­ment.

Recommendations for choosing a new cartridge

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Prod­ucts even from the same man­u­fac­tur­er, designed for dif­fer­ent mod­els of mix­ers, may have small dif­fer­ences that are not imme­di­ate­ly evi­dent. Even if you can still insert an unsuit­able car­tridge, the tap will creak, hum, and the han­dle will not turn well. And yes, this prod­uct won’t last long. There­fore, when buy­ing, be sure to check all the para­me­ters.

In spe­cial­ized stores, sell­ers are usu­al­ly very famil­iar with the range of their prod­ucts and are able to choose the right prod­uct for you. For ease of com­par­i­son, it is bet­ter to take the old car­tridge with you. Find­ing a car­tridge for a cheap Chi­nese faucet can be dif­fi­cult. Stan­dard car­tridges may not fit them.

  1. First, we look at the shape of the cylin­der and its seat, the order of the holes, as well as their size. Mod­els for kitchen faucets and bath mix­ers are always very dif­fer­ent in appear­ance;
  2. All grooves and pro­tru­sions must also match. Oth­er­wise, it will be sim­ply impos­si­ble to fix the part;

    The shape of holes in ceram­ic discs and their size can vary sig­nif­i­cant­ly
  3. If these para­me­ters match, we mea­sure the diam­e­ter of the car­tridge, as well as its height with and with­out a stem (leg). Stan­dard diam­e­ters 28, 32, 35 and the largest 40 mm;
  4. You should pay atten­tion to the length or width of the stem itself — for some types of mix­ers, this para­me­ter may turn out to be fun­da­men­tal.
Car­tridge sizes from one man­u­fac­tur­er and its shape may be dif­fer­ent

Advice! When buy­ing a mix­er, it is bet­ter to imme­di­ate­ly pur­chase a replace­ment car­tridge. Oth­er­wise, in the event of a break­down, you will have to run around more than one plumb­ing store in search of a suit­able mod­el.

Required Tools

It is easy to dis­as­sem­ble the mix­er and replace the car­tridge. To do this, you need only a few tools:

  • adjustable wrench or pli­ers with a nar­row work­ing part;
  • hex key;
  • straight or Phillips screw­driv­er;
  • torch.
Required Tools

Cartridge replacement steps step by step

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  1. Nat­u­ral­ly, before start­ing work, hot and cold water must be turned off;
  2. In order for the remain­ing water to flow out of the tap, it must be opened briefly;
  3. The shut-off screw of the tap is always hid­den by a dec­o­ra­tive cap. It must be removed by care­ful­ly pick­ing it up with a screw­driv­er or knife;
  4. Depend­ing on the type of screw slot, it is unscrewed with a suit­able size hex wrench or a screw­driv­er with a straight or Phillips blade;
  5. Next, the large main nut is unscrewed. In order not to dam­age the faucet coat­ing, first wrap the key with elec­tri­cal tape or a cloth;
Remov­ing the lever
  1. Now the insides of the mix­er can be eas­i­ly pulled out. Care­ful­ly inspect the removed car­tridge. If it is col­lapsi­ble, and all parts are intact, it may not be nec­es­sary to replace it — it is enough to clean it well. A non-sep­a­ra­ble car­tridge will need to be replaced;
  2. He should stand exact­ly, exact­ly in his seat. There­fore, it is bet­ter to remem­ber in what posi­tion the old one stood;
  3. Now the whole process should be repeat­ed in reverse order, reassem­bling the mix­er.

Advice! If the car­tridge is stuck, it is not always pos­si­ble to remove it imme­di­ate­ly. In order not to dam­age the frag­ile plas­tic, when try­ing to pull the part, treat it first with machine oil. After about five min­utes, it will spread over the sur­face, and the extrac­tion process will be facil­i­tat­ed. You can get rid of rust with the help of a spe­cial liq­uid WD-40.

Masters recommendations. Common Mistakes

In the repair and replace­ment of faucet car­tridges, there are some sub­tleties that you should famil­iar­ize your­self with:

  1. Before instal­la­tion, be sure to clean the faucet and free it from accu­mu­lat­ed debris. Oth­er­wise, salt deposits and rust will not allow a new car­tridge to be her­met­i­cal­ly insert­ed;
  2. To clean the scale, some experts advise warm­ing up the device over an open fire. Doing this is not worth it exact­ly in order to avoid dam­age to the eccen­tric;
  3. If the faucet is still leak­ing even with a tight­ly twist­ed lamb, unwind it again and check if all the grooves and pro­tru­sions are com­plete­ly aligned;
  4. The cause of the leak may lie in the seal­ing gas­ket. If it is dam­aged and the seal­ing of the joint is bro­ken, water may con­tin­ue to seep even if the device itself is in good con­di­tion;
  5. If the mix­er often breaks down, the prob­lem may be sys­temic. After all, ceram­ic plates can quick­ly col­lapse under the influ­ence of water ham­mer. In this case, it is worth check­ing the pres­sure in the water sup­ply and installing a pres­sure reg­u­la­tor.
Installing a pres­sure reg­u­la­tor will pro­tect the sys­tem from water ham­mer

Faucet Tips to Extend Cartridge Life

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Even expen­sive mix­ers can quick­ly fail ahead of time if the prod­uct oper­a­tion rules are vio­lat­ed:

  1. The ceram­ic car­tridge requires reg­u­lar lubri­ca­tion. If the han­dle starts to stick, this means that the old grease has been washed out with water and needs to be renewed;
  2. Do not put too much pres­sure on the faucet when opening/closing it. A light pres­sure is enough;
  3. Most man­u­fac­tur­ers of expen­sive plumb­ing warn that faucet war­ranties are valid only if they con­tain fine fil­ters. Under no cir­cum­stances should they be removed.
  4. There is an opin­ion that when fil­ters are installed, the water pres­sure slows down. How­ev­er, high-qual­i­ty fine clean­ing prod­ucts are not able to influ­ence the pres­sure lev­el. In case of block­age, it is enough to open the valve, and the garbage itself will go into the sew­er;
  5. Although mod­ern mix­ers are already equipped with a fil­tra­tion sys­tem, the arrange­ment of an addi­tion­al bar­ri­er to col­lect large inclu­sions will not hurt. At the entrance to the apart­ment, install at least the sim­plest coarse fil­ters. After all, the main rea­son for the fail­ure of plumb­ing equip­ment is the qual­i­ty of tap water.

Do you want your faucet to func­tion flaw­less­ly? Pur­chase prod­ucts from trust­ed man­u­fac­tur­ers in spe­cial­ized shop­ping cen­ters. Make sure you have the cer­tifi­cate. Also check the doc­u­men­ta­tion — it should indi­cate that the prod­uct has been test­ed at an ele­vat­ed pres­sure of 3.5 atm.

Scale is the main cause of break­down of plumb­ing fix­tures

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