Have a faulty temperature control? Are you facing difficulty in turning the handle of your faucet? It might be due to the old and rusted cartridge. Replacing the cartridge will fix the problem and prevent it from further damage. Perhaps, identifying the model and finding the perfect cartridge is a tricky job for most people. But it is easy to identify the problem and get the cartridge because now every information is available on the internet.
Replacing the bathtub faucet cartridge is an easy job that you can do yourself without any help. A plumber would charge you a specific amount for the service. If you are confident and planning to control the budget, then this guide is for you.
Signs you need a cartridge replacement.
The constant leakage from the spout indicates that the cartridge is not functioning due to wear and tear. The damaged cartridge makes it easier for the water to leak from the faucet.
Hard to turn the handle
Over a particular time, the internal parts of a faucet start to experience corrosion, rust, and buildup. The rust and buildup from hard water deposits cover up the cartridge. That makes it difficult to perform its primary function. That is why you feel the difficulty in turning the handle. When you see this happening, you need to replace the cartridge.
If you have a thermostatic cartridge and two-handle faucets, then you might face this problem. The hot and cold water mix, and you will feel inconsistency in water temperature. The cold water mix in with hot water pipe, and hot water mixes in with cold water pipes.
Which side is leaking?
In case you have two-handle faucets, each side has its cartridge. Therefore, you need to check which side is leaking. Check it by the feel of water, if it is cold then change the cartridge on this side. If the water is hot, then change the cartridge on that side. Usually, when you are replacing the cartridge on one side, it is recommended to change the other cartridge too. Most probably, the other cartridge will also be in the same rusted and damaged condition.
What does a cartridge do?
A cartridge resides inside the faucet and makes the water flow from the nozzle and stops it. There are two types of cartridges water control cartridges (ceramic disc cartridges) and thermostatic cartridges.
Volume control cartridges
These cartridges turn the water on and off while maintaining the volume of water as per your requirement.
These cartridges turn the water on and off while mixing the hot and cold water to attain the perfect temperature of the water.
To remove the mineral deposit from any part of your fitting, you can dip that part in a vinegar solution. The time duration depends on the amount of buildup. If it is hard to remove, you can use lime dissolvent that you can find in any store.
Replace bathtub faucet cartridge
Shut the supply valve off
To start any plumbing work, you have to shut off the water supply valve. After that, turn on the faucet to release the pressure and remove the water present in the pipe. This step will clear the connected tubes and will prevent the seepage of water into the walls.
Remove the cap
Now remove the lid present on top of the handle. You can use any sharp object to pry off the lid. If the faucet is new, it will come off effortlessly. Sometimes, buildup from the hard water covers the area and makes it harder to detach the handle lid. Use the sharp object with care.
Detach the handle
After removing the lid, you will see the screw that is holding the handle with the faucet. With the help of a screwdriver, unscrew the screw and separate the handle. Remove the escutcheon that is the round plate around the handle.
Remove retaining clip
A retaining clip is a small tool that is present to keep the cartridge in place. Remove it with the help of a small screwdriver. Place the head of the screwdriver under the clip and try to pull it in an upward direction.
Separate the cartridge
While removing the clip, make sure that you hold the cartridge on the other hand. So it does not fall. Also, look for the cartridge carefully as you need to fix the cartridge as it was before. Some of the cartridges have notches that you need to fit accordingly. You can use the cartridge puller to separate it from the fixture. Or you can use the pliers to grab the shaft of the cartridge and pull it out.
Here, when you have the cartridge, you can check the O-ring. O-rings are also prone to wear and tear like any other part of the faucet. At this stage, install the new O-ring to the new cartridge after applying the plumber’s grease.
Install the new cartridge
Now, install the new cartridge in its place and make sure to look for notches. This step is tricky because if the cartridge does not fit properly, it will cause you a problem in the future. And you have to undo everything again. Insert the retaining clip in the cartridge and secure it properly.
Assemble the handle
After finishing the work with the cartridge, place the escutcheon if you have any. Put back the handle by holding it in one hand and fastening the screw with the other hand. Do not over-tighten it.
Put back the cap
Now when the handle is in its place, bring the lid and fix it.
Turn on the supply valve.
You have completed the task successfully. Now, you can turn on the supply valve. Turn on the faucet and check if it is working perfectly without leakage.
You do not need any plumbing skills to perform this task. It will take you nearly an hour to detach and assemble the parts. Take your time to understand the faucet parts and their working. It will make it easier for you to accomplish the task. You will also require a repairing kit which includes plumbers grease, new cartridge, and rubber O-rings.