Repairing Kitchen Cartridge Faucets

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Mr. Rooter's Tip Of The Day: Repairing cartridge faucets with springs and seals or O-rings is a straightforward project.

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Like all faucets, the parts made by different manufacturers vary widely. “If missing the manufacturer and model number of your faucet, disassemble it and take it to your retailer for an exact replacement.

“Repairing cartridge faucets with springs and seals or O-rings is a straightforward project; in 15 minutes at the most,” says Bob Beall, president of Mr. Rooter Plumbing, “the faucet will be torn down and reassembled with new parts, stopping that pesky (and expensive) leak.”

Mr. Rooter Plumbing is the most referred plumber in the Southwest Pennsylvania and Northeast Ohio area,the plumber that offers the free second opinion. Beall says, “a trip to the hardware store may always be possible.” Like all faucets, the parts made by different manufacturers vary widely. “If missing the manufacturer and model number of your faucet, disassemble it and take it to your retailer for an exact replacement.”

Mr. Rooter’s Daily Tip

Repairing A Two-Handled Cartridge Faucet With Springs and Seals
IMPORTANT: Cartridge faucets using a spring-and-seal system work quite well and can last a long time. But every once in a while, it will be necessary to either stretch or replace the springs and/or replace the seals. “As with most faucets,” according to Mr. Rooter, “start by popping off the cap to remove the handle.”

Tip #1 Withdraw the handle screw with a Phillips® screwdriver.

Tip #2 Once the handle is off, remove the decorative skirts.

Tip #3 On some models, these unscrew; on others, they just pull off. After taking the skirt off, unscrew the cartridge hold-down nut and set it aside.

Tip #4 Pull out the cartridge.

Tip #5 Looking down into the faucet body, notice the seals (the springs are under them). Gently insert a dull pencil into the opening of the seal and lever both the seal and spring out of the body at a slight angle.

Tip #6 Be careful not to break the pencil lead off in the process or it will be necessary to flush out the broken piece before putting things back together. A large paper clip may be used with a small angle bent in the end.

“If the faces of the seals don’t look scarred, a temporary solution is to stretch the springs,” says Beall. “Just grab both ends of a spring and pull gently. Reassemble the parts in the reverse order, but don’t count on this solution to last forever.” Keep in mind that if stretching the springs doesn’t stop the leak, replace both seals and springs with exact replacements.

Repairing A Two-Handled Cartridge Faucet With O-rings

IMPORTANT: After springs and seals, O-rings are the next most common mechanism for controlling water inside a faucet. “They’re easy to repair,” says Mr. Rooter, “and the O-rings are available everywhere. To start, slide the edge of a knife blade between the cap and the handle and pry up.

Tip#1 Set the cap aside and do not lose it. Using a Phillips® screwdriver, remove the handle screw.

Tip #2 Lift off the handle and decorative skirt and remove the cartridge retaining nut, setting it aside.

Tip #3 Pull the cartridge out of the faucet body using pliers.

Tip #4 Replace the cartridge or the two O-rings—either will stop the dripping. To replace the O-rings, pry them out of their slots and roll the new ones over the cartridge body and into the grooves, taking care not to nick the cartridge body. This type of cartridge features a molded tab which fits into a keyed slot in the cartridge housing, keeping the cartridge in the correct position. When reinstalling it, make sure to rotate the cartridge so the tab drops into the slot.

Tip #5 If the spout leaks around its base, remove it. Unscrew the skirt, and pull the spout up and out.

Tip #6 Replace the O-ring(s) and reassemble.

There’s A Reason They Call Us Mr.™

Debra Santavicca, PR, SMM, WebIT
Mr. Rooter Media Center
http://www.mrrootermedia.com
724-553-9510

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Rooter (Pittsburgh)

Robert A. Beall
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