Faucet cartridges: operation and maintenance

20 September 2021

We all know that faucets can leak. There’s nothing more annoying than a dripping sink or bathtub faucet keeping you awake at night.

A leaky faucet can also indicate a more serious problem: water seeping into the walls. This can lead to rust, mould, the appearance of insects, or stains on the sink or bathtub finish. Often it’s just a minor issue, such as a defective gasket.

It should be noted that most faucets include a mixer (which divides hot water from cold) and, most importantly, a cartridge that holds the seal in place. All it takes is a few tools to perform maintenance or replace them. You can use a star head screwdriver to remove the handle and access the faucet mechanism. With a suitable wrench (available at hardware stores), unscrew the cartridge and check the seal condition. There are many tutorials on the web to help you judge the condition.

If you have to make the change, reverse the steps. First install the new cartridge with the seal attached and then the handle, and the job is done.

For peace of mind, do some methodical maintenance: go around the house and check all the faucets in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, garage and washing machine. Outside faucets are also important. You can note the date and repeat the inspection tour on a set schedule. The useful life of the cartridges is indicated on the product packaging.

Faucet cartridges are also very affordable. For example, it could cost less than $20 to replace the cartridges on your shower faucet. Some brands guarantee their faucet cartridges for life and will provide you with a new one free of charge.

Looking for a plumber? You can count on our plumbing Pros and the ProAssistance network for maintenance and repairs done right.