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Hey, you're in the home improvement zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!

Plumbing Category: Faucets

Improvement Project:

How to replace a faucet cartridge with a new one.

Tools / Materials (See Below for Applicability):

  • Appropriate faucet cartridge replacement (the same cartridge as that of the one you're replacing)

  • Appropriate O-rings

  • Screwdriver

  • Locking pliers / Channellock® pliers by Channellock, Inc.

  • Pliers (needle-nose pliers preferably)


Over the course of the use of your kitchen sink, you are bound to need to replace the sink's faucet cartridge with a new one.

Replacing a faucet cartridge with a new one can be done in a few steps, and here's how:

  1. First, shut off the water that runs to the faucet that is about to be serviced by turning the shutoff valve clockwise; this shutoff valve is usually found right underneath the faucet, in a cabinet below or otherwise.  If your house is very old, your house kitchen may not be equipped with an interior shutoff valve and, thus, you'll need to shut off the main waterline to the house; see the section on problems finding the shutoff valve.

  1. Now, with the water shut off temporarily, you can work on removing the first piece


    of the faucet in order to ultimately replace the existing faucet cartridge with another one:  Specifically, with your hands, take off the cover found on top of the faucet that is designed to be removed in order to provide you access to the faucet's o-rings and cartridge.  This will be the first of many parts that you will remove, so it may be best that you logically place this and other parts you remove in a vertical, sequential line on a surface for later easy re-installation; see the section on how to simplify your plumbing repair process.

  2. With the access cover taken off, use a screwdriver to unscrew the screw that holds the faucet handle in place.

  3. Then, with the handle taken off, depending on the type of faucet you have, you will do either of two actions:  1) use Channellock pliers / locking pliers to turn counterclockwise the retainer pivot nut found to be underneath the removed handle in order to unscrew it completely off the faucet; or 2) use your hands to lift off from the faucet the retainer ring found to be underneath the removed handle.

  4. With either retainer taken off, next, you'll simply take off the spout sleeve from the body of the faucet, which will then give you a clear view of the O-rings.

Inspect these O-rings to make sure that they are not worn out, pitted or otherwise damaged in other ways.  If you see any such damage, now is the time to simply change them out with new O-rings of the same type.

  1. To gain access to the existing cartridge of the faucet, use needle-nose pliers, along with a screwdriver (as applicable), to jimmy out--remove the retainer clip that retains the cartridge in place.

  2. Upon removing the retainer clip, use Channellock pliers / locking pliers to lift up the existing cartridge from its place in the faucet.

  3. Per the faucet cartridge replacement manufacturer's instructions, install the faucet cartridge replacement.

  4. Upon installing the faucet cartridge replacement in the faucet, re-install the parts of the faucet that you had previously removed over the course of this repair project.

That's what it takes to replace a faucet cartridge with a new one.

Ed the Handyman


Your Handyman Zone Team


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