Overview

diagram of single-handle cartridge faucet
Illustration: Paul Perreault
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A single-handled cartridge faucet is easy to disassemble. Just pry off the decorative cap on the handle, remove the handle screw, tilt the handle back and pull it off. If there's a threaded retaining clip holding the cartridge in place, use needle-nose pliers to remove it, and then pull the cartridge straight up. In Richard's case, only the cartridge needed replacing. If the O-rings are cracked, remove the spout and cut off the old O-rings using a utility knife. After coating the new O-rings with nontoxic, heat-proof plumber's grease, reassemble the unit.
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    Tools List

    • pocket knife
      Pocket knife, used to pry off the plastic cap)
    • Phillips screwdriver
      Screwdriver, for removing the screw that holds the handle in place)
    • adjustable pliers
      Slip-joint pliers, to unscrew the bonnet and grip the stem)
    • needlenose pliers
      Needlenosed pliers, for grabbing the retainer clip)

    Shopping List

    1. Faucet Replacement Cartridge (Bring the old one to the store with you to match it.)

    2. Valve O-Rings, if necessary

    3. Plumber's grease, if replacing the O-rings