Step 4: Install new cartridge

Richard grips the stem of the exposed cartridge with his pliers. To overcome the suction resistance of the rubber O-rings at the top of the cartridge, he pulls up firmly, sliding the unit straight out without any side-to-side twists. Had the leak been coming from the base of the handle, Richard would have known that the O-rings needed replacing. But since this is a case of a dripping spout, he’s already surmised that the cartridge is the problem. He installs a new one, making sure that he places it in the same position as the one he just pulled out, so the holes in its side that deliver the hot and cold water to the spout will not be mixed up. He then fits the retainer clip snugly into its slot and reassembles the bonnet and handle.

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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