How to Replace a Ceramic Valve Cartridge in a Faucet

Written by tom ross
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How to Replace a Ceramic Valve Cartridge in a Faucet
You can replace the ceramic valve cartridge in your faucet yourself. (copper faucet image by terex from

A ceramic valve disc cartridge faucet generally has single handle operation. Ceramic valve disc cartridges enjoy a long service life with trouble-free operation because the design minimises friction and therefore wear is reduced. The three rubber seals that control the volume of water and mix the hot and cold water will become worn as they age and water corrosion will build up over time. Most repairs have to do with replacing the rubber seals and cleaning out the inlet/outlet ports. Occasionally, it will be necessary to replace the ceramic valve disc cartridge in the faucet.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Allen wrench
  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Small slot-head screwdriver
  • Plumbers grease

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  1. 1

    Move the spout to one side, lift up the handle and remove the set screw with a hex-head wrench.

  2. 2

    Lift off the metal cap under the handle that covers the disc assembly.

  3. 3

    Remove the two screws in the top of the disc assembly that attach it to the faucet body, and lift it out. Some models have a retaining nut that is removed by unscrewing it counterclockwise and lifting out the disc assembly.

  4. 4

    Take the existing disc assembly to the hardware store, and purchase the exact same type.

  5. 5

    Scrape the corrosion out of the inlet/outlet ports in the body of the faucet with a small screwdriver.

  6. 6

    Apply plumber's grease to the three new rubber seals, and use them to replace the old ones.

  7. 7

    Match up the three holes in the bottom of the new disc assembly with the inlet/outlet holes in the body of the faucet, and attach it with the two screws.

  8. 8

    Reassemble the faucet by placing the metal cover over the disc assembly, the handle over the metal cover and attaching it with the hex-head setscrew.

Tips and warnings

  • Turn off the water supply to the faucet.
  • Cover the sink drain with a towel to keep parts from falling into it.
  • Take care to use a screwdriver that fits firmly into the screw head. An incorrect size screwdriver that strips the head will cause more problems.
  • Do not use force at any point to disassemble the faucet as damage may result.

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