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Instructions to Replace a Bradley Cartridge for a Leaking Shower

Mary Lougee

Faucet handles will eventually leak, fail to turn off fully or drip from around the base of the handle. This is due to age and possible corrosion of the cartridge in the faucet handle. Bradley faucets are commercial washroom-quality faucets that are long-lasting, although eventually the cartridge will need replacement.

When replacing a Bradley cartridge in a leaking shower, save time by using the correct tools and lubricants and by buying the correct replacement cartridge.


Use a small screwdriver to remove the small screw under the decorative top of a faucet handle. Note that brass screws tend to be softer than other metals and can break or bend, so they are not reusable after installation of the Bradley cartridge.

A faucet handle puller is a tool that makes removal of the handle much easier than using pliers. It operates like a wine-bottle opener, with two side levers that you press downward as it pulls the handle off the stem. Faucet handles are often stuck tightly on their stems due to buildup of calcium, corrosion and other minerals in your water. These items form a solid layer between the faucet handle and its interior parts, which can render it extremely hard to remove the handle.


Spray lubricants can loosen stubborn parts in a leaking shower faucet so that they are easier to remove. Use a spray lubricant on all parts, including the handle screw, decorative ring, nut and cartridge for easier removal prior to replacement.

Apply a solid coat of petroleum jelly on the new Bradley cartridge before installation so it will slide into place easily. This also helps to keep corrosion and mineral buildup to a minimum. This method will enable much easier removal when the time arises to change the shower cartridge again.


Remove the shower cartridge and take it to the plumbing supply or hardware store to ensure that you purchase the correct replacement part. Check to make sure that the store carries the Bradley brand. Shower cartridges are available in several brands, which appear similar to each other. Most often, the name of the manufacturer is not readable on the stem and may not have distinguishing marks on the decorative handles that will lead you to the correct replacement parts. Taking the old part with you will enable you to match it to a new one. Or, ask a store associate for help to make sure it is the correct part.

Knob Protection

When you are taking the knob off the faucet, place a soft cloth over it before applying a wrench or the faucet handle puller to protect the knob from scratches or blemishes. It may take great force when using a pair of pliers to remove the knob.