How to Remove a Cartridge Faucet

Cartridge faucets are quite possibly the most common type of faucet design, and are typically used for single-handle fixtures, such as showers and kitchen sinks. However, they are occasionally used in dual-handle faucet designs. Although damaged cartridge faucets can sometimes be repaired, replacement often makes more sense since a new cartridge is relatively inexpensive and because the old cartridge has to be removed anyway. Whether removing a cartridge faucet from a single-handle or a dual-handle design, the process is the same.

Step 1

Turn the water supply off.  The majority of sinks have two shutoff values underneath the sink’s basin, which are integrated in the sink’s hot and cold water supply lines.

Rotate each valve handle in a clockwise direction to turn them off.  If removing the cartridge faucet from a shower, or if the sink does not feature in-line valves, the water supply must be turned off at the main water valve next to the water meter.

Step 2

Locate and remove the faucet handle’s decorative cap to reveal the retaining screw.  At either the center of the handle or on the handle’s underside is a circular plastic cap.

Pry the cap off of the handle with either a standard screwdriver or a utility knife. 

Step 3

Remove the handle’s retaining screw with a Phillips screwdriver or a hex wrench, depending on the type of retainer, then lift the handle off of the top of the faucet valve to expose the faucet’s retaining nut. 

Step 4

Remove the retaining nut by twisting the nut in a counterclockwise direction with an adjustable wrench.  Once the nut is loose, lift it away from the top of the faucet valve.

Step 5

Locate and remove the single retaining clip.  The retaining clip is in the shape of the letter “U,” and is located at either the top or at the bottom of the top of the faucet valve.

The retaining clip slides into the faucet and holds the faucet in place within the assembly.  Grasp the clip with a pair of pliers, then pull the clip out of the faucet.

Step 6

Grasp the top of the faucet valve with the pliers and pull the valve straight upward to remove it from the assembly. 

Things You Will Need

  • Standard screwdriver or utility knife
  • Phillips screwdriver or a hex wrench
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Pliers

About the Author

John Stevens has been a writer for various websites since 2008. He holds an Associate of Science in administration of justice from Riverside Community College, a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice from California State University, San Bernardino, and a Juris Doctor from Whittier Law School. Stevens is a lawyer and licensed real-estate broker.

Photo Credits

  • PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images