The cartridge is housed inside of the handle on bath faucets, and in the body of the faucet in kitchen faucets. This part contains two valves, one allowing hot water flow through the faucet, the other operating cold water flow.
Turning the handle opens one or both of the valves resulting in a mixture of hot and cold water. The cartridge is a single part and looks like a cylinder.
Made of plastic, it contains two valves seals and a stem on which the faucet handle resides. American Standard cartridges also have screws to hold them in place, which is different from Moen, or Delta cartridges which have retaining nuts to secure the cartridge in the faucet.
Many American Standard faucets also have a cover which fits over the cartridge.
American Standard faucets also contain O-rings. These round rubber rings fit over the base of the faucet between the cartridge cover and the faucet bodyThe O-ring maintains a tight seal between the two parts of the faucet, preventing leaks from occurring around the base.
Change this part when a faucet leaks near the body beneath the area where the cartridge is located.
Seat Gaskets and Springs
In ball-valve faucet, seat gaskets, instead of cartridges form a seal around the inlets for hot and cold water. These round rubber seals have springs attached to them.
When inserted into the head of the faucet, the springs press the seal against the ball valve, forming a tighter seal. Replace these parts when the faucet leaks above the base, or if there are issues with water flow.
In this case, one of the seat gaskets might be cracked or clogged by sediment.
The handle on all American Standard faucets replace with relative ease. The handles detach from the main body of the faucet simply by removing a single screw located along the base of the handle.
Handles for each faucet are for sale at hardware and plumbing stores, or online through the manufacturer's website. If your handle droops, or is loose, replace it because the mounting hole inside the faucet is worn out.
A replacement will fix it.