The mechanism of a mixer tap is strong enough to withstand the years. But it can happen that your mixer has a flow problem or downright a leak at the base… A sign that you need to change the cartridge. A good handyman can disassemble the mixer and change the cartridge himself. Follow the steps in the correct order; your mixer will spend a few more years in good working order…
What is a mixer cartridge?
Unlike taps, the mixer has only one lever, with which you choose the water temperature and its flow rate. Oh how beautiful the flow of water is… All this is possible thanks to a ceramic cartridge made up of two superimposed discs. It is their movement, synchronized with that of the lever, which controls the temperature and the flow. This system is particularly resistant and faces the years without problem. But a day comes when time or limestone (or both) do their work. The cartridge wears out or even breaks. A leak is usually the signal for a cartridge change.
1 – First step: turn off the water!
Do not start anything before turning off the water supply at the main tap. Once the water supply is cut off, fully open the handle of the mixer to be repaired. Let the water run until it is completely purged. When the water has finished flowing, you can turn off the tap.
2 – Disassemble the mixer
For disassembly, there are two possible scenarios, depending on the location of the screw.
- The screw is at the front of the mixer. It is hidden behind the tablet which indicates the water temperature (hot or cold). In this case, equip yourself with an Allen key with hexagon because it is a screw whose head has hexagon socket. Remove the tablet using a small screwdriver, then loosen the vis assembly with an allen key. You can then pull the handcuffs control.
- The screw is located under the head cap. This time, start by removing the cork on the faucet with a flathead screwdriver. Then loosen the vis with a suitable screwdriver. Remove the handcuffs by hand.
- The mixer is not removable. Bad pickaxe, go directly through the plumber box.
- A nut ? Loosen it with an adjustable wrench.
- A washer and screws? Remove the screws before removing the fixing washer.
3 – Remove the cartridge cover
Did you manage to remove the mixer handle? A bulging area comes to you. You have to unscrew it in order to reach the cartridge. Use water pump pliers to unscrew the cartridge cover. If it is very scaly, do not skimp on the use of biceps! Gently remove the cover with a cloth, now is not the time to damage it.
4 – Remove the cartridge from the mixer
There are two ways to attach a cartridge:
Once done, remove the old cartridge. In general, a mixer cartridge does not clean itself. If it is worn, it must be changed.
5 – Change the cartridge seals
While you’re at it, take a look at the cartridge seals. Take the opportunity to replace them if they are worn or damaged. There are different types of O-rings; don’t hesitate to take them with you to the DIY department and seek advice from a salesperson. You need exactly the same ones, the right thickness and the right diameter. After installing the new seals, coat them with silicone grease.
6 – Put the new cartridge in place
Again, there are different models of cartridges. Take the used cartridge to the store to be sure to come back with its twin. When inserting it into the mixer, be sure to put it in the right direction… This is the simplest step since you just have to insert your new cartridge inside the mixer by rotating it slightly, so as to position its lugs in their receptacles.
7 – Raise the mixer
Screw the nut back on or replace the washer and screws, as appropriate. Replace the cover. All you have to do is put the control lever back in place. A test is necessary to check that everything is working correctly: run the water slowly, then increase the flow gradually. No leak? Everything’s fine !
8 – Clean the aerator
This small grid located at the end of the faucet can be scaled up, slowing down the flow of water. If you clean it thoroughly, your faucet will only work better. All you have to do is remove it with a pair of pliers or a flat screwdriver. Go slowly to remove it, better not scratch the chrome with the pliers. Remove the ring from the grid and presto, a small bath of very hot white vinegar. Limestone does not resist it. And don’t wait for the cartridge to give up the ghost to clean the frother. This is a rather simple maintenance action, to be done regularly.
Little trick to slow down the scaling of the mixer
Once a week, operate the mixer tap to use all possible temperatures. This will help your faucet get rid of lime impurities.