Replacing the cartridge in the mixer
If a mixer fails, many people think that it needs to be changed. You should not get upset ahead of time, because most often the cause of the problem is a cartridge - this is a mixer part that is inexpensive and easy to change even by a non-professional.
At the moment, two types of mixers are used: two-valve and single-lever. The first option is more outdated, it is a classic faucet with two valves that are responsible for the supply of hot and cold water. The single-lever mixer, respectively, has one lever, and the water temperature in it is regulated by turning it left and right. The pressure is regulated by the height of the lever. This type of mixer is considered more convenient, as it allows you to quickly achieve the required water temperature due to the device of the lever itself, because it lacks rubber gaskets with low wear resistance. It allows you to maintain the desired position in the closed state, respectively, there is no need to adjust it every time. And the obvious advantage is that it is still easier to adjust one lever than two valves.
The cartridge is the main functional part of the mixer, which is responsible for mixing hot and cold water coming from different pipes. They also come in two forms. Two-valve mixers imply the use of disc cartridges only, whereas single-lever mixers contain both ball and disc cartridges. In fact, there is no fundamental difference in these types of cartridges.
The ball cartridge works as follows: cold and hot water is pumped into the ball and mixed inside it, then it comes out, already having the required temperature. For the production of a spherical cartridge, you must have a special permit, so more often the manufacturer chooses the disk.
This type of cartridge is distinguished by its more complex device: most often it consists of two metal-ceramic plates, completely impermeable to water, enclosed in a plastic case. The plates are tightly pressed together. The bottom plate always remains stationary, and the displacement of the top leads to changes in the water supply. It connects to the mixer lever using a special rod, and as a result of this lever shifting vertically, the pressure of the water changes, and turning to the side affects its temperature. In the event of a breakdown, many people think that it is worth replacing only the defective part of the cartridge; however, this is irrational. Since there is no guarantee that it is possible to establish exactly what the problem is, and no one produces individual parts, since it is considered that it is easier to replace the entire part at once, respectively, the cartridge is a non-separable part.
Disk cartridges come in diameters from 35 to 47 mm, but most often there is either 35 mm or 40 mm. There is no fundamental difference in them, but when replacing it is necessary to consider the diameter in order to buy such a cartridge that is suitable for a specific mixer. The cartridge manufacturer claims that its service life is about 10 years, although in practice it turns out that this period is greatly overestimated. Problems often arise after 4-6 years after purchase. So that the breakdown doesn’t catch a surprise, you should buy a spare cartridge for it when buying a mixer. Then, in the event of problems with his work, there will be no need to waste time searching for a suitable part in the store. Especially since this item is cheap - an average of 150 to 300 rubles.
When is a replacement needed?
The cartridge is a part located in the interior of the mixer.
Directly, his work can not be seen, but there are the following symptoms to identify problems:
- the mixer lever is tightly rotated, sticks;
- it is not possible to completely shut off the tap or water is leaking, even in its closed position;
- maximum water pressure is not included;
- water temperature changes even when the adjustment lever is stationary;
- the position occupied by the lever does not match the water temperature;
- water accumulates around the mixer, which indicates its occurrence.
Causes of failure
Faults usually occur due to the following factors:
- improper operation of the mixer, exposure to mechanical stress;
- low quality water - the presence of metallic impurities in it, salt deposits;
- the quality of the materials from which the cartridge is made or the mixer itself does not meet the requirements;
Some of the problems will help prevent the installation of additional filters on the water supply. In this case, damage to the internal parts of the device caused by poor water can be avoided.
In the process of replacing the cartridge is nothing complicated.
The first step is to prepare all the required tools, such as:
- hexagon or flat screwdriver;
- key for removal (adjustable or gas);
- a rag for cleaning the inside of the mixer;
- WD-40 liquid;
- new replacement cartridge.
How to change your own hands?
The most common type of cartridge faucet is a single lever, so the algorithm for replacing a cartridge with a diameter of 35 or 40 mm in a mixer of this type is described below.
It is suitable for both the shower and the usual washing, since there is usually no difference in their structure.
- In order to repair the tap in the bathroom, it is first necessary to cut off the water racks in the house and drain the water that remained in it.
- Then the crane is disassembled. It is necessary to remove the decorative cap on the tap in order to open the access to the locking screw. It is not fixed by anything extra, so do not be afraid that it can be damaged. This can be done either with a knife or with a flat screwdriver.
- The screw must be loosened with a flat screwdriver or hex. It depends on the type of screw used in the mixer.
- After that, the handle must be removed from the mixer. It so happens that it can not be removed due to the fact that stuck with the body of the mixer. In such cases, you can sprinkle it with WD-40 liquid or just pour it with hot water.
- Under the lever is a decorative spherical nut, which is easily removed by hand.
- Under it is another nut designed to press the cartridge against the mixer body. It is already necessary to unscrew the wrench or wrench.
- Then you need to remove the old ceramic cartridge and clean the inside of the mixer where the new one will be installed. To do this, the cloth removes dirt, rust, sand and limescale.
- The next step is to install a new cartridge. At the same time, it is important that the protrusions present on the cartridge are clearly included in the notches on the mixer housing. To simplify this task, there are special tags on the replacement part. It is necessary to make sure that the replacement part is installed tightly in order to prevent leaks in the future.
- To assemble the faucet, it is necessary to repeat all the above steps in the reverse order: first tighten the fixing nut, then the decorative nut, install the handle on the mixer, screw in the screw and install the decorative cap on it.
- At the end of the work water is released. The valve is checked for leaks.
The main steps in replacing the ball cartridge are basically the same as described above. However, the difference is still there: after the valve is disassembled, it is necessary to get the ball valve. It is taken out of stock with the help of pliers. Then inspect the cartridge's rubber seat for damage and replace if necessary. Then the ball itself is checked. If it has defects, it is also replaced. Next, you need to clean the debris from the cavity in the ball and set it in place. Rubber gaskets are also replaced, the entire structure is assembled in reverse order.
To disassemble a two-valve faucet for a shower or bath, you will need to unscrew the screw hidden under the decorative cap on the valve. Further, the crankshaft is inverted with a key. This is required to determine the condition of the gasket. It may be enough just to tighten the mount, and the problem will be solved. Otherwise, replace the gaskets and cartridge. After that, the crane-box is screwed into place.
Subtleties of repair
It should be borne in mind that in some mixers there is an additional temperature controller, a mechanical water purification filter or, for example, a motion sensor. In this case, it is better to contact a plumber, because such devices will be much more difficult to disassemble and assemble, without damaging anything and not confusing. Regardless of the type of device during its repair, you must act very carefully and carefully, because all its parts are very easy to damage. They do not accept rough mechanical effects.
Cartridges from different manufacturers can differ only in diameter, stem length and some appearance details. There is no fundamental difference in them, so the algorithm for replacing them will be the same in all cases. The main thing, when buying a new cartridge, is to have an old one on hand to make sure that it is suitable for a specific mixer.
There is another option: knowing your model of the mixer, you can find information on the Internet about what kind of cartridge will fit it, or a consultant in the store will help you decide. But it should be remembered that this will only work in that situation, if we are talking about a mixer of a popular and modern model.
Among the manufacturers that make high-quality, modern faucets are Blanco Daras, Frap, Hansgrohe, Jacob Delafon. Of Chinese manufacturers, Tivoli and Santide are the most trusted, but this country also supplies a large number of low-quality fakes.
Why flows after replacement and what to do?
If, after replacing the cartridge, the problem persists, then either the problem was still not in the cartridge, or the new cartridge is again defective. Perhaps it is just incorrectly installed. In this case, first of all, it is necessary to disassemble the mixer again and make sure that all parts are installed correctly, all nuts are tightly tightened. It is also worth checking whether the internal parts of the mixer are thoroughly cleaned. If the problem persists after that, it is worth trying to install a new cartridge, perhaps the option purchased the day before turned out to be defective. If the mixer continues to function improperly, it is better to call a professional plumber, whose competence is to eliminate such problems.
Most likely, after the initial replacement of the cartridge, the malfunction will be eliminated, and for the next few years you can forget about problems with the mixer.
For how to replace the single lever mixer cartridge, see the video below.