How to Tell if a Faucet Cartridge is Bad

Cartridge faucets are extremely prevalent and are typically found in homes. The plastic cartridge regulates water pressure in the fixture.

Leaks commonly occur due to worn cartridges or rubber O rings. Your faucet’s base and handles no longer need to be sources of leakage thanks to the installation of new washers.

How to Tell if a Faucet Cartridge is Bad

An easy plumbing fix that takes less than an hour is swapping out the cartridge in a sink or tub faucet.

Simply put, you only need a few basic tools. If your faucet is dripping or leaking, here’s how to change the cartridge yourself.


How to Tell if Your Faucet Cartridge Needs Replaced?

Rubber seals on the valves of older faucets made it possible for homeowners to perform repairs on their own.

Modern faucets rarely feature such valves anymore. A ceramic or nylon insert now serves the same purpose as the old seals.

The cartridge’s major purpose is to ensure the continuous operation of hygienic machinery by blending and regulating the intensity of cold and hot water streams.

Limescale-laden water is more damaging to plumbing systems. Many water setups and cartridges need to be updated because minerals build up around drain pipes, faucets, and other joints and cause damage.

A leaky faucet is an indication that the cartridge inside the faucet has worn out. Having trouble adjusting the temperature of the water.

And even having cold water leak into the hot water outlets are both signs of a faulty cartridge in your faucet.

Why Do A Faucet Cartridge Fail? (4 Common Reasons)

The water pressure and flow rate are controlled by cartridges in the faucets. A cartridge only serves its function when all other components are operating normally.

There are a few possible explanations for why your cartridge isn’t working.

Worn O-Ring

Rubber O-rings prevent water from leaking around the spout by filling the space between the faucet and cartridge (nozzle of the faucet).

Worn Washer

Below the valve stem in a faucet is a rubber washer that acts as a seal when the valve is closed.

When the tap is turned off, it prevents water from dripping out of the spout because it seals off the gap between the seat and the spout.

Loose Parts

The internal components of the faucet may become dislodged over time. When this happens, water will trickle from the faucet’s spout or seep from the faucet’s base.

Broken Pipes

If none of the aforementioned is the cause of your cartridge’s failure, then you may have a leak in your faucet’s piping.

A broken pipe can quickly lead to a flood in your home, therefore it is important to get it mended as soon as possible.

There is a risk of damage to the floor, electrical cables, ceiling, walls, and other structural components if it is not corrected.


Leaking water from a faucet after it has been turned off could be caused by a damaged or loose seat washer.

Washer problems are a common cause of dripping sink faucets. Over time, the seat washer screw can become loose, resulting in dripping or clattering from the faucet.