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How to Change a Ceramic Disc Cartridge

This week we shall be taking you lovely readers on a brief and informative guide on how to replace the ceramic disc cartridges that feature in your monoblock taps. 

Stick with us to discover how to change your ceramic tap cartridge as well as service your tap, which are extremely important tasks that will extend the life of your bathroom tap exponentially!

So, if you can pull yourself away from browsing the countless deals for which our delightful online store is well-known, stay tuned as we share this vital bit of DIY tap cartridge knowledge with you.

If you have a slightly older tap, it's possible that instead of a ceramic disc cartridge, your tap will have a rubber tap washer; if you'd like to find out how to change a tap washer, please see our other article specifically tailored to changing a tap washer here.

What is a ceramic disc cartridge?

Within your monoblock bathroom tap, you will find a pair of hardened ceramic discs atop one another. The upper disc moves while the lower disc is fixed in its position. It is the movement of the upper disc that permits water to flow through or blocks it from flowing through. When closed, the seal is watertight. 

However, the degradation of this watertight seal is when the time for service or replacement comes. It is not usually the ceramic tap cartridges themselves that fail, however, as these tap cartridges are incredibly durable and designed to last a lifetime.

Rather, it is the inlet or outlet seals falling apart or the build-up of sediment within them that creates leakages. They can also be degraded over time when fitted in areas of notoriously hard water.

If you'd like to find out how to simply descale & clean your tap cartridge, the steps are a little different, so please check out our article for cleaning your tap cartridge here.

Now you know what the part is, you can begin the delicate yet straight-forward process of replacing it! Of course, you could simply replace the tap itself. But where would the fun in that be? A new cartridge is a fraction of the cost of a full new tap, and will leave you instilled with a hard-to-beat sensation of having performed some DIY magic.

So, let’s dive right in.

Ceramic tap cartridge repair or replacement

Before conducting this process, please check with your local plumber (or get in touch with our expert team here) that you have acquired the correct replacement ceramic disc catridge.

To repair or replace a ceramic disc cartridge you will need: 

  • New ceramic tap cartridge
  • Towels
  • Flat blade screwdriver
  • Allen key set
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Grease


The Steps:

First, make sure that you turn the water pump off. Forgetting to do this will result in a significant amount of water to mop up when you flood your home!

If you are conducting your ceramic tap cartridge work near your home’s electrics then please also disconnect the mains, especially when working with leaking elements.

Now you’re ready, let’s begin.

  1. Use a flat blade screwdriver to remove the hot/cold button from the handle of the tap requiring a new ceramic cartridge.

  2. Use an Allen key of the correct size to undo the bolt holding on the top section of the tap.

  3. As you lift off the top section of the tap, you will discover a brass locking nut. Use an adjustable wrench to remove this brass locking nut.

  4. Now, you have access to the tap’s internal body. Here, you should remove the brass circlip from the tap body and push down the spindle, which will release the valve mechanism. You can take this opportunity to maintain your tap by cleaning all components with descaler. You can wash the rubber washer and O rings in warm soapy water to remove limescale. As you will see, the handle of the tap turns to move one disc over the other, opening a hole for the water to pass through. The retaining washer here acts just like a normal tap washer, providing a seal between the tap and ceramic disc. They are kept in place by water pressure.

  5. Below the brass locking nut, you will discover your monoblock tap’s ceramic disc cartridge. Remove the retaining washer and tap it on the kitchen or bathroom surface. With any luck, the ceramic disc cartridge will fall out of the valve body. You can replace the actual discs themselves though this is a far more precise, specialist task. For now, we shall just replace the valve in its totality.

  6. Carefully remove the cartridge and put it to the side. You can inspect it later to see if you can determine the cause of the leak.

  7. Take your new cartridge and carefully insert. Ensure that you follow any instructions provided by the manufacturer.

  8. Apply grease to the thread of the brass locking nut and replace. Do the same with the tap’s top section using your Allen key. Reapply your tap’s hot or cold symbol.

  9. Reactivate your water supply, keep towels in place in preparation for any leakage, and test. Once satisfied there is no leakage, you may also reactivate your mains.

Now, sit back and bask in the satisfaction of your successful ceramic tap cartridge replacement!


No Harm in Seeking Help

While replacing a ceramic tap cartridge can be a straight-forward DIY task, there are many types of tap available to home renovators and some of these taps may feature unusual designs. 

If you are not entirely confident in every step of the above how-to, or begin the how-to yet encounter some unexpected element, do not continue as you may cause irreparable damage to your monoblock tap!

Instead, just reach out to a professional. And while they work, you can even ask them to show you how to do it so you know for future. You can also reach out to our friendly support team for help here.

Mono Mixer Taps and More

If you’re in the market for a new monoblock tap then head over to our online store and check out our full range of mono mixer taps. 

Here you’ll find almost 200 fantastic designer bathroom taps that will enhance your existing bathroom décor or provide the perfect starting point for a new bathroom renovation. Of course, each comes with a fantastically durable ceramic tap cartridge that should last a lifetime.

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