What is a Ceramic Disc Cartridge?
Within your bathroom tap, you'll find a pair of hardened ceramic discs atop one another. The upper disc moves with the tap handle while the lower disc is fixed in its position and when both discs are aligned, the water flows through the tap. To keep them lasting for as long as they can, it's important to clean your tap cartridges every now and then.
Over time, this watertight seal can become degraded when the time for service or replacement comes. Usually, it's the inlet or outlet seals falling apart or the build-up of sediment within them that causes a leak. They can also be degraded over time when fitted in areas of notoriously hard water.
Why Do You Need to Change a Ceramic Disc Cartridge?
If your tap is leaking or not performing in the way it should, it may be time to change the cartridge. Cartridges are a fraction of the cost of a new tap, so replacing this part instead could actually save you some pennies. In some cases, you may need to change the tap washer too to prolong the life of your tap.
How to Replace a Ceramic Disc Cartridge
You Will Need:
Before starting, please check with your local plumber or contact our team to ensure you've acquired the correct replacement ceramic disc cartridge. If you're not feeling too confident, we recommend calling in a professional!
To repair or replace a ceramic disc cartridge you will need:
- New ceramic tap cartridge
- Flat blade screwdriver
- Allen key set
- Adjustable wrench
Breakdown of 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.
- Use a flat blade screwdriver to remove the hot/cold button from the handle of the tap requiring a new ceramic cartridge.
Use an Allen/hex key of the correct size to undo the bolt holding on the top section of the tap.
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.
- 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.
Below the brass locking nut, you will discover your monobloc 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.
- 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.
- Take your new cartridge and carefully insert. Ensure that you follow any instructions provided by the manufacturer.
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.
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!
If you’re in the market for a new basin tap, head over to our bathroom taps page to find yourself a great new modern or traditional tap for your space.