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What causes single handle mixer faucet's cartridge to become stiff during the years?


  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. You already have an answer, but more info (e.g. make, or a picture) could help us help you better. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to participate here. – Daniel Griscom Oct 18 '19 at 15:05

There are "o" rings and rubber bushing inside the cartridge that will deteriorate over time with age and water treatment chemicals. They will expand and become brittle and can tighten the operation of the cartridge. You can usually get a repair kit for a cartridge that includes the rubber parts and some plumber's grease and fix it yourself. You can also just take the cartridge to a plumbing / home store and get a new one.

Ceramic discs are a different animal. They don't have replaceable seals but they do have seals inside. there is a pivot point in the handle that can get wore and might stiffen the movement up. The faucets usually have a lifetime warranty so get with them and they might send you a new cartridge

  • Hi,Jack.My question is reffering to the mixer faucet that works with cartridge as in my new attached photos.I assume that your explanation is refered to other type of faucet,isn't it?Since i can't see how a deteriorate rubber seals might cause the faucet handle(cartridge lever)becomes stiff on that type of cartridge?May you refer to this type of cartridge? – xchcui Oct 18 '19 at 16:02
  • Okay,so the stiffness may be due to inside worn seals and worn pivot point.What about the ceramic-discs themself,could they,also,be the cause of stiffness?(like:lack of lube between them or wear) – xchcui Oct 19 '19 at 9:08
  • The ceramic discs should be fine. The are very durable and are not supposed to be affected by any type of corrosion. If there was a defect somewhere on the discs, they'd be leaking, not stiffening up. – JACK Oct 19 '19 at 12:33
  • Where the square piece at the top rocks back and forth. – JACK Oct 19 '19 at 12:39
  • Okay.so the pivot point in the handle is the square piece at the top,which is connected to the faucet handle.Thanks alot JACK. – xchcui Oct 19 '19 at 13:04

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