How to choose a cartridge for the mixer?

If you want to make repairs in the bathroom, this will require high-quality and modern plumbing. In addition to materials and equipment, self-repair will have to study in detail the characteristics and information about the devices. It is necessary to elaborate on the topic of choosing a cartridge for the mixer.

What it is?

The cartridge is one of the most important parts of the mixer and performs a very important function. Without this part, the system will not work. It is the cartridge that regulates the water supply pressure and its temperature. Externally, it looks like a small plastic cylinder, it has three holes at the bottom, and a stem at the top. Hot and cold water flows through these holes.

Inside the cartridge there is a plate, when it turns, the water mixes. When the plate is shifted - the pressure of the water changes. Instead of a plate, a small ball can be used, which, rolling, closes the hole with hot water, then the hole with cold. The top stem is a continuation of the crane handle.This cylinder is built into every sink or bathtub faucet.


Given the principle of operation, there are the following types of cartridges:

  • for single lever mixer - water is regulated with a single lever; one-handed taps are used in baths, in kitchens;
  • for a shower - only two-valve mixers are installed;
  • for a thermostatic mixer, a person independently establishes a constant temperature and pressure.
For thermostatic
For single lever
For shower

On the device cartridges are of two types.

  • Ball cartridge. Inside there is a ball that, under the action of a handle, rolls over and closes either one hole or two at once. Water is fed into these holes, one is for hot water, the other for cold water. So is the mixing of water. In addition, under the action of the ball changes the pressure of the water supplied.
  • Disk cartridge Instead of a ball, a disk is used, also called a plate. The disk itself is smaller in diameter than the diameter of the cartridge housing, so it can be rotated and moved inside. When the disk turns, it closes one of the holes, and hotter or cooler water flows from the tap. When the displacement of the disk is regulated by the pressure of the water supplied.Only discs are installed inside the ceramic cartridge; ceramic ball cartridges do not exist.

The main difference between the two types of cartridges is as follows: a ball valve is installed if the mixer is a lever type, and the disk one is great for both the lever and the two-valve mixer.

The inner part of the part is a metal or ceramic lock. Ceramic cartridges are considered durable. They contain two or three ceramic disks that are tightly fixed. These plates have three holes for adjusting the temperature and pressure. There are fewer problems with the ceramic element, the adjustment of the water supply is smooth, and it works almost silently. But if sand gets between the plates and the ceramic cartridge stops working, then it will have to be replaced. The item is not subject to repair.

      There are thermostatic cartridges, which are most often installed on sink mixers in a cafe or in shower cabins of hotels. The thermostat maintains the manually set temperature, and it also maintains a constant pressure pressure.Thermostatic cartridges are very convenient to use in homes where there are children or the elderly. The design protects against burns if the supply of cold water suddenly stops. There are special cartridges for faucets in the shower, which are called divertors. The water distributor works on 4–5 modes. Accordingly, the device details different from other cartridges.


      For each mixer model, it is recommended to purchase certain models. When choosing a cartridge, you should always pay attention to its diameter, because it is the diameter that is taken for the size of the product. So, the most running sizes are 28, 32 and 35 mm. They are great for faucets in the bathroom for a washbasin or in the kitchen. In the bathroom for faucets are often used cartridges with a diameter of from 40 to 46 mm.

      There is a misconception that the diameter affects the strength of the part: the larger the diameter, the greater the strength. For branded models, the diameter is in no way related to quality; the size of the cartridge does not depend on the size. But with most plumbing fixtures that have a manufacturing country, China, the quality really depends on the size.It should be noted that the standard dimensions (28, 32, 35 and 40 mm) may not be suitable.

      Some manufacturers, whose products belong to the high price segment, make mixers for small cartridges, for example, 18 or 25 mm.


      The cartridge consists of different elements. It is worth considering them in more detail:

      • It is important that the design does not get air and excess moisture, so most of the cartridges have rubber pads. They provide a snug fit between the elements and prevent the ingress of liquid.
      • Ceramic parts quickly fail due to sand, because there is a lot of it in unfiltered water. Metal mesh mounted on the holes, does not penetrate the particles.
      • The shower switch is an important part of the mixer. He redirects the flow of water either to the tap or to the shower. Now the most popular cartridge switches, although there are also spool and cork.

      The cartridge itself consists of the following elements:

      • plastic case;
      • sleeve with stem;
      • upper disk;
      • washer under the upper disc;
      • lower disk;
      • holes, supplemented with rubber seals.

      Manufacturers Overview

      Currently, plumbing stores provide a large selection of various tools and parts. Mixer manufacturers are engaged in the production of cartridges. It is worth considering the popular manufacturers.

      • Vidima. This company occupies one of the leading places in the market, it has existed for more than 60 years. Vidima makes excellent shower sets, mixers and their accessories. Products offered by a Bulgarian company usually cost less than sanitary equipment of the same quality from another manufacturer.

      It is important to note that all the details comply with the European standard of reliability, based on consumer reviews, we can say that this is true. Cartridges from this manufacturer are only ceramic.

      • AM PM Cartridges of this company have increased throughput, about 43 l / min. Standard models have 2 times less capacity. Such cartridges are well suited for installation in the bathroom. If there is a desire to take a bath, then the required volume of water will accumulate very quickly. AM PM produces a large number of models with a thermostat. A cartridge with a diameter of 35 mm is considered to be standard, so this company mainly produces parts of this type.
      • Oras offers advanced plumbing fixtures. The product is purchased both for installation at home and for use in public places. This company is trusted by many people, because it has long established itself in the market. The only drawback of this product is the price, it is quite high.
      • Hansgrohe. Products of this manufacturer is considered reliable. Hansgrohe parts are easy to find in stores, often they are advised to purchase consultants. The price of cartridges is not the highest, but not the budget.
      • Among Chinese manufacturers there are many decent producers, for example, Tivoli and Santide. But usually there is no guarantee for the products, which strongly repels buyers.

      It is believed that imported cartridges are unsuitable for our water. This opinion is erroneous, because the products of famous brands undergo tests and also correspond to European quality standards. For example, the company Kohler is testing its product. Placing it in saline for 48 hours, the manufacturer checks the resistance of the material and mechanism to aggressive media.

      Famous import companies usually produce quality products and provide a good warranty period, so you should pay attention to their cartridges.

      How to choose?

      If you decide to purchase a new mixer, then you should immediately buy a replacement cartridge. A breakdown can occur at any time, then you don’t have to run around and look for the correct model in the plumbing stores. If there is no spare part, then you will have to go to the store with the old cartridge. Without it, there is a risk of making the wrong choice, the buyer is unlikely to know the diameter, height and model. In a specialized department sellers will help determine the choice of details. Sometimes it is not possible to remove the cartridge from the mixer. In order not to damage the plastic case, the surface of the part and the mixer should be treated with a special lubricant. The oil, which is a part of this solution, will work in 2–5 minutes, then without much effort you can remove the part.

      When choosing a cartridge, it is recommended to pay attention to several points:

      • Details are collapsible and non-collapsible. Usually in stores more often are non-separable, but they cannot be repaired, in such cases only full replacement of the cartridge helps. Collapsible elements can be cleaned and lubricated.
      • It is worth paying attention to the size. Under the size refers to the diameter, height and length of the rod.If the cartridge has a leg, the height of the feet of the new and old cartridges must be absolutely identical. Due to the wrong size, the water in the faucets can make a lot of noise or the turning of the lever can become too tight. As well as the consequence of the wrong choice of cartridge is a crack in the shower hose and leakage of the mixer connections.
      • Grooves and protrusions on the cartridge are needed in order to fix it in the mixer. Their location on the old cartridge must completely coincide with the location on the new one, otherwise it will not work to fix this part.
      • Of course, it is better to purchase parts of well-known manufacturers. They are much easier to find in stores and the warranty period is rather big.
      • Typically, large, reputable companies have an ISO 9001: 2000 certificate, the presence of which indicates compliance with the rules of production. If this document was provided, then, most likely, the products are of high quality.
      • There is another document to consider when buying a cartridge. It is a guarantee that this batch of parts has passed a pressure test of 3.5 atm.

      How to install?

      Replace the cartridge is not a big deal.For dismantling you will need the following tools:

      • pliers;
      • screwdriver;
      • adjustable wrench;
      • hexagon;
      • torch.

      Of course, you will need a new replacement part. When replacing the cartridge, you should follow the following step-by-step instructions:

      • before starting work, shut off cold and hot water;
      • then open the tap and wait for the remaining water to flow out;
      • carefully remove the cap from the mixer; it usually indicates on which side the supply of hot and cold water;
      • do not rush, because it is very important not to scratch the part and keep its appearance;
      • removing the cap, you will see the screw-retainer, which must be removed using a hexagon;
      • if the mixer is installed a long time ago, then most likely the thread will be contaminated with rust; You can try to remove this plaque with a special grease that is used to remove the cartridge;
      • it is necessary to remove the mixer handle, there is a protective ring under it; it needs to be unscrewed, tools are not needed for this, you can do it manually;
      • unscrew the clamping nut with a wrench or wrench;
      • only then can the broken cartridge be removed;
      • Before installing a new part, you should definitely clean the internal surface and elements of the mixer;
      • there should be no traces of rust on the site of installation of the new cartridge; the grooves and protrusions on the cartridge should coincide, otherwise it will lead to the breaker of the mixer;
      • after changing the cartridge, you need to reassemble the parts;
      • first, using a wrench, it is necessary to tighten the clamping nut;
      • the protective ring should be fixed manually and fix the mixer handle;
      • the hexagon is required to install the screw;
      • the last is fixed stub.

      Replacing the cartridge is a very easy task. Tools that are used in the work, there will be everyone in the house. All that needs to be done is to remove the elements and after replacing them, reinstall them. Much more difficult is the choice of cartridge. But if you purchased a quality cartridge that matches the previous part in all respects, then you can be sure that the mixer will last a long time.

      Recommendations for use

      To prevent the mixer from breaking, you need to follow some rules:

      • Often cartridges fail under the influence of too aggressive medium - water.It contains a lot of sand and other impurities. Ceramic plates in the cartridge stop working due to sand particles. If the item is not collapsible, then after a breakdown it will have to be thrown away, it will not be possible to repair or replace the elements. This will bring discomfort, because during the repair the water will be blocked, it will not be possible to use it.

      To avoid this situation, you can install a filter that will perform a protective function.

      • Many people forget that you need to periodically wash the mixer. At least once a year, parts should be cleaned with a special solution or dishwashing detergent. With limescale excellent vinegar. It should be wetted with vinegar cloth and gently remove plaque. Do not use metal sponges and skins, because they can damage the protective layer.
      • Cartridge locks are cleaned in the same way, vinegar, soft brush and detergents are used. It is recommended to lubricate the plates of a collapsible cartridge with special solutions, which include oils. If there are cracks on the parts or the stem has broken off, then it should not be cleaned and used.
      • Thermostat cartridges can sometimes get lost, you just need to change the settings.This can easily be done independently.
      • Sometimes after replacing the cartridge faucet leaks. The reason for this may be a grain of sand that fell between the parts, or a nut, which is loosely attached. Therefore, if a similar problem arises, you will have to disassemble the mixer again and process it inside.
      • Carefully handle the pen. Often parts break down due to the sudden pressure of the incoming water.

      Proper replacement of the cartridge can significantly extend the service life of the mixer. Enough to carefully study the instructions offered by the manufacturer, and follow the rules for selecting, installing and operating parts.

      The person who is not engaged in sanitary works, will easily cope with the replacement of the cartridge, and will also be able to repair the mixer in the bathroom or in the kitchen.

      How to replace the mixer cartridge, see the following video.

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