Help - My Bathroom Sink is Leaking!!!

9:53 AM

Leaky Faucet!
Regular readers of this blog know that I've dealt with a LOT of leaky faucets.  Too many leaky faucets!  Those adventures are detailed here.  When our bathroom sink began to leak I knew immediately that I would need to replace the cartridge.  If the fixture was ugly, broken or otherwise unpleasing I would have replaced the entire fixture.  That would have solved the problem.  A new fixture is about $80.  A new cartridge is $11, so the choice, for me, was clear!

Step #1 - Find the make and model number.

Finding the make and model number sounds easy enough, but it's not.  You see faucet makers don't print the model number on this product.  The model number is typically printed on the box, but since this faucet came with the house, I don't have the box.

Lightly embossed on the front of the faucet are the words "American Standard".

Identification Picture #1

Identification Picture #2
  I took 2 pictures of the faucet and called American Standard Customer Service.  (A quick google search lead me to their number).

The nice lady at American Standard took one look at my pictures and said "oh, that's a #2904".  She is, apparently, a faucet savant!  Replacement cartridges, she informed me, are $25/each.


Honestly speaking, I've never paid for a replacement cartridge in my life!  Before now they were always covered under the warranty.  My kitchen faucets came with a lifetime warranty.  The warranty on this faucet is only extended to the original purchaser with a receipt.  That's not me, so i'd need to pay.

Step #3 - Shop around for the best price!

American Standard customer service gave me the part number for the new cartridge.  After a few minutes of shopping around I found that a company called had the best price ($11/each).  Since I wasn't sure which faucet was leaking, the hot or the cold, I bought 2 cartridges.  Turns out both were leaking, so it's a good thing I bought both!

Plumbing parts people
It took about 2 days for the parts to arrive, which is about what I expected.

Now, the repair!!

For this job I needed a wrench, flat head screw driver and a pair of pliers. 

Tools for the job
The wrench is probably optional for people with strong hands.  I needed it to loosen the cartridges.

The cartridges arrived with no instructions, thank goodness I already knew what to do!


Remove the cap.
Remove the cap that covers the screw on the handle.
Cap removed
My handle is held in place with a flat head screw.  Remove the handle screw.

Remove the handle screw

Handle Screw Removed
Put the cap and screw in a safe place (like a cup or bowl).

Keep small parts safe!!
Putting the small parts in a safe place has saved my sanity on MANY jobs!  The last thing you want is for something to go missing!

Lift off the faucet handle
Lift off the faucet handle and add it to the "safe place" bowl

Add the handles to the "safe place" bowl.
Now you're ready to remove the cartridge.

Take a top view picture of the cartridge BEFORE you remove it.  This step will be important later.

Say Cheese Cartridge!
I used a wrench to loosen the cartridge.  

Loosen the cartridge
Once it was loose I was able to remove it by hand.

Remove the old cartridge 
I like to compare the old parts with the new parts so that I can understand what wore out.

Old Vs. New

Old vs. New
My new cartridge came with a plastic casing around the bottom that needed to be removed.

Screw in the new cartridge

Take a look at the picture you took of the old cartridge to be sure that the newly installed piece looks the same as the old piece.  Hand tighten the cartridge, then use pliers to tighten in 1/2 a turn.

Movable piece

There is a small movable piece on the top of the cartridge.  The location of this piece determines the position of the faucet handles when the water is turned on or off.

The picture that I took earlier was to see the location of this piece.  The old piece was installed at the 11 o'clock position.  If I install the new piece so that this notch is in the 11 o'clock position I know that my handles will be straight.

I tired over and over again, but could not get the cold cartridge back in the right position.  I decided to deal with it later.  The good news is that the sink no longer leaks!  YAY!!!!

The bad news is that my ice maker stopped making ice this morning!  UGH!  Thank goodness I know how to fix it!

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  2. I reluctant to call a plumber to deal with the minor issues, so I simply follow the tips and advices provided by Tony Mkhize, the plumbing expert who is also my close friend since my school days. It helps preventing unwanted chaos and stay stress free about plumbing repairs.