Home bathroom and sanitaryDripping faucet - how to fix a single lever mixer

Dripping faucet - how to fix a single lever mixer

Did you know that a dripping faucet can cause an additional consumption of 1200-1800 liters per year! ">

  • 1. Repair preparation
  • 2. Assembly instructions
  • 3. Tightness control

Does a dripping tap in the bathroom or the kitchen annoy you? Do you shy away from the high travel and repair costs for the craftsman? As a layman, would you like to fix the problem yourself? Only courage to repair modern faucets yourself is not a masterpiece. Regardless of the manufacturer of the fitting you have installed, read on how to correct leaks - with and without original spare parts. Leakage is not only annoying, it is also quite expensive in the long run. Initially, the water only drips into the spout in individual drops. Unfortunately, it does not stay that way. Over time, the leakage increases, from the individual drops is a thin trickle. The water consumption increases. You pay a premium on the fresh water bill and at the same time increase the expensive wastewater costs.

Do not fret anymore. Just follow our step by step guide to repair your single lever mixer yourself. You only need the tools that are available in virtually every household. More detailed information can be found in the tool and material list.

1. Repair preparation

Of course, the exact tool and material list you need depends on the manufacturer of the valve. If your faucet is still relatively new and has been installed by a specialist company, ordering the right replacement parts is easy. You will find the data for the additional purchase of wear parts on a sticker on the hot water supply line.

Dripping faucet - what to do ">

Tool list - dripping tap:

  • Water pump pliers (alternatively set of jaws or socket wrenches)
  • Screwdriver Phillips
  • Screwdriver longitudinal slot
  • Hexagon socket size three and four (Allen key)

Material list - repair fitting:

  • Original repair kit cartridge and seals (permanent damage repair)
  • Universal sealing and O-rings from the accessories (emergency repair)
  • seal fat
  • toothbrush
  • Rough sponge
  • Vinegar or vinegar essence
Vinegar or vinegar essence removes lime. Manufacturers advise but to own house-friendly products.

Before you start repairing the dripping tap, be sure to shut off the water. To do this, turn the corner valves under the sink clockwise by hand. Then remove the pressure from the line by opening the mixing lever.

When the tap drips - causes:

Any error can be resolved if the cause is known. Without mechanical effects of force, only two common sources of error can be considered for leaks in single-lever mixers. Usually, a dripping tap is created because deposits from the water pipe contaminate the cartridge. Lime adheres to the sealing surfaces and prevents sealing. - The

Mixer drips from the drain.
The second reason for the dripping single lever mixer, preferred in models with movable water spout, are defective gaskets. O-rings harden over time and can no longer seal. In mobile water outlets, usually the faucet in the kitchen, wear the sealing rings, in addition to curing, also mechanically. Every movement of the water outlet minimizes abrasion of the rings.

In this case, the water usually drips out of the designated opening. Instead, it runs out of the dividing planes of the moving elements.

Before disassembly, close the spout so that any falling screws and small parts do not end up in the drain.
* (Nice would be here a simple drawing of the two common basic models).

2. Assembly instructions

Step 1 - Disassemble the mixer lever

Single-lever mixers are visually quite different from each other. Apart from the design, reduced to the basic structure, but they are almost the same. To disassemble are all moving elements. (Mixing lever and the movable water drain). The mechanical framework remains firmly attached to the sink or wall.

The mixing lever is usually held in fittings with rigid water outlet only by a hidden screw. It is located either under the red blue screen (symbol for hot - cold) on the front or exactly opposite. In the usual kitchen mixers with movable neck hiding mostly two screws under a vertically plugged lid.

Move the lid slightly to open without tilting it. It is almost always made of plastic and is only attached - not screwed. Unfortunately, plastic hardens with age and becomes brittle. Tilt too hard, breaks off something quickly.

Dismantle the mixer tap

Tool used:

  • Flat-head screwdriver or test pin
  • Phillips screwdriver or hexagon socket (manufacturer-dependent)

As soon as the mixing arm has been disassembled, you are already looking at the "heart" of your valve. Each single-lever mixer mixes the water inside the cartridge. It consists externally mostly of plastic. To ensure the tightness inside the cartridge either plastic or ceramic components.

Lack of tightness inside the cartridge that can not be opened is the main cause of dripping single lever mixer. Unfortunately, the component can not be repaired. It is completely replaced. The spare part number or the type designation of the faucet can be found on the already mentioned label of the supply line.

Step 2 - Change cartridge

The cartridge is held by a clamping nut. In a well-equipped toolbox, there is a matching socket wrench. If necessary, the dismantling works as well with a fork wrench or water pump pliers. Much effort is not necessary to loosen the screw. By default, the screws are tightened with about 12 Newton meters of torque. (Good hand-tight).

As soon as the clamping nut is loosened, the cartridge and all moving parts can be easily removed.

Please memorize the order of construction exactly. Place the parts in a sequential order on a secure tray.

Tip for emergency repair:
As an emergency repair, until the original spare parts are delivered, it is often sufficient to put the old cartridge in vinegar overnight.

Please do not clean sealing rings in vinegar, otherwise they will harden unnecessarily. It is enough to clean them with a little detergent and a nail brush. Then "grease" thick with sealing grease.

In the short term, the tap stops dripping without actually repairing it sustainably.
Used tools:

  • Socket wrench alternatively fork wrench or water pump pliers

Step 3 - Cleanliness ensures the success of the repair

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For comparison, place new and old O-rings over each other. Please select the gasket that comes close to the old gasket. Slight differences result from the use-related curing, material shrinkage and the mechanical stress of the old seals.

Grease all sealing rings to be replaced and "glue" them (adhesion force of the grease) to the intended sealing point. Please make sure that no O-ring shifts. If you are repairing a single lever mixer with a movable arm, you must also pay special attention to the additional sealing rings. (Body seals). These seals are exposed to special loads. They must not be twisted and must lie exactly in the groove.

Tip for the emergency repair dripping single-lever mixer:
A little thicker applied grease temporarily prevents the tap from dripping even if you do not renew the gaskets. In addition, coat the metal next to the gaskets with some grease when moving. This temporarily increases the tightness of mechanically loaded sealing surfaces.

Step 5 - Assembly

In principle, the assembly of the mixing valve takes place only in reverse order for disassembly. The order results from the sorting of the removed parts. Please make sure that the openings of the cartridge coincide with the holes of the water supply congruently. For higher-quality fittings, a "guide nose" ensures the exact positioning of the cartridge.

With a lever mixer with a movable neck, special care should be taken that the O-rings do not tilt or slip out of the groove. Then screw on the clamping nut again. If you have a torque wrench, please tighten with about 12 Newton meters. Without torque wrench the effort equals "good hand-tight". At the end of the assembly, all you have to do now is place the mixing lever and tighten the screw connection again.

As soon as you have to use increased force, something is wrong. The only drag you can feel when assembling is the light adhesion of the grease and o-rings.

3. Tightness control

The execution of your repair must prove itself during the leak test . Please move the mixing lever to the closed position and slightly open the angle valves under the sink. Please make the operating pressure only slowly. If the single-lever mixer does not drip yet, please stand a little to the side of the pool. When you open the water escapes the trapped air.

Careful, the tap "spits"!

Once the air has completely leaked, please open the mixing lever once and move in both directions. Then close again and wipe off the splash water. Your mixer tap should now be tight again. The proof is provided if the tap drips, repairing itself is not rocket science.

Finally, please do not forget to press the blind plug again.

Tips for quick readers

Single lever mixer construction:

  • Mobile mixing arm
  • Clamping screw as cartridge safety
  • mixing cartridge
  • Body seals for moving elements


  • Disassemble mixer
  • cleaning
  • Replacing the seals
  • Replacing the cartridge
  • assembly
  • Leak testing
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