Cleaning A Leaking Ceramic Disc Type Tap Valve

Cleaning A Leaking Ceramic Disc Valve Cartridge For A Tap

What are they, how do they get dirty and how do you clean them?
Ceramic disc valve tap cartridges are made with two ceramic discs each with either two holes (for single lever) or 1 hole (for pillar or 2 handle taps) in it. One disc moves with the tap handle and the other disc remains in position. When these holes are aligned, the water is allowed to flow. In the off position, the holes are no longer aligned and the water stops.
These regulate the flow of water from your tap. It can happen that small particles get stuck in the disc assembly and you must clean the cartridge. In extreme cases you must replace the cartridge but obviously it is better to clean the cartridge before replacing it.

  1. Turn off the water supply. Place a cloth over the waste hole to catch any small screws or parts that may accidentally drop into the basin/sink as you work.
  2. Remove the cartridge
  3. Examine the cartridge. Clean and rinse the seals, openings and cylinder. If a seal is damaged then replace it
  4. Remove mineral deposits stuck on the ceramic discs. A drop of food coloring may reveal a cracked ceramic disc. If you see a crack you must replace the cartridge
  5. Reassemble and test. Ensure the tap is in the ‘on’ position and slowly turn the water supply back on. Too much pressure too fast can harm the discs in the cartridge
  6. If the tap still leaks you need to replace the old cartridge

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