A faucet is essential to every bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room in a home and commercial setup. A faucet to be fully functional relies on a cartridge that helps regulate the flow of water.
According to a Report by Data Bridge Market Research, the faucet market is expected to rise to a market value of USD 10.81 billion by 2029.
Many cartridges exist thanks to the rise in the faucet market. Each comes with a set of unique features, pros, and cons.
This article will show you ten types of faucet cartridges, how they work, and where you can use them. This lets you decide when purchasing a new or replacing the cartridge.
- Faucet cartridges are classified according to the type of valve or the handle mechanism.
- They are also classified according to the design of the faucet.
- The type of faucet cartridge is crucial when it comes to replacing or repairing a faucet.
What is a Faucet Cartridge?
Faucet cartridges are small devices inside a faucet that regulates water flow.
What is the function of a faucet cartridge?
The cartilage turns the water on and off, regulates the water temperature, and controls the amount of water flowing through the faucet.
How Does a Faucet Cartridge Work?
A faucet cartilage is often integrated within a valve inside the faucet body to give it structural support for optimal performance.
The cartridge is connected to a level or handle within the faucet. When you turn the faucet’s handle, the cartridge moves inside the valve, allowing water to flow out of the spout.
It is possible to have similar faucets with different faucet cartridges. The type of cartridge used directly impacts a faucet’s durability, performance, and maintenance requirements.
Faucet cartridges are available in different designs and are suited for specific performance. So, ensure you choose the right faucet cartilage type for your particular needs.
Important Note: Faucet cartridges are critical components of every faucet. The type of cartridge you choose significantly impacts your faucet’s durability, reliability, and overall performance.
List of 10 Types of Faucet Cartridges Explained
Here are ten faucet cartridge types that you can use for your home:
Also known as compression washer faucets, compression cartridges are the oldest/ most traditional faucet cartridges. They have been there since the onset of on-demand indoor plumbing.
These faucet cartridges are primarily found in older homes. Nevertheless, many people love using updated compression cartridges for utility sinks in their newer homes.
Compression cartridges control water flow by tightening (compressing) or loosening a washer. They have a compression faucet stem (a strong screw) with a washer at its end pressing against a valve seat.
Tightening down the faucet handle cuts off the water flow while loosening it lets out water through the faucet spout.
These washers are often found in faucets with separate hot and cold water handles.
The best thing about compression faucet cartridges is that they are inexpensive. Their replacement parts are also pretty cheap.
However, they are prone to leaks due to constant friction between the valve seat and the washer. They also require higher, regular maintenance than other cartridge faucet types.
Related Read: Centerset Vs. Widespread Faucets
Ball faucet cartridges were among the first washer-less faucets introduced in the 1950s. They are common in the single-handle faucet.
They control the water flow using a rotating ball inside the faucet. This ball has chambers/ slots with different-sized holes. The holes align with the cold and hot water inlets to control the flow and temperatures of the water.
Although ball faucet cartridges are more durable than compression ones, they require more maintenance than the other types. They also tend to leak, so you must replace them every few years.
Ball faucets are best for kitchens and bathrooms.
Ceramic Disc Cartridges
Ceramic Disc Cartridges are the latest technology in modern faucets. They are incredibly durable and require low maintenance.
Two ceramic discs are inside a pressure balance cartridge (mixing chamber). These discs raise and lower against each other to control water flow.
These cartridges are highly-sensitive to touch. You barely need to move the lever to let water out. As such, they are ideal for people with hand grip challenges or arthritis.
Ceramic disc cartridges are more expensive than most other cartridge types since they use high-quality and more reliable technology.
Important Note: Price should not be a deal breaker for something that will last you several years before considering a replacement.
Another downside of this cartridge is that the discs will likely erode or break over time.
Ceramic disc cartridges are best for kitchens and bathrooms.
Cartridge Disc Faucets
This cartridge faucet looks very similar to a compression washer faucet as it has a double handle. But you can tell the difference when using the handles.
When closing the water flow, a compression faucet requires a bit of pressure to tighten down the washer. However, turning off the water flow on a cartridge disc faucet is smooth and consistent.
You only need to turn the handle halfway, and it goes from an off to an on position. No pressure or force is required to operate a cartridge disc faucet.
Besides, cartridge disc faucets require less maintenance and are more durable than compression faucets.
This faucet uses a single cartridge to regulate the volume of water flow. It has a cylindrical cartridge that moves to open or close the waterways.
These cartridges are prone to blockage resulting from hard water deposits. Also, the replacement of some brands can be pretty expensive.
Cartridge disc faucets are ideal for high-end commercial and residential applications.
These cartridges help maintain consistent water temperatures when the water pressure changes. It is commonly used and ideal for shower valves where sudden water pressure changes occur, causing temperatures to fluctuate.
The work of pressure-balancing cartridges is to adjust the flow of hot and cold water to maintain consistent temperatures.
These types of faucet cartridges are also common in shower valves. Thermostatic cartridge sense the temperatures of the water in the shower and quickly adjust the flow of cold and hot water to maintain a consistent temperature.
The main advantage of these cartridges is that they are more accurate than pressure-balancing cartridges. They also provide greater control over the water temperatures.
These cartridges are also referred to as ceramic faucets. They work using ceramic discs to control the flow of water.
Most modern kitchens and bathrooms have cartridge-less faucets. Many people love them because they are low maintenance and highly durable.
They are also cost-effective since they don’t have a cartridge that requires replacement occasionally.
Digital Faucet Cartridges
These faucet cartridges use digital technology to control water flow. They also provide precise control over the flow and temperature of the water.
These cartridges are common in high-end office/ hotel bathrooms and kitchens. Remote controls, voice commands, or touch screens often operate them.
Also Read: How To Fix Black Water Coming Out of Faucet?
As the name suggests, quick-change cartridges are easy and fast to replace. They are ideal for commercial setups where time is essential, like hospitals and hotels.
When you have a quick-change cartridge, you can easily replace it when faulty without shutting off the water supply.
These valves mix cold and hot water to your desired temperature using two or more cartridges.
They are common in commercial setups such as restaurants and hospitals where accurate control over water temperature is necessary.