Leaks and fake news


So I had a leaky tap, which turned out not to be a traditional washer type, but rather it used a quarter turn ceramic cartridge…

How to service a quarter turn tap

New, reasonably priced, replacement cartridges are available, on eBay from tap-magician. Be sure to purchase the correct orientation of the turn of the tap, clockwise/anti-clockwise.

These cartridges come in a bewildering array of sizes, as there is no set standard, and as my plumber said, it is probably easier just to buy a new tap set, as finding the right one to fit your tap is a bit of a nightmare.

Ceramic Cartridge dimensions
Ceramic Cartridge dimensions

The dimensions of my cartridge did not match any of the models in the table above:

A 51.5
B 29
C 22.5
D 7.25 - 7.5
E 17.75 -> 17.5 - 18
F 22
G 3
H 3

Also, pay attention to the number of splines which hold the tap handle.

There are other models which are not listed in the table above, although I had a reply from the supplier who said that VR04 was close enough:

VR04 ceramic cartridge
VR04 ceramic cartridge

I found that Screwfix actually had a cartridge that fit, FLOMASTA CERAMIC TAP GLANDS 24MM X ½” 2 PACK (2611F), £6.29, 8mm spline.

It is as the plumber said, you can get a cartridge easily enough, but then you can spend all day trying to make it fit.

However, there is a cheaper option…

To avoid having to try to find the correct size of cartridge, it is possible to just purchase the replacement ceramic valves and silicone washer set, see New Valve Tap Replacement Ceramic Disc & Silicon Washer Gasket Insert 1/2”.

Ceramic discs and silicone washers
Ceramic discs and silicone washers

However, the problem in hard water areas is probably just limescale build up, so instead of buying new parts, just disassemble to old cartridge and clean the ceramic valve with cilit bang, or good old white vinegar. At least that way, you know that the cartridge will fit.

How to dissemble a ceramic tap valve and stop a dripping tap

Cheap isolator valves – Lever Handle 15mm Isolating Service Valve Ballofix Chrome Compression, £6.60 for 4

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