How to Clean a Clogged Shower Cartridge
How to Clean a Clogged Shower Cartridge

One of the most common home repairs is cleaning and replacing shower cartridges. Here’s how to do it easily with a few supplies.

Table of Contents

What is Shower Cartridge?

A shower cartridge is a small, disposable container with shampoo and conditioner. It is inserted into the shower head to allow users to easily add these items without refilling the entire container.

Shower cartridges are typically cheaper than full-size bottles of shampoo and conditioner, and they are also easier to store since they do not take up a lot of space.

Many people also find them more convenient because they do not have to waste time refilling a bottle.

There are a variety of different shower cartridges on the market, each with unique features. For example, some cartridges come with special tips that help users get a better lather, while others are designed to save water by using less shampoo than regular bottles.

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What You’ll Need

If your shower is taking longer than usual to get wet, or if it’s not draining correctly, you may need to clean the shower cartridge.

You’ll need a plunger, a bucket, and some soap to do this. First, reach up into the showerhead and unscrew the showerhead cover. Remove the showerhead by pulling it out of the wall.

Then, place the bucket under the showerhead and use the plunger to suck out all the water in the cartridge. Once the water is gone, mix a tablespoon of soap with enough water to fill the bucket and pour it into the cartridge. Swish and scrub the soap until all the dirt and debris are gone.

Replace the showerhead cover and screws, then turn on the water to test it for leaks. You can move on to step two if there are no leaks. You’ll need to replace the entire shower cartridge if there are leaks.

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How to Clean the Shower Cartridge

If you have a clogged shower cartridge, there are a few things you can do to try and clear it. Start by unplugging the shower and turning off the water supply.

Next, use a plunger to suction onto the shower head and push and pull until the cartridge becomes dislodged. Be careful not to pinch your fingers!

If that doesn’t work, you can use a vacuum cleaner with an attachment called a “shower head removal tool.” This will help to suck out any dirt or debris that may be blocking the cartridge.

Finally, pour some boiling water into the shower until it reaches a full boil, then turn off the water and use a plunger to suction onto the shower head and push and pull until the cartridge becomes dislodged. Be careful not to pinch your fingers!

Tips for a Safe and Effective Cleaning Process

If your shower cartridge is clogged, it’s time to take action.

Cleaning the cartridge can be a dangerous job if done incorrectly, so take care when following these steps:

  • Turn off the water supply to the shower.
  • Remove the shower head by rotating it counterclockwise and pulling it out of the wall.
  • Locate the cartridge housing by looking for two small screws on either side of the unit. Use a Phillips screwdriver to remove them.
  • Carefully unscrew the cartridge from the housing. Be careful not to lose any parts while disassembling them.
  • If visible particles or debris are inside the cartridge, use a plunger or vacuum cleaner to suction them out. Do not use a chemical cleaner or abrasive materials – these could damage the components and result in a dangerous shower situation.
  • Reassemble the cartridge and housing, replacing any screws that were removed in step
  • Reinstall the shower head by rotating it clockwise and pushing it back against the wall. Turn on the water supply and test for leaks before returning to your regular shower routine.

Read Next – What Is The Best Shower Head To Buy?

How do I know if my shower needs a new cartridge?

If you notice that your shower is taking a bit longer to fill up or if the water isn’t as hot or intense as it used to be, it might be time to replace your shower cartridge.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Shut off the water supply to the shower in question. This can be done by turning off the main valve or the individual faucet handles.
  • Remove the old cartridge by unscrewing it from the housing. If there is any built-up soap scum or moss on the outside of the cartridge, use a brush to clean it off before reinstalling it.
  • Install the new cartridge by screwing it into place. Ensure the water supply is turned on before using the shower.
  • If there are any problems with the new cartridge, such as leaks or poor water pressure, it should be replaced.

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What does the cartridge do in a shower?

The cartridge in a shower performs a variety of functions. It helps distribute water evenly throughout the entire system, traps soap particles and other debris, and helps to maintain the pressure in the showerhead.

If the cartridge becomes clogged, it can no longer perform these functions and will need to be cleaned.
To clean a clogged shower cartridge, start by removing any excess water from the area surrounding the cartridge.

Next, use a plunger or your hands to push and pull the debris and soap out of the cartridge. Once all of the waste is removed, use a plunger or your hands to suction the bottom of the cartridge to the floor of the shower.

Replace any removed water from the cartridge with fresh water and allow it to run for at least five minutes before using the shower.

How do I know what shower cartridge I have?

If you are experiencing problems with your shower, the first thing to do is to check the cartridge.

Cartridges can become clogged with soap scum and debris, resulting in decreased water flow and potential flooding. If you are not sure which cartridge your shower is using, there are a few easy methods you can use to determine this.

One way to determine if your cartridge is clogged is to look for soapy residue around the base of the shower head. If there is soap build-up here, it means that the cartridge has become blocked.

Another indication that a cartridge may be clogged is if the water does not stream out of the showerhead when you turn it on. The cartridge may be blocked if water starts flowing from the faucet but quickly stops.

To clean a clogged shower cartridge, remove any soapy residue with a cloth or vacuum cleaner. Next, pour some hot water into the showerhead and turn it on full blast until the water begins to flow freely again.

Finally, use a plunger to clear any debris inside the cartridge. Be sure to rinse the debris off your shower head and let it dry before using it again.

Read Next – How to Upgrade to a Pressure Balanced Shower Valve

How long does a cartridge last in a shower?

A cartridge in a shower should last up to six months.

You should replace it every six months if you use an average amount of water or every three months if you use less water.

What causes a shower cartridge to fail?

One of the most common causes of a shower cartridge failing is clogging.

This can happen due to soap build-up, sediment, and hair. There are several ways to clean a clogged shower cartridge.

The first step is to clear the obstruction. Use a plunger or hand to push the block inside the shower head. You may take the cartridge apart to clean it if this doesn’t work.

Be sure to use a gentle stream of water while cleaning, so you don’t damage the internal components.

If clearing the obstruction doesn’t work, you can try flushing the system with a unique cleaning solution. Follow the instructions on the bottle. If that still doesn’t work, you’ll need to replace the cartridge.

Read Next – Shower Hoses You Should Have In Your Home

How much does it cost to replace a shower cartridge?

Replacing a shower cartridge can be expensive, depending on the cartridge type and whether it needs to be returned in the fixture or the hose.

In some cases, a new shower cartridge may only cost around $10, but if it needs to be replaced in the fixture, prices can range from $30 to $60.

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How often should I changeth the shower cartridge?

Most people change their shower cartridges every 6 to 12 months.

How do I know if my faucet cartridge is terrible?

There are a few ways to tell if your cartridge is terrible. If the water flow from the faucet is weak or nonexistent, the cartridge might be defective.

Additionally, if debris and gunk accumulate over time in the cartridge, it might be time for a replacement. To clean your shower cartridge, follow these steps:

  • Turn off the water supply to the shower by turning off the valve at the main water line and turning on the stop valve near the showerhead.
  • Remove the old cartridge by gently pulling up on it up until it comes loose from the hose connector.
  • Clean all the gunk and debris out of the cartridge with a brush or plunger using hot water and soap. Be sure to work around any curves or corners inside of the cartridge.
  • Replace the old cartridge with a new one by reinserting it into the connector and attaching it to the hose with a wrench. Turn on the water supply to the shower and test it to see if there is an improvement in water flow.
  • If there is no improvement, the cartridge might be defective and need to be replaced.

Read next – Handheld Showerheads: What You Need To Know

When should a valve cartridge be replaced?

When the shower cartridge becomes clogged, the water will not flow through it, and the shower will not work.

To test if a cartridge needs to be replaced, turn on the water without any cartridges in the shower and see if the water comes from the faucet.

If there is a large gap between the handle and the spigot, then it is likely that a cartridge needs to be replaced. CA professional technicians can usually replace cartridges.

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