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Discuss Unable to replace cartridge - do I even have a cartridge! in the Bathrooms, Showers and Wetrooms area at

  1. Gareth lee

    Gareth lee New Member


    I thought I would attempt the simple task of replacing a shower cartridge! However I'm unable to work out how to remove the internals because mine doesn't seem to be a cartridge like normal. I'm used to unscrewing the whole cartridge or releasing via a grub screw. But, on my shower it seems that the only part that unscrews is the control handle and it exposes some internals that I can't see how I continue to remove them. Photos to follow
  2. Gareth lee

    Gareth lee New Member

  3. Gareth lee

    Gareth lee New Member

    Inside it seems there are no surfaces in the inner collar to grip and the internal parts are blocked from coming out by the inner collar.

  4. Gareth lee

    Gareth lee New Member

    Slightly clearer view inside

  5. deg

    deg Member

    Is that knob the flow control? Whats wrong with the shower?
  6. Gareth lee

    Gareth lee New Member


    The shower is stuck at one temperature no matter how much I adjust the controls. I'm pretty certain the knob is for the temperature because it had an outer ring of splines for the plastic guide that limits the range. And also the other knob turns the water on!
  7. steadyon

    steadyon Active Member

    Can't be sure because, like you, I can't see the whole thing.

    However, the cartridges are usually made up of three parts, the temperature adjuster (at the front), the thermostatic unit (maybe the small black part in your third photo), and the valve arrangement at the back.

    They are usually screwed together, with the valve part threaded and screwing into the adjuster part, with the thermostatic bit in the middle. They are usually a very tight fit (thread locking compound used?) so the whole unit unscrews as one cartridge. The cartridge usually needs clamping in a vice to separate it into its three bits.

    I suspect yours has come to pieces leaving at least the valve part in the body of the shower control. Judging by the state of the front nut you've had to use a lot of force to get it out. You might like to try:

    1. Have a further check and see if there is a grub screw in the side of the housing holding the collar in place. If there is, screw the bit you have removed back in tight, remove the grub screw and see if the whole collar will unscrew.

    2. If you are sure there is no grub screw, and you are also sure the collar is screwed in, drill a small (4 or 5 mm) hole in the front face of the collar, NOT all the way through, and try tapping with a rod of some sort to unscrew the collar.
  8. YorkshireDave

    YorkshireDave Plumber Top Contributor!!

    Its a Vado.
    Had one a few months back.
    The part you removed leaves behind a piece it was screwed into. That is screwed into the body. I drilled two holes, one either side of the hole put in two bolts and use a lever between them to turn out the body of the rest of the cartridge.
    Its easy to do than describe. However... It can go wrong so be careful.
    Have fun.
  9. Best

    Best Trusted Plumber Top Contributor!!

    It might not need the final part removed anyhow.
    The thermo element part perhaps is faulty.
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  10. Gareth lee

    Gareth lee New Member

    Thanks very much for the replies. I think I agree with YorkshireDave. Bad news is I managed to break the spline off the bolt so it's unusable now anyway! Instead I've adjusted the flows shop at least it's hot. Looks like I'll probably replace the whole thing after all.
  11. Best

    Best Trusted Plumber Top Contributor!!

    Why put a 'disagree' to my post that I had said the thermo element could be faulty?
    How do you know it isn't faulty??
    We cannot judge that by just looking at it the photo.
    Shower stuck at one temperature can be caused by exactly that part.
    Have you never replaced that part before, or any experience of it failing?
    Very common part to fail and it is replaced in services, because of that.
    It is the only thermostatic part to those types of valves.
    The part it pushes against is very basic and the rest of the (brass) cartridge is also very basic and if not seized, then the thermo element can be the fault.
    I have been replacing them lots of times
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
  12. Gareth lee

    Gareth lee New Member

    The thermostat is faulty but I agreed with YorkshireDave about how to remove it.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. YorkshireDave

    YorkshireDave Plumber Top Contributor!!

    I disagreed because that is not the problem here and now. If it was a different post without the body being dissected as it has, talking about just symptoms, be correct. But it isnt.

    It's no personal sleight here, but your comment is not pertinent in this post in my opinion.
  14. Best

    Best Trusted Plumber Top Contributor!!

    Lol! I must remember that.
    I would have thought as all open forum posts can be read by anybody, that any word of advice can be relevant to some viewers. Whether each reader needs, or decides to accept, or use that advice, is entirely their choice. I am sure that valve could have been fixed, but that’s just my opinion.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. YorkshireDave

    YorkshireDave Plumber Top Contributor!!

    Get your point completely Best

    We simply differ in our approach. My perspective is that as its mostly non professionals asking, keeping it simple helps focus.

    If we were talking among ourselves, then I would adopt your approach every time. As professionals are able to more easily differentiate - well most!

    • Like Like x 1
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