How to fix a dripping Moen shower faucet?

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by walds11, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. krow

    krow Plumber

    Messages:
    906
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    In the process of removing the old cartridge, a peice of rubber may have broken off inside the brass body or some sediment may have loosened up in the chambers.

    You can try pulling the cartridge out and flushing th lines, cleaning the cartridge. These moen cartridges are very sensitive to foreign debris, so its very likely that the new cartridge may have been damaged in the install process. It may warrent a new cartridge again.

    Usually you can contact moen on their 1 800 number and they will send you a new cartridge with-in 3 working days free of charge
  2. walds11

    walds11 New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    I bought my first catridge at Home Depot last week. Cost me about $19. I totally forgot that Moen offers a limited lifetime warranty on parts. I just called Moen tonight for a replacement cartridge for my other shower. They asked if I was the original owner and if I had proof of purchase. I do not have the proof of purchase, but they still sent me a replacement cartridge 1225 for free. Yes!!!
  3. jrob455

    jrob455 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Head slap

    Thanks, Krow. I wasn't previously aware of the warranty by Moen. This morning I called them, and they said they'd send me a new cartridge for free (although they tried to talk me into paying to receive expedited shipping).

    I also hadn't previously been aware of the importance of making sure to use a genuine Moen replacement part. The replacement cartridge I installed turns out to be some generic brand--Danco--that's made in China (could be part of the problem with why it still leaks!), and that my local hardware store sold me as a replacement for my Moen cartridge for the "bargain" price of $44. I think I'll pull it out, stick the old Moen cartridge back in--the amount of leaking between it and the new one isn't that great--and see if I can get a refund.

    I noticed when I removed the old cartridge that the interior of the bronze fixture has some greenish mineral deposits or corrosion (I guess we have bad water here in Houston), which I wonder, after reading this column, might be causing the drip. I tried to remove them with a small wire brush before putting the replacement cartridge in, but wasn't able to get all traces out. When I open up the valve again, do you suggest that I try polishing the interior of the fixture with fine emery cloth to get it completely smooth?

    Thanks again for the advice.
  4. krow

    krow Plumber

    Messages:
    906
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    NO EMERY CLOTH.

    Just a little bit of white vinegar (red vinegar is for salads) Get as much cleaned as possible, but don't go crazy. It should be fine.

    The chinese stuff doesn't handle very good, does it.
  5. walds11

    walds11 New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    You are correct. The incorrect handle was on there. It is for a posi-temp faucet. I called Moen and they sent me the correct handle for free :) It's amazing what a new cartridge and handle will do. Like good as new.


  6. jrob455

    jrob455 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I finally received the replacement cartridge from Moen--they sent it for free, but tried to talk me into paying to get it rushed--and once I put it in, the dripping stopped completely. I did gently polish the inside of the fixture with some rouge cloth--vinegar alone wasn't getting rid of a couple of deposits that had built up over time, and I was concerned that they might have been breaking the seal and causing the dripping.

    So here's another example of the factory part fixing a problem that a generic replacement didn't--I'm a believer! At least the local hardware store refunded my money for the generic cartridge.

    Thanks again for the help, and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2012
  7. woody p

    woody p New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Illinois
    Oh no!

    Don't fret about the "B". There are ONLY TWO Moen cartridges, the brass one and the plastic one. We recommend the plastic.

    If they are selling a cartridge for 12 bucks or so, it may be a generic. We recommend the genuine Moen piece, which is usually $15+. If you think that spending $35 to repair a faucet is anuything other than an incredible bargain, wait 'til you get the bill from the plumber you have to call because you tried to get it out without the $15 tool, and screwed up the body. Add a couple of zeros!!



    I used the tool to remove the stem but apparently I didn't remove the entire stem. The part I did extract is brass but it does not look like the replacement. Do I really have to call a plumber to get the rest of it out... or is there another tool?
  8. ClayTwo

    ClayTwo New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    What did I do wrong?

    I have almost the same equipment as was first reported in this thread. Only the outside handle is different. My original problem was that sometimes the water changed temperature from hot to cold unexpectedly occasionally. My shower is only 5 years old.

    Called Moen and got two replacement parts, a 1423 spool and a 1225 cartridge. The result after installation of both is a shower that continually runs at a low pressure. Can't change the pressure or temperature.

    I did lose the retainer pin in the wall somewhere. Made a temporary one out of a plastic coated paper clip.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2010
  9. Snowbirdad

    Snowbirdad New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Haines City Fl
    I have replace the cartridge on my moen single handle shower faucet with a danco MO-1 and I didn't have any tempter control,so I took it out and saw that some of the O rings where torn , I replace them and reinstall it but had the same problem ,then I decided to replace the O rings on the original and put it back in but I still have no tempter control what am I doing wrong?
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2010
  10. krow

    krow Plumber

    Messages:
    906
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    What do you mean by tempter control? Are you talking about pressure balancing?
    If so, your balancing spool needs attention/replacement
  11. Snowbirdad

    Snowbirdad New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Haines City Fl
    The faucet was leaking so I replaced with the danco cartridge and after I replaced it no matter which way I turn the faucet it made no difference in the tempter it stayed warm as if both the hot and cold were on. I don't know what a balancing spool, is something in the body of the faucet?
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2010
  12. krow

    krow Plumber

    Messages:
    906
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I have to say that the danco spindle is your problem. If I understood you correctly, It seems that the hot and cold are mixing in any position that the handle is in . Where I am , the danco is almost obsolete. We now use the plastic spindles with lifetime warranty.
  13. Snowbirdad

    Snowbirdad New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Haines City Fl
    What bothers me is the original cartriage never had that problem until I put it back in ,but I guess I'll try the plastic one and see what happens. Thanks
    Is the plastic cartridge made by moen ?
  14. krow

    krow Plumber

    Messages:
    906
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Made by moen #1225B

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 12, 2010
  15. korkiley

    korkiley New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Vermont
    Successful cartridge replacement--but a mystery!

    My Moen shower faucet was leaking and I followed the instructions here and easily repaired it. At first, I was confused by the black plastic removal tool that came with my genuine replacement cylinder. Since the instructions didn't describe the part, I thought it was part of the cylinder and, until I realized it's purpose and used it to turn the old cylinder a bit (I guess it just loosens things up a bit because there are no threaded parts.) I was unable to remove the old cylinder. But once I turned the cylinder a bit, I screwed the faucet handle back on and easily pulled the cylinder out.

    OK. That is all common, but here comes the interesting part. I live in a condo and have been plagued by a vibration in the cold water supply line (I feel/hear the vibration in the pipe that supplies the water heater) for two or three years. It can happen when you turn on a faucet (about any faucet in the place) or it can happen in the middle of the night when we aren't using the water at all. I have been very suspicious of a relationship with the use of water in the neighboring condo.

    My Moen faucet began leaking two days ago when I was replacing a washer in the outside sill cock. I had opened all of the faucets to drain the pipes. When I had finished my washer replacement I first turned the main shutoff back on and then proceeded to turn off all the faucets beginning in the upstairs bathroom. But when I tried to turn off the Moen shower faucet in the upstairs bathroom, the faucet would not shut off. I kept turning it back and forth and pushing in and out and eventually I was able to push it in again. This was interesting because I suddenly remembered that the same thing had happened a few years ago and I now wondered if this could be related to the vibrating pipe, and maybe it had all started a few years ago after this incident.

    But back to the present--I have no idea what happened this time, but for a peaceful day after this, the vibration seemed to be gone. However, yesterday morning I discovered that the Moen faucet that had stuck was leaking, and that is what brought me to find this excellent thread and easily repair the problem. The sad news is that the pipe vibration is back--but there is more!

    I was showing my wife the old cylinder and how it worked. While doing so, I noticed some white material in the water inlet area and after prying and tugging a bit, I extracted a piece of plastic. I knew immediately what it was!

    About two years ago and after the vibration had plagued us for about a year, we replaced our water heater. When the plumber disassembled the hot water outlet pipe, he discovered several pieces of white plastic jambed in the copper pipe. He determined that the white plastic cold water inlet tube (or hot water outlet tube--I forget which) had disintegrated and gotten forced out into the hot water line. I can now see that pieces of this tube must been forced much further from the source and perhaps that was causing the vibration somehow.

    Perhaps I shouldn't have gone into all this detail with this problem in this thread but I couldn't resist because of the chain of events and the possible cause and effect. Hopefully there might be an enthusiastic plumbing sleuth that will read this and shed some light on what is threatening to become a cold case!

    Kor Kiley
  16. krow

    krow Plumber

    Messages:
    906
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Well, You may not be out of hot water yet (no punns intended). I suspect that there may be more plastic pieces in the water pipe. Its only a question of "where they will end up". Usually they will stay lodged . but if anybody shuts off the water or disrupts the water flow, its a good possibility that they will move. I am suspecting one of 2 things.
    1) plastic peices may have become lodged in a hot water shut off valve serving one of your fixtures

    2) the vibrating could be unrelated and you should be looking at a dripping flapper and bad ballcock in your toilet. Your comment here points in that direction.
  17. korkiley

    korkiley New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Vermont
    Yes, I would be very surprised if there were no more pieces in my lines. I recently managed to cough up a piece by removing the aerators from the faucets and running the water on full for a while. Is there some method I could use to try to flush out the rest?

    As to the toilets, I recently replaced the flapper and ballcock on my upstairs bathroom. I've also replaced the ballcock downstairs and I've experimented by closing the shutoffs to both of these toilets. Shouldn't the problem disappear while the shutoffs were closed? Unfortunately, it did not.

    Thanks for your help!

    Kor
  18. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,319
    Location:
    New England
    1/4-turn ball valve shutoffs are better at passing crud in the lines than the multi-turn valves.
  19. krow

    krow Plumber

    Messages:
    906
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Not unless you are replacing any valves or do a re-pipe at portions of your system. Problem is there is no way to determine which parts of your system have peices.. Be patient, they will eventually move to the aeraters, as you found out.

    further investigation is defenitely required.If nobody is using the water in your unit, then the problem may be coming from another unit , above, below or next to you
  20. korkiley

    korkiley New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Vermont
    Interesting that you should say that. I had almost forgotten--when the problem first appeared, there seemed to be no relationship to what we were doing and when we were hearing the sound. Not only that, but I was fairly certain that I had only heard the sound when the neighbor was home. I finally asked her if she had been hearing the vibrating noise that we were. Much to my surprise, she said that she had heard nothing. She agreed to run water and flush toilets and all kinds of things at her place so I could see if a cause and effect was at work. After about 15 minutes she returned to our place and said that she had tried all the activities. Again, I was surprised to find that nothing had happened in our unit.

    Finally, after about ten or fifteen minutes, there came a long vibration! So, at least my neighbor knew that I wasn't making it up because I was standing talking to her when it happened.

    Gradually, over a year's time, the nature of this even changed. Now there is a direct cause and effect in our own unit. Usually we hear the vibration just as we are turning on the water, especially if the faucet is just cracked. Once turned on full, the noise disappears. Sometimes we hear the sound out of the blue. In this case, turning a faucet on stops the vibrating.

    By the way, we have an end unit, so we only have the one neighbor.
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