Shower handle sticking out too far

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by alphonse55, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. supermattthehero

    supermattthehero New Member

    Messages:
    78
    Location:
    virginia
    How many have you installed? Because my contractor installed one with the plaster ground flush with the finished wall, and so did many others on the Internet (you can do a search), and the handle still sticks out too far (unlike the picture). That is why I made my post, that is why mrhutton made his post, and that's why when you search "moen shower handle sticking out" you find several forum and blog posts also detailing the problem. The problem is that the plaster ground thickness is overly conservative so that a little variation won't make it impossible to shut off the valve. Rather, better to be able to shut off the valve and have something that's a little less cosmetically pleasing.

    If you're going to insist that everyone complaining about this problem is an idiot who is unable to align a piece of plastic with a finished wall, then so be it. Here is one example of someone who experienced this problem. There are others.

    http://forums.construx.com/blogs/earl/archive/2008/04/23/b-tch-n-and-moen.aspx

  2. PlumbPowerHouse

    PlumbPowerHouse Plumber

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    South Carolina
    the valve depth is incorrect. If the wall is open behind the shower valve, it would be best to loosen the trim plate and back the valve up and secure it to a backing or support. Those valves usually come with a black plate that allows for it to be installed at just the right depth.
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,041
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    If you set the valve at the correct depth, the handle does stick out farther.

    That still works fine, but it won't look like the catalog picture.
    Are you even surprised?
    Try installing a toilet when the catalog conveniently leaves out the water connections.
    Yes, that's right Mame, I had to connect water to your toilet,
    Yes, it didn't show water connections in the catalog, that would have been in the instruction manual.
    Yes, it's a big connector for a $2400 toilet, but you see, since there is no tank, it needs that large volume connector.
    You can't always trust the catalog picture, those come from very artistic people. They sometimes "improve" the photo to make the catalog look better.
    Not real world though.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,680
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Did you ever notice that EVERY toilet picture shows it against the wall? But, I can guarantee that fewer than 1% are that way when they are actually installed. I am surprised people who complain about the shower handle, do not complain about that also. It is the same thing.
  5. mrbaseball2usa

    mrbaseball2usa New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Alabama
    This is exactly what I ran into on my Price Pfister, and now I'm dealing with the same issue of roughly 1" gap between the escutcheon plate and the shower handle. Still researching the best way to overcome.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,680
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    If you have a problem with the projection of the handle, EVEN when it is EXACTLY where the Moen specifications call for it, regardless of WHAT the Moen "experts" tell you, then call Mike Holmes of "Holmes on homes" and he will tear your entire bathroom apart and put it back together any way you want it, or more precisely the way HE wants it.
  7. andy911

    andy911 New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    toronto
    Ugh - this got me too

    Just finished tiling my shower stall and installed the moentrol Icon hardware, and sure enough the handle is sticking out like a sore thumb. :mad: If anyone has a picture of the fix with the escutcheon extension I'd love to see how it looks.

    I have a couple other questions about this hardware, which feels *incredibly cheap* to me:

    1)The handle is ridiculously flimsy - there is just a very large amount of flex to it. I'm guessing the plastic piece that is used to attach the handle to the valve is the culprit. Since the handle is lever style every time you pull it in and out it flexes, and just feels very cheap. Is this the typical experience?

    2)The face place shows that hot is on the left and cold is on the right. The lever handle faces down (6 o'clock) at mid point. This would imply that a clockwise turn (from 6 o'clock to 9 o'clock) would get more hot and counter clockwise (from 6 o'clock to 3 o'clock) would get more cold. However the adjustment to limit the hot water limits the amount of counter clockwise rotation - in effect limiting the cold! How can this be?

    Really really disappointed with this hardware - I thought Moentrol was some of the best around? The tub filler is also garbage - the water spits and splashes out the bottom, and when you pull the lever for shower theres still a lot of dribbling coming out of it....
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2010
  8. PlumbPowerHouse

    PlumbPowerHouse Plumber

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    South Carolina
    The valve depth is incorrect. There usually come with a black plate that puts the valve at the correct depth. When we put in valves on our new construction site, we put up a backing preset for the correct depth and and we screw the valve to the backing. (A backing is just a 2x4 cut to fit in between the studs of your wall and nailed up to support the valve.)
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,051
    Location:
    New England
    A pressure balance valve starts out all cold, and the scald limit just limits how far you can turn it to the hot side...that's the way all of that type (that I've seen) work. The extension kits that I've seen can compensate for the valve being too far embedded in the wall, NOT for already being too far out of it. I always suggest people put the trim on and mock it up to determine where THEY want the handle to be before installing and mount the valve accordingly. There is a min/max, but really, those are just the limits of where the trim will fit, not necessarily where YOU will like it. And, there doesn't seem to be a convention of min/max. Personally, I like the handle closer to the wall than the max projection, but based on the manufacturers of these things, if it fits, it's right.
  10. andy911

    andy911 New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    toronto
    PlumbPowerHouse, if you look at this thread you will see that the Moen plate is quite simply wrong - if you follow it the handle sticks out 3/4". Jim, IMO you are giving Moen too much credit by using the word "right" - it may be acceptable, but it aint "right"

    I figured out that with the Moentrol if you turn the value 180 degrees it reverses the hot and cold. Too bad the face plate is right when the hot water stop is wrong (or vice versa)! Again, a poor design. I also figured out the flex in the handle is as much the valve itself as the plastic coupling - I guess when you have that long of a lever handle its pretty easy to jiggle. Probably should have got the Grohe - those felt rock solid.

    Here's my next question - how can I "increase" the usable range of warm water with this valve? I find that the only range on the lever that isn't freezing cold or blistering hot is from between around 5 o'clock and, well, 5 o'clock. (4 o'clock is scalding and 6 o'clock is cold). The valve I bought has stops - can I slightly trim the hot supply? I don't particularly want to turn the water temp down on my hot water heater. Is there another adjustment?

    Thanks!
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,051
    Location:
    New England
    FWIW, the recommended outlet temp of a WH for most domestic use is 120-degrees. You can run the tank hotter, but it is suggested that you install a tempering valve (they are required where I live, but they don't dictate what you set it to). Some DW like the temp hotter, but many also have heaters to get it that way.
  12. andy911

    andy911 New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    toronto
    I don't think I have my WH set abnormally hot - it was simply set by the installer as they would normally set it. I'll double check it tonight.

    Anyways, I'm thinking that reducing that temp would simply move the sweet spot on the lever, but wouldn't widen the range of usable temperature any.

    I'm going to play around with adjusting the hot pressure by trimming the stops - I expect that to work but I fear it is going to reduce my overall shower water pressure too much.
  13. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,680
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; 2)The face place shows that hot is on the left and cold is on the right. The lever handle faces down (6 o'clock) at mid point. This would imply that a clockwise turn (from 6 o'clock to 9 o'clock) would get more hot and counter clockwise (from 6 o'clock to 3 o'clock) would get more cold. However the adjustment to limit the hot water limits the amount of counter clockwise rotation - in effect limiting the cold! How can this be?

    Because you are completely incorrect. The handle does NOT point to the temperature, the TOP of the handle, it if had a pointer on it woud do that. ALL the handle does is rotate from ALL COLD, on the right, counterclockwise to ALL HOT, (or warm depending on the limiter stop setting), on the left. IT does NOT limit the amount of cold water. IT limits the amount of HOT water and thus ALL the available cold water produces a reduced temperature warm water.
  14. andy911

    andy911 New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    toronto
    You're right - but isn't it crazy that the handle points to the opposite labeling on the escutcheon? there's nothing on the top of the handle, why would anyone assume this is the way it operates? Again, very bad design.

    I'm actually going to reverse it to make it do what I want, and not use the hot water limiter (or else drill out the collar to put the limiter screw on the other side)
  15. dustindriver

    dustindriver New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    Hi alphonse55. I know your post is years old, but I just wanted to let you know that I have the same problem. I just moved into a house in Bend, OR, and the original late '90s Moen shower handles stick out about 1.25 inches. I replaced the whole shebang—cartridge, handle, cover plate—in one bathroom and the new one sticks out as well. Seems the original contractor didn't put the valve back far enough. In this house the only way to fix it would be to open a wall and redo the valve or replace the fiberglass tub and put in drywall and tiles.

    The reason I'm writing, however, is that I believe there could be a fix. All we need is a thicker cover plate, one that covers the distance between the shower wall and the faucet handle. Maybe we could modify old hubcaps? ;) Anyway, Moen should make some sort of wall cover adapter to bring the cover closer to the handles in installations like ours. I'm going to call them to see if it's a possibility.
  16. spta97

    spta97 New Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    New York
    There is a post a few pages back that showes a nice trim ring that makes it look very good IMO. I can imagine the frustrations on both sides of the argument but wrong instructions are a part of life, no? I did my bathroom remodel with mostly Kohler products and found mistakes in two product manuals (shower door and shower handle like the Moen). Instead of blindly following orders I called up Kohler who admitted to the mistake and pointed me to an online updated manual. Sure it took a little longer, but I wanted to make sure I was doing it right because I only got once chance before I put up the tile.

    Moreover, I took all the pieces and test fit them with scraps of the tile I would be using to make sure it lined up properly. In the end, I have a nice finished job that "looks like the catalog" because I know that instructions can be wrong. However, this was the first time in my life I ever did a bathroom remodel...
  17. XDNUT

    XDNUT New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Florida
    I have been reading this post on the handle on the Moen valves sticking out too far and some of the remedies. This really intrigued me since I just purchased the Moen veritcal spa kit and have the rough in valves to install this week but I wont have the trim for about 3 weeks. I know the thickness for my finished wall, so no problem there but if I install this the way the instructions call for and install the volume valves also the same way, is the handle on the temp valve and the volume valves all going to stick out? If I set all of these back 1" is this going to work for all the valves?

    Vertical Spa Installation Guide
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 7, 2010
  18. XDNUT

    XDNUT New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Florida
    Terry,
    Thanks for editing my post and placing the installation guide on there. I printed that about 2 weeks ago from a previous post that you placed that on. Great information, as is the rest of this site, but still doesn't explain how deep to set the valves, mostly with this issue of "Handles sticking out too far".
  19. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,051
    Location:
    New England
    Most of the plaster guards have a min/max value. Most people prefer the look of the thing when it has nearer the minimum projection where the trim will still fit. If you err on this, you'd need an extention kit to allow the trim to fit, then you end up with it sticking too far out again. So, mock up your wall thickness and make sure you are closer to the minimum projection but still within acceptable range, and you'll be okay. The best solution would be to have the trim in hand, and mock the wall thickness up to then decide where YOU like it, rather that a WAG.
  20. XDNUT

    XDNUT New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Florida
    Thank you. After talking to Moen today and explaining my concern and the type of trim I am purchasing they assured me that I would not have the same problem since the trim is completely different than the ones shown at the beginning of this post. They also explained that with my trim I only have a 3/16 to 1/4" play which is well within my parameters for the mock up I have made. It is just a matter of putting it all together now.
    Thanks again for the help.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2010
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