Stuck Moen Cartridge

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by sabell, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. sabell

    sabell New Member

    Oviedo, Florida
    I quit getting hot water in my garden tub which is seldom used. Closed the stop-check valve on the cold side and left just hot side open. Very little water flow. After researching symptons on the web, determined that it was likely a clogged cartridge causing the problem. I've purchased a replacement Moen 1222 cartridge (which includes the plastic removal tool) and I purchased a metal removal tool as well. The plastic didn't budge the cartridge at all and the metal removal tool provided minimal, side to side, movement of the cartridge. I kept trying it and one of the metal flanges finally broke. Does anyone have a recommendation of something chemical that can be used to loosen this? :confused:

    Some additional information - I did remove the retainer clip before trying to remove and I have hot water in every other faucet in the house. I also tried taping with a hammer to try and loosen it. I even sprayed CLR cleaner in the retainer clip slot and around the face in hopes that it might disolve any buildup.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
  2. Hair spray

    I removed/replaced one of these today with no problems but I've been told that spraying the assembly with hairspray seems to help for some reason. :confused:

    Might have to use brute force to pull it out of the assembly to get it to come out.

    Moen 1225
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2009
  3. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Try spraying it with PB Blaster (available at the autoparts store). Wait a while, then try again.
  4. sabell

    sabell New Member

    Oviedo, Florida
    Well.... I didn't get a chance to try the hair spray or PB Blaster. Moen actually called me and suggested white vinegar. I did spray it really good and let it sit. I bought a new removal tool tonight and was able to get more side to side movement but still not budging when I tried to pull it out. Moen also suggested trying to move it up and down, which I did. I tried one last time to pull it out and the post broke off clean inside the cartridge.

    So now the removal tools are useless and the cartridge is still stuck. Any other suggestions or is it time to throw in the towel and find a plumber? :(

    I truly appreciate the feedback.
  5. Buy an easy-out, it's a reverse threaded-like screw and find one similar in size to the post.

    Wind it in until the cartridge moves, it will. Then take a pliers and pull it out.

    Easy-outs are found commonly at automotive stores, big box tool section.

    Use a thin screwdriver and chip away what doesn't come out.

    Using those penetrates probably could of helped in your situation.

    If you're all for getting a brand new faucet, put a Delta in there so you don't have to fight Moen faucets; they are horrible to get those cartridges out.
  6. sweating blood on moen positemp

    I had a positemp shower faucet
    about a month ago that almost had
    me in tears....

    of course the whole plastic thng breaks off
    at the wall and I was almost inclined to just
    tear the whole fuacet out...

    I showed the customer what I was up against
    and explained that I might break the faucet
    trying to save it.....he understood and said
    ...go for it...

    I took a pair of channel lock pliers and gripped the
    stupid cartridge then used a straight claw hammer
    to use as leverage between the pliers and the
    brass valve body....and tile wall....

    after prying at it and pulling out
    with the claw hammer for a few minutes, it finally
    gave loose.....

    the torn up rubber innards of the old cartridge
    were actually holding the cartridge in place
    and they had to be pulled out of the piston shaft with a pair of needle nose pliers
    that is probably why you are not getting hot water, the gasket has broken loose
    and wedged itself in between the brass and the cartridge..,,,.....

    that might be what you are up against... its very mean indeed......

    of course if you look anything like your picture,
    and you are in the midwest,

    I might be available to help you out....LOL

    (just kidding)
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2007
  7. sabell

    sabell New Member

    Oviedo, Florida
    I thought about the easy out and will probably try that if I can't get it out with channel lock pliers. I think there is just enough plastic left to grab on to with those. I have strongly considered replacing the entire thing for anything non-Moen and doesn't use crappy cartridges. Just bound and determined to fix it for some stupid reason. Must be the challenge.

    I'm heading to the Keys next week so won't break this any further until I get back. Really need a vacation after dealing with this thing. I will let you know what it took and once again I really appreciate the feed back.

    Unfortunately I'm not in the MidWest - Central Florida - or I'd take you up on the help offer. I have a few other projects that I need to get a professional to handle but don't know anyone in the area etc.

    Sorry to say but that is me in the picture and it was taken last week. :eek:
  8. mitch in NY

    mitch in NY New Member

    northern NY
    Stuck Moen Cratridge and Core pulled out

    I found many have had good luck (including me) with a 1/2" Tap.

    ... here's what I had:
    - the core pulled out of the cartridge
    - one tab broke off the cartridge but with lots of lots of CLR and WD40 it freed up and would spin)
    - the o-ring, on the outer part of the cartridge had rolled or split and would not pull out... the o-ring jams between the brass body and cartridge
    - the pull out "hook" tool (home made) could not overcome the o-ring jam ( I tried for hours).

    TAPPING the Threads into the Cartridge:
    I had to hold one tab on the cartridge tight against the brass lip on the faucet body with needle nose while I tried to drive the 1/2" tap into the smaller bore of the cartridge. It took about 15 minutes to slowly work the tap in all the way (maybe 3 turns?). Then I backed out the tap... removed needle nose. [remember to turn the tap 1/4 turn back, for each 1/2 turn forward ... this clears the metal particles from the tap and makes the next 1/2 turn forward go smoother].

    Next, I assembled a 1/2" x 4" threaded rod, so it had threads all the way to the two jam nuts on one end)... If you use a bolt, get one with threads all the way up to the head. you may find it hard to find - so try a carriage bolt and spin a nut all the way up to the head .... continue:

    next on the bolt goes a 1/2 nut (this is the "jacking nut") and a flat washer so the jacking nut can spin easily against the next piece, a 1/2 drive socket (7/8" ) with the square hole toward the washer and jam nuts ( bolt head ).
    The open end of the socket faces the brass body of faucet and rests on the round brass lip... having the same inside diameter. This allows a space for the cartridge to be pulled into ( a cavity). Thread the bolt into the tapped cartridge and snug it up so the 7/8" socket is aligned with and resting against the brass body. If the cartridge spins like mine, the threaded rod is GREAT. You can just work with the 1/2" rod and use needle nose (or similar) to stop the stupid cartridge from spinning, to get the rod threaded into the tapped threads in the cartridge... then, slip on the socket, washer and nuts.

    Now snug it up tighter. Check socket alignment. Then begin turning the jacking nut ( the "extra" nut) until it contacts the flat washer and 7/8" socket. Now, as you continue to tighten the jacking nut, it will pull the 1/2 bolt (threaded rod) away from the faucet... and the cartridge will come along too. [You have to prevent the 1/2 rod from spinning while tightening the jacking nut. put a wrench on the bolt head.]

    Mine pulled out as smooth as butter ... I couldn't believe how easy this was compared to the tug of war I had with the hook / tool.

    After the cartridge slides out - I could see the ripped oring . The bore inside the faucet was pretty smooth but dirty .. Q-tips and CLR .. a little water, wd 40 on a tee shirt wrapped around the 3/8 wooden dowel I bought (but didn't use).

    NOTE - if your cartridge is spinning freely like mine, the wooden dowel method won't work. The tap will just spin the cartridge and never butt up against the inserted dowel.

    I used some silicone o-ring lube ( 7 bucks at the swimming pool place - great stuff to have around)... and the new unit (Brass - stock Moen 1200) slid in almost all the way.... I had to use the little white "tool" that comes with the new unit to spin and push it home the last 3/8". Then put in the clip. The rest was just the final assembly of external parts and handle.

    All done .. works fine ! WoW celebration time !!

    THANKS to all you folks...
    I struggled all night and finally gave up at midnight. I was sure I'd have to rip out the old faucet and the drywall, the plumbing... and what a mess.

    I bought the moen removal tool for 17.99 .. HEPs plumbing place
    the Tap (and drill bit) was 8.99 Valu home center
    Moen 1200 was 22 bucks - Lowes

    I hope this helps some body ... the 1/2 Tap saved me BIG trouble... mitch
  9. look4

    look4 New Member

    Yes, 1/2" tap is the answer, Thanks Mitch, that was a lifesaver!!

    I had a shower faucet with a stuck moen cartridge. 1 tab broke off, which led to the core falling out. 1/2" tap threaded in a bit and it took hold, and the cartridge pulled out. I didn't need to use the whole puller assembly that Mitch did.
  10. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    I'll remember this tap idea.
    I chipped a tooth trying to pull one of these out; usually I just drill so many holes in the cartridge that it lets go.
    I hate them.
  11. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Central Florida
    I made up a puller using 2 long screws to go into the valve body, and one to go into the end of the shaft, all on a stout piece of steel U channel. Works like a conventional gear or bearing puller and never had a problem, but that may be beginner's luck.
  12. Patsy M

    Patsy M New Member

    Davey, NE
    question on next reply
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2010
  13. Patsy M

    Patsy M New Member

    Davey, NE
    Why do they go bad (Moen 1222 cartridge)

    We just replaced our Moen 1222 cartridge and my husband who is a pipefitter had a heck of a time getting it out but he finally got it. Why do they go bad? This is the guest shower so it
    is only used 3-4 times a year. Would they last longer if I ran hot and cold water through it once a week or do they just need to be replaced once a year. We paid almost $40 for the
    cartridge and don't want to be doing this every year. If that's the case, we will replace with a different brand.
  14. plumberjim

    plumberjim New Member

    Naperville Illinois
    The reason moen suggested vinigar is it is safe for your drinking water. Remember you are dealing with your drinking water and chemicals can poison you.
    To remove the cartridge you first have to turn the water off to the house. Remove the clip. The cartridge is very hard to remove with out a removal tool. The tool link I have attached below. The tool has groves on the tee handle fit on the cartridge and there is a screw that will screw into the cartridge were the handle goes. This tool will allow you to rotate the cartridge while pulling it out. Spin and pull the require some effort and this tool gives you a handle to rotate and pull.

    If the center section comes out, and the outer ring of the cartridge remains this tools other end has a pin that is covered up by a compression ring. Cover the pin with the compression ring on the tool and stick that end of the tool in the cartridge center. the tool will slide all the way down approx. 2 to 3 inches rotate and the pin will lock onto the cartridge. rotate several times while pulling up.

    Remember you are as good as your tools. I have removed hundreds with little effort. You are only as good as your tools.

    moen tool----

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2011
  15. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Even with the recommended tools to remove it I have hardly ever had one come out easily.

    I don't buy Moen anymore. There are many other single lever designs.
  16. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    San Diego
    The one problem with the tool you mention, which probably all of us DO own and HAVE used....if you use it after the center spool is out, then it is a COMMITTMENT! Once you insert it down and lock the pin, it ain't coming out! IF the cartridge is still stuck then so are you! I have come close to that situation! When the water is pretty hard, and the cartridge has been in place 10+ years, that baby is tight! SO, many folks prefer some of the other methods, of which there are many. The #6 easy out, and the tap, are among them.
  17. Basement_Lurker

    Basement_Lurker One who lurks

    Victoria, BC
    Wow. Moen makes excellent products, and the new plastic cartridges are great to work with. Most of these older brass cartridges that people are having trouble with probably haven't been serviced in 30 years and so can be expected to be somewhat "fused" into we say in the plumbing business....shit happens. You shouldn't rule Moen out completely!
  18. Patsy M

    Patsy M New Member

    Davey, NE
    But we just replaced the Moen cartridge a year ago so why does it go bad? Do all shower faucets have a cartridge?
  19. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Yes most that I know of do.

    The inactivity is detrimental to most of them.
  20. HomeRepairGuy

    HomeRepairGuy New Member

    Does this Moen stuck cartridge problem only happen to single lever designs? Or does it also happen to separate hot and cold faucet designs?
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