Urgent - No Water - Moen Cartridge Stuck

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Somnilocus, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. Somnilocus

    Somnilocus New Member

    Messages:
    1
    We've FINALLY gotten the guts of our Moen cartridge (shower) out, but the rubber that surrounds it is still entirely stuck inside and we can't remove it. Please let me know if you have any suggestions; we've been trying for hours.

    Thanks
  2. Moen has got to be one of the worst faucets on the planet.


    Quick! To the polls batman!



    Spray WD-40 or penetrating oil inside the valve, let sit for hours and try peeling it out then.


    Special tools, people spending hours fixing moen faucets, I see a segment on Dateline soon. :D
  3. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    You need to find or make a tool that can reach in and grab the rubber out.
    Long nose pliers... A hook of some sort...

    Did you get the whole cartridge out or, did the center stem only pull out?
    This is a picture of 2 whole cartridges below...

    [​IMG]
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,062
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Moen

    We need a picture, because you are describing a problem with a brass core that you pulled the center out of it. if so you need a Moen core puller, but not the one Moen sells, nor the Pasco one since it will never come out if you cannot pull the piece using it. I have several different pullers besides those two and sometimes it takes more than one to do the task.
  5. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Rugged...why do you want to cut out a revenue maker for us...you should be installing them as fast as you can...


  6. Noooooooooo, because my customers I like, I don't want to see them spending money over and over and over again.


    Today, I go and work for my customer with the 2 hdle Monticello Roman Tub Faucet that he knew something was wrong with from the word go because the last homeowner left a bag of Moen goodies, just like St. Nick.


    Moen sent the wrong parts, 1224 I believe for the Kitchen sink/2 handle lavs.


    I go and get the correct parts and come back and take this apart, again. I had to make my own tool to remove the bushing that holds this stem, 3 inches deep inside this assembly. This is an unbelievable setup because I've never seen such a product that makes something so odd, like it was designed to installed in 3" thick marble? Please.

    Anyway, once you pry the cartridge out, getting the new one in, you'll notice that the plastic extenders allows the handle to swing back and forth an entire INCH without it turning off or on.

    Why? Plastic parts that are flexing in the assembly. Part of the reason why the device broke to begin with.

    IF it was a delta I could of rebuilt it without special tools and two trips. I'd swear that Moen and Kohler are sleeping together now, they have to be.

    For all the forums I belong to, it seems like Moen stumps the most knowledgeable DIY'r when it comes to cartridge removal or likewise.


    Moen is great for styles and choices, but I can run down a lengthy list of the hardships of this product line that many customers are victimized by.


    And this same customer has a 875 series kitchen sink faucet; I grabbed my micro-seasnake and showed him where it's been leaking, destroying his kitchen cabinet.


    I told them when he calls Moen for warranty parts, tell them to shove it when they say they're going to send a new rework of that assembly. Ask for 2 of the dime sized backflow preventors and cuss them when they deceptively try to sell a new faucet. It's a bad design flaw and they know it.

    I need to find the thread on here where the person who had Moen products had to pay for the warranty issue. That was as wrong as farting in church.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,062
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Moen

    Since many Moen stems work for years and years and years before needing replacement, I cannot see how they will be spending their money "over and over and over again" on them. Now with the Monticello two handle series with plastic parts that can happen, but at least the parts are free.
  8. Smoke Hill Farm

    Smoke Hill Farm New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Moen Cartridge Replacement

    I am also quite disappointed in Moen, at least their newer faucets.

    Our old Moen single-handle lavatory faucets have been great -- never replaced a cartridge since they were installed, sometime between 1965 - 80 (before I bought the place). One has just developed a very slight drip from the faucet, but considering the horror stories I've heard about single-handle cartridges, I'm disinclined to fool with it until it gets worse. Even then, it might be easier to just replace the faucet instead (but not with Moen). Delta seems to be the choice.

    I just replaced a Moen 1224 cartridge in my two-handle kitchen sink. We bought the thing at Lowe's (hardware chain), but I don't recall whether it was made in China or the U.S. -- didn't notice at the time, and didn't realize there are two "flavors" of Moen. We do have rather hard water from a 300-foot well, but I was surprised that the new Moen developed a serious leak (actually, failure to turn off completely) within 18 months. After spending much time on the Web , I tackled the replacement last night. The 1224 was stuck badly, and pliers on the plastic stem just slipped off again and again when I tried to pull the cartridge.

    I read the hints about using vinegar or CLR to loosen the lime deposits, but I didn't see quite how the vinegar would reach past where the cartridge seemed to be "glued" -- so I made a "poultice" out of a paper towel. I soaked it in vinegar and then wrapped it around the cartridge, and kept it wet with vinegar for several hours, hoping something would soak in, somewhere, to help loosen it.

    I then stuck the cross-style handle back on with the screw, to get some leverage. I first tried putting a rounded-jaw Vise-grip pliers around the stem, under the handle. The jaws didn't contact anything, just gave me something to tap against (upward) against the faucet handle & cartridge. After tapping upward on the Vise-grips (as close to the jaws & stem as possible) with a piece of pipe, it still wouldn't pop loose.

    I finally decided that prying upward might work better, so I put a couple of small pieces of scrap wood next to the faucet stem, until they almost reached the underside of the Vise-grips, and then slowly pried upward in that gap (between the wood & the Vise-grips) with a small pry-bar. It took considerable force, but the cartridge & handle eventually popped straight upward.

    Even though they don't make a "puller" for the 1224, if I were a plumber and did this very often, I'd make my own, based on the gear-puller principle. A piece of scrap metal with a hole in the middle, and a couple of bolts & nuts, would do this job quickly & safely.

    This forum, and a couple of others, were of immense help in doing this job -- which is a lot scarier for an amateur than it should be. The Moen instructions on their website cheerfully tell you to just pull up with pliers ... well, it ain't all that simple, I can tell you.

    I replaced the 1224 using a liberal amount of Danko waterproof silicone grease, to hopefully make this easier the next time.

    In retrospect, I should probably have put a piece of rubber or something between the Vise-grips & the faucet handle, to keep from dinging the chrome on the underside of the handle. If I make a "puller" for the next replacement, I'll stick a piece of old inner tube where the plate contacts the handle.

    Two odd points that I don't understand (and probably don't need to):

    When I had the cartridge removed & was trying to rinse the vinegar out of the assembly, I happened to turn on the other faucet, which did not have its supply valve shut off. I was surprised to find that water poured upward from the hole where the cartridge had been, even though that supply (obviously) HAD been shut off. I tried it several times, quite mystified, but decided it did a good job of rinsing out the vinegar, at any rate. Not having a clue how the inside of a Moen faucet is designed, I don't understand how cold water gets moved over to the hot-water faucet. Might be simple for a plumber, but it's a mind-blower for an amateur!

    Also, I examined the old 1224 cartridge and could see nothing really wrong, visually. Both O-rings seemed intact and still soft -- though they didn't sit as far off the cartridge as on the new cartridge. The symptom of this leak was a bit strange anyhow (to me): when I'd turn off the hot water faucet, it would feel like it had closed, but the water would still be running at considerable volume. Usually, when you'd open & close it a few times, it would eventually stop running, though often leaving a minor drip from the faucet, which might or might not stop in a few minutes. Not really having a clue how this thing works, I just assumed it was an O-ring problem, but apparently not.

    Many thanks for your help here on the forum. It's a great resource, and I hope my experience may be helpful to someone else.
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,273
    Location:
    New England
    The hot and cold mix before they go out the spout...so, there has to be a passage somewhere. It would be rare to have two totally independent paths from the valve to the spout.
  10. Kwei

    Kwei New Member

    Messages:
    7
    I am in the process of replacing the cartridge of a Moen 2-handle faucet in one of our bathrooms because of a leak, but am stuck pretty much from the very beginning. I don't have the name of the model for this 11-year-old faucet, but from browsing Moen's site, this Chrome two-handle bidet faucet might be a Monticello. So, for the time being, I assume 1224 cartridge would be what I need here.

    After removing the handle set from the top, the next step is to remove a plastic cartridge retainer (nut) which holds cartridge in place. I happened to have the type that requires a tool (a metal tube with 2 notches on one end Moen part #14272) to remove. Unfortunately, the plastic retainer is seized dead by lime and I just can't remove the cartridge nut with the tool after some struggle. Naturally, I tried spread some silicon lubricants on it, but I doubt how deep lubricants could penetrate. After letting it sit for hours, I tried again, but still no luck. I was about to scrap the top of plastic retainer with the tool so had to stop before it got worse. What would you master plumbers do in this situation? I am running out of ideas here.

    Appreciate any help.

    Kwei
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,273
    Location:
    New England
    You could take a paper towel, wrap it around and over, then put some vinegar on it. Let it sit for awhile, add some to keep it wet. The vinegar will disolve the mineral deposits given enough time. No guarantees, but it won't hurt unless you have a marble or limestone counter...then, don't! It will etch those stones.
  12. Kwei

    Kwei New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Moen cartridge nut stuck

    Thanks, Jim for the suggestion. I used some kind of lime remover (Comet) instead of vinegar, because my wife didn't want the bathroom filled with vinegar smell. I will keep my finger crossed.

    Kwei
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