Stuck Moen Cartridge

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JerryR

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My efforts got the stem/core out, leaving the cartridge body behind.

I used a screw/bolt extractor tool, sized for bolts 5/8 - 7/8", itself 1/2" at the stem. It went in with a half-dozen hammer taps, and I was able to twist it out with vice-grips. It took me maybe two minutes; the tool was $10.

Well it happened to me at noon today. Tried to remove a 1225 cartridge and the stem came out leaving the core in the valve. I called my favorite plumber who showed up 2 hours later.

He used a easy out spiral extractor, a few taps to set it then broke the core free turning the extractor with a big wrench. Out it came.


JR
 
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Chuck66

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Glad I found this site, it will be very useful to me!!! Would have made my job a lot faster than figuring it out myself.
 
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Andrew_4096

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Even though Moen estimates that valve cartridge replacement should be an easy, 10-minute job, they must be thinking in terms of pristine faucets with no corrosion or hard water deposits, but that's not Real Life. I struggled over an hour yesterday on a handyman job extracting a Moen valve cartridge from a kitchen sink, having to grab the brass stem with Vise Grip pliers and stand on the counter to be able to get enough pull on it. I managed to raise the cartridge enough to pick the upper o-ring off, but it seemed to be wedged at the lower o-ring or valve port seals. Sure enough, when the cartridge finally came out, the lower valve port seals had been ripped loose. Within five hours I got a call that the new cartridge was leaking worse than the old one, so today I'm going back to swap out the entire faucet, as the client had fortunately already bought one in anticipation. (Unfortunately, their replacement of choice is another Moen!) About 20 years ago I had an identical experience with my own Moen bathroom sink faucet where I wasted $25 and a couple of hours of my time, only to have it leak worse than before.

Bottom line: If you need to replace the valve cartridge on a Moen faucet, regardless of its age, rip the damn thing out and replace it with a Delta or Peerless, preferably one that uses the original stainless steel ball valve element. The engineering is much better, they have fewer parts, and they can be maintained.
 
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Rod Kahn

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Even though Moen estimates that valve cartridge replacement should be an easy, 10-minute job, they must be thinking in terms of pristine faucets with no corrosion or hard water deposits, but that's not Real Life. I struggled over an hour yesterday on a handyman job extracting a Moen valve cartridge from a kitchen sink, having to grab the brass stem with Vise Grip pliers and stand on the counter to be able to get enough pull on it. I managed to raise the cartridge enough to pick the upper o-ring off, but it seemed to be wedged at the lower o-ring or valve port seals. Sure enough, when the cartridge finally came out, the lower valve port seals had been ripped loose. Within five hours I got a call that the new cartridge was leaking worse than the old one, so today I'm going back to swap out the entire faucet, as the client had fortunately already bought one in anticipation. (Unfortunately, their replacement of choice is another Moen!) About 20 years ago I had an identical experience with my own Moen bathroom sink faucet where I wasted $25 and a couple of hours of my time, only to have it leak worse than before.

Bottom line: If you need to replace the valve cartridge on a Moen faucet, regardless of its age, rip the damn thing out and replace it with a Delta or Peerless, preferably one that uses the original stainless steel ball valve element. The engineering is much better, they have fewer parts, and they can be maintained.

I just did a stuck one. wd40. using the Moen tool with the plastic tool that comes with the new cartridge. The instructions with the Moen tool sez to pull straight out. wiggling side to side. mine would barely budge. after 20 mins, i noticed it might have moved out 2mm. after a while, i switch to pulling on the spindle with a visegrip, while turning the white plastic tool side to side with a small crescent wrench. After part of an hour, I had it out maybe half an inch. In retrospect, this is a two man job--one applying steady pull, the other wiggling the white plastic tool. My vise grip wasn't staying on the spindle. If you have a 1/2 inch sacrificial screw, put it on the spindle. Might help the visegrip. Once you work it out about 1/3 to 1/2 way, I said forget the visegrip--put the shower handle thing back on to pull with instead. You might also get flat iron with a hole to screw onto the spindle, to apply pull force. Two man job. Once part way out, use a 12 inch crescent on the flat parallel edges that the white plastic tool grabbed. Keep wiggling, while applying steady pullout force. mm by mm. Once the old valve was removed, i saw that the side black plastic thing had gotten hung up in the valve's channel to the water pipe. I don't know how you could avoid that happening. So if that didn't happen, probably would have come out quicker/easier.
 

hj

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They go bad because they do not get a lot of use to keep them loose. Yes, change it to a Delta and then worry about how to get the locknut unscrewed without twisting the valve body in half.

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Mikey

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...or, if you've got a single DIY bone in your body, take the cartridge(s) out once in a while (the while depending on usage and water quality, I would guess), clean and lube, reassemble and go back to what you were doing. But I know some people that can't be bothered to even change the batteries in their smoke detectors. Or batteries in some tools -- mea culpa on this one -- I ignored the AA batteries in an expensive electronic tool a while back and had to replace the tool after the batteries leaked. That hurt.
 

Mikey

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The only coffee I drink I buy at the Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco, so I doubt it :).
 

Danny76

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I didn't know if to start a new post or post on this one. Instead of adding another stuck Moen cartridge post, I decided to continue on this one.

I have been helping my bother switching his house plumbing from copper to CPVC. After it was done, one of the showers had no water pressure. He thought some debris may have gotten stuck on the valve. We removed the cartridge after fighting with it for an hour or more. After it was removed, we turned the water on and there was plenty of water pressure. With the cartridge on, no water pressure. We concluded it was the cartridge. We got a new Moen cartridge 1222. We also bought a silicon lubricant so it would just slide in.... But we were wrong. I had to push the cartridge in with the cartridge puller and even tap it in to get it in position to install the retaining clip.

After all that trouble we still had no water pressure. I know removing an old cartridge was a little difficult, but this cartridge was super difficult removing and installing it. Tried to removed the new cartridge, but its stuck even worst than before and that's with the silicon lubricant. It seems like the cartridge too big, but I compared it to the old one and they are the same.

Can anyone explain to me:

Why the low pressure? and Why would a new cartridge be so difficult to push in and then impossible to take out?
 
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Mikey

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Sounds like he's already done that... "After it was removed, we turned the water on and there was plenty of water pressure"
 

Cacher_Chick

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If the bore of the valve body has a ridge in it or is scratched any notable amount, the valve body is done for. I have honed light scratches out successfully. The cartridge will slide in smoothly if it is the right one and the valve body is in good condition.
 

Terry

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After all that trouble we still had no water pressure.

Is the water heater valve turned on? The Moen pressure balance needs the same pressure from both sides of the cartridge, or it will shut down.
Doe the body of the valve have stops? They would both need to be open.
 

Danny76

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Is the water heater valve turned on? The Moen pressure balance needs the same pressure from both sides of the cartridge, or it will shut down.
Doe the body of the valve have stops? They would both need to be open.

We placed the cartridge the same way the other one was with the HC logo facing up. Lines are not clogged, because there is water pressure from the center of the valve and if covered, there is also pressure at the bottom spout. It may be that the valve body is damaged and its just easier to replace it all and remove the current copper connections there and make them CPVC. I gave my brother the information I read in this thread and he decided to just replace the whole shower faucet valve system with another brand and return the stuck cartridge once we removed valve. The cartridge alone cost $50 at HomeDepot.

Thank you all for the advice.... I have replaced old cartridges before and it was never this difficult. My cartridge was from a Pfister brand. When I say difficult, I mean we pulled with the puller attached and put our weight leaning back that we where afraid of breaking the valve connections. We took turns pulling it, moving it around to brake it loose and it only came off little by little. At the end my brother had to get a hammer and hit the puller to get this cartridge out. This is ridiculous.... and then to put it back it was difficult too and difficult to get it out, even with silicon grease. I wish I could have recorded it... because it seems unbelievable.
 

Mikey

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Now I'm confused. You tried to replace a Pfister cartridge ("My cartridge was from a Pfister brand") with a Moen 1222 ("We got a new Moen cartridge 1222")?
 

Danny76

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Now I'm confused. You tried to replace a Pfister cartridge ("My cartridge was from a Pfister brand") with a Moen 1222 ("We got a new Moen cartridge 1222")?

You misunderstood. I have changed cartridges before at my house... which are Pfister. The one at my brothers house are Moen. Pfister cartridges are easy to replace. Thats why I was so confused why it was so difficult to remove a Moen cartridge compared to the Pfister. I didnt even have to use a puller to remove the Pfister.
 

Mikey

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I did misunderstand, and am now un-confused; thanks. Yeah, Moens need some TLC during their time in service. I tried to take one out of a valve after about 15 years with no TLC, a/t the homeowner, and we ultimately had to replace the valve - with another Moen, though, to re-use the trim - after destroying one puller and most of the valve.
 

Danny76

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I wanted update everyone on the issue of the no water pressure on the shower valve. Well we returned the Moen cartridge to get the $50 and bought a whole new shower faucet system. To our surprise after we installed the new system we had no water pressure, WHAT!!!! We had only seen the water pressure shoot out of the cartridge hole and there was pressure.

I told my brother to get the tall kitchen garbage can and we directed both water lines there. He then turned the water back on and there was zero water coming out of the hot water line... Just water pressure on the cold line. To make the story short..... All this time of replacing cartridges and installing a new faucet, it was a bad SHARK BITE. We had used them to connect the CPVC to the PEX line that connected to the old valve. Since we replaced the valve system the PEX was gone and we used the coupling to replace the shark bite.

I would have never thought that the low water pressure was due to a bad SHARK BITE blocking the flow of water.
 
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