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Moen faucet increasingly difficult to operate

QuestionPerhaps you can help me with my problem: I have a Moen sink faucet in my bathroom that has become increasingly difficult to operate. I know the faucet is at least 26 years old, because that is how old my home is. Itís the pull-push type to open and close.

I contacted Moen via a toll-free number, and they were kind enough to send me a new cartridge free of charge. So far, so good.

Now the problem is in removing the old one. I followed the instructions on the Moen website, including removing the retaining clip, but the old cartridge still refuses to come out. I've tried WD-40, Liquid Wrench, Gumout, and even carburetor cleaner, but nothing works. I need help! Thanks in advance.

AnswerUse a Phillips screwdriver to remove the screw to the handle so you can remove the handle and the limit stop. Remove the horseshoe retainer clip that locks the cartridge to the valve body.

When Moen sent you the new cartridge, they should have included a white plastic tool. Insert this tool onto the cartridge stem so it straddles the ears, and use an adjustable open-end wrench on the tool to twist the cartridge back and forth to loosen it.

Then grasp the cartridge stem with a pair of pliers and pull it straight out as you wiggle the cartridge at the same time. If this doesn't work, you will need a stem puller to remove the cartridge.

When you work on a firmly seated brass cartridge, it is possible that the small retainer clip could break when you pull on the stem. When this happens, you may find yourself taking a step or two backwards only to find the stem in your hand and the cartridge still in the valve's body.

Don't panic—use a cartridge puller to pull out the cartridge.

After you get the cartridge out, be sure to use a flashlight to check inside the valve body for any foreign material or any pieces of the O-rings or pads before you install the new cartridge.

If you fail to get the cartridge out, then I suggest you contact a licensed plumber to take over the project.

Good luck!

Copyright © 2004, 2006, & 2008 LAF/C.R.S., Inc. All rights reserved.
Question answered by Leon A. Frechette.

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