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How to Fix a Leaky Faucet

Moen Bathroom Faucet

As Seen On
by Jeff Patterson in Bathroom Plumbing
Hand tighten the Moen faucet handle

Does anyone else get irritated when the bathroom faucet drips constantly? It drives me completely nuts to see water just being wasted day in and day out. And apparently my youngest daughter feels the same way: she came to me the other day complaining about water coming from the faucet even though she hadn’t turned it on yet. At this point it was pretty clear that I needed to take care of this tiny issue πŸ™‚

In this quick tutorial I’ll share how to replace the cartridge in a MoenΒ bathroom faucet in less than 15 minutes. Faulty cartridges are one reason you get water leaking from bathroom faucets and they’re easy to replace. So let’s begin.

Lefty or Righty, That is the Question?

The first step in fixing any two handled faucet drip is to determine which handle has a bad seal. To test the left handle’s seal you’ll need to turn the water off to the right handle. Under your sink there should be two shutoff valves that connect the water lines to each respective faucet handle. The setup will look like the picture below.

Bathroom Faucet Shutoff Valves

Turn off the right handle’s shutoff valve by turning it to the right until it stops. Then turn on the right handle at the sink to release the remaining water that’s in it. Check the faucet to see if there are any leaks. Even if you do see leaks this indicates the left handle’s seals are bad.

You should also test to make sure the right handle is in good shape.

In order to do this you need to turn the right faucet handle’s shutoff valve back on. Make sure water is running to the right faucet Β handle then turn it back off. Now turn off the left handle’s shutoff valve and release all the water out of it’s supply line by turning the handle to the on position. Does the faucet have any drips of water coming out of it? If the answer is no then your right handle has good seals.

In my case there were still leaks when the right handle’s shutoff valve water was turned off. This indicated a bad seal in the left faucet handle.

 

Let the Dismantling Begin

This is the fun part for me, taking apart the faucet. I always encourage you to take pictures of the process in case you need to refer back to how the setup use to be before it was fiddled with.

In the case of this Moen faucet I needed to unscrew the base of the faucet handle. If you have a similar handle you can accomplish this by hand most of the time. Turn the base to the left to unscrew it.

Unscrewing the Faucet Handle Base

 

Expose the brass nut to the faucet handle body

This will expose the brass nut that holds the cartridge in place. You’ll need to loosen the nut with a pair of channel locks. Turn the brass nut to the left to unscrew it.

Loosen the brass nut with channel locks

At this point myΒ big tipΒ is to take a picture of how the cartridge sits in the faucet handle body. There are usually small square tabs on the cartridge that secure it in place but you’ll also need to pay attention to the cartridge stem position.

Pay attention to the old faucet cartrdige position

Pull the cartridge straight up from the faucet body using the channel locks.

Remove the old faucet cartridge with channel locks

Take the cartridge with you to the hardware store or Home Depot or Lowes in order to find the correct replacement. I recommend buying the name brand replacement cartridge. Sure they’re a bit more expensive ($10-12) but at least you know they’ll work!!!

Take the old faucet cartridge to the store

 

It Doesn’t Get Any Easier

With your new faucet cartridge in hand all you need to do is refer back to the picture you took of the stem position.

Take a picture like this of the old faucet cartridge for reference

Take notice of the small square grooves in the faucet handle body as well.

There are typically small grooves in the faucet handle body

Now simply insert your new Moen replacement sink cartridge into the faucet.

Insert the new Moen faucet replacement cartridge

Refasten the brass nut that secures the cartridge Β in place by hand tightening it then using channel locks.

Hand tighten the brass nut first then use channel locks

This nut doesn’t need to be super tight. Only secure the brass nut enough to keep water from leaking from underneath the new Moen replacement cartridge. A good way to check this is to turn on the shutoff valve to the faucet handle before attaching the faucet handle itself.

With the bathroom sink’s new Moen replacement cartridge in place you can now put on the faucet handle. Again, I hand tighten this type of handle only and don’t use channel locks.

Hand tighten the Moen faucet handle

The result of this repair is no more water dripping from the faucet, no more waste of a precious natural resource, and no more money being added to your water bill. It’s also easy and affordable to perform. Β So why wait, fix your leaky faucet this week πŸ™‚

 

What’s Next

Hopefully this tutorial helped.

The biggest tip to remember is take the old Moen faucet cartridge with you to the store to ensure you’re buying the correct replacement.

If you just want to swap out the old faucet for a new one we highly recommend single handle faucets like Hansgrohe’s Talis Select.

Also, if you’re doing a DIY bathroom remodel grab our free guide – it shares how to remodel a bathroom in 10 days or less

Get Our Guide

 

Cheers,

Jeff Patterson

 

 

 

 

147 Comments
  1. Sarah says:

    I’d like to say that I have done this repair as well and, after replacing the cartridge, still had a leak! What the handle really needed was the seat and spring underneath the cartridge replaced. Another easy fix but I needed to order the part as there wasn’t anything that matched at the hardware store that day. Cost less than $1 I think to get the right piece. Also, it was interesting to find out that Delta and Peerless brands are basically the same thing. Once I knew that, it was easier to go shopping as Delta branded parts are much easier to find.

    1. Jeff says:

      Thanks Sarah for your tip about Delta and Peerless.

      The seats and springs seem to go bad at the same time as the cartridge, at least on our faucet πŸ™
      But thankfully it’s an easy fix.

  2. Barb says:

    Who ever put this info on the net, thank you.
    Barb

    1. Jeff says:

      Hi Barb,

      I hope the information was helpful. I posted this tutorial to aid anyone with the same problem. If you have any questions please feel free to ask away πŸ™‚

      Jeff

      1. the pictures in this demonstration are not the same as my faucet.in my faucet i first took out the handle, then the red plastic that had a screw; now i have a copper pipe with schreds and the white cartridge is about one inch inside the pipe. I took a bullnose plier to lift it up but it does not comes out, and I am afraid to pull up to hard, to avoid breaking it.

        1. Hey Edgard, send me a few pictures of your faucet handle.

          My email address is [email protected]

          This way I can see exactly what you’re dealing with.

  3. Ces says:

    This faucet is just like mine. Thanks for the awesome step by step instructions and photos!!

    1. Jeff says:

      You’re totally welcome. It’s awesome that I was able to help!!

  4. Steve Wagner says:

    Jeff – After replacing the cartridge and reassembling the faucet, when I turned on the water there was very little water pressure. Did I over tighten things?

    1. Hi Steve, did you turn the shutoff valve completely on by turning it counterclockwise until it won’t turn anymore?

      Also, if the shutoff valve is older and hadn’t been used in a long time it might be the culprit.

      One way to test the shutoff valve water pressure is to remove the cartridge then slowly turn the valve handle to see how much water comes out of the faucet. If the water just trickles then the shutoff valve could be bad or there might be debris in the supply line.

      Let me know your thoughts πŸ™‚

      1. Steve Wagner says:

        Thanks for the quick reply. I tested the water shut off valve by replacing the new cartrdige with the old cartrdige and the water pressure was just fine – altho the drip returned. I even took the new cartridge back to the hardware store and replaced it as I thought maybe the new cartridge was faulty. But even when the 2nd new cartridge was inserted the low water pressure returned.
        I replaced both the hot and cold cartridge and it appears to be the cartridge in the cold faucet that is the problem.
        I am going to try putting the hot cartridge in the cold faucet to determine if it might be another bad cartridge. Improbable but possible. Will keep you posted.

        1. Definitely let me know what you find out. I know I’ve accidentally inserted the cartridge the wrong way and had issues like this but it sounds like you already checked this possible issue.

          I’m wondering if there is some kind of buildup lodged in the faucet itself.

  5. Mary Kastner says:

    I can’t get the plastic cartridge out of the faucet body – it just doesn’t budge – any suggestions?

    1. Hi Mary, did you unscrew the nut that keeps the cartridge in place?

      If there’s no nut then you can try spraying WD40 lubricant on the cartridge where it meets up with the faucet body. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Wipe off the excess WD40 and use a pair of channel locks to pull the cartridge loose.

      Let me know if this works πŸ™‚

  6. Nancy says:

    Jeff, thanks so much for this post – very helpful!

    I, like Mary, had a very difficult time pulling out the cartridge. I had to grip it with the channel locks and rock it back and forth gently to help coax it out a bit. Then I pulled straight up and got it out – took some muscle though.

    When I went to the home improvement store, they didn’t have Moen parts. I bought a “comparable” replacement part. Big mistake. (I know, you can say “I told you so…”) When I got home and installed the replacement part I experienced the same problem as Steve – no water pressure! The water was barely trickling out of the faucet. Putting the old cartridge back in yielded the same results as they did for Steve – plenty of pressure and that pesky drip. I headed to another home improvement store and this time found the Moen part. Faucet is all set now with great water pressure and no drip!

    I think it might be helpful if the picture you have of the channel locks holding the cartridge showed the side with the hole. When I compared the name brand replacement part to the “comparable” replacement part, I could see that although they are very similar they are not the same. The Moen part has a brass valve in the cartridge while the other part, as far as I can tell, is entirely plastic.

    BTW, my husband is really pleased because now this job won’t end up on his to-do list! Thanks again!!

    1. Nancy,

      Thanks for sharing your story because it will help others to not make the same mistake.

      Original parts are a bit more expensive but at least you’ll know that they work. Don’t worry, I’ve had plenty of experiences like your’s, so no “told you so” here πŸ™‚

      Glad to inadvertently help your husband. Great job Nancy figuring out this problem!!

    2. Mary says:

      I am pleased to tell you that this project turned out A+. The only difficulty I had was extracting the cartridge but after applying white vinegar and using a thin blade to disengage the cartridge from the faucet, I was able to pull it straight up and out.

      I purchased a Moen cartridge ($13.95) and finished the project – all the time referring to Jeff’s video. Not a leak! My husband was amazed and pleased that we didn’t have to call a plumber. Obviously I’m the hands on maintenance person in the family!

      Thanks Jeff!!

      1. That’s awesome Mary!!

        You need to start charging a fee, haha.

        I was just telling my daughter how great it makes me feel to help people with their projects, so you made my day πŸ™‚

      2. RolltideRT says:

        I have been told that Moen will replace parts for free. In fact, a guy that works on this stuff said he has sent several faucets back, the entire faucet, and it’s been replaced without even being charged shipping. I’m guessing you just send them the sales slip?

        1. I’ve heard great stories about all the major faucet companies doing similar things. I’d assume you need the receipt to indicate when you bought it and how old the faucet would be. You could always call Moen and ask them about their policy, too. They’ve been really nice to me on the phone πŸ™‚

        2. Dennis schlimgen says:

          I have all Men faucetts in my home. For nearly 20 years Koen has sent me replacement cartridges and other parts at no charge. They are always nice and very professional. I would never by any other brand, because of my experience with Moe.

  7. Paul says:

    Hello Jeff, just a quick note of thanks for taking the time to post your tips. These repairs come up infrequently and its great to have these instructions to get you started. You saved me a lot of time figuring out how the tap on this particular faucet came apart. most have a cap with a screw underneath. I replaced both cartridges with no issue. Your help was much appreciated.

    1. Thanks so much Paul. You really made my day. It’s awesome that you were able to breeze through this repair with no problems!!

      Hopefully you had a great weekend, too πŸ™‚

  8. Jeff says:

    Thanks for the easy to follow tips. I was able to replace both cartridges within ten minutes…….and no more drips!

    1. Awesome Jeff!!

      You’re the man. Ten minutes has to be a record or something for two cartridges.

      We should have a race via Skype or FaceTime, LOL.

  9. Shannon says:

    Well look at me! I did it!! Thanks to your guidance and pictures (love the pics) I was able to keep going until I got it done. I must say I had to bring out my inner Hercules to get that stupid cartridge out but it finally came out… after I left the room a few times πŸ™‚
    Thank you so much for walking me through this! I now live in a leak free house!! Ahhhhhhh

    Another helpful experience under my belt πŸ™‚

    1. Shannon, that’s awesome news!! Opening all those pickle jars has paid off, lol. Sometimes the hardest part is removing the handle or old cartridge.

      Thanks so much for circling back around. You should be proud of your accomplishment πŸ™‚

  10. Roxanne says:

    Jeff, your tips are great. I finally got the cartridge out after a bit of muscle work. With it came a couple of small black rubber ‘washers’. What was left was a worn/cracked hard plastic casing inside that I tried to remove because it was obviously damaged. Only got part of it out. Now what? I have Moen faucets which are 19 years old.

    1. Great job Roxanne.

      Could you send me a picture of your cartridge and the faucet where it came from?

      That will help me give you a better answer. My email address is [email protected] πŸ™‚

  11. linda says:

    I can’t get the stupid thing to come off :/
    Tried wd40. Ugh. I’ll keep at it.

    1. linda says:

      Me again …yay!!! Got it off…used a screen driver to pry it up.
      Thank you!! Very helpful website.

      1. Linda, glad to hear your MacGyvered it loose. Faucets can be tricky buggers.

  12. Michael Nelson says:

    Hi Jeff I am not able to loosen the base of the faucet, Clacium has built up and I don’t want to break it or scratch the crome, any ideas?

    1. Michael, have tried spraying WD40 on the lock nut? If not, go ahead and spray the nut and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Then wrap the nut and base with a rag before using a wrench. Let me know if this helps.

      1. Michael Nelson says:

        Hi Jeff, I have soaked it with WD40 for three days, but still can’t get loose. What now? Thank you

        1. Michael, are you trying to remove the lock nut that holds the cartridge in place or the entire faucet? The reason I ask is usually channel locks are sufficient to remove the lock nut holding the cartridge in place. But sometimes you need to use a basin wrench. Feel free to send me some pictures ([email protected]) and we’ll get this figured out together.

        2. Angie D says:

          I am having the same troubles. I have tried vinegar (in case it’s calcium deposits) and WD-40 both. And I’ve let them sit for 3 days. The base just won’t budge at all. How did you get it loose? (Assuming that you were successful in more than a year since this post was made! ha ha)

          Thanks for any help you can give me!

          1. Sounds like you’ve tried your best Angie. Did you loosen the set screw the entire way?

            Another option is to tape off the base of the faucet and use a flathead screwdriver to pry off the handle. Starting at one side then moving your way around it like you would do to remove a car tire.

            Let me know if this helps and we’ll take it from there πŸ™‚

  13. John says:

    I have a Price Pfister faucet that looks very similar to the one you have pictured and has a dripping issue. I turned off both shut off valves but the right handle (cold) still pours water steadily. Do I need to replace the shutoff valve?

    1. John, it does sound like your shut-off valve needs to be replaced if the water is still on. This should be a straight forward repair but let me know if you have any questions. Your shut-off valve is probably either sweated on with solder, is a compression fitting, or screwed on. But either way you can find the appropriate replacement at any hardware store for around $5.

      1. john says:

        It is sweated on to a copper pipe, will I need to sweat the new one on as well. I do not have any previous experience doing that type of plumbing, how difficult will it be?

        1. If you have a lot of copper pipe sticking out of the wall you could always cut off the existing shut-off valve. Do this with a copper pipe cutter, remove any burrs, then use a compression or SharkBite bite type shut-off valve. But again, this all depends on having a good two inches of copper pipe to work with.

  14. Awesome, just plain awesome. The step-by-step pictures might have been my hand, I literally did what the pics show. Great info mate.

    1. Bob, you made my day when I read your comment. Thanks for dropping in. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or tips of your own.

  15. lynn says:

    I have a moen 2 handle bath faucet. It is(was) leaking from the mounting nuts underneath.
    Could the aerator cause a leak from underneath? It is not dripping .
    thanks, lynn

    1. Hi Lynn, the aerator isn’t the cause unfortunately. But this is an easy fix. If you remove your faucet handle there should be a nut that holds the stem in place. Tighten the nut a 1/4 turn, replace the handle, and see if the faucet is still leaking. The nut holds the stem in place. If the nut gets loose and the stem dislodges just a bit then water will leak from underneath the handle.

      The second reason you could have a leak is that your rubber seat and spring are worn out. This fix is about $5. If the spring doesn’t push the rubber seat flush with your stem then water will also leak from beneath the faucet handle.

      So, here are your two fixes:

      1) Tighten the nut holding the stem in place
      2) Replace the rubber seat and metal spring

      Let me know if this helps you πŸ™‚

  16. Tiffany O says:

    just wanted to say thank you for the great tutorial. Our moen faucet has been dripping for months and I was tired of waiting on my husband to take care of it so I did it myself. After getting the correct cartridge took me only about 15 min to fix it. Thank you!

    1. Tiffany,

      You ROCK!! I should have told you to make a video so that I could post it on my YouTube Channel under a new section entitled “Success Stories: Don’t Wait for Your Husband Just DIY”. If you have to replace the other cartridge go ahead and shoot a video πŸ™‚
      You probably saved at least $50-$75 by getting this job done instead of calling in a pro. Make sure you treat yourself.

      Jeff

  17. James says:

    Thanks for the info, very great directions! Just fixed the cold side on a leaking two-handle Moen faucet. Went very smoothly for a first-time plumber πŸ™‚

    I took the old cartridge out first, just like it says in your directions. When I got to the store (a Lowe’s), they gave me the replacement cartridge (“1224”) for free – even without proof of having bought the faucet there! (They just wanted the old cartridge – fine by me!)

    And now I know that those “adjustable plier things” are called “channel locks” πŸ˜‰

    Thanks again!

    1. Hi James,

      I didn’t know that Lowe’s would do that!! Way cool. Those cartridges are sometimes $10. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

      Jeff

    2. Marianne Levenson says:

      Hi Jeff,
      We have a faucet like the one shown in the picture. We want to replace the faucet and we can’t figure out how to remove it. Any suggestions?

      1. I was trying to figure out this same problem about a year ago Marianne. And I got super frustrated until I found the installation directions.

        Start by turning off the shutoff valves that supply water to each respective handle. Use a crescent wrench to then remove the supply lines from the shutoff valves.

        You’ll then need to remove the rod in the spout that controls the pop-up stopper. It’s attached to the ball rod under the sink via a tension clip.

        Lift the rod up from the spout then insert a Phillips head screwdriver. The spout can be loosened by turning this screw counterclockwise.

        You’ll need to remove each faucet handle by turning it counterclockwise. If you have trouble you can use either channel locks or a strap wrench to loosen the handles.

        This is about all that I remember for now, but if you have any questions please let me know πŸ™‚

  18. JJ DAME says:

    HELP I REPLACED THE CARTRIDGE AND THE HANDLES JUST KEEP GOING ALL THE WAY AROUND? I DIDNT SEE YOUR WEBSITE UNTIL TOO LATE TO TAKE A PIC OF HOW THE CARTRIDGE WAS IN PLACE. I REMOVED ANOTHER SINK HANDLE TO GET AN EXACT SAMPLE AND NOW THIS ONE IS DOING THE SAME. THE HANDLES JUST KEEP GOING NO OFF OR ON …..AAAHHHHH WHAT DID I DO ? I DONT WANT TO CALL A PLUMBER TRYING TO DO THIS ON MY OWN . I HAVE 2 SINKS IN MY BATHROOM THE CARTRIDGE IS ALL PLASTIC SHOULD I TRY TO CHANGE JUST THE O-RINGS ON THEM OR GET ALL NEW ONES AND THE BASE PART SHOULD THAT BE REPLACED I TOOK THAT OUT ALSO MAYBE I DIDNT NEED TO EVEN MOVE THAT PART. HMMMMM ANY SUGGESTIONS

    1. Hi JJ,

      Do you have a picture of the old cartridge? If so, send it to [email protected].

      There should be a plastic tab on the cartridge that fits into the faucet’s metal base. Sometimes there are two tabs and you just need to take the cartridge out and turn it 180 degrees and reinsert it into the faucet base.

      But send me a pic of the old cartridge πŸ™‚

      Jeff

  19. Linda says:

    I have question for you. I was running the hot water in my bathroom sink, and all of a sudden it just stopped. I immediately checked the tub and the hot water was still functioning. Assuming its the cartridge for the hot water, but could it be something else? Any ideas? I have had no leaks or indications there was a problem.
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Linda,

      There could be a few different issues. Hopefully there isn’t a leak in the water line. Another thought is there is an issue with the shut-off valve whereby it’s somehow blocked. Try to turn the shut-off valve completely to the left and see if the hot water turns on. If that doesn’t do the trick then check the cartridge for issues. Hope this narrows down the problem. But please let me know if you still have the issue after doing these things.

      Jeff

  20. Bear Smith says:

    Jeff,

    Great straight forward tutorial and the images are fantastic.

    After finishing an extensive remodel on my Mother’s 1800 Federal I thought I was out the door when I noticed a slow tick of a drip in the upstairs bathroom.

    Out came the plumbers box and faced with the modern plastic equivalent to the old brass stems I had to do a little research before I created more problems for myself. Trust me, the rehab had presented plenty of “solve one thing” but create or find 8 more.

    Thanks again.

    Bear

    Oh, and I like the website setup. I also use Thesis and can appreciate a well laid, out easy to read site. Do you do your own site setup or have someone do that for you? I’m guessing you probably handle all facets of your operation. Either way great job!

    1. Hi Bear, glad to help you any time. I know the feeling your describing — solve one problem but find 8 more. And man it can be frustrating as all heck.

      Sounds like your Mom’s house is awesome. Older homes are so charming and you can feel the history all around. They obviously don’t make houses like those anymore, so remodeling is a way to preserve them for future generations of DIYers.

      Thanks for your kind comments about the layout. I do use Thesis and am in the process of building a new version of the site on 2.1. Chris Pearson and the DIYThemes Team are awesome.

  21. Brian says:

    I have a older Moen faucet (about 10 yrs) and it does not have a nut at the bottom. It is the 2 handled type with a base but there is not apparent way to get the handle off to get to the cartridge? I had a similar Moen Model 84206e that had the handle break and the parts they sent end with me placing the handle over the handle adapter, there was no screwing it on. This one has no visible way to take the handle off?

    Thanks

    1. Hey Brian, if you want to go ahead and send me some pictures of your handles. My email address is [email protected].

      Most of the time there’s either a set screw holding the handle in place, the handle has a stem that unscrews to reveal a set screw, or a base that unscrews counterclockwise. Hope I can help you out after seeing the pics.

      Jeff

  22. AV says:

    jeff, having same issue with cold water handle and pressure as Steve mentioned. Any suggestions?

    1. Hey AV, so you’re water pressure is super low.

      There could be mineral deposits in the small inlet leading from the faucet handle base to the faucet spout.

      Use a small Allen wrench to poke around and dislodge any debris in the inlet.

      Let me know if this helps πŸ™‚

  23. Mitzi says:

    I have replaced both cartridges on my moen 2 handle brantford but the faucet still drips. What should I do now?

    1. Hi Mitzi, does your faucet have seats and springs? The seats are rubber and sit down in the faucet right below the cartridge. If the leak persists the easiest thing to do is replace both seats and springs. Just make sure to replace the springs with the correct orientation – which is to have the seat sit on top of the narrow portion of the spring.

  24. Harry says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I had a leak on a Moen shower, single valve plastic unit. I removed the old one and a lot of difficulity and put in a new one after lubricating it a plummers grease. It worked fine but had a water hammer in the hot water side. Installed a water hammer tube and this cured the problem. I now have a drip leak from the shower head, just like my original problem after about 3 weeks from the start of this project. Any ideas.

    1. Hey Harry, thanks for your question. So you replaced the cartridge. I’m wondering if the o-ring at the base of the cartridge has some debris on it. Remove the cartridge and check that o-ring for residue or minerals. Clean it then grease it again. Check if the leak comes back. If it does you should call Moen and request a new cartridge. They’ll likely give you one for free. They’re pretty good to deal with.

      Sorry to hear your leak came back. That’s always frustrating!!!

      Let me know how you make out.

  25. Harry says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Forgot to check the e mail response.
    Thanks, Harry

  26. Harry says:

    Thanks Jeff for your quick response. I will remove the cartridge, clean and re-grease it and keep my fingers crossed. I will get back to you and let you know the final outcome.
    Harry

    1. You bet Harry. May the force be with you my friend!!

  27. Carlos says:

    Hello Jeff,
    I just replaced the Moen 1222 cartridge for a single lever in my shower because I have a leak. The problem that I have is that it’s still leaking. I can’t seem to figure out why there’s still a leak. I need your expertise Jeff. Can you please help me out?

    1. Thanks for your question Carlos. There’s nothing more frustrating than a leak that just won’t give up.

      Well, maybe there’s something more frustrating like holiday traffic but that’s a different story all together.

      If you didn’t already do so, make sure to add plumber’s grease or Moen lubricant to all the seals. This will help them perform better and prevent them from drying out prematurely.

      I don’t think you have any seats or springs based on the 1222 cartridge makeup but if you do for some reason go ahead and replace them. If you don’t mind, let me know if this works because I want to help you with this problem.

      Talk with you soon.

  28. Kimberly says:

    Thank You!! Thank You!! Thank You!! I am so glad I found your page. I would have broken my faucet trying to “fix” it without your help. LOL

    1. LOL, I know how you feel Kimberly. I wanted to yank many faucets right from the sink. Glad to help you any time.

  29. Vicki says:

    We have the roman tub moen faucet. The cartridge looks just like what you showed, but it is 2″ deep into the pipe. We changed the cartridge and it is still leaking. How do I know if it has a seat and spring?

    1. Seats and springs, if part of your faucet, are retrievable with either an Allen wrench or long screwdriver. If you already changed out the cartridge and still have a leak Vicki you should replace the seat and spring. Just make sure to get the right replacement parts. Take the old ones with you to the store πŸ™‚

      It should cost about $5 to $10 and take 10 minutes to fix. Let me know if you have any questions along the way.

  30. Fred says:

    I took out the plastic cartridge and I could find the seat and spring. The reason for the repair was because the faucet started to drip and then when closed continued to drip and made a high pitched squealing noise. Is the seat solid or does it have a hole in it?

    1. The seat has a hole in the middle to allow the water to move up through the faucet. Great job tackling this project. Let me know how it turns out and if your drip disappears πŸ™‚

  31. Bud says:

    I have an older Mohen similar to the one you illustrated. I can turn the body but it never comes off just keeps turning. The handle is off because the handle Adapter broke. The sink is a an over the counter type and when I look under the sink it look like the water pipe goes up through the sink body. I have tried wd40 but all I get is the body turning but never releases.

    Help

    1. Bud, do you want to remove the entire faucet?

      If so, this version has a release screw down in body. But let me know if this is what you want to do πŸ™‚

  32. Stephanie Curtin says:

    Jeff, a little warning about getting cartridge out would have been helpful

    1. Sounds like you had some issues Stephanie with the cartridge. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s not.

      One thing that adds to the difficulty is hard water. The minerals cause the cartridge to at times stick to the faucet body. Sorry if I made it look too easy but I didn’t want anyone to give up before getting started.

      Please let me know if you have any questions, I’ll be here to help

  33. Paul capodanno says:

    I realize I’m plumbing impaired but I can’t even get the handle base off. How do I do this without scaring it

    1. Hey Paul, did you loosen the set screw or try to unscrew it counterclockwise? Does it look just like the handle in my video?

  34. Les Young says:

    Have the same problem as the Steve Wagner post. Did he ever get back to you with a solution?

    1. I tried to see if the cartridge was inserted incorrectly but never heard back from Steve.

      There’s also the possibility of hard water deposits collecting in the line and somehow getting lodged when you remove the cartridge. This is a long shot but possible. Especially if you don’t have a flexible supply line.

      You could also have a faulty shutoff valve. If you turned if off for the first time in years and it looks corroded it might be the culprit of low water pressure.

      What are your thoughts on this Les?

  35. mark says:

    thank you for the very helpful information i replaced two other things and bought a new faucet before i decided to look you up after i realized that only the left was leaking so i went to home depot and got the cartridge and now i am taking the new faucet back for a refund thanks again

    1. That’s great Mark. You probably saved yourself a ton on the fix and on the return.

      This is the kind of stuff I love hearing about. Now you’ve got spending money!!! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Again, great job πŸ™‚

  36. Bryan says:

    Jeff, I’ve got nobs that don’t appear to have caps on them and I can’t figure out how to get inside to stop the leak. I don’t want to take them apart from the bottom if I don’t have to. Please help.

    1. Hey Bryan, go ahead and send me some pictures or even a video. My email address is [email protected].

      That way I can take a look and we can see how you can access the cartridge πŸ™‚

  37. John says:

    Moen has lifetime warranties right? My last faucet cartridge was shipped out free and I did not have to prove my original purchase (contractors installed it and I had no receipt). I am very disappointed in Moen, two showers and two sink faucets leak in about 18 months. Crazy!

    1. Sorry to hear about your leaks John. We have both Delta and Moen in our house. One thing that really wears on the parts is hard water, which we have big time.

      I’ve replaced many cartridges too but attribute it mostly to the water in our area. There is a ton of buildup on the internal pipes and I can see it being an issue with the rubber o-rings.

      At least they did send out the parts πŸ˜€

  38. Ryan says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I stumbled upon these instructions when searching for how to fix a leaky faucet and they helped me out so much! You explained it amazingly well and the pictures helped out immensely. Thanks for saving me money on calling a plumber or needing to replace my entire sink! πŸ™‚
    Have a great day,
    Ryan

    1. Sweet, thanks Ryan. Super happy to hear you fixed your faucet!

  39. Elmo B. says:

    Where could I get a replacement for the cartridge lock nut? Mine was nickel plated not brass and became corroded, broke it when disassembling. =O

    1. Plumbing supply houses or Amazon would likely have them Elmo. Hope that helps.

  40. karen says:

    Iread all and watched the video and was hoping you might have a solution for a peerless kitchen faucet that is a one piece with a lever, not handles to take off and fix the drip. Sometimes if I position the lever to the hot side, it slows it down but it is a nagging thing I am not sure how to tackle. I don’t wish you any leaks but I sure could use some help on what it is inside there that is gone bad or needs to be replaced and how to get to it.
    Thank you for sharing all you have learned throu trial and error. Has been most helpful.

    1. Hi Karen, I’m not sure about your specific setup but here’s what you could do.

      Shutoff the water to the faucet at the shutoff valves under the sink.

      Remove the handle (usually there’s a set screw that requires an Allen wrench).

      Take a picture of your faucet’s setup. Then take the cartridge or parts that you suspect are causing the issue to the store.

      Once there you’ll be able to find a replacement. Sorry I couldn’t be more specific but this is a good approach πŸ˜€

  41. ted says:

    Thanks for the posts. All went well until I tried to screw the faucet handles back on. I cannot get the threads to bite. The faucet is only a little over 3 years old. Played around with setting the handle on the cartridge in several different directions. The threads seem clean and without any obvious problems. Yet the handles do not seem to want to screw back on.

    1. I could see this happening Ted if the faucet body drops a bit. Have you tried pulling up on the faucet then screwing the handles in place? This will help align the threads.

  42. Peter says:

    The base on the hot will not unscrew. It just turns and turns. The base on the cold will not budge. The handles did come off the base. Now they are loose when put back on. Weirdly, the dripping has stopped, even though I did not get very far on your directions. Help?

    1. Hey Peter, sorry to hear about your problem. Send me some pictures or a video and we’ll try to figure this out.

  43. Scott says:

    My 2 (widely separated handle) faucet wasn’t actually leaking at the cartridge, but the cold handle kept getting strange in that once it was on you it didn’t want to turn off and for a week or two you would turn it off 2-3 times for it to engage properly and fully turn off. Using your instructions here I found out how to unscrew the handle body. (Thanks! none of the other MOEN sites I found described that option the MOEN uses.) There was a blue adapter that was geared on the handle side and keyed to the top of the cartridge on the bottom. It was broken. The cartridge is recessed in an outside threaded “brass” fitting that sticks up above the sink 5/8″. I thought I would replace it too, but I can’t see any retaining clip and I can’t get a good grip on the stem of the cartridge being as it is recessed. Any ideas? (I don’t see how to attach photos.)

    1. Hmmm, I’m not sure how to approach it Scott but you can send photos to [email protected]. I’d love to see your faucet setup.

  44. Mark says:

    The handle assembly doesn’t unscrew for me at all. Any tips?

    1. Did you try a strap wrench on the handle Mark? This will give you some leverage and not scratch the handle. Give that a shot before throwing out the sink.

  45. Thanks for the excellent tutorial, very helpful. Cheers!

    1. Thanks Bob, really appreciate your kind words. Hope the tutorial helped!

  46. Jody says:

    This was an easy tutorial until I encountered stuck cartridges. My Moen 14272 cartridges would not budge. Thank goodness a couple of people on the Lowe/s website suggested the Danco Two-In-One Core Puller. Using leverage and good old elbow grease, both cartridges were able to be removed and then the job was easily completed. Still a great tutorial but this project probably only takes 15 minutes on newer Moen faucets.

    1. Thanks Jody for your tip. You’re right, it’s a lot easier on newer faucets.

      I should do a tutorial on how to use the 2-in-1 core puller πŸ˜€

  47. Robin says:

    Jeff – this was so helpful. I was able to fix the drip with no problems!

  48. Lauren says:

    Jeff,
    I read your very clear instructions for repairing a 2-handle faucet leak however, my Moen bathroom faucets are the single lever and I would appreciate a run-down on how to fix a leak for this type faucet. The faucets are 10+ years old and I don’t see a set screw to remove the handle.

  49. Jack says:

    Not sure if you can help, but I have two Moen faucets in my master bathroom. One was leaking and i fixed it once I found the correct cartridge. Now the second one is leaking and I wanted to repair it, but the faucet base is really stubborn and I have tried turning it counter clockwise with channel grips projecting the facet base with rubber pad. My first faucet base came off by hand, but this faucet is not coming off. Any suggestion, or do i just have to use more force. thanks

  50. tabie says:

    i have a three piece system like this but it is not my handles that are leaking but underneath the sink where the hot and cold connect into the spicket for the water to run into the sink. i have made sure and thats where its leaking. i have been told i must replace the whole thing but they were expensive and i have 4 of them to match n my bathroom. do u have any ideas?
    thank you

  51. Zane says:

    I have taken the handle off but cannot get the base to come off. There is no set screw and it will not turn to the left at all I have tried channel locks and a wrench and nothing is working. Any idea what I can do? Need help as soon as possible please

  52. Sandy says:

    I did what you said and turned off the water on the right side on my double handle Moen faucet and no leak. Then turned water back on. Turned off left side and it leaked. What does this mean and what should I do?

  53. Jody says:

    My faucet assembly looks exactly like these pictures, other than the handle style. I have pulled and pulled and the cartridge will NOT come out, in fact, the stem ended up breaking off. Is there something I’m missing here? Could something be anchoring it inside?

  54. If the old cartridge will no come out, will It be necessary to drill it out?

  55. Tess says:

    Thanks for posting this! It was very helpful, and the pictures & instructions were clear — unlike the ones on many of the other sites I checked. Great job!

  56. San says:

    Very clear instructions, worked great, no more leak!!
    Thank you!!!

  57. D says:

    I got it all just like you show on your site but then cannot get the white plastic cartridge to pull out. We have hard water, maybe that’s why. Any suggestions? Thanks

  58. Richard says:

    Wow, have to Thank you big time. I have a Moen bathroom double handle faucet. I was ready to just buy a new faucet even though this one still looks timely and in perfect shape and has quite a few years on it, all because I could not figure out just how the faucet needed to be removed. I tried to unscrew it and even used a wrench to turn it, but wasn’t exactly sure if that was the way to get it off. Some sites said look for a hole for a hex wrench. That wasn’t my faucet. My wife found your site and that made me try turning it with a little more strength knowing it was the proper way. Off it came and it was then a quick fix following your instructions. I was amazed that after all these years, the cartridge was still a stock item! Just wanted to Thank you for saving us a good deal of money. Fix rather than replace, I like that so much better.
    Great site.

  59. jeannette says:

    I put t
    he new cartridges in and there is NO water?! when you put the cartridges back in, should they be open or closed? I’ve taken it on and off so many times, I don’t know if it was open or closed. I’m putting the little nick back in the same place, but water?!
    What am I doing wrong?

    1. Amanda Gaultney says:

      Jeannette –
      Curious as to what you found out in regards to 1) the position of the cartridge opening within it’s own casing (replacing Moen 1224 in shower) and/or in relation to 2) the ultimate position of the handle at the time you take it off to get to the cartridge to take it out and replace it – full open/on position or in the closed/off position.
      I replaced the cartridge for the cold water and the leaking from shower head has decreased considerably, but still has a little drip. Doesn’t have the springs ,etc under it and I cleaned pipe before replacing, used plumbers grease, and took out and checked for debris, rinsed and placed back in.
      Wondering if the opening in the metal part of the cartridge was not turned to the correct spot …. where should it be & and what position should the overall faucet position be I guess is the question? Anyone know?

  60. Noosh says:

    My cartridge has an extender which we pulled out after unscrewing the screw. Now there’s another piece of plastic around the cartridge which makes it hard pulling out the cartridge. Any suggestions?

  61. Patty Ben says:

    I have the same issue as one of the other commenters, my cartridge is recessed inside a brass pipe with threads that comes up through he sink. How do I get the cartridge out? Thank you for your help!

  62. Marv Hein says:

    I have a Moen Monticello faucet system on my roman tub. Like the above posters, I found the cartridge is recessed a few inches inside a copper tube about 3/4″ in diameter with a fine threads inside. If it helps, here’s what I had to do to get the old cartridge out:
    1) Unscrew the silver retaining nut and lift the plastic extender out of its body. There will a black o-ring on this part.
    2) A Phillips head screw at the bottom of the body holds it to the top of the cartridge. Put a screwdriver down in there and loosen the screw until the body comes off.
    3) Unscrew the plastic part that the faucet handle was screwed onto. It is threaded into the copper faucet and is in the way of removing the cartridge.
    4) It is hard to see because it is the same color as the top of the cartridge, but there is a white plastic retaining nut holding the cartridge down. It has threads on the outside that thread it down into the shaft. There are two recesses in the top of the nut. Moen sells a long tool (a tube with two tabs on it) for removing the nut. You can’t get it out without the tool. ($4 or so on Amazon.)
    5) CAREFULLY use the tool to unthread the retaining nut. Mine got stuck halfway out and the tabs on the tool stripped the plastic recesses on the nut. I had to soften the nut with a heat gun and pry it loose from the walls of the shaft by gently tapping a thin screwdriver between the nut and the wall of the shaft. Try not to damage the internal threads. (If you do, see my top nut extension trick below) Work your way around until the nut is deformed. Once it is loosened this way, you don’t have to completely remove it to get the cartridge out… it will come out with the cartridge when you pry it out.
    6) Get a long screw of the proper size and screw it into the top of the cartridge so you have something to grab.
    7) Take a pair of vice grips or pliers and try pulling out the cartridge. If it resists, stop! Take a small block of wood and a claw hammer. Set the wood near the faucet shaft and use the hammer claw on the long screw as though you were pulling a nail. You will get much better leverage this way and the cartridge should ease right out (bringing the broken nut with it if you had to take that route).

    When replacing the cartridge, make sure the tab on the new one sits in the little recess in the faucet body (as shown for sink faucets above). Roughly align and press the cartridge all the way down into the shaft. Then gently rotate the top of the cartridge left-right with a screwdriver until you feel the tab seat (it won’t rotate any more).and give it one more press. DO NOT tap on the center shaft of the cartridge with a screwdriver and hammer to press it into place. I blew the bottom right out of a cartridge and I was being gentle!

    If you are forced to break the retaining nut, do NOT go without replacing it. I bought a set of 2 online for about $5 (and $9 shipping). The first nut threaded all the way to the bottom of the shaft. On faucet #2, it stripped on the way in at the same place its predecessor stripped on the way out. I took the broken cartridge (see above) and cut a 2 mm length of tube using a fine hacksaw. Sandwiched between the top of the cartridge and the threaded part that the handle screws onto, the whole assembly acts as the retaining nut and the faucet is much easier to maintain next time.

    I hope this helps anyone fighting these faucets as much as I did. I would have replaced the whole assembly except it meant removing tile and drywall surrounding the tub.

    Be patient and accumulate the right parts (removal tool and replacement nuts). Be prepared for a long job.

  63. Gordon Deeds says:

    I read your comments & looked at the pictures for repairing a leak for a Moen faucet.
    It was most helpful. Thank you.
    However, like Sarah who contacted you on Aug. 1, 2012, after replacing the Moen cartridge 1224, the faucet still leaks. Sarah mentioned that the faucet needed a new seat & spring that goes below the cartridge & that stopped her leaks.
    I pulled the new cartridge back out of the faucet, but it’s difficult to see & I don’t know how to remove the old seat & spring, or replace the new ones.
    Can you you help me?
    Thank you. Gordon

  64. David says:

    Any tips on how to remove the top cap of a Moen double tap? I don’t have a system like your pictures.

    1. David says:

      One set screw on side of tap.

      1. You should be able to loosen the set screw with an allen wrench David.

        Usually 3/16 or 5/16 is the size.

        Once the set screw is loose the handle should come off the faucet…keep me posted.

  65. KC says:

    I am not really handy, but with these instructions was able to replace the two cartridges in my older moen faucet. Save the money for the hard plumbing jobs you need done. Thanks a lot!

  66. Mark Mirabile says:

    Greetings Jeff,

    I am not sure if this account is still active, but thought I would try it. I stumbled upon your information after searching for issues with a Moen cartridge.
    First, my house is 38 years old, I am the 3rd owner. The Moen bathroom faucets may be the original. My problem is that the hot water does not come out at all at the faucet when turning the handle (cold water works fine).

    Hopefully this is written clearly for you.

    When I unscrew the clear acrylic molded (round) on/off handle (two separate for hot/cold) the cartridge is recessed into something and level with the sink. I pulled on it and it does not come out. Before I put extra strength into my yanking – I looked under the sink – from the hot water wall feed there is soldered copper straight up to the bottom of the undersink hot water feed to the handle. There is another feed coming out of the bottom going up into the faucet – this is copper and soldered as well. I am assuming this is the line feeding from the hot water handle, and when turned on/off, feeds the faucet. As this is not one of those compression fed screw on hoses, what are the chances that this has been soldered into the cartridge? Or is this a dumb question and I just need to yank harder on the moen cartridge?

    If you can answer, great – if not, totally understood – Have a great day.
    Sorry – I sent this via email to you as well, as I did not read down to the bottom of your page.

    Thanks,
    Mark

  67. Jeff, thank you. You are too generous in sharing your knowledge. May you be blessed. True it takes just 10 minutes for the entire procedure of bathroom faucet repair. Very clear instructions including taking picture.

    1. Awesome Peter!!! Great job, and it’s a pleasure to help in any way.

  68. Julie Gill says:

    Hi, great instructions but I can’t even get to the cartridge, the outside base of my faucet just keeps turning but never unscews so I can remove it to get to the inside. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  69. Patrick Tchou says:

    I also found that the cartridge was very difficulty to pull out. I would not budge it even with some wiggling. I was, however, able to get it out without difficulty by using some leverage. I used a pair of vice grips to clamp on the top of the cartridge. Then I put small blocks of wood (from my kids’ toy blocks) right next to the faucet base. Then I inserted a longer screwdriver into the vice grips and pried it against the blocks. The cartridge came out without much difficulty. The wood blocks protected the base of the facet/sink from scratching.

  70. I got the cartridge remover tool from moen to remove the plastic nut that holds the cartridge in. The tool is metal. It worked well with the hot side. It fits into two grooves on the top of the plastic nut and allows you to screw it out. Unfortunately, the cold side was stuck, and the tool stripped the plastic nut. I have been working for hours to try to get it out without damaging the inside of the faucet. It is not budging. Help!

  71. Jim says:

    Have same problem as Rebecca Walker. The metal tool sent by Moen to unlock the damn locking nut worked on one side but stripped out the 2 grooves on the other side. Does anyone have a solution?

  72. Ricky says:

    I screwed up this repair and I cant find a similar mistake anywhere online. I apparently bought the wrong seats and springs. When I went to put the new Spring in the hole it was a tiny bit smaller than what it should have been and it feel down the water supply line and out of sight. I have tried to fish it out with no luck. Water still seems to come out just fine. Can I leave it in there or any tips on removal?

  73. StormyRDH says:

    I am trying to replace the handle adapter (part 10051) and can’t get it to fully seat. I have looked everywhere but all I find is info on cartridges. Any chance you can help me?

    1. Thanks Stormy for your question. I’m having a hard time finding information on that adapter as well. Is it for a sink faucet handle? And what does it do?

  74. Bonnie Smith says:

    I have replaced a Moen cartridge single handle 3 times and still have a drip on the cold water. I believe I am doing it correctly. Hot water does not drip and shuts off. As soon as I turn on the valve for cold water the faucet starts to drip, more than a drip. What am I doing wrong. I have watched all the videos on the internet and have taken the cartridge out and replaced many times.

  75. Denny says:

    Hi,
    I am Denny
    I have a trouble to fix water leak out of Moen waterhill 2 handle high arc bathroom faucet. I tried to take off the handle so hard but to fail. What is the right way to solve this problem? pls let me know. I would really appreciate .
    Thanks

  76. Jeff Johnson says:

    I tried this but the handle just turns 360 deg. Doesnt’ stop at 0 deg and 90 deg.

  77. Eric Lange says:

    Hi Guys.
    Any suggestions for pulling that cartridge out, which seems to be super jammed or gunked up and stuck. I’m by no means a weak guy but can’t seem to yank it out and i’m afraid I’ll rip off the top of the cartridge.

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