My favorite shower valve repair is Moen. It’s a well built and simply designed faucet that works well. It rarely needs repairs. There are two models that are by far the best.
Moen Shower Valve Models
There are many models of Moen shower faucet. But the most common take the standard Moen 1225 cartridge and the pressure balancing Moen 1222 cartridge.
To identify yours reference the following illustration.
In the illustration you’ll notice the different screw pattern on the shower faucet escutcheons. The standard Moen single handle shower valve escutcheon has two screws next to each other in a horizontal pattern.
The pressure balancing Moen single handle shower valve escutcheon screw holes are in a diagonal position. This is a quick way to identify which faucet you have.
Why Is This Important
The escutcheon screw pattern tells you which type of valve you have. With this information you can identify the cartridge you need without shutting down your home water system. In the next picture you’ll see the different style Moen cartridges for the two most common Moen single handle shower faucets.
First there is the standard Moen cartridge model 1225. This is for the older style shower faucet that isn’t pressure balancing. If you have to pull the handle on your faucet to turn it on, this is the cartridge you need.
Next you’ll see the Moen 1222 pressure balancing cartridge. The shower valve escutcheon screws are in a diagonal pattern. This is most commonly called the Positemp cartridge.
Knowing which replacement cartridge you need is half the battle when making a shower valve repair on the two most common Moen single handle shower valve.
One More Thing
This particular shower valve repair is relatively simple. But you will need a special tool for it. This is the only shower valve I know of that needs a specialty tool. But don’t worry. It’s still very doable. It can be difficult to pull the old cartridge out of a Moen valve. Hard water deposits will seize it to the inside housing of the valve. This tool works similarly to a gear puller for automotive repair. I always have one with me.
To use this tool follow these instructions:
- First unscrew the small screw on the top of the T handle part of the tool almost all the way out.
- Next place the tool on top of the cartridge to be removed with the two tool barbs lined up with the indentations on either side of the cartridge.
- While holding the tool steady, start turning the screw on the tool until it’s fully threaded into the screw hole in the cartridge stem where the handle screw normally is.
- Now start turning the large nut on the tool clockwise. Once it comes into contact with the valve continue turning. You may need pliers to turn it all the way. This will pull the cartridge almost all the way out of the shower valve.
- The last step is to pull on the T handle of the tool until the cartridge is out.
The Shower Valve Repair
Finally we can make the shower valve repair. Follow these steps.
- Turn off the water.
- Remove the faucet handle cover. A slim pry bar or flat-bladed screw driver works well.
- Unscrew the faucet handle screw — usually flat blade.
- Remove the faucet handle.
- Pull out and save the retaining clip.
- Use the white plastic tool that comes with the new cartridge to twist the cartridge left/right loose. The “ears” on the tool sit between the “ears” of the cartridge inside the valve body to let you rotate it.
- Use the extractor tool on the stem to pull out the valve cartridge.
- Examine the valve body and use vinegar (and a toothbrush) to clean out any lime and mineral deposits.
- Slide the cartridge into the valve body until it clears the retaining clip slot. The ears on the cartridge should be aligned with the slots, not opposite to them.
- Slide the retaining clip in. Seat it so it’s flush with the outer valve body, with just the tab exposed. You can use the plastic white tool to rotate the insert to align the two.
- If there was a spacer sleeve, re-install it by sliding it back into place.
- Slide the faucet handle back on.
- Turn on the water
- Make sure hot/cold are in the correct directions. If not, use the faucet handle to rotate the valve stem 180 degrees to make hot/cold properly oriented.
- Screw the faucet screw back in.
- Press the handle cover back in.
Hire Your Blue Springs Plumber
As always, I don’t recommend a homeowner attempt this repair. Shower faucet repairs should be done by a professional plumber. If you find yourself needing this repair done please don’t hesitate to call us at Advocate Master Plumbing. We’re your local plumbing professionals that are licensed and insured. And don’t forget that we also install and repair water heaters, garbage disposals, sump pumps, back up sump pumps, toilets, faucets, frozen water pipe repairs, gas pipe, and all manner of residential plumbing repairs in Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Lee’s Summit and the entire Jackson County Missouri area.
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