Faucet repair

How To: Showers

Shower faucets are the weekend warriors favorite DIY project. It’s also the cause of many arguments between husbands and wives. A Sunday call from a guy saying “Just fix it! I thought I could but I can’t. She tried to tell me.” At Advocate Master Plumbing we’ve saved many husbands from their wives justifiable wrath. In this DIY plumbing repair page we’ll discuss a couple of the most common shower faucet repairs.

Please feel free to skip ahead by clicking the respective page links below.

Moen Shower faucet repair

The Moen shower faucet is a good value faucet that was built well. That’s why there are so many being repaired. They last a long time. They’re also a good shower faucet to begin your DIY plumbing repair education. But first you have to identify your particular model faucet. Below you’ll find some paragraphs to help you identify your particular shower valve. But before you begin you may want to watch the videos below.

 

 

What kind of Moen shower faucet do I have?

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 the most common.

Moen shower valve models

There are many models of Moen shower faucets. But the most common takes the standard Moen 1225 cartridge, 1200 cartridge and the pressure balancing Moen 1222 cartridge. If your faucet is the older style that you pull out the handle to turn on the water flow, 1225 or 1200 cartridge style, you may need to exert a lot of force to get the cartridge out. Hard water deposits can create a lot of friction inside a shower faucet. If it’s the Positemp valve style that turns on only, it will be the 1222 cartridge.

To identify yours reference the following illustration.

Moen shower valve repairs
Moen shower valve models

In the illustration you’ll notice the different screw patterns 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.

What kind of Moen shower valve cartridge do I need?

The escutcheon screw pattern tells you which type of moen shower valve you have. With this

Moen repair part
Moen 1225 cartridge

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.

Moen faucet repair
Moen 1200 cartridge

Then there is the older Moen 1200 cartridge. If you’ve purchased a 1225 cartridge and it just won’t fit into the faucet housing then this is probably the cartridge you should have gotten.

shower valve repair
Moen 1222 pressure balancing shower valve cartridge

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 valves.

 

The Moen faucet cartridge pulling tool

This particular shower valve repair is relatively simple. But you will need a special tool for it if you have the older 1225 model. 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. This tool works similarly to a gear puller for automotive repair. If you have the newer Moen Positemp shower faucet the following instructions are the same. Just skip the tool portion. You’ll just wiggle that cartridge out.

Faucet repair
Moen faucet cartridge tool

Moen shower faucet repair step by step instructions:

  1. Turn off the house water and drain it by opening a faucet on a lower level and turning on the shower faucet being repaired.
  2. Remove the shower faucet handle.
  3. Next remove the stop tube and retainer clip.
  4. If necessary, remove the shower faucet escutcheon.
  5. Now for the 1225 cartridge model, unscrew the small screw on the top of the T-handle part of the Moen faucet cartridge tool almost all the way out.
  6. Place the tool on top of the cartridge to be removed with the tools two barbs lined up with the indentations on either side of the cartridge.
  7. 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.
  8. Now, while firmly holding the T-handle, 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.
  9. The last step is to pull on the T-handle of the tool until the cartridge is out. A little twisting could help.
  10. Once the old cartridge is out inspect and clean the inside of the faucet. If there are hard water deposits gently remove them with some mesh sand cloth used for soldering. But be careful not to scratch the brass housing.
  11. Lubricate the cartridge with some plumbers grease. This will soften the cartridge seals and assist with a smooth installation.
  12. Using the white plastic tool that comes with all moen cartridges, twist the newly installed cartridge so that the retainer clip can be reinserted into the slots. You should see the tips of the retainer clip just barely poking out the bottom of the faucet housing.
  13. Now I recommend turning the water on. This model shower faucet cartridge can be turned 180 degrees to switch the hot and cold sides. If you see no leaks and you’ve adjusted the stem so the hot and cold are on the desired sides it’s time to reassemble the faucet.

Delta shower faucet repair

Delta shower faucets are also one of the best value faucets you can buy. They are designed simply and the parts are easily found. They have more models from which to choose, however. So cartridge identification can be a little tricky.

Older model Delta Monitor shower faucet repair

Before beginning confirm your brand and model shower faucet. Then purchase all parts necessary for the job. If you’re unable to identify the model of the shower faucet, take the old cartridge out and have a plumbing supply sales person identify it for you. It’s always a good idea to take a picture of the faucet handle and trim with you, as well.

The older model Delta Monitor shower faucets were very well made and easily repaired. But they had, in my opinion, one major flaw. The faucet is constructed of two heavy brass sections connected by three soft copper tubes. So, if the bonnet nut seized, which it does often, an impatient or inexperienced person can break the valve and shut the home water system down until the faucet is replaced. Be careful! I highly recommend you let a professional make this repair.

 

Older Delta Monitor shower faucet repair step by step instructions

Now let’s break down each step of the repair.

  1. Identify the brand and model. Then purchase a complete rebuild kit or cartridge.
  2. Shut off the home water system at the entrance valve or water meter.
  3. Drain the water system by turning on and leaving on an outside wall hydrant or lower level faucet. Then turn on the shower faucet you’re repairing.

    Shower faucet repair
    Older Delta Monitor 6oo series shower faucet
  4. Remove the handle. Your handle could be crystal with an index button in the middle covering a set screw or a brass lever with a set screw.
  5. Then unscrew the bonnet nut. If it’s seized lubricate it with penetrating oil or WD40 and let it set for 10 or 15 minutes and try again. This may take a couple of attempts. If it still won’t budge, stop and call a professional.
  6. Remove the cam and ball assembly. That’s the stuff under the bonnet.
  7. Then, using a small pick or tweezers, remove the rubber seats and springs inside the faucet housing.
  8. Inspect the inside of the faucet housing for calcium build up or cracks. To remove calcium, gently pick at it with a wire brush or small pick. Be careful not to score the brass.
  9. Lubricate the new rubber seats with plumbers grease or vegetable oil. Don’t use petroleum jelly.

    Delta shower faucet repair
    Delta shower faucet blow up
  10. Insert the springs into the rubber seats small side in.
  11. Slide a small pick or screwdriver inside the rubber seat and spring and insert it gently back into the faucet housing. You may need to work at the seat with your finger to get it to go all the way in.
  12. Lubricate the ball assembly and insert it into the faucet housing. There may be a small tab inside the faucet housing that accepts a slot in the ball assembly for proper alignment.
  13. Place the cam on top of the ball assembly with the little tab on the side fully inserted into the slot of the faucet housing on the side.
  14. Thread the bonnet back on while holding the cam down with your finger.
  15. Reinstall the handle.
  16. Shut off all faucets. Turn on one tub faucet on the top floor of your home.
  17. Turn the water to your home on about a third of the way to allow it to slowly fill the pipes. Don’t rush this. You want all the air to escape through the top tub faucet. But you don’t want to stir up too much calcium debris inside the piping that could clog faucets.
  18. Once the tub no longer has any air coming out, shut it off.
  19. Purge all other interior faucets of air starting on the top floor and beginning with tub and shower faucets. Then purge sink faucets. And finally flush toilets.
  20. The last step is to purge the lower level home plumbing fixtures and test your shower faucet repair for leaks.

Newer model Delta Monitor shower faucet repair

The newer model Delta Monitor shower valves have a few different model cartridges. Watch the video below and then confirm your particular model cartridge by referencing the illustrations and pictures on this page. Don’t attempt any repairs until you’ve properly identified the correct model cartridge you have.

 

Below are the cartridge types for the newer Delta Monitor shower valves.

Different Delta shower faucet cartridges
Newer Delta shower faucet cartridges

 

 

shower valve cartridges
Newer Delta shower valve cartridges with model numbers

Newer model Delta Monitor shower valve repair step by step instructions

  1. Identify the brand and model. Then purchase a complete rebuild kit or cartridge.
  2. Shut off the home water system at the entrance valve or water meter.
  3. Drain the water system by turning on and leaving on an outside wall hydrant or lower level faucet. Then turn on the shower faucet you’re repairing.
  4. Remove the handle. Your handle could be crystal with an index button in the middle covering a set screw or a brass lever with a set screw.

    Delta shower faucet repair
    Newer Delta shower valve with brass handle
  5. Then unscrew the bonnet nut. If it’s seized lubricate it with penetrating oil or WD40 and let it set for 10 or 15 minutes and try again. This may take a couple of attempts. If it still won’t budge, stop and call a professional.
  6. Remove the cartridge.

    Delta shower faucet repair
    Newer Delta shower valve with crystal handle
  7. Inspect the inside of the faucet housing for calcium build up or cracks. To remove calcium, gently pick at it with a wire brush or small pick. Be careful not to score the brass.
  8. Lubricate the new cartridge rubber seats and seals with plumbers grease or vegetable oil. Don’t use petroleum jelly.
  9. Install the new cartridge. Be sure the hot and cold are on the correct sides and the small slot on the side of the cartridge engages fully with the indention on the shower faucet housing. If this is difficult return to step 7.
  10. Thread the bonnet nut back on.
  11. Reinstall the handle.
  12. Shut off all faucets. Turn on one tub faucet on the top floor of your home.
  13. Turn the water to your home on about a third of the way to allow it to slowly fill the pipes. Don’t rush this. You want all the air to escape through the top tub faucet. But you don’t want to stir up too much calcium debris inside the piping that could clog faucets.
  14. Once the tub no longer has any air coming out, shut it off.
  15. Purge all other interior faucets of air starting on the top floor and beginning with tub and shower faucets. Then purge sink faucets. And finally flush toilets.
  16. The last step is to purge the lower level home plumbing fixtures and test your shower faucet repair for leaks.

Call your local Lee’s Summit plumber

At Advocate Master Plumbing we understand that personal finances can dictate how a home repair is made. Diy home repairs are very popular on television and seem very easy. But you can turn an inexpensive plumbing repair into a catastrophe quickly if you don’t know what you’re doing. Please consider calling the professionals. You’re good at what you do. Let us be good at what we do. And we’ll give you a one year parts and labor warranty!