Need help: Broken stem in Moen shower faucet valve cartridge
Here's my first post ever for help, but I really need it!
I'll start up front by saying that I learned a ton from the site I was led to from blogs on this diychatroom! (Pages of Rages: Stuck Moen Shower Faucet Cartridge Replacement http://vivara.net/blog/?p=28). It's indispensible. I was studying the 149 posts there until 4:30am, hoping I understand it.
But either fear or total sleep deprivation has got me now, and I'd like to post my photos and be sure about how to proceed.
In a nutshell, while driving yesterday, I got "the call" from one of my kids saying the shower water wouldn't turn off. Since we've got lots of dated Moen fixtures, I was nearly unfazed as I directed them to the basement to turn the house water off while I zipped home.
OK. When the youngest child finished a shower using the Moen Monticello Posi-Temp Single-Handle Shower Fixture, they turned the lever handle clockwise (from hot-to-cold-to-off) as usual. However, the water kept coming out of the handheld Grohe Tempesta Series shower head. Cold water, since that's the last position of the handle en route to "off."
Child Younger met Child Older in the hallway for help, still holding the lever handle in hand and I got "the call." I show up at home and scope it out, realizing that the metal stem within the valve cartridge has actually broken off. I called Moen to verify the needed part (Replacement Cartridge 1222). Got that at the big orange store for $39.00. I'd printed up Moen's "Illustrated Parts" chart and between the chart and the installation instructions contained with Replacement Cartridge #1222, my husband and I faced reality squarely in that slippery shower.
I had previously purchased a different Moen Posi-Temp Cartridge Repair Kit, Moen part # 98040, which had the white plastic (useless) cartridge remover. It obviously won't work if the cartridge stem has broken off. We were not quite ready to destroy the white vertical plastic visible fron of the old cartridge yet.
We realized our delima and stopped our attempts until I could gather more information. So I stayed up all night finding and reading the info from the pages of Rages site; trying to digest what I needed to have to proceed with getting our old cartridge completely removed.
To the best of my knowledge, I will need WD-40, a size 6 screw extractor or a 1/2" screw (aka "tap"?) and a 1/2" bolt, along with the plumber's grease. I think we'll have to go ahead and lift out the copper stop kit pin, save it), and break the white plastic front of the old cartridge so we can get closer to getting the broken one out. Have I missed anything?
Please look at the photos I pray I can attach and let me know! Laundry, dishes and toilet flushing are going to come sooner than I know, with a family of six...and i'd just like to wash my hands while I'm cooking pot roast right now, too!
Gee, what a downer. My photo filesize is too large and I can't manage to shrink them. to the 100KB (!) size required to attach them. I'd gladly email them to anyone who can help me post them or wants to see them.
Appreciate any advise or encouragement!
So, are you saying the brass center piece of the cartridge came out or is it still in the cartridge? if its still in, remove the metal clip then grab the brass center and pull it out.
Thanks for your reply, Jim.
The brass center part of the cartridge assembly broke. There was about 1 1/4" of the brass stem still attached to the handle, which came off the wall when this happened. The remainder of the stem, however long that is, remains inside the cartridge within the pipe.
The remaining piece of the stem lies about 1/3" into the white plastic valve cartridge. My plan is to follow the advise I read on the "Page of Rage (http://vivara.net/blog/?p=28); using a #6 tap to create the threads to insert a #6 bolt with nut and then use vise grips to dislodge it.
Any advise would be welcome.
Broken moen shower cartidge
GO TO BIG BOX OR HARDWARE STORE AND GET A MOEN CARTRIDGE "PULLER"
THIS WILL ALLOW YOU TO REMOVE THE BROKEN CARTRIDGE :thumbsup:
Thanks Big Jim, for your comment.
We weren't able to remove it with a cartridge puller because of the broken off stem. We tried the #6 tap kit, which was not successful because most of the stem was broken off and not much brass to "grab" onto. I don't know what the other metal is that is deeper than the brass stem, but it is really hard. Broke the #6 off.
I got a 1/4" Titanium bit (what the heck) and we drilled away. After a LOT of careful but persistent drilling, I got to the frist big o-ring and continued through that hard-as-granite plastic housing. Finally able to chip away the plastic and pull the cartridge out with needle nose pliers.
Installation is smooth EXCEPT for this show-stopper (HELP HELP HELP):
When the retaining clip is replaced, the chrome "sleeve" for the limit stop can't get past that darn clip. The slip sits too high and you can see its feet on the inner bottom of the pipe.
How, oh how do we get that clip to cooperate so we can finish this last piece?
So exhausted at this end....
Still need advise
My husband figured out how to get the retaining clip pushed down, or "submerged" deep enough into the pipe for the chrome sleeve to slide over it:
I feel pretty dumb, but the bottom two "fork" spines of the retaining clip simply needed to be guided into the corresponding slot in the pipe (mirror image opening to the top opening into which the retaining pin was lowered; 180 degrees opposite in the pipe). Then the clip was naturally able to fit down snuggly enough within the pipe for the chrome sleeve to slide over the retaining clip's protruding tip.
Beg your comment(s) for these two last problems!
I believe all I need to do is remove and reverse the direction of the cartridge 180 degrees to solve this problems...
When the water was turned back on we had two problems:
1) The shower handle now stops at the 12 o'clock position for "off" when it used to stop at the 6 o'clock position. (I don't know at this moment if the water starts off cold or hot as the handle is turned to the max position.)
2) Unexpectedly, water began flowing simultaneously through both the hand-held device and the original (mounted) shower head. (It's not a show-stopper, as we can disconnect the hand-held--and I think my husband already did that--but it would be nice to still have that functionality for other purposes.)
Of note: The original cartridge I extracted did not have the "hot/cold" lebel impressed into the plastic tab of the old cartridge. I know the pipes themselves are marked, (blue to the right), which would indicate the hot/cold tab on the new cartridge should be in the top slot. But with the new cartridge installed in this manner, the shower handle only attaches in a 180 degree position opposite from its original position...
Will "flipping" the cartridge 180 degrees solve these problems?
I can't tell you how incredibly grateful I am for this chatroom and the generosity of your responses. You are terrific! God bless, and I thank you.
I don't do alot of moen posi temps but i think you can just turn the center brass part 180 degrees without removing the cartridge. If not can just move the whole cartridge 180.
I just came across your post from 2.5 years ago and it is funny how closely my problem resembles yours (down to the family of 6, kids called after taking shower while my wife and I were out, shower running and can't turn off, etc). I wanted to see if you think it would have been more cost effective to call a professional plumber to do this job. Replacing the valve, without the broken valve stem issue, would be a good DIY project, but when complications arise like we have/had, sometimes it is just better paying a pro to do it, due to the time 'expense', if you know what I mean. I'm sure it is going to be an expensive repair, per the "Big Box" hardware store plumbing technician. Just curious.
I had the same problem, the handle broke off with a piece of the stem. I tried with a 1/2" tap but after an inch or so I couldn't drill. I was frustrated and decided to drill random holes on the white face and use needle nose plier to hold on to the holes and pull it off. It came out smoothly. I installed a new catridge (pushed it all the way in) and used the retaining clip as it was before. When turned on, water flows out fine, except I see a little bit of leak from the catridge itself. Did the first O-ring did not sit properly? I'm kinda debating now to whether open it again or leave it as it is, as its in the guest bath. Would love to get your suggestions,
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