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Old 08-13-2015, 09:00 PM   #1
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New Moen shower trim....now a leak


You'd think I could do something simple like put in new shower trim (single lever Moen handle/escutcheon) without screwing anything up? Nope.

The original was getting a little mucked up looking and had the cheap looking plastic handle from the 80's (or at least looked like it).

A couple of weeks ago I took off the old escutcheon, handle, temp limit piece and the metal cylindrical sleeve that goes around the cartridge (its a posi temp valve/cartridge). The valve seemed to work fine, so I figured i could just change out the trim and all would be fine. But, while giving my 8 month old baths, i started to notice regular drips on the bottom of the new handle indicating some sort of leak. I figured i'd get to it, tighten a few things when I had time and wasn't too concerned. But, then I tried the shower diverter to give my dog a bath with the hand spraying tool we have connected to the shower and i started to notice some water appearing from the ceiling and in a couple of spots high up on the wall. Not good. So, i pushed down on the diverter and sent the water back to the tub spout, and the wall "leaks" stopped. That was yesterday and the walls are completely dry now with no sign anything had happened. But, i'm guessing a decent size leak has to happen on the inside to see water on the walls.

Anyway, i'm shocked that just changing the trim could cause this big of a problem. Is it possible i caused the old cartridge to move and jarred it loose while putting on the new trim? I doubt its just a matter as simple as tightening the handle screw or the escutcheon. I'm hoping I can either tighten or re-seat my original cartridge or just buy a new positemp cartridge....or does this sound like a bigger problem than that?

Any ideas?
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Old 08-14-2015, 08:59 AM   #2
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Could be something got lodged in their. Maybe as you suggest, remove cartridge, check for any debris, reinstall, and see what happens. Hard to believe the cartridge would all of a sudden go bad.

If no difference then call or go to moen's website, click on parts and support and verify you got the right trim kit for the positemp control valve. No need to buy the cartridge they will replace it free if it's bad. Worth the call, very reputable company.

http://www.moen.com/

Others will be along with more advice/suggestions. Hope you get it working right soon.
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Old 08-14-2015, 09:10 AM   #3
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The trouble with changing these things is the details. These have gaskets that need to be replaced correctly and undamaged, cartridges that have a specific orientation, etc. Get the instructions for the model you have(internet) and take it apart again and re-assemble with new gaskets, "O" rings and any other rubber item. Also coat the rubber items with faucet grease to reduce long term wear.
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Old 08-14-2015, 09:36 AM   #4
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Remove the new plate to expose the valve. Then using a pair of pliers, turn on the water by twisting the stem(notice the stem orientation some you return it to the proper off position).
Shin a light into the wall at the valve and look for leaks on the inside.
You mentioned it stopped when using the tub only so it might be the threaded connection at the shower head or the top port of the valve
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Old 08-14-2015, 11:13 AM   #5
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You say you took off the metal sleeve. Was your old handle the push-pull type?
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Old 08-14-2015, 11:26 AM   #6
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No, it was definitely the same type of handle (positemp). Not the Moentrol type (push pull).

Maybe i'm using the wrong terminology. Here's a pic of the sleeve i took off with the old trim and then inserted a new one around the valve stem/cartridge. NOTE: I didn't take out the old cartridge at the time I changed the trim.

I will say, that part was kind of stuck a little bit and it took some mild pulling to get the old sleeve out. Also, i believe the original positemp cartridge and original trim were about 22 years old (original to the house).
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Old 08-14-2015, 11:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmon View Post
Could be something got lodged in their. Maybe as you suggest, remove cartridge, check for any debris, reinstall, and see what happens. Hard to believe the cartridge would all of a sudden go bad.

If no difference then call or go to moen's website, click on parts and support and verify you got the right trim kit for the positemp control valve. No need to buy the cartridge they will replace it free if it's bad. Worth the call, very reputable company.

http://www.moen.com/

Others will be along with more advice/suggestions. Hope you get it working right soon.
Are the old cartridges pretty tough to get out? Haven't done it before but i don't mind trying. I'm assuming i'd need to turn the water off first. Just wouldn't want to put this bathtub out of use (if i screw something up) for any length of time b/c i use it for giving the kids baths each night.

Also, as far as Moen replacing a bad cartridge for free, I wonder if that would apply to me since i'm not the original owner of the home. I guess I could tell them I was.
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Old 08-14-2015, 11:32 AM   #8
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There could have been a marginal solder joint that opened with the pulling.
Remove the trim and check for leaks in the wall.
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Old 08-14-2015, 12:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
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There could have been a marginal solder joint that opened with the pulling.
Remove the trim and check for leaks in the wall.
I'll try your advice (and from TheEplumber) and see what I can see. Except if i recall from when I had it open, there wasn't much visibility back inside there. It looked similar to this picture (i just pulled this one off the internet, b/c i'm not at home). But, i'll take the trim stuff off, turn it with some pliers, and see what's going on. This is just to check the small leak that happens while using the tub b/c i won't be able to see up in the wall much.

Its also possible I didn't tighten the handle adapter enough (onto the cartridge)....not sure if that would cause a leak. I remember thinking it might not be good to put too much force and over tighten it. But, maybe thats ok?
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Old 08-14-2015, 12:24 PM   #10
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And to answer your question about cartridge removal they usually go pretty easy unless there are a lot of minerals in your water.
There is a retaining clip that needs to be removed first. Each new moen cartridge comes with a little plastic tool you put over the cartridge to be able to loosen the cartridge. After you give the tool a couple back and forths you should be able to pull it out. If it is stubborn, the good news is the big box stores sell moen cartridge pullers for about $11. I would have one on hand if I were you just in case. Ask me how I know.

There are a lot of you tube videos on moen cartridge replacements. It should go pretty easy, but you have to find the leak first.
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Old 08-14-2015, 12:26 PM   #11
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I think I misread your first post. I thought the leak developed when using the shower- not the tub. At any rate- remove the trim to expose the valve. Turn it on to locate any drips or sprays- it may come from the valve, shower 90 above or the tub spout. I doubt it's at the cartridge if it only leaks in either the tub or shower mode. I also doubt you damaged the cartridge unless it was on its last leg due to age.
But the first step is to remove the trim to inspect- this eliminates a lot of speculation.
Moen valves are very simplistic in design so the possible leak locations are minimized and I think you can rule out the incoming pressure side of the valve. So that leaves the tub outlet piping, shower outlet piping or the cartridge- possibly the tub spout too.
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Old 08-14-2015, 01:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEplumber View Post
I think I misread your first post. I thought the leak developed when using the shower- not the tub. At any rate- remove the trim to expose the valve. Turn it on to locate any drips or sprays- it may come from the valve, shower 90 above or the tub spout. I doubt it's at the cartridge if it only leaks in either the tub or shower mode. I also doubt you damaged the cartridge unless it was on its last leg due to age.
But the first step is to remove the trim to inspect- this eliminates a lot of speculation.
Moen valves are very simplistic in design so the possible leak locations are minimized and I think you can rule out the incoming pressure side of the valve. So that leaves the tub outlet piping, shower outlet piping or the cartridge- possibly the tub spout too.
Yeah, there were two leaks that concern me. A dripping from the shower handle while running the tub water. Then, somewhere behind the walls when pulling the diverter and using a handsheld shower spray tool. Technically, I didn't use the shower though. I have a handheld sprayer attachment for cleaning the dog and water only comes out of it when you press a trigger/button on it....otherwise, nothing comes out (shower or tub). I'd guess that pressure can build up if the water is on and you're not pressing the trigger. So, that could be another, separate issue apart from the shower valve/new trim. I just had never had that happen and have used that attachment probably 20-30 times with no issue (although its been a while since i had used it). I'll try to take pictures to help describe what i'm talking about.

I suppose another test would be to just take that attachment out and run water through the shower head to see if I still see signs of water on the ceiling/walls.
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Old 08-14-2015, 01:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
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And to answer your question about cartridge removal they usually go pretty easy unless there are a lot of minerals in your water.
There is a retaining clip that needs to be removed first. Each new moen cartridge comes with a little plastic tool you put over the cartridge to be able to loosen the cartridge. After you give the tool a couple back and forths you should be able to pull it out. If it is stubborn, the good news is the big box stores sell moen cartridge pullers for about $11. I would have one on hand if I were you just in case. Ask me how I know.

There are a lot of you tube videos on moen cartridge replacements. It should go pretty easy, but you have to find the leak first.
Thanks, i'll check out youtube as well. Dang, i checked Home depot and they want $50 for their puller. Ouch:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/MOEN-Cart...4421/202998692

Maybe i'll just buy a new cartridge and use the plastic tool and then return it. That is, unless I end up needing the new cartridge.

Also, i assume i'd need to turn the water off to mess with cartridge removal, right?
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Old 08-14-2015, 03:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmoore1 View Post
Thanks, i'll check out youtube as well. Dang, i checked Home depot and they want $50 for their puller. Ouch:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/MOEN-Cart...4421/202998692

Maybe i'll just buy a new cartridge and use the plastic tool and then return it. That is, unless I end up needing the new cartridge.

Also, i assume i'd need to turn the water off to mess with cartridge removal, right?

Go to Lowes then:
http://www.lowes.com/pd_37742-1366-6...rtridge+puller

And yes, you need to turn the water off unless you want to re enact a three stooges episode.

Open the faucet to drain the water after the water is off
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Old 08-15-2015, 10:12 PM   #15
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I'm starting to think the leak I saw in the walls while using that handheld attachment may have been a separate issue or a freak occurrence. Either way, i'm not using that thing again. I ran the shower for a while the last two days and didn't see any issues. So, for now, i'll concentrate on the leak from the shower faucet handle. I took it apart and turned it on per the tip from a couple of dudes on here and its definitely leaking (one of the pics attached is with the valve turned on). Whether it was always leaking or it somehow started leaking from me putting on new trim, i don't know.

But, another issue I see is that it looks like it'll be hard to take that cartridge out of there. My shower/bath enclosure is that fiberglass stuff. But, behind that, there's some sort of plastic backing around the valve itself which appears that it will prevent me from even taking out the pin to get the cartridge out. Has anyone seen something like this?
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New Moen shower trim....now a leak-img_20150815_212820.jpg   New Moen shower trim....now a leak-img_20150815_213120.jpg   New Moen shower trim....now a leak-img_20150815_212836.jpg  
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