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Stuck Moen pressure balance cartridge

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  • #16
    Re: Stuck Moen pressure balance cartridge

    Originally posted by JCsPlumbing
    I poked around on the Moen site and their schematics but didn't see anything that I couldn't move or "twist" to help remove.
    All Moen cartridges are difficult to remove. I'm guessing that you live in an area where the water is not hard. That would be a treat. These days, when I run into an old brass cartridge, I've got maybe a 50-50 chance that I can remove it at all.

    Two things happen: the o-rings get really hard from age, and the hard water builds a ring just above the o-ring and it will not budge. When you try to turn it, the brass ears will break off first. Then the core will put clear out of the cartridge.

    So you switch to the aftermarket tool. This has a small pin that is spring-loaded and will slide down into the cartridge and the pin will pop into one of the water ports, allowing you to twist and pull on the cartridge.

    Even then, the tool's shaft will twist and the pin will break and you're stuck - you cannot remove the cartridge and you cannot remove the tool.

    I used to always be able to remove the plastic cartridges, but I finally hit the first one that snapped off the lower half of the cartridge in the barrel of the faucet. I'm sure there will be plenty more of them like that as they age.

    This isn't exclusive to Moen - I've had to drill and chop at the old Wolverine Brass cartridges to get them to come loose, too.

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    • #17
      Re: Stuck Moen pressure balance cartridge

      Thanks Herk. While there is hard water throughout my area, the majority I've ran into had the plastic body. That's probably what makes it much easier.

      J.C.

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      • #18
        Re: Stuck Moen pressure balance cartridge

        I didn't see anyone mention this specifically. When pulling a Moen cartridge you must twist the cartridge back and forth while it's in the bore before yanking it out. That's what the little white plastic thing in a new cartridge is for too.

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        • #19
          Re: Stuck Moen pressure balance cartridge

          Originally posted by aDanO View Post
          I didn't see anyone mention this specifically. When pulling a Moen cartridge you must twist the cartridge back and forth while it's in the bore before yanking it out. That's what the little white plastic thing in a new cartridge is for too.
          I was looking for the same thing in this thread. I don't think there was a Moen valve I couldn't get out with that little white tool. If you can twist it back and forth and break it loose, chances are that it'll come out.
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          • #20
            Re: Stuck Moen pressure balance cartridge

            I can't stress enough that the water here will freeze a cartridge so badly that you CANNOT twist it at all, and the ears on the brass cartridges will bust off immediately.

            Once that happens with the original cartridges, I've taken to replacing the faucet or valve. The aftermarket tool that pops a pin into the side hole deep in the cartridge will not come back out when you can't get the cartridge out, and it's far more likely that you will actually bend the stem of the tool and ruin it each and every time you use it, which means replacing the tool as well as the faucet.

            Having grown tired of replacing the tool, I simply quit buying them. If it won't come out with the regular tool, it probably won't come out at all.

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            • #21
              Re: Stuck Moen pressure balance cartridge

              The way I feel about Moen valves, I have often wondered if one might be tweaked with a 12 gauge shotgun and a deer slug.
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