Your Moen shower cartridge might need lubricating before installation or because it is stuck. But can you lubricate the cartridge, and how do you go about it? We researched these questions and have the information you need below.
Experts recommend lubrication when replacing a Moen shower cartridge. Lubrication is often the go-to solution to fix shower issues and is a part of shower fixture maintenance. When lubricating a Moen shower cartridge, you should only use silicone-based grease.
Here's how to lubricate the cartridge:
- Remove the shower handle
- Take the escutcheon plate out.
- Pull out the sleeve.
- Remove the cartridge's clip.
- Get the cartridge out.
- Reinstall the shower cartridge.
Lubricating a Moen shower cartridge is no easy task, especially if it's your first time. That's why we've included a more thorough guide below. We also share some signs that can help you tell when you should change your shower cartridge.
Guide To Lubricating A Moen Shower Cartridge
You can lubricate your Moen shower cartridge as long as you use silicone-based grease. Do not lubricate it with petroleum-based grease, as it can damage the cartridge's rubber seals.
Experts usually recommend lubricating a new Moen shower cartridge if you're replacing an old one. Doing this is crucial to ensure that the next time you change your cartridge, you will be able to pull it out quickly. Although shower cartridges are usually pre-greased, doing this as an additional step will help you.
Different shower issues, like a stuck shower handle, also call for lubrication. If you want to prolong your shower cartridge's lifespan, lubricating as part of its maintenance is the way to go.
Now that we've clarified that lubricating a Moen shower cartridge is safe, you can proceed with the process. Before you start, turn off your home's main water valve. Then turn on your shower to see if water is still coming out and to release some air.
Follow these steps to lubricate the cartridge:
1. Remove The Shower Handle
Older Moen shower models have a plastic cap, so remove this with a flathead screwdriver. Then you'll be able to unscrew the shower handle using a Phillips screwdriver.
A Moen shower handle with no plastic cap will probably have a hex nut under the handle. You can take the handle off by using an Allen wrench on the hex nut.
2. Remove The Escutcheon Plate
After removing the shower handle, take out the screws on the trim using a Phillips head screwdriver. Unscrewing this will give you access to the sleeve that protects your shower cartridge. Once you remove the screws, pry the escutcheon plate off the wall with a flathead screwdriver.
3. Pull Out The Sleeve
Take out the stop tube or sleeve. You can pull out this metal tube with your hands or needle-nose pliers.
4. Remove The Cartridge's Clip
With your pliers, remove the clip that holds the cartridge.
5. Get The Cartridge Out
Using your pliers, twist the nut to pull the cartridge out. If the cartridge is corroded and difficult to remove, apply WD-40 before twisting it out.
After removing the cartridge, it's finally time to lubricate. If you plan on reusing the same cartridge, clean it with a paper towel before directly applying the silicone-based grease. If you have a new cartridge, you don't need to clean it. You can immediately apply the lubricant.
7. Reinstall The Shower Cartridge
To reinstall the shower cartridge (old or new) after lubrication, you only have to follow the steps above in reverse. Just put the cartridge back, ensuring that one of the cartridge's ear holes is on top of the valve body and the remaining one is on the bottom.
Then put the retainer clip or bolt back and check if the cartridge's ear holes are in the correct position. Finally, reinstall the tube or sleeve, screw the round trim plate and escutcheon plate back in, and your Moen shower should be ready.
Signs That You Need To Replace Your Moen Shower Cartridge
If you reused your Moen shower cartridge after greasing it and noticed that problems are still happening with your shower, it may mean that you need to replace the cartridge with a new one. Because a damaged cartridge does not cause all shower-related issues, you must double-check if this is the case by looking for any of these signs:
- Water leaks from your shower even when it's turned off.
- Moen shower doesn't give your desired water temperature.
- The shower handle is hard to turn on or is slipping.
- Your Moen shower isn't turning on.
If you notice these signs, try replacing your Moen shower cartridge by following the steps above.
How To Find The Right Moen Shower Cartridge
Buying the correct Moen shower cartridge is essential if you plan to replace it. You'll need your shower's manufacture date and model number to find this out. Moen only makes four models of shower cartridges (1200, 1222, 1225, and 1255), making the job easier for you.
Here are some of the ways you find the correct cartridge for your Moen shower cartridge:
- Look for your shower manual. If you recently bought your Moen shower or still have all the papers included with the product, it will quickly point to the correct shower cartridge you should use.
- Find your shower's series number. Look for a number on any part of your shower fixture (typically the escutcheon plate). Then search for the cartridge model suitable for your Moen shower with this number.
- Buy a new Moen shower cartridge that looks like your old one. You need to remove your old cartridge for this. Then you can search for all the available cartridges of Moen online and see which one looks similar to what you have. You can also take your old cartridge to your home improvement store and ask for assistance.
Can You Get A Free Moen Replacement Cartridge?
Yes, Moen offers a free replacement cartridge, but under certain conditions. Moen also offers a lifetime limited warranty for homeowners. They offer up to five years of warranty for business, commercial, and industrial use. During this timeframe, Moen provides shower parts (including cartridges) free of charge.
However, they will not cover damage that results from improper installation, product misuse, or the use of abrasive cleaning products. The warranty only covers damage due to defective manufacturing.
How Much Does A Plumber Charge To Replace A Shower Cartridge?
Typically, a shower cartridge replacement done by a plumber can cost between $200 to $400. Labor, the price of your cartridge model, and your location can affect this price. A shower cartridge can cost as much as $85, while the hourly rate for labor can range between $75 and $160.
Additionally, a professional plumber may charge you more if your shower cartridge is harder to replace because of its model or if there are problems.
Experts recommend lubricating a newly installed Moen shower cartridge or an old one that's causing problems. You should also do this as a part of your shower's maintenance. Make sure only to use silicone-based grease for this task.
For first-timers, this task may seem complex. But if you follow the correct procedure, you should be able to finish the job without much difficulty. To lubricate, you need to remove the cartridge. Doing so requires you to remove the shower handle, escutcheon plate, sleeve, and plate.
Then you'll be able to pull out the cartridge and apply the grease. If you plan to reuse your old shower cartridge, clean it with a paper towel before applying the lubricant. For new cartridges, you can directly apply the lubricant and put the cartridge in place by reversing the steps for removal.
Did you find this post helpful in getting your task done? Get more information about Moen showers by reading these articles: