Moen Cartridge Won’t Go All The Way In – Why? What To Do?

Are you trying to fit in the Moen cartridge, but it won’t go all the way in? What could be wrong? And what can you do about it? Don’t worry! We’ve researched the topic to answer these questions.

The Moen cartridge may fail to fit in the pipes due to some of the issues listed below:

  • Incorrect size
  • Loose fittings
  • Blockages
  • High water pressure
  • The Moen cartridge is too Old

In this article, we’ll explain the purpose of the Moen cartridge. We’ll also discuss ways to resolve installation issues you may encounter and address some other things you should be aware of. So, please keep reading!

Diagnosing Moen Cartridge That Won’t Go All The Way In

Plumber hands fixing shower mixer on modern water tap.

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A Moen cartridge is used in the shower to allow proper flow and control the amount of water. It enables you to adjust the water pressure by twisting its handle.

However, the Moen cartridge may sometimes fail to fit correctly. Here are some reasons why that can happen.

Incorrect Size

If the pipe is too narrow, the Moen cartridge will fail to go all the way in. So, it’s best to measure a new cartridge fitting from the base to its tip to ensure it’s the right size for your plumbing. Alternatively, you can ask a plumber to customize the pipe size to suit the fitting.

Loose Fittings

It’s also possible that the pipe is a bit wider, causing the cartridge not to fit perfectly. In that case, you can add a rubber grommet or the “O-ring” to the cartridge to tighten its bond with the water pipe.

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See this cartridge repair kit on Amazon.

Follow the steps below to tighten a loose fitting:

  1. Find a rubber grommet the same size as the cartridge.
  2. Wipe the cartridge with a dry cloth.
  3. Stretch the rubber grommet to fit it in the cartridge.
  4. Slowly push the cartridge inside the pipe while twisting for proper alignment.
  5. Test the cartridge to see if the water will flow without leaking. You can opt to seal its surrounding with silicon caulk.


Another reason is that the water pipe gets blocked by small objects like debris or dirt. To resolve this, remove the Moen cartridge and clean its surroundings, or detach the pipe to unclog it manually.

Rust can also cause blockages, especially if the water pipe is quite old. You can use a rust-cleaning solution to eliminate the blockage.

See this rust cleaner on Amazon.

Follow these steps to remove the rust:

  1. Put the Moen cartridge in a basin with water.
  2. Wear gloves, then pour some rust-cleaning solution. You may also refer to the product usage instruction.
  3. Use a small brush to scrub the rust off.
  4. Rinse the Moen cartridge with clean water, then rub it with a dry cloth.
  5. Fit the Moen cartridge back into the pipe.

High Water Pressure

The water pressure in the shower’s water piping system can go high due to a broken pressure regulator in the main water supply. Consequently, some components, like cartridges, can become loose.

You can adjust the water pressure by turning the shut-off valve clockwise.

The Moen Cartridge Is Too Old

You’ll want to consider replacing your Moen cartridge if it’s too old. Although you may not see rust around it, its durability can weaken over the years of regular use.

Check the steps for removing and installing a new Moen cartridge below:

  1. Find a new Moen cartridge of the same size and model.
  2. Turn off the water supply.
  3. Twist and pull the handle to remove it.
  4. Use a chisel to remove the rubber covering, then unscrew the metal plate.
  5. Pull the remaining parts out.
  6. Scrape off and clean the surrounding where you removed the metal plate to correct the alignment of the metal plate when you put it back.
  7. Use pliers to remove the pin on top of the cartridge, then remove the protective ring.
  8. Insert the plastic nut into the cartridge and twist it.
  9. Pull the cartridge out.
  10. Insert the new cartridge and put the plastic nut to lock it in place.
  11. Reinsert the small pin on top of the cartridge.
  12. Put back the nuts and other small parts you previously removed.
  13. Mount and screw the metal plate.
  14. Insert the rubber knob back into place, then screw and put back the remaining materials according to the order you removed them.
  15. Open the water source, then test the cartridge.

You can watch a video here for a visual guide:

Where To Find Moen Cartridge Model Number?

It’s significant to know what model the Moen cartridge you have. The model number is usually indicated on the packaging box or the instruction manual. You can refer to the product description to get more details on the model of the cartridge.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Shower Cartridge?

Plumber installing water taps shower stall, work in bathroom.

Depending on the contractor, you may spend from $100 to around $500 to replace shower cartridges. Other factors, such as the shower cartridge type, can also affect the cost. Additionally, the difficulty in accessing the shower pipes can cause the price to go higher.

However, the replacement of products due to manufacturing defects is free of charge. You just need to provide proof of purchase and other supporting documents.

How Long Does A Moen Cartridge Warranty Last?

brand new and used ceramic disc cartridges, gaskets and wrench isolated on white background, Moen Cartridge Won't Go All The Way In - Why? What To Do?

Moen offers a Limited Lifetime Warranty that covers faulty quality and factory defects for the original purchaser of Moen products. So, the homeowner can expect a leak-and drip-free faucet for as long as they use the Moen cartridge.

If the product malfunctions, the homeowner can expect a free replacement of parts to restore proper functionality.

On the other hand, products bought for commercial and industrial use have a 5-year warranty. However, consider reading the full warranty details, as the warranty coverage can differ based on the state or province.

Types of Shower Knobs

Modern stainless steel shower

Finding a shower knob or valve that suits your shower room is good. Remember that you still need to ensure the chosen knob fits the existing cartridge. Check some knob types below.

Twisting Knob

This is probably the most common shower knob homeowners use. It functions by twisting it clockwise and counterclockwise. It’s convenient to use, as it simply opens and closes the water pipe to allow the water to flow.

See this shower knob on Amazon.

Button Style Knob

It’s a button usually mounted on the wall to open and close the water pipe. This knob can add elegance to your shower room. Also, it saves space, as it doesn’t protrude that much compared to other shower knobs.

Hot-and-Cold Knob

From the word itself, it’s a type of shower knob that lets you choose either hot or cold water. However, installing this may take time and require professional installation. Before installing, ensure that you have a shower heater to switch the water between hot and cold temperatures.

Smart Shower

It’s a set of shower utilities that usually comes with a faucet and other accessories. Depending on the manufacturer, a smart shower has different functions, like digital control and temperature settings.

However, a smart shower is quite expensive, unlike any standard shower faucet. It even requires an assessment of the shower area to ensure the safety of use.

How to Install a Shower Knob

Generic knobs for adjusting water temperature in the bathroom.

Installing a shower knob is relatively easy, but it’s good to seek help from a professional, especially when you’re unfamiliar with the water piping system. The steps will also differ on what shower knob you have. However, you can commonly refer to the below steps:

  1. Switch off the main water supply. 
  2. Remove the small covering on the existing shower faucet, then unscrew it to loosen it up. If there’s no existing shower faucet installed, skip to step 4.
  3. Pull the knob out and the metal plate holding it in place.
  4. Check the type of cartridge you have to identify what shower faucet can fit into it.
  5. Install the new shower faucet and metal plate, depending on product instructions.
  6. Tighten the screw.
  7. Try moving the knob by opening and closing it to test if the quality is good.
  8. Turn on the water supply and start using the shower.


This article addressed resolving a Moen cartridge that doesn’t fit in. We also discussed other relevant matters such as warranty details and some types of shower faucets.

Before you go, please consider checking these posts:

How To Calibrate Home Theater Speakers [Step By Step Guide]

Grohe Vs. Moen Vs Kohler: Which Faucet Is Right For You?

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