How To Replace Moen Shower Cartridge [With Ease]

Moen is known for manufacturing faucets and bath accessories. However, a problem might arise wherein you must replace or troubleshoot some parts of your Moen shower, especially the shower cartridge. If this is the case, we researched and found how to easily replace your Moen shower cartridge!

To replace your Moen shower cartridge, do the following:

  1. Prepare the tools needed.
  2. Turn off the water in the shower, possibly the main water supply.
  3. Remove the faucet handle carefully.
  4. If your shower has an escutcheon, you can have the option of removing it as well.
  5. Remove the cartridge retaining clip.
  6. Install the new cartridge, connect the faucet's handles, and check if the new cartridge is working.

Replacing a Moen shower cartridge is easy, so that you can do it yourself. If you want an in-depth, step-by-step process for replacing shower cartridges, continue reading as we provide you with a thorough guide.

Replacing a disc cartridge covered with limescale in shower mixer using wrench, How To Replace Moen Shower Cartridge [With Ease]

Replacing Moen Shower Cartridge With Ease

When you notice that your shower keeps dripping or the water pressure is low, you might want to check or replace your shower cartridge. A defective cartridge may also cause the handle not to turn not as smoothly or not turn at all.

Brand new and used ceramic disc cartridges

Good thing that replacing a Moen shower cartridge is easy. So calling a professional plumber will not be necessary.

Follow the steps below to ensure that removing and replacing your shower cartridge will go smoothly.

1. Prepare The Tools Needed

For any troubleshooting to go as smoothly and quickly as possible, the first thing that you should do is prepare your tools. Provided for you below is a list of tools that you will need:

  • Replacement Moen shower cartridge: Make sure that you got the right one. 
  • Cartridge puller for Moen: It's a plumbing accessory used to extract the cartridge from the valve. It is best to buy a universal puller in any Moen bath accessory.
  • Screwdrivers and Pliers: These will help in opening the shower faucet.
  • Allen Wrench Hex Key: This tool is usually used to loosen bolts with a hex head. You will use it on the inner part of the shower faucet.
  • Plumber's grease: Its primary purpose is to increase the lifespan of the replacement cartridge.

2. Turn Off The Main Water Supply

Human hand turn off shut-off valve home water supply

Turning off the main water supply is a must in any troubleshooting involving a water line. It ensures there won't be any leaking, which will add to your water bill.

It primarily holds if your shower does not have a shut-off valve. In addition, ensure you drain the trapped water inside the pipes.

3. Remove The Faucet Handle

Plumber hands unscrew the screw on the shower handle

Removing the faucet handle is essential because the cartridge is usually inside. Here is where you use the screwdrivers and the Allen wrench. Follow the steps below:

  • First, you should turn your faucet upwards before you remove the faucet handle. Use the hex key to slowly remove the faucet to access the cartridge located at the underside of the handle.
  • The next step is to use the Allen wrench to loosen the hex screw.
  • Look for a black plastic piece (handle adapter) when the handle is out. Use a Philips screwdriver to remove this.
  • Pull out the temperature limit stop, usually a white plastic piece (anti-scald device). It's usually a 2-piece accessory.
  • The next thing to remove is the stop tube.

Check out this Stop tube at Amazon.

4. Option To Remove The Escutcheon

An escutcheon is a handle that hides the hole in the wall pipes that come through. It's usually located around your shower arm or the sink where the faucet supply is. Removing this is optional because it does not entirely affect the shower itself.

But to make sure that no water is leaking from within, it is best to remove it by doing the following:

  • Start by pulling out your escutcheon from its retaining clip.
  • Since the escutcheon is usually connected to the wall by a screw, remove them.
  • If the escutcheon doesn't come off, try using a knife.

You can check this escutcheon at Amazon.

5. Remove Old Cartridge And Its Retaining Clip

Here's where the replacement of the Moen shower cartridge begins. Make sure to follow these steps:

  • Remove the retaining clip because it serves as the item that holds the cartridge and the valve together using a cartridge puller.
  • Slide it inside the cartridge to engage both sides. Follow this up by twisting a plier right and left until it feels that it can rotate freely.
  • Push the two shoulder handles inside a cartridge puller with a handle. Tighten the nut, grab the handle, and twist it to pull out.

However, if you don't have a Moen cartridge puller available, consider doing the following:

  • Remove the cartridge retainer clip.
  • Using a screw, connect the back handle without the stop tube and temperature limit stop.
  • Grab the handle and twist it clockwise or counterclockwise until you feel it is loose.

Check out this universal cartridge puller on Amazon.

6. Install The New Cartridge And Ensure It's Working

After removing the old cartridge, put in the replacement one and ensure it works. Follow the steps below:

  • Before you put in the new cartridge, remove any debris or corrosion on the emery cloth, and clean the valve too.
  • You now put some plumber's grease around the valve and the cartridge, including the O-ring, to ensure it lasts long.
  • Next, push the cartridge inside the valve and the small notch.
  • The next step is putting on the retaining clip surrounding the cartridge and placing it correctly.
  • After ensuring that the retaining clip is in place, attach the escutcheon back. Next, slide in the stop tube, the temperature limit stop, and the handle adapter.
  • When everything is already intact, connect the handle and check if there is any leak. You can also check if the faucet has sufficient water and secure the hex screw.

Check out this Danco waterproof plumber's grease at Amazon.

How Do I Know Which Moen Shower Cartridge I Need?

As you probably know, Moen has different showers with different cartridges. However, in line with this problem, the cartridge you will be buying as a replacement must be the right fit for the shower. It ensures you don't waste your time, energy, and money.

Different Moen Showers With Different Cartridges

One way to know which Moen cartridge is the best fit for your Moen shower is by checking how your faucet turns on and if you can adjust the water volume.

  1. Moen 1222: The cartridge allows you to turn it right or left, but there is no water volume control.
  2. Moen 1222B: Conveniently, you can use the same cartridge as the Moen 1222 because the "B" in Moen 1222B means "bulk."
  3. Moen 1225: The cartridge best fits when you turn on the water. You rotate it right or left to adjust the warm temperature.
  4. Moen 1225B: This is best for a plastic cartridge but has the same feature as the cartridge for Moen 1225.

How Long Does A Moen Shower Last

Shower valve on white subway tile

Now that you already know how to fix your Moen shower cartridge, a thought might cross your mind as to the longevity of this branded shower.

Moen showers usually last longer than other branded showers because the usage could span up to 20-30 years. This still holds true regardless if the cartridge is already a replacement.

How Often Should A Shower Cartridge Be Replaced After Replacement

Although it would usually take a long time before a Moen shower cartridge could be replaced, this does not mean that you should not check it every now and then.

After replacing your shower valve with a new one, you might expect some issues with it after  4 to 5 years. But you don't have to worry as this does not happen as often as you think.

How Much Will It Cost To Replace Moen Shower Cartridge

Replacing defective ceramic disc cartridge covered with limescale in shower mixer using wrench

Replacing your Moen shower cartridge is an affordable remedy instead of replacing the whole shower but it can still be a bit pricey.

The average cost for replacing a Moen shower cartridge would be $10 to $80, depending on the size and model. The reason for the aforementioned is the fact that Moen cartridges are made to last and are considered durable.

However, if you are considering hiring a plumber to change and fix the shower cartridge, the cost would be the cartridge amount plus the plumber's labor. This would usually range from $90 to $270.


To summarize, replacing the cartridge of your Moen shower is an easy do-it-yourself. There's no need to call a plumber to fix this. Therefore, you should follow the steps mentioned above to replace your shower cartridge.

Remember to choose a fitting shower cartridge for your Moen shower.

Check out these posts on the following topics for more insight.

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