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Old 04-20-2010, 09:23 PM   #21
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Success!

Came home from work and took out the screw holding the handle mount in place. Just like the handle before it, the mount wouldn't come off - it was stuck to the cartridge. Hit it with the PB Blaster a couple of times (I don't think this project would've been possible without that stuff - however I read it isn't good for silicone o-rings so I kept it away from the new parts) and eventually I was able to muscle it off.

Took the screws out of the face plate and removed it with no trouble. Removed the U-clip that holds the cartridge in place. Used the plastic tool included with the new cartridge to break the seal on the old cartridge by rotating it, then was able to pull it out with a regular set of pliers. I bought a cartridge puller but didn't end up needing it.

Cleaned out the valve with a toothbrush and some vinegar, rinsed it, then put silicon grease on the new cartridge's o-rings and popped it in. Pushed it back into place, put the U-clip back on, and away I went. Handle is a lot smoother than it was, no leaks so far.

Funnily enough, after I was almost done, Moen called me back. I had sent them an email asking what the difference was between the 1200 and 1225 cartridge. They said they were interchangeable. I give Moen high marks for customer service. However, their instructions for changing a cartridge say that an expert can do it in 15 minute and a novice can do it in an hour. Maybe if you were replacing a cartridge on a brand new installation...but with all the corrosion and crap this took me more like 3 hours, not counting the multiple trips to home depot...

For reference, this is a good exploded diagram of the system. My handle mount was the pre-2003 variant.

http://www.moen.com/shared/pdf/t2529pt.pdf

Thanks to everyone here for your suggestions.
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:29 PM   #22
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Congratulations on the repair and thanks for the feedback. I'm going to bookmark this thread so I can locate it when I tackle my shower leak...one of these days.
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:23 PM   #23
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Congratulations on your repair. Glad to see it can be done without having to call 911
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Old 05-26-2010, 05:00 PM   #24
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Follow up:

Thanks to what I learned on this thread I was able to change out the cartridge in my single-lever Moen faucet in less than two hours - and that includes a 45 minute nap while I waited for the PB Blaster to do its job.

No more leak and the volume of water out of the shower head doubled!
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:55 AM   #25
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My personal experience with this same miserable job did not go nearly so well, although I did have the water off and avoided the "horizontal old faithful" effect. The original installer had not secured the valve body to the wall framing, so when I applied force, it broke the copper pipe connection. I then had to remove the sheet rock from the other side of the wall, remove the entire valve assembly, add the correct blocking to mount a new valve, and re-plumb the whole thing.

I remember having one of those thoughts flash through my head just before the pipe broke ..."maybe I'm messing up here..uh oh"
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:56 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willywonka View Post
The original installer had not secured the valve body to the wall framing, so when I applied force, it broke the copper pipe connection. I then had to remove the sheet rock from the other side of the wall, remove the entire valve assembly, add the correct blocking to mount a new valve, and re-plumb the whole thing.
Yikes!
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:20 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willywonka View Post
I then had to remove the sheet rock from the other side of the wall, remove the entire valve assembly, add the correct blocking to mount a new valve, and re-plumb the whole thing.

I remember having one of those thoughts flash through my head just before the pipe broke ..."maybe I'm messing up here..uh oh"
I'm guessing you didn't put in a Moen valve as a replacement.

I'm wondering what brand of fixtures I should buy as replacements when needed. I want fixtures that:
1) Are durable
2) Are made to be repaired easily and without special tools or skills
3) Have readily available spare parts. (Lowes or HD, not internet and wait three days)

I'm guessing Delta mid-priced units might fill the bill. I installed some Price-Pfister units recently and they seem okay.
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