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How To Repair a Moen Kitchen Faucet

Updated
Don’t replace your Moen kitchen faucet, repair it.

Got a problem with your Moen kitchen faucet? Don’t panic, because you can repair it. The first thing to understand when attempting a Moen faucet replacement is they have a cartridge that regulates the flow of the water.

While a Moen Faucet replacement is expensive, repairing one is challenging, but it can be done with a bit of patience and a spare couple of hours.

Dripping Moen Faucet? It’s Easy To Fix

To carry out a repair on your Moen kitchen faucet, you first need to know how it works. From the spout to the internal mechanisms, knowing the components and what they do helps you diagnose the problem. You need the right tools and spare parts, which you can order from Moen direct. Once you disassemble the faucet and fix the issue, you need to put it all back together.


Parts of a Moen Kitchen Faucet

To perform a repair of your Moen Kitchen faucet, you must first understand what is going on inside the tap housing. Let’s take a look at the working parts of your Moen faucet.

Faucet Body

Let’s take a look at the internal components of the faucet body.

Screw Cap

The handle cover sits atop the faucet and protects the screw and mechanism below from water damage. When you want to dismantle the tap, you start here by removing the screw cap to get access to the screw.

Spout

The spout consists of the main body of the faucet. It contains the diverter and gives the handle a base to attach to. The spout is where the water comes out when you lift and twist the handle in either direction.

Handle and Mechanism

The handle contains some of the most intricate mechanisms inside the tap. You’ll find the collar, pivot retainer, the retainer nut, and the thrust washer. When connected in sequence, these parts allow the handle to lift and pivot left and right to access the hot and cold water.

They also connect the handle to the spout through the retaining nut, locking everything in place.

Cartridge

Let’s take a quick tour of the internal components of the cartridge.

Valve Stem

The valve stem protrudes from the main body of the cartridge. It is the bit that connects with the faucet to allow the water to flow when the handle is operated.

Gasket

The gasket is a seal between the cartridge and the cartridge stem. It stops the unit from leaking when the water flow is activated and then shut off.

O-Ring

The O-ring sits at the base of the faucet, where it slots into the sink. If you have a leak, it will most likely be due to a damaged O-ring, so this is a great place to start your investigations when performing a repair.

How To Repair Moen Kitchen Faucet: Step-by-Step Guide

So, now we’ve covered the working elements of your Moen faucet, it’s time to get started on the repair.

1. Prepare: Obtain Required Parts and Tools

Success comes from preparation, and when it comes to repairing your Moen faucet, there are a few things you need to organize.

Tools

First, we need to run through the tools you will need:

  • A cross-head screwdriver.
  • Pliers.
  • A flat-head screwdriver.
  • Adjustable wrench.
  • A hex key (supplied with the faucet).
  • An Allen key.

You might find that you have a special cartridge removal tool supplied by Moen. If not, you may be able to source one from the company. It helps remove the old cartridge without damaging the rest of the tap, and it enables you to line up the new cartridge.

You might also have a hex key supplied with the faucet when it was new. If you do, you don’t need the Allen key. It’s also a great idea to have a roll of paper towels handy and a dry towel.

Parts

Second, we need to establish what parts you will need. The good news is Moen parts are guaranteed for life, so even if you don’t have a sales receipt, take a photo of the parts, and then speak to your local Moen dealer.

They also have a section on their website that helps you identify the type of faucet you have. Just fill in an online form detailing what the issue is, coupled with the photos of the tap, and they will send you the spares.

Download Instructions

Once you have established the model of your faucet, you can then access Moen’s database of downloadable instructions, showing you how the tap is fitted and the working parts.

Study the diagrams carefully, so you get a basic understanding of how the faucet works and its list of parts.

Other Important Things

Don’t forget to isolate the water supply before you attempt any repairs to your faucet. Keep the towels handy because even though the water is off, you will still have residual liquid in the pipes. Even a small amount can create a mess.

2. How To Disassemble the Faucet

So, now you have the tools, the parts, and you’ve turned the water off, let’s take the faucet apart to diagnose the problem.

Handle and Dome

Flip off the screw cap with the flat-head screwdriver to reveal the long screw that holds the faucet in position. The screw cap should have the Moen logo on it. You might need your hex or Allen key for this, or in some cases, the cross-head screwdriver or the wrench. It all depends on the model type.

Now remove the handle and grab the wrench and remove the locking nut. Inside, you will see the cartridge and the entire working mechanisms of the faucet.

Mechanisms

You will see a small screw, which you will need to remove using the cross-head screwdriver. The screw holds a small plastic clip that wraps around the mechanism and helps the handle pivot. It also screws into the cartridge stem.

A great tip is to take a picture on your smartphone so you remember how the parts came apart. It enables you to reassemble the mechanism in the correct order. You should also see a white component with a flanged edge that dictates how far you can turn the handle left and right.

Remember which way the flange faces to avoid flipping it when you put it back in. Now twist off the white ring and then remove the metal washer. This now allows access to the clip that holds the cartridge to the spout.

Spout and Clip Removal

The spout simply slides off. It reveals the small clip at the top of the cartridge. You should also see the O-rings. Grab the flat-head screwdriver and gently loosen the clip. Once the clip is off, the next stage is to remove the cartridge.

Cartridge

Your new cartridge has a small white clip on the top. Grab the pliers and loosen the old cartridge, twisting it in any direction. The cartridge isn’t screwed in; it just sets fast over time in old faucets. Eventually, you will be able to remove the cartridge entirely.

3. Servicing the Cartridge, O-Rings, and Gasket

With the cartridge out, now is a great time to give it a service.

Cartridge

Examine the cartridge, looking for knocks, cracks, and nicks. If you see anything that looks faulty, you may need to replace the entire unit. Servicing the cartridge is easy if there is a large amount of scale build-up. Simply drop it into a jug of water and vinegar and leave it to soak overnight.

O-Rings and Gasket

To get at the O-Rings and gasket, slide the screwdriver into the cartridge and poke them out. Do this carefully because if you scratch or nick them, they will fail to create a tight seal. The O-rings and the gasket come in the pack with the new cartridge or come with the faucet kit.

Examine them closely to make sure they are still in good condition. If you see any damage, replace them. For such a small component, the O-rings and gasket are vital and are the difference between a repaired faucet and one that slowly leaks.

When you replace them, don’t forget to use some lubricating grease.

4. Reassemble the Faucet

Now we have examined and replaced any damaged parts; it’s time to reassemble the faucet.

  1. Replace the O-rings at the base of the valve.
  2. Slide the spout back over the valve.
  3. Reattach the cartridge using the specialist tool, making sure it is aligned correctly.
  4. Attach the metal clip (this is only possible if the cartridge is aligned). Don’t forget to replace the metal washer.
  5. Replace the white restrictor ring on top with the flange pointing up.
  6. Slide the plastic clip on the metal handle mechanism, and screw it into the cartridge. Test it by moving the handle up and down and side to side. It should work exactly as it did before.
  7. Now you can attach the long screw and tighten it using the Allen key or the screwdriver. Replace the screw cap.

How To Repair a Leaking Moen Kitchen Faucet

If you have leaks at the base of your faucet, the likely candidates are the O-rings.

At the Base

Remove the handle in the same way we described earlier and remove the O-rings. Lubricate them thoroughly. Now clean the valve’s outer body and inside the spout.

For the best results, soak both in water and vinegar to remove any chalky deposits and water scum.

Under the Sink

If the tap is leaking under the sink, we may have to look at other areas where the water may be escaping. The water-feed pipes that attach to the faucet could be the culprit. Switch the water off and then dry the water pipes thoroughly using paper towels or a towel.

Place a dry towel under the sink, wait a few minutes and then feel for new spots of water. Now undo the pipes using the adjustable wrench. Check the washers inside the couplers that attach to the faucet to see if there are any nicks, dents, and breaks.

Replace any faulty washers and reattach, using a generous coating of plumber’s putty or waterproof silicone to seal the joint. Now turn the water back on and check for leaks.

When Is It Necessary To Replace The Valve Seals?

If the leaking persists, it may be time to replace the valve seals. They may have some surface damage, nicks, and splits that allow the water to escape. Disassemble the faucet as before and use the wrench to remove the valve seals.


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About the Author

Mark Weir

Mark spent 24 years working in real estate, so he knows his way around a home. He also worked with contractors and experts, advising them on issues of planning, investments, and renovations. Mark is no stranger to hands-on experience, having renovated his own home and many properties for resale. He likes nothing better than seeing a project through to completion.