Introduction: Leaky Moen Kitchen Faucet Repair
This Instructable hopes to share some of my experience with a leaky Moen kitchen faucet. My hope is that through my experience, if you are ever faced with a similar situation, you will have gained some insight and confidence in fixing this problem as well. I will show you step by step photos as well as my YouTube video which will help guide you through the steps I took (and some of my mistakes). Not all faucets are designed the same way, but the process may be similar and help you even if you have a slightly different faucet.
Video and Photos
I've included 2 videos (the ones above) and many many photos (below with each step). The first video shows the actual repair as I talk through it, and it is about 30 minutes. The second video is the entire raw footage with some music thrown in.... but I make it high-speed for fun to show what is involved (about 5 minutes long). Please give me a "Thumbs Up" on YouTube if you enjoyed them. Thanks!
The photos (which are on all remaining pages of the instructable) are taken from my previous repair of this sink about 4 years before the current repair. It seems to average about 4 years before I have to replace the parts. I will need to open and clean the parts more regularly to maintain them, as I'm sure that will help prolong the lifespan.
Step 1: Obtain Parts and Tools
One little known secret is that Moen guarantees its parts for life. If you ever have an issue, call up your local country Moen headquarters and after filling out a form and sending them photos of your problem, they will send you the parts. You will need to figure out what faucet you have. There is a feature on their website to let you identify your Moen fixture if you don't know or obtained it with the house from a previous owner or the builder (like I did). In those cases you will not have a receipt. No worries! Just explain that when filling out your form.
For this job you will need a Philips head ("+") screwdriver, a Flat-head ("-") screwdriver, and an adjustable wrench (I use something called a "pipe wrench pliers"). You will also need an allen-key (hex) but fortunately it is supplied by Moen (as you will see in the video). Just in case, you should have a set of allen keys around. There is also a small plastic tool that Moen will supply to help you turn your cartridge and loosen the old one so you can remove it, and also line up your new one. I think that's pretty much all you need.
Go online and download the instructions or schematics. Study them to get a general understanding and read the instructions as well, which go over everything in this Instructable. However, if you don't understand or get confused by instructions on paper, the video and color photos in this Instructable may help you figure things out better.
Don't forget to TURN OFF the WATER to your kitchen faucet! I have knobs just under my sink to cut off the water supply. Also, have a roll of paper towel or regular towels to wipe up the mess because as you will see in the video, at some points even though the water is turned off, some residual water in the spout and cartridge will come out and make a mess!
Step 2: Handle and Dome
To remove the handle, flip open the little red/blue plastic nib on the side of the handle (see video). You will access a hole to get your Allen key (hex tool) and be able to unscrew the long screw that holds the handle on. Then, remove the dome (see photos) which should just slide up and off. It will reveal a black plastic sleeve which you will need to twist counter-clockwise to unscrew and remove.
Once you have done this, it will reveal a metal part which is part of the handle mechanism kit. This is the part you can turn and tilt up and down to control your water flow. In the next step you will proceed with removing this.
Step 3: Handle Mechanism
As you can see in the photos, you will need to remove the metal part of the Handle Mechanism by unscrewing the screw using a Philips "+" screwdriver. The screw actually holds down a small black plastic clip that wraps around part of the metal mechanism and allows it to pivot. When you unscrew it, the metal piece and the black plastic clip come out with the screw.
That black plastic clip (wrapped around the metal handle mechanism) that is screwed into the underlying copper-colored stem (which is part of the cartridge) can only fit 2 possible ways because there are "flat" sides on the copper stem. It doesn't really matter which way it goes on, but you should make sure the plastic is completely down and snug over the copper stem.
NOTE: Try to remember which way the metal part is facing so you can put your handle back the correct way (otherwise it will be flipped 180-degrees). *See video!
Next you will see a white component loosely sitting on top. This is what I call a "restriction ring" as it has a small raised flanged on one side that restricts how far you can turn the metal part left and right. Also remember which way the flange is pointed (otherwise you will also have it flipped 180-degrees).
Step 4: Bottom of Handle Mechanism
As you can see in the photos (and the video which you should also follow along with), you will now lift off what I call the white "restriction ring" and then remove a small metal washer that fits over the top of the cartridge (the copper-colored central part that had the screw in it from the previous step). Then you need to unscrew the larger sleeve underneath (dark brown or black in the photos).
The bottom of this sleeve actually has another white ring inside of it (as you will see later). The purpose of this sleeve is to hold down your spout (it sits on top of it). The sleeve top also has 2 flat sides so you can use the Pipe Wrench Pliers at this stage to unscrew it if it is difficult to turn counter-clockwise to loosen. By the end of this step you should be able to slide your spout off in the next step.
Step 5: Spout and Clip Removal
The first picture shows all the parts you should have by this point. We're almost done!
Now we will be removing the spout and clip that holds in the cartridge. The spout should just slide off, as you can see in the photos. Once it is off, you will see just a copper-colored piece remaining with a couple of black rubber O-rings on it, and your cartridge is inside. You will notice a small clip at the top of the cartridge. You can use a flat screwdriver to loosen and remove the clip.
Once the clip is off, in the next step I will show you how to use the Moen-supplied cartridge removal tool.
Step 6: Cartridge
In the box with the new cartridge you will find a white plastic piece (as seen in the first photo) that slips over your cartridge. Use pliers to turn your cartridge (in any direction) to loosen it. It is not screwed in, but over time it will get fused in place making it harder to pull straight up and out. Once you loosen the cartridge by twisting it a bit in both directions, then you can wiggle it up and eventually remove the entire cartridge.
Step 7: Replacing O-Rings
We're almost done taking things apart!
Notice in the first picture the 2 rubber O-Rings on the copper-colored base of your faucet. You should have been supplied these 2 rubber O-Rings along with some lubricating grease. Either they are separate, or they would be located in the box with the large spout. I almost threw out the box with the O-Rings inside because I didn't see them after I removed the spout! So be sure to completely open all your packages.
Use a flat-head screwdriver to remove your old O-Rings and put in your new ones carefully so you don't scratch or tear them with the screwdriver. They should also be lubed up with the grease supplied, which is nice and thick. This helps the spout rotate nicely and also keeps it tight so it doesn't leak!
Just before you reassemble the entire thing (in reverse order of what you just saw in this Instructable), please note the plastic sleeve that was just above the spout (which holds the spout down) has a white "ring" inside of it (maybe called the "bearing"?). You can see this in the pictures... The old one (which was black) has the white ring inside of it, with the flatter side in and the thinner side out. The replacement is actually supplied in 2 parts... they changed mine to a "tan" color (instead of black) and there is also the white ring which comes SEPARATE, so you have to insert it yourself and you'll hear a click.
Step 8: And We're Done!
Congratulations, you've taken apart your entire sink. Now you have to put it back together! The steps in reverse order (watch the video to see how I take apart and then reassemble the entire thing) are shown below.
PUT IT BACK:
1. Replace the 2 O-rings on the copper base of your faucet and lube them up.
2. Slide your spout back over the copper base
3. Insert your new cartridge and turn it with the white tool to line it up properly (see video)
4. When lined up, it will allow you to slide in the metal clip that holds in cartridge
- don't forget to also put back on the small metal washer
5. Screw on the black/beige sleeve that holds down the spout
- remember it should have that white ring inside of it, in proper orientation
6. Put the white "restriction ring" on top with flange pointing the right way
7. Slide plastic clip on metal handle mechanism part and screw into cartridge (see video)
- you will screw the handle mechanism back into the top of the cartridge
- test it by turning side to side and lifting up and down
- it should behave exactly how it was behaving previously... if not, check again
8. Now you can screw on the larger black plastic sleeve (which was just under the chrome dome)
9. Slide on the chrome dome
10. Attach your handle with the allen-key screw, cover the hole with plastic red/blue plug
Phew! Trust me, once you've done it a few times it will be easier and make more sense. Watch the video! Then offer your services to help fix all of your family and friend's leaky kitchen faucets as well.
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