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How do I remove handles from this Moen 4 inch center 2 handle faucet?

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RickFlorida

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Hello everyone. Can someone please tell me how to disassemble this Moen 4 inch center 2 handle faucet? It's about 3 years old but has heavy deposits that has made the handles very hard and stiff to turn. I need to remove the handles complete in order to check/replace things to make it operate smooth. The problem is that the center faucet head prevents me from turning/unscrewing the escutcheons. If I remove two screws that help hold the center faucet head to the main plate underneath, I can see a plastic tube but I'm not exactly sure how to safely remove it. I assume I need to disconnect this white tube and then the head can come off and I could then finally turn the escutcheons all the way around.
I wish there was a cap and screw so you could remove the actual long handle parts but there is not. So I think you have to turn the whole escutcheons with handles all the way around to remove and the center faucet is preventing that.

Thanks for any help.
RickIMG_2030.JPEGIMG_2033.JPEGIMG_2035.JPEGIMG_2034.JPEG
 
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RickFlorida

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Hold the handle in it’s normal closed position, and unthread the base of the handle. I believe that’s how those ones come off
That might be right as I should assume Moen would not design this so that you could not remove the handles without removing the center faucet head. So I will try this. I have a rubber strap tool for removing fittings but when I used it, I did not try holding the handle in a certain position. I let it swing against the center faucet head. Thank you! I'll report if it worked tomorrow.
 

RickFlorida

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Hold the handle in it’s normal closed position, and unthread the base of the handle. I believe that’s how those ones come off
Yep! You were right. I completed the project. The problem was that the inside of the escutcheons were so badly corroded already after only 2 or 3 years, that the handles could not turn. I cleaned them all up and reinserted new cartridges with tons of silicone. I can't believe how bad they were locked up. I live near the ocean and think it may have something to do with that. It looks like middle range Moen is not good enough for my environment. What is a better brand that will last longer when I replace faucets in the future?
 

Matt30

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Glad it worked!

Moen is one of the best out there. It’s all I installed throughout my house. Bad water will make the best of faucets have problems though. I doubt very much that it has anything to do with the ocean unless theres salt content in your well water.
 

RickFlorida

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Glad it worked!

Moen is one of the best out there. It’s all I installed throughout my house. Bad water will make the best of faucets have problems though. I doubt very much that it has anything to do with the ocean unless theres salt content in your well water.
We are on regular city water in Florida. Yes, the inside of the house does not usually show problems from the salt spray that is in the air and atomized because the AC is running most of the time of the year. But, I have seen items inside the home rusting/breaking down just from the air here. I agree the quality of the finish on this moen is good. Maybe the city water is reacting with the inside of the escutcheons. At any rate, I wish the inside was bronze or brass. Why don't they just make it out of bronze and then if people want a different finish on the outside, plate or cover the outside? That would solve this problem.
 

FishScreener

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Rick, when you have aggressively hard water, the brass would need to a low zinc alloy, or you would end up with more, not less problems.
 

RickFlorida

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Rick, when you have aggressively hard water, the brass would need to a low zinc alloy, or you would end up with more, not less problems.
Good point. So the best would be if they make faucet parts out of marine bronze. They probably should be a phosphor bronze which is 90% copper and 5 to 10% tin. Tin is expensive though so there it would be cheaper just just make the parts out of stainless steel or just copper. My point is, the companies are cheap and we pay the price by having to replace and maintain stuff. There probably are commercial grade faucets out there though. I just rebuilt my pool pump and it should last another 8 to 10 years but I saw that you can purchase all bronze pumps for commercial pools that will last many years without parts corroding. Very expensive but not if you don't have to replace parts for a long time.
 

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