Moen Single Lever Handle (screw out) but won't budge.

Discussion in 'Showers and Tubs' started by LearningToBeHandy, May 10, 2018.

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  1. May 10, 2018 #1

    LearningToBeHandy

    LearningToBeHandy

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    The photo shows where I've gotten so far. Screw & Handle are out but the rest of the assembly won't budget.

    There is no set screw best I can tell. When I feel around the part of the handle that's left there is one area with 2 metal tabs. I tried pushing and prodding but it didn't do anything.

    I've also used penetrating oil & vinegar and let it stand for about 4 hours already.

    I am using a faucet puller but the center pin of the faucet puller seems like it isn't long enough to reach the cartridge. Should I find another metal rod to stick in there to lengthen the puller? Any other ideas?

    I tried utilizing the screw of the handle by putting a few twists into it but the puller center pin would either slip off or actually keep screwing in the screw if you can imagine that.
     

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  2. May 11, 2018 #2

    LearningToBeHandy

    LearningToBeHandy

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    I emailed Moen, and they were great - responded less than 24 hours and figured out this is a CASTLEBY model.

    Their instruction says to undo the handle hub by unscrewing it going clockwise with a strap wrench. So far however, no luck.

    Just figured I'd share. Has anyone heard of unscrewing the handle hub by going clockwise?
     
  3. May 13, 2018 #3

    justin_dewan90

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    Mine have generally been counter clockwise. Lefty loosey righty tighty.
     
  4. May 14, 2018 #4

    Mr_David

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    Can't say I have ever seen any Moen handle on a single handle tub/shower valve that unscrews.
    Two handle lavatory and roman tub valves yes.
    Is that a positemp valve? You turn it on counter clockwise from cold to hot.
    Older valve you pull to turn on and then turn left/right to adjust temperature.
    You took a screw out of the center of handle so it should just pull off.
    Try a handle puller, but the narrow end of pin has to bottom out in the screw hole



    Faucet handle puller.jpg
     
  5. May 14, 2018 #5

    justin_dewan90

    justin_dewan90

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    Positemp arent the only single handle ones. But they are generally used now adays. Have ran across some older style Moen's that were single handle.
     
  6. May 14, 2018 #6

    justin_dewan90

    justin_dewan90

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    Also, after a bit of research, looks like it's a positemp cartridge.
     
  7. May 14, 2018 #7

    LearningToBeHandy

    LearningToBeHandy

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    parts.jpg cutoff.jpg cutoff2.jpg Thank you all for your thoughtful replies & research!

    A special - re-mention on the bottoming out on the handle puller. My handle puller couldn't bottom out but I had actually had already thought of that and utilized a common nail that I cut the point off of. The one I used was BrassCraft and I wasn't too impressed as it doesn't have a metal plate to hold the side nor hook style holds.

    With all that said getting the handle hub off intact didn't work. :) Instead I used an angle grinder with a diamond blade to cut off the handle hub after a neighbor confirmed they had the same issue and that's what they did.

    I'm posting a few pictures and info of what I did. Perhaps it will help someone else.

    Moen's technical support was helpful and quick
    and identified this as a Moen Castleby, Version prior to 6/05 PosiTemp using #1222 cartridge. The part that is stuck is the handle hub, Moen Part #115051. This particular version only has the one screw to the lever and "should normally" pull right off.

    I think I did a decent job cutting it off as you can see in the pictures. If you look at the pictures, you can see a kind of a narrow section at the front. If you cut this particular handle hub at that narrow section you will NOT damage the cartridge/stem. I didn't know this at the time, just got lucky. Also cut all the way through, not just the outside.

    If you use a hacksaw you'll be cutting for a VERY long time. The angle grinder with diamond blade worked well. Just be careful to wear thick gloves if you plan to to touch any parts and have some water around to douse the very hot parts after.

    Once it's cut off you can see the handle hub “stem” piece is still on the cartridge stem. I just assumed that wouldn't come off but did spray it with vinegar and penetrating oil. I then went and pulled the cartridge and to my surprise (and in some ways not really) the remaining part of the handle hub came off. That allowed me to then use a standard Moen cartridge puller (used Danco version - that's what I had already) and the rest went fine.

    The only part besides the cartridge that needed replacement was the handle hub. I will use some Super Lube Grease to hopefully keep the same thing from happening again in the future.

    I have another bathroom that seemed to have held out long enough to let me fix this problem as it's now experiencing the same cartridge problem now too. So I get to use this procedure again.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2018
  8. May 14, 2018 #8

    havasu

    havasu

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    We here at Plumbingforums.com appreciate your detailed post on how to remove stubborn handles. I'm sure you will help many members after this. Please continue the pics for us!
     
  9. May 19, 2018 #9

    TomFOhio

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    Did you cut the end of the cartridge off? Can't tell by picture. Sometimes they can be a bear to get out
    without being able to use the cartridge puller.
     
  10. May 19, 2018 #10

    LearningToBeHandy

    LearningToBeHandy

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    At the end of the hub where it was thin and I cut it, it did not get near the cartridge.

    The residual piece that wouldn’t budge was still on the cartridge so I first figured I’d be doing the bear thing as you said (as if I damaged it). That piece however came off with penetrating oil (which I could now get into the left over hub piece).

    My thoughts when cutting were “you can always cut more not less” and “pick the easiest thinnest spot to cut”.
     
  11. May 19, 2018 #11

    TomFOhio

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    Good Job.....
     
  12. May 19, 2018 #12

    jwwing

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    To Justin_dewan90: yes, I agree that most of these are lefty loosy, but this is a bit strange because the thing sounds like it should just pull right off with the screw removed - and that the screw was removed.

    @learning: Wow! That is scary - seems like overkill, though, but WOW! Great work and description by learningtobehandy.
    Having to cut it off is horrible! But did I read that correctly - the Moen instructions were to turn it 'clockwise'? And you could not turn it clockwise? The only way that I can think of that a right-hand thread could come off being turned clockwise would be if the shaft being turned was bottoming out against a collar or somesuch that was right threaded coming from the opposite direction. If the bottom of the shaft locked into the collar, it would turn clockwise to remove using right-hand threads. I think it is possible, but highly improbable and does not look like the case here from what it looks like in the diagram. The diagram shows an ordinary squared shaft end and looks like it is probably tapered to a larger diameter.

    Did you finally determine exactly what had happened that the handle would not slide off directly? Had it turned and worn a groove or something? Most likely the thing had swaged itself to the shaft a bit - did you try a rubber mallet and a couple of good healthy whacks?
    So did you do a post mortem on the piece that you cut out to determine what was holding it together? Just galvanic action or other corrosion (since you put grease on it)? If so, the hammer should have worked to remove it. Not too hard a whack which might damage the innards - maybe four times one from each side; top, bottom, left and right aimed at the point of the square. I know, too late now!

    Did Moen have anything else to say? They probably built the thing so well thinking that it would last longer and all it did was weld itself together.

    I have one similar to this and hope I never have to take a diamond cutter to it!
     
  13. May 19, 2018 #13

    LearningToBeHandy

    LearningToBeHandy

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    I think the intention of their instruction was as a method to break it loose a little albeit that was confusing, hence why I asked and posted the parts diagram. I was waiting for someone to say this is the reverse double secret handshake for it.

    Yes it definitely received whacks with a mallet and some other ridiculous attempts at pulling it off. Many of the attempts began flexing the shower surround so it wasn’t a lack of power in those attempts.

    The way the hub fits over the stop tube kit made it impossible to get penetrating oil or vinegar where it needed to be until I cut off the hub.

    The machining of the hub and cartridge is a very tight tolerance as to remove any wobble which is good (think cheaper faucets and assemblies where stuff comes loose. Not the case here)

    I think it was just normal plumbing stuff why it was stuck on or maybe extra building “stuff” got into it when the house was built and the person running around doing the plumbing wasn’t careful to blow off drywall dust and what not during construction. I can only imagine some guy running around doing 500 of these as the neighborhood was constructed weaving through dozens of other contractors doing who knows what at the same time.
     
  14. May 19, 2018 #14

    jwwing

    jwwing

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    Wow! Double Wow! That is incredible - thanks for the input!
     
  15. May 20, 2018 #15

    Mr_David

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    Good job learningtobehandy. Looks like you are pretty handy.
    The more common metal positemp handles have a set screw and older versions would not unscrew.
    I've sliced through a few handles because the way the set screw is, you can't drill it out.
    I've also had a few stems break off and had to dig out the plastic cartridge.
     

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