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Thread: Shower handle stem broken.

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Marksavage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    pearland, texas

    Default Shower handle stem broken.

    My shower's handle broke today and I couldn't get the water to stop. So I shut off the water main and tried to remove everything that was with the handle, for replacement. I ran into a little problem. The stem that comes off the handle is broken and the other half is stuck inside the wall. (pictures explain this better).

    This is what my faucet supposed to look like. It is a Moen.

    In the white hole is where the stem end is stuck.

    Broken stem on handle.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    If I had to guess (and I'm not a pro), I'd guess it was a Moen. they can be a bear to pull out. I couldn't tell for sure, but did you have and remove a U-shaped clip first? It's what technically holds the cartridge in. The brass ones are particularly hard to get out after they get gunked up with mineral deposits - you literally have to shear the ring of minerals off the shell since there's so little clearance to get it out. Some people, if they have the time, spritz some strong vinegar on it, which after time will disolve the mineral deposits. Maybe some CLR. Search on stuck Moen cartridges...there's lots of threads that discuss methods to get it out.

    If you need to turn the main back on, you might want to call a plumber. There are tools that are supposed to help to pull it out. Some are a joke. And, if you use the tool and it breaks off inside, it is even worse to remove things.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    San Diego


    That is a moen positemp. You have a mess on your hands. If you can get a moen removal tool at a hardware store, use it to aid in turning the white bar that you see. Once it turns, it is loosened up, and use whatever tool you can to get a hold and pull it out.,

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona


    IF you have removed the retainer clip, then grab the white plastic piece with pliers and twist while pulling on it. You will probably need a new handle and adapter, because they can be difficult to remove while attached to the valve, but without something to work against it will probably be impossible.
    Last edited by hj; 03-26-2010 at 09:05 AM.

  5. #5
    One who lurks Basement_Lurker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Victoria, BC


    The first picture shows that the cartridge retainer clip is still installed, and it is surrounded by too much mortar to remove. You will have to break off some of the surrounding mortar to get proper access to it, and then you can see if you can pull the cartridge out with some pliers. There is also a lot of corrosion happening on the valve body, which is not good.
    Broken promises don't upset me. I just think, why did they believe me? -Jack Handy



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