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Thread: problem screwing new handle onto Moentrol valve body / cartridge

  1. #1
    DIY Member johnny-canuck's Avatar
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    Default problem screwing new handle onto Moentrol valve body / cartridge

    In my daughter’s house, I’m putting new faucet trim and handle on existing (but unused for a number of years) Moen “Moentrol” valve body (hot and cold water Stops, Cartridge and Pressure Balancing Spool, push button Diverter … pull handle out for water then turn for hot/cold).

    In the process, when I got to the point of checking it out, I noticed a small drip in the front portion of the old Cartridge. I got a free replacement Cartridge from Moen, managed to get the old one out and the new one in with no problems (and I have the Cartridge Retainer Clip is back in place). New Escutcheon plate in screwed on to the valve body and the Temperature Limit Stop piece in sticking out of the Escutcheon plate. So far so good I think.

    Problem: All I need to do now is screw the Handle onto the Cartridge, but when I do, as I tighten the Handle into place with the Screw, enough to make the handle feel solidly attached to the Cartridge … the screw starts to pull the Cartridge out (i.e. starts water flowing) … and if I continued to tighten the screw till it feels solidly attached, it will result in the faucet being in the full On position and additionally I won't be able to push the Handle in anymore to Close the water.

    If you can understand what I’m trying to describe, can you see what I’m doing wrong / missing about how the Handle screws into the Cartridge? Is there something that's supposed to prevent the Cartridge from being pulled out as I tighten the Screw? (Does not seem like rocket science, but it’s got me stumped).

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The valve body may be too far buried in the wall, and you need an extension kit. The old one may have had one installed. If the trim is a different you may need a new kit if you can't salvage the old one.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member asktom's Avatar
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    I can't see the outside part of the cartridge pulling out if the clip is properly installed. If that is the case, the clip may well now be trash. If it is just the center part of the cartridge pulling out, then I agree with deep rough-in.

  4. #4
    DIY Member johnny-canuck's Avatar
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    Thanks for the thought. The valve body had been re-used (/ re-installed) by my daughter's friend (not a pro) without any instructions or considerations re distances between the new wall surface and the valve body (or the use of a "Plaster Guard" to help him get things properly aligned, properly spaced with respect to the newly tiled wall etc.), so your thought that it's burried too far is a definite possibilty I'll need to checkout tomorrow. I'll look into what an Extension Kit is and whether it might solve my problem. (I was thinking of redoing the positioning of the Valve Body anyway to make it more according to Moen instructions anyway, but if an Extension Kit gives me a quicker / simpler solution I may just go for it. Thanks.

  5. #5
    DIY Member johnny-canuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asktom View Post
    I can't see the outside part of the cartridge pulling out if the clip is properly installed. If that is the case, the clip may well now be trash. If it is just the center part of the cartridge pulling out, then I agree with deep rough-in.
    Yes ... it's just the center part of the cartridge that's pulling out (the actual piece that the handle screws into). The Retainer Clip is properly and neatly seated into the Cartridge, so the entire Cartridge is not moving ... just the center part.

    Thanks for your confirmation of what's most likely the problem.

  6. #6
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    There was a small washer that slid onto the stem before you put the handle on which limits the distance the handle can slide down the stem. You must have lost it, but may be able to find one somewhere or call 1-800-BUYMOEN and ask them to send you one.

  7. #7
    DIY Member johnny-canuck's Avatar
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    An additional question re my original problem. (Likely answer to my original problem is: valve body is installed too deep from finished tile surface ... sounds like I can likely can correct my problem with a 1" Extension Kit e.g. http://www.******.com/MOEN-10399-One...64/prices-html ).

    The additional question has to do with understanding the postioning of the Temperature Limit Stop set screw on the Temperature Limit Stop piece. Instructions seem to me to be saying: start adjusting by having the set screw loose and at the 4 o'clock position then ... turn the cartridge's flat surface to it's 2 o'clock position (= cold) then ... install the handle and gradually rotate the handle till it gets to the heat level at which you want to stop and lock the set screw at that position.

    Am I correct in thinking if I lock the set screw as close to it's 12 o'clock position as possible, I'll get the maximum amount of Hot water in the mix ... i.e. the worst possible case because the water could be >> scaldingly << hot in this position ... but I can back off if I want, from a "12 o'clock" position to something closer to "4 o'clock" (cold) to prevent this possibility.

  8. #8
    DIY Member johnny-canuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    There was a small washer that slid onto the stem before you put the handle on which limits the distance the handle can slide down the stem. You must have lost it, but may be able to find one somewhere or call 1-800-BUYMOEN and ask them to send you one.
    I think I have the small washer you're describing properly installed. I originally throught it was meant to simply go immedietely between the Screw and the Handle ... in front of the actual Cartridge. But I subsequently realized the sequence must be Screw -> Handle -> Small Washer -> Cartridge ... which is what I have now and the way I believe you're saying it should be.

    Thanks for the input.

  9. #9
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Bascially, yes, if you 'mis' adjust the mandated antiscald adjustment, you can get it to nearly all hot. Depending on how hot your water heater is set, it could be quite dangerous. Older people and children have much thinner skin, and a second degree burn can happen in seconds.
    Jim DeBruycker
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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  10. #10
    DIY Member johnny-canuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    Bascially, yes, if you 'mis' adjust the mandated antiscald adjustment, you can get it to nearly all hot. Depending on how hot your water heater is set, it could be quite dangerous. Older people and children have much thinner skin, and a second degree burn can happen in seconds.
    Thanks very much. I just wanted to make sure I understood the design. A new born baby will shortly be an occupant of this of tub/shower faucet control arrangement, so I want to make sure I understand the considerations I need to relate to my daughter in terms of where she want's this set. As an "adult" I would simply want this as hot as possible, but taking other "users" of the arrangement into account, I can reasonably see why this could be a problem and why a less hot maximum would make a lot of sense. It might be annoying for an "adult", but it would obviously make a whole lot of sense if there's a baby / very young child in the picture.

  11. #11
    DIY Member johnny-canuck's Avatar
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    At this web link ( http://www.handymanhowto.com/2008/12...athroom-part-7 ) the 7th picture shows an Escutcheon being screwed into place and it shows the thing that I'm calling the "Temperature Limit Stop" piece sitting >> behind << the Escutcheon plate.

    http://www.handymanhowto.com/2008/12...throom-part-7/

    In my case, this same piece is protruding about 1" beyond the Escutcheon plate. So this site and the picture, makes me think that rather than my valve body being buried too >far< into the wall, it's actually too >close< to the finished tile surface and an Extension Kit would make my original problem even worse i.e. make this part extend even more than about 1" beyond the Escutcheon Plate? (Apologies if I'm babbling / incomprehensible at this point. This stuff shouldn't be this hard :-) )

    Will an Extension Kit still likely solve my problem or do I have a different problem?

  12. #12
    In the Trades Jerome2877's Avatar
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    Thats a posi temp valve, the plate he is holding against the back of the wall should be flush with the finished wall, so that valve is too far into the wall.

    I wouldn't follow anything from that site bye the way! lol

  13. #13
    DIY Member johnny-canuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome2877 View Post
    Thats a posi temp valve, the plate he is holding against the back of the wall should be flush with the finished wall, so that valve is too far into the wall.

    I wouldn't follow anything from that site bye the way! lol
    Thanks ... I'm desperate and looking too much! It occurred to me after I sent my last post that it was likely a different valve (= Posi Temp like you say) and I shouldn't be thinking it's the same as my valve (= Moentrol).

  14. #14
    DIY Member johnny-canuck's Avatar
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    I thought I'd update my initial post.

    Reasonable suggestions had been that the problem I was having with using my new handle and my reinstalled Moentrol Tub/Shower valve body, was that my problem was most likely due to the fact that my valve body had been installed too deeply in the wall cavity and that my most likely fix would be to install a 1" Extension Kit that I guess effectively moves the valve body 1" closer to the handle that I was trying to screw into the Cartridge.

    Surprisingly, it turns out the real cause of my problem, was that the plumbing supplier I normally deal with and trust (not a big box store type place, but a place where real plumbing contractors regularly deal with) had incorrectly given me the handle for a Moen single handle >> Sink << faucet ... rather than the handle for a Moen single handle >> Tub / Shower << faucet. (I had gone to them originally because I wanted to buy the parts that would effectively give me a new "Shower control Trim Kit" for my valve body. The old "Trim Kit" parts were either lost or damaged, so I just wanted to make a fresh start with new parts.

    I won't bore you with the details of how I eventually realized what the problem was, but suffice it to say that I appreciate Moen's customer service people. I happen to have the luxury of living fairly close to the Moen Canada offices that are situated a relatively short drive from Toronto, Ontario where I live. When I went there with pictures of my faucet, description of my problem and the handle and screws I was not having any luck with
    ... their first thought was that I needed the 1" Extension Kit (i.e. thinking the cause was that the valve body was buried too deeply into the wall cavity)
    ... but when I showed them the handle I was having a problem (the one that my plumbing parts supplier had given me) ... the Moen service tech said ... Oh ... that's the handle for a Moen single handle >Sink< faucet ... not the handle for a Moentrol single handle >Tub/Shower< faucet.

    For free he gave me a 1" Extension Kit (that he happened to have available) + the proper handle ... thinking that he'd give me stuff that would cover both possible causes / cover both bases.

    So the easiest most logical solution for me was to simply see what happened when I installed the correct handle .... and when I did ... all was well / everything worked as expected. (The proper Tub/Shower handle has a longer plastic shaft than the Sink handle and the correct handle obviously makes all the difference in terms of working properly with the Moentrol body and cartridge).

    By for now.

  15. #15
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Handles with the metal connection could only go onto the stem a specific distance. Plastic handles can slide "over" the stem and go on too far without the metal washer. If the handle is contacting the "stop tube" as it is pulling the stem out, then etiher the tube is not on all the way or the handle is going on too far which is what the little washer is supposed to prevent, and the same thing will happen with an extension kit. (you could also cut off the "far end" of the stop tube to make it shorter, but that should not be necessary once you get everything together properly) If the handle is hitting the "trim plate" then either a couple of the washers or an extension kit will cure it.

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