Repairing a Moen Pressure-Balanced Shower Valve

  • 01 of 09

    Moen Pressure-Balanced Shower Valve Repair

    Luxury master bathroom
    David Papazian/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

    As with any faucet brand, a Moen shower valve contains working parts that can go bad over time. Moen pressure-balance shower valves are designed so they sense hot and cold water pressure and keep them in balance, preventing the shower from sudden surges of hot or cold water. When the shower valve begins leaking or fails to correctly balance the hot and cold water, fixing the problem is usually a simple matter of replacing the insert cartridge.

    Tools and Supplies You Will Need

    • Rags
    • Allen wrench
    • Screwdrivers
    • Needle-nose pliers
    • Flashlight
    • Silicone grease
    • New shower cartridge
    • Moen cartridge puller (optional)
    Continue to 2 of 9 below.
  • 02 of 09

    Shut Off the Water and Remove the Handle

    Removing Moen shower handle
    Aaron Stickley
    1. First, shut off the water to the shower faucet at the fixture shutoff valve. If there are no fixture shutoff valves, you will need to turn off the entire water supply to the house at the main shutoff valve.
    2. Drain any water remaining in the pipes by turning on the faucet. If you had to turn off the water at the main house shutoff, then open the lowest faucet in the home to drain the pipes. 
    3. Block the shower drain with a stopper or rag to prevents screws and other parts from falling down the drain.
    4. Use an Allen wrench to remove the set-screw at the bottom of the handle.
    5. Pull the handle straight outward to remove it. Set aside the handle and set-screw.
    Continue to 3 of 9 below.
  • 03 of 09

    Remove the Handle Adapter

    Moen handle adapter
    Aaron Stickley

    After removing the handle, you can access the handle adapter and temperature control component on the valve:

    1. Unscrew the black plastic handle adapter with a Philips screwdriver and pull it straight out.
    2. Next, pull the two white plastic pieces that make up the temperature-limit stop kit straight out.
    3. Grip the chrome sleeve and pull it straight out. This will expose the retaining clip that holds the cartridge in place. Set the handle adapter and chrome sleeve aside; they will be used again when the new cartridge is installed.
    Continue to 4 of 9 below.
  • 04 of 09

    Remove the Cartridge Retaining Clip

    Removing Moen cartridge clip
    Aaron Stickley

    Before the cartridge can be removed, you'll need to remove the cartridge retaining clip. Note the location of the clip before removal, as it will need to be re-installed the same way after the new cartridge is inserted.

    To remove the retaining clip, use a pair of needle-nose pliers or a flat screwdriver. Grip the top of the clip and pull it straight out.

    Set the retaining clip aside; you will use it with the new cartridge.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Remove the Cartridge

    Moen cartridge removal with cartridge puller
    Aaron Stickley

    With the clip removed, you can now pull the cartridge out. A Moen cartridge puller (shown here) makes removing the cartridge a little easier, but it is not required.

    If you don’t have a cartridge puller, use the plastic adapter that comes with the new cartridge to remove the old cartridge. Attach the plastic piece to the end of the cartridge, and turn it from side to side with pliers as you pull. When the cartridge is partially extracted, grasp the brass stem with pliers and pull the cartridge fully out.

    Continue to 6 of 9 below.
  • 06 of 09

    Install the New Cartridge

    Moen cartridge installation
    Aaron Stickley
    1. Before installing the new cartridge, look inside the valve with a flashlight to make sure it's clean. Remove any debris that may obstruct the installation of the new cartridge.
    2. Lubricate the rubber parts of the new cartridge with silicone grease.
    3. Push the cartridge in place, making sure the H/C marking on the face of the cartridge is on top, so that the hot is on the left and cold is on the right.
    Continue to 7 of 9 below.
  • 07 of 09

    Install the Retaining Clip

    Moen faucet cartridge clip
    Aaron Stickley
    1. With the cartridge is in place, reinstall the cartridge retaining clip. If you have trouble getting the clip into position, try moving the cartridge just a bit by using the plastic cartridge puller or a Moen cartridge puller. Note: Do not try to force the clip into position; it should slide in easily.
    2. Once the retaining clip is in place, slide the chrome sleeve back into position over the cartridge.


    Continue to 8 of 9 below.
  • 08 of 09

    Adjust the Scald Guard

    Scald guard on a Moen shower
    Aaron Stickley

    The set of two white plastic pieces called the temperature limit stop kit, provide a scald guard feature on some Moen shower valves. If you have very hot water and are concerned that children using the shower could be scalded, the scald guard is a great feature. It allows the valve to be adjusted so that no matter how far the handle is turned toward the hot side, it will not go past a certain point.

    Setting up the scald guard is easy, but you may have to try it a few times before you get the temperature where you want it. The water supply can be on while you set up the scald guard, but the handle and handle adapter have to be off.

    • To turn the water temperature down, move the outermost white piece to the right to limit the hot water. The number of splines you move will depend on how much restriction you want. Try turning the valve on with the handle adapter loosely in place until you find the temperature you want.
    • To turn the water temperature up, move the outermost plastic piece to the left a few splines.

    Note: Be careful when testing. Turn the hot water on slowly so you can stop before it gets hot enough to scald you.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Reassemble the Handle

    Install Moen handle
    Aaron Stickley

    Reassemble the handle by reversing the order used to disassemble it

    1. First, install the black handle adapter and tighten it with a screwdriver. Make sure the black handle adapter is screwed on tightly before proceeding.
    2. Put the handle on the cartridge stem, insert the set-screw, and tighten it with an Allen wrench.
    3. Turn the water on and test it to make sure the valve gets cold first, then warmer as you rotate the handle.