After years of use, a Moen Chateau tub and shower faucet plastic handle will sometimes become grating and stiff to pull out. This is relatively easy to remedy.
First, shut off the water supply. Open the faucet to drain out the water pressure. Then put a rag over the tub drain to catch any parts that drop into the tub.
Using a sharp edge like a fine-bladed small screwdriver, pry off the handle cap, being careful not to mar the plastic finish. Underneath that cap unscrew the handle screw and pull the handle off.
Pull the chrome tube underneath the handle straight off.
You will find a small copper tab sticking up above the faucet body. Grasp it with a pair of needle nose pliers, pull it straight up until the copper forks clear the faucet body. Place this keeper in a safe place because it is easy to lose.
Note the end of the brass shaft that sticks out of the faucet body. On the top side of the end of the shaft there is a small flat surface. This surface must face up when you put the faucet back together.
A Moen faucet cartridge removal tool is the easiest tool to use for pulling the cartridge out of the faucet body, especially if it is difficult to remove due to corrosion or debris in the faucet body. Obtain this tool at a local plumbing store; some hardware stores may carry them, or you may be able to order it from http://www.moen.com. Alternatively, you can use a pair of pliers. Grasp the end of the stem carefully, twist, and pull straight out.
Once you have the cartridge removed, inspect the faucet body. Clean it out with a toothbrush or have an assistant turn the water partially on very briefly to flush out the faucet body.
Inspect the faucet cartridge. If it is damaged or has a lot of debris or corrosion, replace it with a new one. These are usually readily available at hardware stores or home centers.
Lubricate the new cartridge with a good quality stem lubricant. Food grade silicone lubricant works best.Install the cartridge with the Moen cartridge removal tool or push it into the faucet body with your fingers, making sure the flat on the end of the cartridge faces up.
With the cartridge fully seated in the faucet body, install the small copper keeper. Just push it down until it is fully seated in its slot. You can tell if it is installed properly because you won’t be able to install the chrome sleeve or tube unless it is.
Now place the handle over the stem, install the handle screw being careful not to over tighten it. Push the plastic cap in place, turn on the water, and test your repair.
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