A couple of weeks ago we began to notice that Mya’s bath had developed a slow leak. We ignored it for a few days hoping it would magically disappear, but when it continued it was time to learn about leaky faucets. After a little bit of research, it looked like I would be replacing the cartridge within the handle mechanism. But first, I thought it would be a good opportunity to try the ol’ take-it-apart-and-put-it-back-together trick. I removed the cartridge, checked out the gaskets, added some silicone grease, put it back together and hoped for the best. No luck.

So, back to replacing the cartridge. A new one for our model – Moen 1222 – cost $75 from Moen, $40 from Home Depot and Lowes, and $20 on eBay. Winner. Since we had a couple of days waiting on delivery, we figured we’d put her mini bath under the faucet to see how much water was leaking. Over the course of a day it filled her bath about a third full. An extra bath of water every few days didn’t seem too bad, but definitely worth taking care of – and the drip seemed to speed up over the next few days. All-in-all, this is a pretty straight forward job that you should be able to finish in about 20 minutes. Keep reading below to learn how it’s done.


First, turn off the water supply and open the faucet to drain the remaining water in the lines. Once the water is drained, remove the screw on the bottom of the handle. Before removing the handle, it is a good idea to return the handle to the off position to make it easier on yourself to ensure you install the cartridge correctly (so hot is hot and cold is still cold).


Next, loosen the screw in the center of the black handle adapter. The handle adapter and stop limiter assembly (white plastic pieces) will then slide off. Next, the silver collar should be removed by pulling out of the base plate. In some cases, the base plate can be left in place but ours needed to be removed to access the cartridge.


In order to remove the cartridge, the retainer clip must be removed by pulling it straight out of the top of the cartridge. Next, the cartridge can be removed. My replacement cartridge came with a plastic removal tool that slips over the cartridge. This provides an easily accessible surface to place a wrench to rotate the cartridge slightly and loosen it. Once loosened, it can be pulled straight out using a pair of pliers.


After removing the old cartridge, check the valve body (where you just pulled the cartridge from) for any debris and clean out if necessary. Apply a small amount of lubricant (included with the replacement kit) to the black gaskets on the outside of your new cartridge and slide it back into place. Pay attention to the orientation of the new cartridge, the hot should be on the left and cold on the right. The end of the cartridge has an extra notch on one side, this should face downward. From here, reassemble all parts in reverse order and turn the water supply back on once completed. Enjoy your new drip-free faucet!


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