Alan J. Heavens
Philadelphia Inquirer

A faucet with two handles turning 90 degrees can be a cartridge faucet. If such a faucet drips, you can replace the cartridge. YouTube videos show the repair steps. Yet as one reader found, not all faucets are the same.

“I have a two-handle Moen bathroom sink faucet, a model known as Brantford,” he said. “Recently, the cold-water faucet began dripping. When I went to the Internet, I found that the cartridge in the faucet could be replaced ‘easily’ …with an hour’s worth of work.”

The reader watched videos of Moen faucet repair and an animated version on Moen’s site. When he removed the faucet, though, what the instructions showed and what he found did not match. There was a clip at the base of the valve body that didn’t appear in any video. A wrench didn’t loosen the valve nut, either.

The Moen animation showed a $3.75 tool used to loosen the nut, but no clip. Trips to the store were fruitless. The homeowner found the tool online and ordered it. Still, the valve nut didn’t turn when he used the tool.

Jerry Capasso of Moen technical support said the clip “does not need to be removed to change the cartridge.” The nut removal tool is used to “unthread” the cartridge nut, he said. If it didn’t budge, pliers could help.

His advice: Turn off the water to the faucet. Remove the cartridge nut; pull the blue stem extension up. The cartridge should come out. Loosen the screw in the stem extension to remove the old cartridge; attach the new one. Insert the cartridge and stem extension into the valve body.

Pushing down, rotate the stem extension until the cartridge engages into a slot inside the valve body. Tighten the nut, replace the handle, and turn on the water.