How Do I Know Which Moen Cartridge I Need?
If you have a leaking Moen shower/tub faucet, the cartridge is usually the culprit. This also applies to instances when you have no hot or cold water to your faucet, or when the water pressure is just low.
Before you replace your Moen cartridge, you will first need to know which cartridge you need in the first place. For most people, that cartridge will either be the Moen 1222 or the Moen 1225 cartridge.
Moen shower faucets cartridges are not universal and therefore not interchangeable. While the Moen 1200 cartridge is interchangeable with the Moen 1225 cartridge (its improved version), the Moen 1222 and 1225 cartridges cannot be interchanged. The faucets they are installed in work differently.
The main difference between the Moen 1222 and 1225 cartridges is that faucets with the 1225 cartridge have water volume control while faucets with the1225 cartridge don’t. With the 1222 cartridge, you only rotate the handle for temperature adjustment while with the 1225 cartridge pull out the handle to turn on and adjust water volume.
To tell if you need a 1222 or 1225 Moen cartridge, check how your faucet turns on the water. If you need to pull out the handle you need the Moen 1225 cartridge while if you only need to rotate it to adjust the water temperature you need the Moen 1222 cartridge.
The Moen 1200 shower faucet cartridge is also known as the Moen Posi-Temp cartridge. It has a spool that shuts off the hot water supply to the valve immediately it senses a reduction in cold water pressure.
If someone for instance flushes the toilet while you are taking a shower, the cold water pressure will reduce while the hot water pressure remains constant. This can cause scalding. The Moen 1200 Posi-Temp cartridge is designed to counter that.
The easiest way to tell which Moen shower faucet cartridge you need is by referring to the paperwork that the old cartridge/faucet came with. If you do not have the paperwork, compare your Moen faucet series with the ones on the Moen website and you will surely identify which cartridge you need.
Also, if your faucet was manufactured after 2009, you most likely have/need the Moen 1225 cartridge.
Moen 1222 vs. 1225 Faucet Cartridges
You cannot speak about the Moen 1225 cartridge without mentioning the Moen 1200 cartridge. The Moen 1200 was the revolutionary faucet cartridge invented by Al Moen himself.
Moen 1225 cartridge is the improved version of the original Moen 1200 cartridge
The main difference between the Moen 1225 and the Moen 1200 cartridges is that the Moen 1225 cartridge is the newer version of the 1200 cartridge. Moen 1225 cartridge has a clear plastic shell and a brass piston while the Moen 1200 cartridge has a brass shell and piston.
As I had mentioned before, the easiest way to know which cartridge you need between the Moen 1222 and the Moen 1225 is how the faucet turns on the water.
Faucets with the Moen 1225 cartridge allows you control the water volume coming out of the shower head or tub spout. To turn on water to the faucet, you need to pull out the faucet handle.
The water volume is determined by how much out you pull the handle. To adjust the water temperature you then turn the faucet handle clockwise or counterclockwise.
Unlike the faucets with the Moen 1225 cartridge, faucets with the Moen 1222 cartridge do not offer water volume control. You only need to turn the faucet handle counterclockwise to turn on water to the faucet.
The Moen 1222 cartridge has a white plastic shell with 2 black rubber ovals on the sides and a brass piston. You can also see the initials ‘HC’ on the top side of the cartridge.
A fool-proof method of identifying which Moen cartridge you need is by removing the old one you have and comparing it with the ones on the Moen website. You don’t even need to remove the whole cartridge out.
Just turn off water supply to your shower and remove the faucet handle, escutcheon and stop tube. You will be in a position to clearly see the installed cartridge and all you will need to do is order an exact replacement.
Moen 1222 and 1225 vs. 1222B and 1225B Cartridges
Another thing that confuses most homeowners is the Moen 1222B and 1225B faucet cartridges. How different are they from the Moen 1222 and 1225 faucet cartridges.
There is usually no difference between the Moen 1222 and 1222B cartridges save for the packaging. The same is also true for the Moen 1225 and Moen 1222B faucet cartridges.
The ‘B’ in the Moen 1222B and Moen 1225B cartridges simply means they are sold in bulk to contactors or Moen customers who order a large shipment of the parts unlike homeowners who buy 1 or 2 pieces.
This means the Moen 1222 cartridge and the 1222B cartridge are the exact same thing and therefore interchangeable. The same also applies to the Moen 1225 and 1225B cartridge.
How to Replace the Moen 1225/1222 Posi-Temp Cartridge
Once you have purchased the correct cartridge, it is time to replace it. You may also use this method to remove the old cartridge and see what type it is.
This is how to replace a Moen cartridge:
- Start by turning off water to your shower. The shut off valve will be located in the basement.
- Turn on the faucet to drain the water already in the pipes.
- Plug off the tub/shower drain to prevent dropping screws down the drain.
- Remove the screw joining the handle to the cartridge.
- If you have a lever-handle, the hex screw will be underneath the handle. Remove it with an Allen wrench and slide out the handle.
- For a knob-type handle, pry off the small index cap at the front with a knife or flathead screwdriver to reveal the screw. Remove the screw with a Philips screwdriver and pull out the handle as you wiggle it at the same time.
- With the handle out, remove the handle adapter and the temperature limit stop (posi-temp cartridge) and pull out the stop tube as well.
- Remove the escutcheon (optional). If you can access the cartridge retaining clip with the clip still in place then there is no need to remove the escutcheon. An escutcheon is the trim plate that covers the hole on the wall. Loosen the screws and pull it out.
- Pull out the cartridge retaining clip. This is clip holds the cartridge in place, preventing it from shifting when water is suddenly turned on. Grab it with a needle-nose plier and carefully pull it out.
With the clip out, you will need to use a Moen cartridge puller to remove the cartridge. The cartridge puller helps the cartridge to rotate inside the valve thereby freeing it since it is usually bounded by mineral deposits or corrosions.
You will either have a small plastic puller or a metal puller with a handle. Both work the same way.
With a plastic puller, slide it inside the valve until it engages the cartridge. Grab it with pliers and twist it right and left. When the cartridge starts to rotate freely, remove the cartridge puller.
Make sure the cartridge is in its right orientation (the small notch on the piston should be facing up). Grab it with the pliers and pull it straight up.
If you have a metal puller with a handle, push it slide the valve to engage the 2 shoulders then screw in the screw at the back and tighten the nut. While holding the handle, twist the cartridge until it is free then pull it out.
Check out this post if you have a stuck Moen cartridge.
You can use your faucet handle to pull out the cartridge if you don’t have a cartridge puller. Just reattach it with the screw but the retainer clip needs to be removed.
- Clean the inside of the shower valve before installing the new cartridge.
- Apply plumber’s grease on the cartridge and push it inside the valve. Again, make sure that the notch on the piston or the ‘HC’ are at the top side.
- Push the cartridge retaining clip back in being careful not to drop it inside the wall.
- Install the escutcheon.
- Slide in the stop tube, temperature limit stop and handle adapter.
- Connect the handle back and secure it with the screw.
- Turn the water back on and check if the faucet id working as expected with the new cartridge.
And basically that is all you need to know about the Moen 1222 and 1225 cartridges.