How To Remove Moen Bathroom Faucet Handle (7 Steps)

How to Remove Moen Bathroom Faucet Handle

It is annoying to see the bathroom faucet leaking, not to mention the constant wastage of water contributing to the bill. Most of the time, this leak is caused by loose faucet handles.

Although Moen is known for its reliability, removing or replacing its parts is not that hard in case of necessity. That’s why knowing how to remove the Moen bathroom faucet handle yourself can come in handy.

Moen Bathroom Faucets

Most of the time, you’ll find plumbers suggesting Moen simply because, after years of experience, they know it to be the most reliable faucet there is.

Besides reliability, Moen doesn’t fall far behind in looks either. In fact, once one of Moen’s faucets was even named among the top 100 best-designed mass-produced products of all time by Fortune Magazine!

One specialty of all the many designs of Moen’s faucets is the standard cartridge which is the same for all modern faucets. This durably designed faucet part rarely goes bad, but if it does you can easily replace it with a new one. You don’t have to buy the entire faucet for this.

This alone makes learning how to remove bathroom faucet handle yourself all the more prudent and cost-effective.

Removing Moen Faucet Handle

There are so many different types of Moen faucets out there, and each has different designs. Some can be fixed with screws, while others won’t need any. This article will discuss how to remove the Moen bathroom faucet handle both without screws and with screws.

Step 1 – Gather the Materials

You need to have some materials at hand before starting to work. This will save you a lot of time since you won’t have to look for a tool in the middle of the work somewhere else. The things you’ll need are:

  • Wrench
  • Flat screwdriver
  • Faucet puller
  • Rag
  • Water and vinegar mixture
  • Needle nosed pliers
  • Socket racket (optional)

Step 2 – Turn off the Water Supply and Cover the Drain

It is necessary to turn the water supply off before any type of plumbing work. Even if you change the handle, don’t forget to shut off the water connection.

Now cover and close the drain with the rug so that any tiny screw doesn’t get lost in it.

Step 3 – Locate the Handle Connections

Since you need to remove the handle, locate how it is attached to the base deck plate. However, remove the decorative cap first before moving on to the handle.

So, how to remove the faucet handle cap? Well, that’s pretty simple. Just grasp the cap lightly and turn it to the left i.e., counterclockwise. If you can’t open the cap this way, insert a small flat screwdriver inside the gap under it and work slowly and gently around its edge. This will loosen the cap, and it will either be easily unscrewed or just pop off.

Step 4 – Remove the Screw

You need to remove the screw inside after popping out the cap. How to remove faucet handle set screw? You just use the wrench since it usually does a good job at this.

One of the reasons for using a wrench on a bathroom faucet is because the handle won’t turn properly. With years of minerals and other materials buildup, the handle tends to stick hard. You need to unscrew the handle in this situation with the help of a wrench.

Place the wrench on either side of the base of the screw and gently turn it to the left. You don’t need to use too much force all at a time. Just have patience, and with a gentle push, the screw will come loose. You can also use a socket wrench to access the screwhead.

Step 5 – Remove the Cartridge

Once the handle is off, it is a good idea to check the cartridge as well. The cartridge looks like a cylinder with a small lip. It is a site where a lot of scale gets to buildup thanks to constant contact with water.

If the cartridge is down, the faucet doesn’t work at all. Fortunately, you can always order a replacement online or at the nearest shop.

The cartridge is held in place by a brass retaining nut. You have to remove the nut by turning it counterclockwise using a wrench. First, use needle-nosed pliers to grasp the small lip and pull it out.

Sometimes due to scale and mineral buildup, it can be difficult to pull the cartridge out. In that case, the white-vinegar solution will come in handy. Pour some on the spot and wait for few hours. This will break down the mineral, and you can pop the cartridge out easily.

Step 6 – Clean Everything

It is a good opportunity to clean the internal parts of the faucet when you open the handle and pull out the cartridge. The mineral deposits often are the cause of sticky faucet handles and water leakage. Use the rag and the vinegar solution to clear away the dirt and mineral cluttering the area.

Step 7 – Reinstall the Handle and the Faucet

If you follow all the previous steps in reverse, you’ll be able to reinstall the faucet in no time at all. While removing the parts, note the positions of each thing so that you can reinstall it easily.

A good tip is to put the parts side by side in an orderly fashion so that you don’t have to remember which parts come when you reinstall them.


How to remove Kohler bathroom faucet handle? 

The process of removing Kohler faucet handle is almost the same as removing Moen handles, except that the cartridge of Kohler isn’t the same as that of Moen.

Besides, you can also learn how to remove Delta bathroom faucet handle from this article as well.

How to remove Moen kitchen faucet handle without screws?

All Moen faucets are manufactured using the same formula and cartridge. The only difference between a bathroom faucet and a kitchen faucet is the length of the neck of the tap. Besides, the mineral buildup in the kitchen faucet is a bit less also.

Since both faucets work the same way, you can also follow the same steps in this article to remove that.

What do I do with the o-rings under the cartridge?

When you pop out the cartridge, you will find the o-rings inside. These black rubber rings seal the handle from inside. After a few years of use, they become worn out and get rotted. You need to replace them which can be done with minimal cost.

When do I need to remove the faucet handle?

The handle needs to be removed when the faucet is leaking or the handle is becoming too loose to work with.

In the first case, the cartridge inside could require changing. And if the handle has become too loose, you might need to read about how to tighten the bathroom sink faucet handle.

However, bathroom faucets need cleaning most of the time because of mineral buildups after years of use. Cleaning them usually turns a Moen faucet good as new.

Learn also: When to use clear or white caulk

Wrapping Up!

As you can see, learning to remove the Moen bathroom faucet handle isn’t that hard at all. Rather it is a simple process that barely takes 15 minutes and is also a valuable addition to your DIY knowledge.

As a parting tip, when you’re working with the Moen faucet, try not to use too much brute force in pulling or wrenching. It might damage not only the faucet but the sink as well.

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