Moen faucet handles loose - - what to do?

home_nwJuly 31, 2008

We have Moen Monticello 8" widespread faucet handles on our bathroom sinks with one lever for hot and one lever for cold. The faucet handles on one sink have become so loose that they actually can rock back and forth. I looked up the parts on Moen's website, and the part of the handle that wiggles is the top portion of what they label the "hub and elbow assembly." The part of the hub and elbow assembly that curves is what's loose (is that the elbow?).

The escutcheon and the bulbous part below the handle (is that the hub?) are firmly seated and don't wiggle. The faucets still function and don't leak, but I just know this isn't right. They seem to be getting looser every day. I'd really appreciate any advice on how to tighten them.

Thanks very much!

Here is a link that might be useful: Moen's exploded parts view of our faucet

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i've been through this with the Monticello, which we have in our bath too. We think it's a beautiful faucet, but this problem occurs and recurs.

IF you can get the thing apart and remove the hubs without scarring them then you are probably home free. All that is required is to thoroughly clean the scale off of them and reassemble, using generous amounts of faucet stem lubricant on the threads. This is partly to make them easier to service "next time" and partly to discourage hard-water build up that can cause a "next time".

We were not so lucky; dismantling ours required brute force and I wasn't happy at the price for replacement parts. I wrote a strong, whiny letter to Moen, since the plumbing supply store wouldn't cover it, and they responded (after some time) with a check and a nice letter.

We had another problem with the faucet, took it down to the same supply store, and happened to be there when the Moen rep dropped in. HE took an immediate interest, and even though I told him that Moen had already tried to take care of us he immediately identified the parts we would need, placed a call to their central supply (in Dallas?) and had them over-nighted to us at no charge.

So I cannot say enough about Moen's quality of service. It has been serveral years since our last issue and we've had no further problems with the Monticello- and, we have a few spare parts on hand if anything does come up!

So my advice to you would be to contact Moen customer service and ask for their advice. I suspect that they will be a pleasant surprise (although who knows what might have changed over the years.)

By the way, the disassembly and reassembly are much easier than the drawing makes it appear. There is a point where you remove/replace the cartridges that is a somewhat particular regarding installation, so pay particular attention to the location of the little tabs on the cartridges. But otherwise it's not any harder than putting the lid on a ketchup bottle. Well, several ketchup bottles!

Good luck,



    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 5:15PM
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Thank you so much, Mark! Your advice is excellent - - clear and detailed. We'll follow it exactly. We do have slightly hard water (we're on a well), so that's probably the problem. The one Monticello that's acting up is the one we use the most. I really appreciate your taking the time to share your experience and advice.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 1:19AM
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Might be worth the time, after you deal with the problem faucet and feel comfortable with the procedure, to disassemble the less used faucet and apply lots-of-lube to it, too! Could forstall future frustrations.

Thanks for your kind words and best of luck to you.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 5:00PM
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Just a follow-up to share the good-news solution. I took Mark's advice and called Moen's help line at 800-289-6636.

I spoke to a very helpful Moen technician who determined that my problem was actually in the "Handle Adapter Kit." She gave me the following directions, which (knock on wood!) seem to have solved the problem:
- Carefully unscrew the hub (that's the bulbous part right above the escutcheon)
- Carefully pull up on the whole faucet and lift the whole hub and elbow assembly out
- Turn the hub and elbow assembly upside down
- Refer to the exploded drawing of the Handle Adapter Kit. The bottom arrow on the drawing of this kit points to a small Phillips Head screw.
- With a smaller size Phillips Head screwdriver, tighten the screw quite tight.
- Re-attach the hub and elbow assembly by holding the handle firmly in place and screwing the hub until it's snug.

That's it! No need to even turn off the water. The Tech said this is one of the easiest repairs to make. If even I can do it, she must be right...

So my advice is to take Mark's advice and start by calling Moen. They're very helpful and are able to ask the right questions to be sure you're doing what you need to do.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 3:10PM
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I'm glad that worked for you- and ain't it nice to know that once you get into a problem you can solve it!? Moen Customer Service sets a good example for any company.

Best again,


    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 7:54PM
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Thanks to both of you I now have a set of Monticello faucet handles which no longer wobble.

Great info !!!

Will and the Furry Ones in the OC

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 11:35PM
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Boy I have just about the exact same faucet and I have tightened the handle before but now can't remember how I did it. We cannot figure out how to get it apart! No set screws or any thing and the "bulbous" part will not unscrew. It needs tightening again. How do I take the darn thing apart?

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 9:19PM
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