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Moen Single Handle Hex Stripped

Hi, all:

I have a single handle Moen shower. I need to get the handle off, but the hex was stripped by the original installer! :mad:

How do I go about getting the hex out so I can replace/check out the rest of the unit?

Any suggestions short of a sledge hammer would be appreciated!:D



A. Spruce
Re: Moen Single Handle Hex Stripped

Can you post a pic or a model so that we can see exactly what you're referring too?

If it's an outer hex, you can probably grab it with vice grips, water pump pliers (channel locks ), or a pipe wrench. If it's an inner hex, then things become more difficult. Using something just short of a sledgehammer, you can use a metal working chisel and the hammer to bite and rotate it from the side.

Re: Moen Single Handle Hex Stripped

I think the screw you're talking about has an Allen head. Brass is very soft and these strip out pretty easily. Take a look at his set... Craftsman 10 pc. Drill Out, Micro Drill Out and Screw Out Set #52158
I use these all the time for all kinds of stripped or broken screw heads and it will be the best 70 bucks you'll ever spend.

Re: Moen Single Handle Hex Stripped

Left hand drill bits will some times work http://www.mytoolstore.com/hanson/hanson.html

because it is used in the reverse direction they will often spin the old screw out.

Re: Moen Single Handle Hex Stripped

I've attached a photo of the handle. It's a one handle pull on/push off and turn for hot/cold type.

Unfortunately it's an inner hex and the hole that exposes the hex is so small I can't get anything into it to try to put some additional pressure on the set screw to get it out. I've tried various size hex, square and star drivers and can't get anything to bite.

Do you know if the "tap out" systems have extremely small diameters? The opening is probably a 1/16" at best -- too small to have any wiggle room to work another tool into it.

What sort of trouble am I in if I try to manually pull the handle straight off the post using brute force? By handle, I mean the actual handle you grab as well as the ball attachment being held by the set hex screw? Would I be opening up a can of worms I don't want to deal with?

By the way, the whole handle mechanism is metal, so cracking it off doesn't seem to be an option as it would with one of those fake chrome plastic jobbies. And the handle you grab simply screws off the covering cap, so there is no pop-out cover with screw underneath to get the rest of the unit off.

Anyone in the Greater Portland Maine area want to earn a 12 pack of fine American Ale (or for your uppity types, a 6 pack of some imported swill)? :D



A. Spruce
Re: Moen Single Handle Hex Stripped
TRLambert wrote:

What sort of trouble am I in if I try to manually pull the handle straight off the post using brute force?

DON'T!!! :eek::eek:

You'll end up breaking the valve and that won't be pretty. Since you're not worried about saving the handle, you could use a dremel or die grinder and cut the handle on either side of the set screw.

It would seem odd that the set screw hole/wrench is only 1/16". Faucets I'm familiar with use at least a 1/8" or 3/16" wrench. At any rate, what is the quality of your wrench? If the shoulders are worn or rounded, grind the tip back until you've got a fresh hex driver and try it on the set screw again. You'd be surprised what a "fresh" wrench can accomplish.

Re: Moen Single Handle Hex Stripped

Just cut the stem off. You can get a carbide cable saw easily. Just turn off the water.
Pull out the handle.
Loop the saw behind the handle and saw off the shaft.

Its not that hard and you may be able to save the handle and just replace the set screw.

Just make sure you saw of the little shaft and not the big shaft. The big one is the valve body. Saw it is no good.

Re: Moen Single Handle Hex Stripped

Before you go to the trouble of trying to cut off the stem of the cartridge, try using a T-25 Torx screwdriver to remove the screw. If your faucet is around 10-years old though, you may have another problem. As was stated before, the handle adapter behind the handle is metal and it is quite likely that the adapter has fused inside of the handle.

If the Torx screwdriver won't remove the Allen screw it might be time to give Moen a call. If your faucet is under warranty they can provide you the necessary parts to fix the faucet so that you can have them prior to doing any major operations on the faucet!

Re: Moen Single Handle Hex Stripped

There is old school trick.
Buy valve grinding compound. It is available at any local auto parts store.
It is gritty, greyish paste and it doesn't get hard like silicone or epoxy. It has unlimited shelf life.

Apply compund to the head of screw, use correct size allen wrench, then put steady pressure on wrench and screw at same time. It'll come loose.

Anybody can do the same thing to stripped phillip head screws.

Re: Moen Single Handle Hex Stripped

I realize this post is about 7 years old, but I have this exact same problem and I also have the exact same Moen faucet. The allen bolt is completely stripped and I know it was the installer because I have never attempted to remove this faucet head and I am the original owner of the house, which was built circa 1998. It appears to be a defect in design on Moen's part, using such a soft metal and of such a small size allen head. Did they really expect that it would be able to endure such force? Either during installation or during removal 17 years later? I also noticed on the newer models, Moen is using a larger size allen bolt, so they appear to have realized their mistake. Let's hope the metal is not as soft as the previous design.
Anyway, I was just wondering what you did to remove it? Did any of the advice offered here work for you? tap out tool? Grinding compound? Dremel tool to split the head? etc. I ran through all the same thoughts as you did.

PS - I'm also P.O'd at the plumbing contractor/installer the developer hired. Besides stripping the hex, they made numerous other mistakes too, such as not applying sealant around the PVC overflow pipe connected to the tub (under the chrome cover), hence all the water damage under the tub over the years. But I blame Moen the most for the crappy quality and size of the hex nut. Not to mention all the garbage they are putting out these days with everything being fake chrome plastic, a fact they carefully hide until you discover it later. I've found that even the less well known replacement parts makers use real metal and better quality in their parts. So much for a 'name brand'...they take 'designed obsolescence' to a whole new level. Even my (plastic) Moen kitchen faucets are garbage - the same looking model used to be metal. They make them look identical to the original metal ones on purpose to trick home owners looking for an exact match as a replacement into buying them. Then you get them home and discover a box of mostly plastic, with very few actual metal parts. So instead of their product failing after about in 10 or 12 years, they have designed them to fall apart in just 2 or 3.

Re: Moen Single Handle Hex Stripped


I have the same issue as you. The allen head is stripped. I tried drilling out the head to insert a flat blade. No joy. I am not sure how to remove it exactly. I am considering cutting the handle.


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