How to Remove And Replace a Moen Kitchen Faucet Cartridge

Find Moen kitchen faucets in new home construction as well as in older homes where plumbing upgrades are part of remodeling projects.

Cartridge-style faucets have become popular, especially in locations where hard tap water corrodes kitchen and bath fixtures. Replacing a cartridge in a Moen kitchen faucet addresses valve corrosion along with a variety of other faucet issues including drips and sticky valve operation. Replacement kits are available that include everything you need to perform the work. .

Turn off the water supply to the faucet. If there are no faucet shut-off valves beneath the sink, turn the supply off at the main water valve for the house.

Open the faucet to release any pressure within the water lines. Leave the faucet handle open.

Remove the faucet handle by loosening the setscrew with the appropriate size hex wrench. Find setscrew in a recessed opening near the base of the handle. Pull the handle up and from the handle adapter.

Remove the handle adapter and its two washer rings using lockjaw pliers. Turn the adapter counterclockwise. Remove the two washer rings from the body of the faucet.

Locate the cartridge-retaining clip at the upper rear of the cartridge. The clip is fork-shaped and removed by pulling it straight back with needle nose pliers.

Remove the cartridge washer and the faucet-handle limit stop by lifting them up and out from the faucet body.

Insert the Moen cartridge removal tool included in the replacement kit onto the stem ears of the cartridge. Grip the tool with the lockjaw pliers and twist the cartridge back and forth to loosen it.

Remove the tool from the stem. Pull the cartridge straight up and out of the faucet.

Insert the replacement Moen cartridge into the faucet. Ensure that the ears of the cartridge line up with the retaining clip notch at the rear of the faucet.

Replace the washer and the limit stop onto the top of the cartridge.

Install the retaining clip by pushing it into place with the tip of a flathead screwdriver. Ensure the clip fully seats. Replace the two washer rings onto the faucet body.

Secure the handle adapter to the faucet. Tighten the adapter by turning it clockwise with the lockjaw pliers.

Replace the handle and tighten the setscrew clockwise with a hex wrench.

Restore water pressure. Leave the faucet in the open position for 15 seconds. This will bleed out any residual air from the supply pipes.

Shut the faucet off and perform a leak check.

Things You Will Need

  • Hex wrench set
  • Lock-jaw pliers
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Flat-head screwdriver


  • Moen manufactures several different types of cartridge kitchen faucets. Obtain a replacement kit at a local hardware store or home center. Follow the directions for your particular model.

About the Author

Max Stout began writing in 2000 and started focusing primarily on non-fiction articles in 2008. Now retired, Stout writes technical articles with a focus on home improvement and maintenance. Previously, he has worked in the vocational trades such as automotive, home construction, residential plumbing and electric, and industrial wire and cable. Max also earned a degree of biblical metaphysician from Trinity Seminars Ministry Academy.