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I have a Moen single handle kitchen faucet. When you lift the handle to start the water flow, water also flows out almost as fast from underneath the handle and floods my counter.

I cannot figure out where exactly the leak comes from though. When I take the handle off to look, I can't start the water flowing.

I know that Moen makes repair kits, but I don't have a clue how to find out what model of faucet I have or where to buy a repair kit.

Help?

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2 Answers 2

I assume that this is leakage that happens with normal use. I have found that with many single handle faucets, if you push the handle all of the way open, hard over and hold it there, they will all leak.

Turn off the water to your faucet from under the sink. There should be a shutoff down there. Make sure that both the hot and cold water lines are shut off, so that when the faucet is open, no water should come out.

Open up the faucet by removing the handle. Usually this is easily done with a screwdriver. There will be a screw someplace to do this with, although it might be an allen type set screw. Sometimes that screw is neatly hidden underneath a plastic plug.

Pull out the cartridge. Drive to your nearest home center, with the cartridge in hand. Now it will be trivial to find the exact cartridge. If you are still unsure, ask for help.

Buy the proper replacement cartridge, complete with all o-rings, etc.

Replace the cartridge into your faucet with the new one, replacing ALL o-rings, all of the pieces that come with it with the new ones.

Put the handle back on, turn on the water.

If it still leaks, buy a better grade of faucet. I have found that cheap hardware sometimes really does perform like CHEAP hardware.

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I have done all of that except for taking the cartridge to the local hardware store because I don't know what the "cartridge" is. :) I am useless around the house. I couldn't see any parts that looked broken when I opened it so I didn't know what to take to the hardware store. As for the leakage, it is much more than slight...it comes out of the leak nearly as fast as the faucet so I'm assuming something is very broken. –  James P. Wright Feb 11 '11 at 21:45
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@Pselus: Check out visual.merriam-webster.com/images/house/plumbing/faucets/… and sanliv.com/faucets/faucet-cartridge-replacement.jpg. Lots of variations of course, but it's usually held in by a nut of some kind, which you can unscrew and then pull the cartridge out. –  gregmac Feb 11 '11 at 22:44
    
I have also found that the cartridge hold down nut on Moen single handled sets often work loose over time and allow water to leak. Sometimes just tightening the cartridge into it's seat solves the problem. But,,,,,worn or broken O-rings is also common. –  shirlock homes Feb 12 '11 at 13:11
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To add on to @woodchips:

My guess is an o-ring at the bottom is broken, or the cartridge is no longer seated well.

I have a similar faucet, and you're not going to get the cartridge out easily without the tool that comes with the repair kit (catch-22).

When I went to Home Depot, there were two types of Moen cartridges, plastic and brass, but they seemed interchangeable.

These two videos pretty much nailed the procedure for me. Check and see if this looks the same. If so, you should be able to replace with a Moen 1200. Mine came with the little plastic cap you need to get the old cartridge out. You'll still have to search for the other parts, but you can take those with you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5M4feAc7Y8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMbr7wqwgTY

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And blogs! Everyone needs a blog entry about fixing faucets. Disclaimer: I wrote this several months after this answer. –  Steve Jackson Feb 21 '12 at 23:15
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