A shower valve socket wrench fails to extract the faucet cartridge:

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There is nothing for the socket wrench to "bite" on and it merely spins. What is the procedure and tools to remove the cartridge so the rubber can be replaced: I believe the seal is poor and is causing a small leak through the shower spout.

Update: when the outer metal sleeve is tightened the leak is reduced / abated. My gut tells me that this is a clue. Any insight is appreciated.

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  • 1
    Those shower valve sockets are great if you've got flats for them to grab on to. If your cartridge doesn't simply pull out, grab onto the vertical ridges at 12 o'clock and 10 o'clock (and maybe one at 7 o'clock?) with whatever tool will work to unscrew it. An adjustable wrench straight on (side of the wrench against those ridges) might be able to get enough grip to turn it.
    – FreeMan
    Feb 10 at 14:55

2 Answers 2


I believe the cartridge is supposed to just pull out once the sleeve is removed. Put pliers on it and wiggle while pulling. The sleeve is the mechanism that hold the cartridge in.

  • Based on absence of wear and tear on the ridges: this indicates that the cartridge is pressed into place and not screwed in place?
    – gatorback
    Feb 10 at 19:08
  • Yes that's one indication I suppose. Once I saw the picture of the sleeve installed, I figured it was a Delta or similar cartridge where the sleeve being screwed on is what holds the cartridge in. My guess is that otherwise the sleeve might just slide over the fittings because it isn't "structural".
    – gnicko
    Feb 11 at 13:53
  • @gnicko is correct, this is a Delta Delex design or facsimile thereof and the cartridge pulls directly out. I sometimes use the handle/knob screw to fasten a little homemade "T-handle" made of flat steel to the stem, as a pulling tool. There will be a black rubber "seat" with a spring under it, back in there behind where the stem goes, you need to replace. Feb 12 at 1:00

The reason the shower valve socket wrench fails - is because that is not the valve you have.

You have a Cartridge and a Cartridge removal tool is used for that.

Typically these units have a retaining ring that you remove first, then you might need to turn the cartridge unit a quarter turn and then pull straight out.

Your Cartridge looks to be an el-cheapo type (plastic) if it has been in there a while - you will have some fun removing it as they typically get stuck in the housing.

So these removal tools are normally a tube and nut assembly with a screw in the center - you tighten in your center screw - and then would turn the outer nut which would apply force in pulling the cartridge straight out.

As noted in comments: Cartridge replacement tools such as this Danco Off Brand used for Moen Valve Assemblies to pull cartridges are Manufacturer specific. Be sure to take note of your manufacturer and model of unit. Some manufacturers warrant their cartridges and valves - check with the manufacturer for details regarding yours.

  • Thank you for he helpful reply. Please consider posting a photo and link of said removal tool? Is this the tool you are suggesting?
    – gatorback
    Feb 13 at 0:00
  • @gatorback Yes exactly that is the tool - please note those tools are made for specific manufacturers - but generally work well with others as long as the valve assembly is the same sizing. I will add something to this conversation. If it is a Moen; Moen usually has a lifetime warranty on their valves and their cartridges, so If you call them and tell them what you have, you have a possible opportunity to get a replacement mailed to you for free. Check your model.
    – Ken
    Feb 13 at 20:30

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