Builder messed up? They reversed hot and cold water in shower plumbing.

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  #1  
Old 08-28-13, 05:43 AM
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Builder messed up? They reversed hot and cold water in shower plumbing.

I had bought a condo that was an apartment building from 1988 to 2005 when it went condo conversion. My tenant had reported to me that the hot and cold water is reversed in the shower, don't know why they took so long to tell me this.

But when you pull the lever to turn on the shower water and select hot, it comes out cold. When you turn the lever to select cold water, it comes out hot.

I doubt the cartridge is wrong, so it seems to me someone routed the pipes incorrectly inside the wall.

Is there a way to correct this by switching to a different cartridge that might reverse this so that the hot and cold will match what's on the color stripe on the wall?
 
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Old 08-28-13, 06:10 AM
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It will be difficult to comment for sure on the cartridge in the faucet since you did not say what brand and model you have. However, I do not know of any faucet that can switch the hot & cold without swapping the lines feeding it. Basically there's no easy fix I know of.
 
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Old 08-28-13, 06:14 AM
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If the cartridge is upside down on some brands it will cause what you describe....

But it very may well be that the lines are reversed....You will have to live with it or open walls to fix...
 
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Old 08-28-13, 06:41 AM
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When I head over there today, I will see if I can get the water shut off, and remove the cartridge to see what manufacture it is. I'll see if I can post photos too.
 
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Old 08-28-13, 07:00 AM
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Are there two tubs back to back? Sometimes this happens when both are simply attached to the same supply the easiest way possible.
 
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Old 08-28-13, 07:03 AM
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On Moen's anyway, I'm pretty sure that you can simply rotate the cartridge 180 degrees. Could be that someone replaced the cartridge at some point, and didn't check it when they were done, or it may have even been that way from the beginning. Anyway, I would definitely try that first.
 
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Old 08-28-13, 07:05 AM
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Ray, no this is a shower stall in a bathroom, where the shower is along an exterior cinder block wall, and the wall containing the pipes for the shower head are shared with a bedroom closet. So the original plumber is without excuse.
 
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Old 08-28-13, 08:22 AM
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The shower valve has shut offs... No need to turn water off... Take a pic first... I am sure the cart needs to be turned,...

You can turn the cart without turning the water off......
 
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Old 08-28-13, 09:02 AM
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here is with the cartridge looks like I cannot figure out how to pull it out though because usually I am accustomed to seeing a screw in the center but how do I get this one out?

also whoever attach this thing to begin with never attach the pipes do anything so they wiggle around this is basic 101 plumbing stuff here this is what they teach you not to do in school.

anyone know how I get this cartridge out
 
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Old 08-28-13, 09:52 AM
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I believe that if you slide that chrome collar around the cartridge off, you will see a loop where that dog house on top of the collar is. That loop will be the top of the retainer, which you can pull out, and then pull the cartridge out. You can buy a puller for the cartridge at your local hardware store or big box, but a pair of pliers on the flats of the cartridge will usually accomlish the same thing. And by the way, I usually begin by laying a towel or rag over the drain, as dropping something down there can sort of mess up the rest of the day.
 
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Old 08-28-13, 10:30 AM
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That is a Moen Chateau. No need to pull the cartridge, simply turn the stem 180 degrees and reassemble.
 
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Old 08-28-13, 11:52 AM
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As furd stated just turn the cart 180 degrees and put the handle back on...

Its a moentrol....

There is a hole in the stem on one of the flats. The hole should be up.
 
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Old 08-28-13, 12:12 PM
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Furd and lowrosa thank you so much that did the trick all I had to do was turn the stem so that the hole was facing upwardand now the hot water comes out when I point to hot water but I can't figure out why just turning that little stem made all the difference in the world.

also I figure while I have it open that I will go ahead and try to replace the cartridge with the newer one since this one is from 1988 but even after pulling the clip out the top of the cartridge chamber I still can't get the cartridge to pull out from the stemI put pretty hard too so it should come out unless there something else that locking it in place I can't see anything else in there that's holding itinside the cartridge chamber
 
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Old 08-28-13, 12:42 PM
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okay I just watched a YouTube video on how to remove a Moen Chateau cartridge and apparently the new cartridges come with a little tool that you slip over the old cartridge to rotate it before you can pull it out the only problem is I need to pull the old cartridge out so I know which new cartridge to go buy so I'm stuck in a catch 22. please help me get through this day Lord
 
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Old 08-28-13, 04:05 PM
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Ok, here is an update on futility. I decided to buy a replacement cartridge since we had the wall open and all. The new cartridge came with a cheap white useless plastic tool that is supposed to be used to wiggle the Moen Chateau cartridge out of the chamber. Pretty stupid if you ask me, my simple Valley cartridge at home just has an easy Philips screw in the middle of the shaft, I changed my Valley cartridge last month in about 45 seconds.

But no, geniuses at Moen have to make things difficult. That ridiculous plastic cartridge loosening tool supplied with the new cartridge was about as useless as screen doors on a submarine, played with it for 45 minutes and it would not loosen that stuck cartridge.

So now I gave up for the day, came home, went to Home Depot's web site and ordered the real Moen 104421 metal cartridge pulling tool for about $15, hopefully they will have it ready to be picked up tonight, and I can start again tomorrow first thing to get this dumb cartridge out of there.

What a horrible design, and as an engineer myself, I am embarrassed for Moen, how this un-rigid plastic tool keeps slipping on the plastic ears on the Moen cartridge. BTW, the newer cartridges have metal "ears", which will be easier for the tool to grab onto to twist the cartridge out of the chamber. I guess the folks at Moen woke up one day and said "oh, we're morons, we better fix this design".
 
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Old 08-28-13, 04:21 PM
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Actually moen is one of the best faucet makers IMO.. Its all I use in my home and install... And trust me, I have installed $10,000 faucets in my day that do know compare....Kohler is the worst for prive and internal parts that are many... O rings balace spools etc...

Rebuild a Kohler rite temp and you will appreciate you moen....


The simplicity of a one piece design cartridge was ahead of the market and still is IMO from other top name brands.

Dont know the trouble your having..Rarely I cant get the cart out with that tool..

Did you turn the water off?
Did you relieve the pressure by opening the stem to let water drain?
Did you remove the clip?

As an engineer you should know costs involved in design and to put a tool in every bag..

The cart is a 1225 B....
 
  #17  
Old 08-28-13, 04:25 PM
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Yes, water was turned off, I even drained pressure out of the system by opening valves in other bathroom sinks as well until nothing dripped out. I pulled the clip. The problem is the tool just will not grab enough to twist the stuck cartridge. The tool is so thin and flexible that it just flexes and bends and slips right off the ears instead of holding steadfast and twisting the cartridge. I read reviews of this metal tool on Home Depot's web site and many other people reported the same issue, and that the metal tool cleared it up in seconds.
 
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Old 08-28-13, 04:30 PM
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Yes the metal tool works better....

I often just grab the stem with a channel locks and pull it right out... But yours my be stuck. The washers on the cart swell..

When you do get it out make sure you clear all the debris out of the body if there is any rubber pieces left in there.
 
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Old 08-28-13, 05:39 PM
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Ok, just when I thought things couldn't get worse here, I now realized I am officially cursed. I show up at Home Depot this evening with my daughter to pickup the metal cartridge pulling tool. I park and head inside and just as I am walking inside the store, I get an email from Home Depot saying my order was cancelled.

I talked to the manager inside who says even though online HomeDepot.com showed the store had one in stock, he said it was an inactive skew and stores are not even allowed to order new ones. He brought up inventory from a few other HDs who also showed one in stock and he said not worth driving to them it will be the same thing, zero. I'm beginning to get enough material here for my own blog!

One of their plumbing guys hooked me up with PB Blaster which is a true penetrating oil, unlike the WD40 that I used. So I'll let it soak for an hour in the morning and try again with the crappy plastic tool.
 
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Old 08-28-13, 07:35 PM
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Like Mike, Moen is the ONLY faucet I use and recommend. That stated, if you have hard water you MUST remove the cartridge, clean it and re-lube it periodically or you will have the exact problem you are now experiencing. Once a year is not too often.

The Moen puller tool is readily available from several on-line sources. I don't think I have seen one for less than $25 so the $15 one at HD was either a poor copy or a close-out.
 
  #21  
Old 08-28-13, 07:44 PM
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Yes, it was a Danco tool. Danco makes a lot of replacement cartridges, not sure how good the quality is. But Danco's tool that I ordered from Home Depot, the photo looked just like Moen's, and it is made of metal. I think in this case we just need something rigid and metal. If the PB Blaster fails to loosen it in the morning, I'll just have to mail order a real one. I saw a used Moen one on eBay for $14.95. Luckily my tenant won't be moving in for another week and a half, so I do have some time to get it repaired. I just want that tool in my hand now. I can lose all of that week and a half to shipping alone.
 
  #22  
Old 08-28-13, 08:18 PM
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I can never remember if the Moen cartridge is a 1200 or a 1225 but I do remember the cost is about $25. A Danco replacement is about $12. Trust me, you do not want to even try to use the Danco.
 
  #23  
Old 08-29-13, 02:38 AM
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i have a moen in my kitchen and when i replace it i had the same kind ofproblem pulling it out. I am on wellwater and i think the minerals in the water tend to build up around the rubber O rings and I just had to use brute force on pulling it. Locked te vice grips on it, poured the WD40to it and pulled hard. It was leaking so bad it had to come out. I was afraid i was going to damage it but when it finally let loose, the new one slipped in and worked perfectly. Since i had this experience i have had to replace a few more and the nicest thing about them, in my area at least i just t ake it to the hardware store and they give me a new one , free
 
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Old 08-29-13, 03:08 AM
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Yep, I had one in the laundry room that was dripping and I had to lock onto the stem with Vice Grips and then hammer upwards to get it out. New cartridge and no leaks. After that I bought the puller tool.

Moen will send you a new cartridge if you call their 800 number. 1-800-BUY-MOEN.

Warranty: Warranty Information for Moen Faucets
 
  #25  
Old 08-29-13, 10:53 AM
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well here's the update for today so far minutes to find 1 of the plow tools from dansko at lowes for 12.99. but the tool still will not listen this puppy the tools screws right into the center spindle so it holds on nice n tight but I just can't get it to come loose and I saw other people who viewed this product on Lowes website said they removed cartridges that were in their 20 years were stucknow I feel like the guys from the perfect storm when when the skipper turn to the guys and said that's it boys she's not going to let us out.

I sprayed all that PB Blaster its been soaking for 4 hours after numerous praise and still stuck.
 
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Old 08-29-13, 06:09 PM
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Here is the tool I used, see photo. It screwed on snugly tot he stem, but it just won't turn the cartridge. Even with the mechanical advantage the tool provides, I still could not get it to yank out old school method. I think that cartridge is in there permanently and I might have to call in a plumber Monday to actually unsolder the valve chamber from the rough in pipes and solder a new one in there, so I can drop in a new cartridge.
 
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Old 08-29-13, 06:39 PM
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Is the cart metel or plastic???

I did have one that was impossible to get out. It was plastic... I ended up drilling it out, but you must be careful...

Possibly you are not using enough force with the tool... You can put a wrench on the nutted part and use it as a breaker bar. Have you tried that? Big wrench.....Adjustable or monkey...

I never used that tool... I always get them out...
 
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Old 08-29-13, 07:27 PM
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lawrosa, the problem I am dealing with remember, whoever did the rough in never bolted the pipes to anything so they are very loose behind the wall, so we have no mechanical advantage. I will try your monkey wrench idea tomorrow. But remember, the tool is only attached to the center spindle, it actually screws onto that. There is no plastic left on the front of the cartridge for the tool to grab onto and make the cartridge rotate.
 
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Old 08-29-13, 07:39 PM
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There is no plastic left on the front of the cartridge for the tool to grab onto and make the cartridge rotate.
OMG...LOL.... You broke the nubs??????

Is it plastic cart????

Drill it. Along both sides left and right with a little smaller bit... You will need to drill and pick it out...As you go...
 
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Old 08-29-13, 07:45 PM
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I'll try that too. The nubs were mostly broken when I opened up the whole setup yesterday, there was previous chunks of plastic that came out. I suspect someone may have tried to remove this cartridge at one time and gave up.
 
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Old 08-30-13, 12:20 AM
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Well, no one said it would be easy.

The one I had to remove in my laundry room required me to clamp (very tightly) a pair of Vise Grips to the stem and then use a hammer banging upwards to remove. I had to bang for quite some time, it seemed like hours, and I took several smoke breaks. No, I don't smoke but I did take several breaks in the hammering so the entire time spent was several hours.

If you drill be VERY careful to ONLY drill in the cartridge itself. If you scratch the inside of the valve body where the cartridge seals it will be all over and you will need to replace the entire valve body.
 
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Old 08-30-13, 02:00 PM
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alright I finally got that stupid cartridge out of there I had to buy a tap and dye kit and tapped a half inch thread down the middle of the plastic cartridge housing.

turns out this was a 1225 cartridge so I had to go buy ondo you know what the f***e I put it in but the clip in and it feels just fine when I turn the water back on.

but now we have a new problem because when I pull in the center stem to try to turn on the shower to test it out water comes Goshen straight out of the center stem what could be causing this?

when I put in the cartridge I make sure the holes were left in right side
 
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Old 08-30-13, 02:14 PM
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tap and dye kit and tapped a half inch thread down the middle of the plastic cartridge housing.
How far did you go in??? Did you damage the inside body???


turns out this was a 1225 cartridge

The cart is a 1225 B....
I told you that in post #16...


water comes Goshen straight out of the center stem what could be causing this?
The center where the screw for the handle goes? Or around the edges? The O ring would not be sealing if around the edges... If the center screw hole....well...
 
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Old 08-30-13, 02:23 PM
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yes the water is squirting around the edges of the cartridge. when I pushed in the cartridge it did go in fairly snug you could fill some resistance oh I know those rings are working or they should be
 
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Old 08-30-13, 04:37 PM
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Did you put it all together or try it without the handle? You might have missed the rubber seal, the one I have at hand is blue, that goes over the stem and is held in place by the washer that has a D hole and then the handle. Normally the seal does not fall off the stem but sometimes it does.
 
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Old 08-30-13, 04:44 PM
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I will look into this tomorrow when I go back over there. It seems the instructions were missing from the package containing my 1225B when I bought it today, I noticed the package might have been previously opened. On Moen's site:

Installation Help / Animated Tutorials for Moen Faucet

The instructions there, show replacing 2 O-rings before we put the handle back on. There were no O-Rings in the package with the cartridge, so I may have to pick some up tomorrow.

Any particular size or model number I should look for, or should I just get one of those mixed bag of O-rings?

BTW, enclosed is a photo I shot right after removing the stuck plastic cartridge, after I used a tap to bore a 1/2" threaded hole straight down the middle of the core of the cartridge while it was stuck in the chamber. Then I threaded in that bolt you see there, using the piece of wood as a pressure plate against the front of the cartridge chamber. Then I just used my ratchet wrench and tightened the screw until it slowly pulled the cartridge out. Took 5 minutes. It's amazing how the right tool makes all the difference. Home Depot and Lowes do not sell a 1/2" tap, I had to drive across town to Harbor Freight. Wish I thought of this 2 days ago.
 
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Old 08-30-13, 05:27 PM
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The O rings are on the new cartridge... no need to change them... You may have bought a pakage that had stuff removed from it...

Never buy someones returns......
 
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Old 08-30-13, 05:29 PM
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In the general vicinity of where you found the cartridge, you should also find some grease. The tub that I have, which I have used for years because you only use a few dabs at a time, is shaped like and maybe 1/2 to 3/4 the size of a can of snuff. You don't want to use anything abrasive inside the bore, but given the problem that you had getting the old one out, it seems likely that you have some mineral build up, and the grease may provide some conformity to the rings on the cartridge. Just a thought anyway.
 
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Old 08-30-13, 05:45 PM
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Yes, i used the grease on the cartridge when I installed it. I will re-inspect the cartridge tomorrow to confirm all the O-Rings are in place.
 
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Old 08-30-13, 05:50 PM
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I will re-inspect the cartridge tomorrow to confirm all the O-Rings are in place.
I hope you can get it out...LOL..

But that contraption with the wood????? That bolts looks large... I dont understand what you did. Possible you scored the opening of the body and the o rings are not sealing...
 
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