Moen shower valve plaster ground will fall in wall if trim screws removed

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Old 09-09-14, 05:58 AM
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Moen shower valve plaster ground will fall in wall if trim screws removed

Yesterday I installed a Moen shower valve which required knocking a big hole in the wall. As this is a fiberglass surround, I had to use their thin wall installation instructions which involves a plastic ring ("plaster ground") permanently sandwiched between the fiberglass and the valve, which supports the valve.

Here's a diagram. The plastic ring / "plaster ground" is labelled 'E':



Everything turned out fine, but the only way I was able to line up the screws, holes in the plaster ground, and holes in the valve was from behind (the hole in the wall). This involved rotating the plastic ring, moving the valve, and wiggling the screws all at once. Not fun without a helper from the front I might add.

Problem is: When the next guy removes the trim to remove the valve trim (replace cartridge or whatever), that plastic ring is going to fall down slightly or rotate and there will be absolutely no way to get the screws back in there because the holes won't be lined up. You can't see _anything_ from the front. There's barely enough room for the screws themselves and you'd have no chance of being able to get a pliers in there to rotate that plastic plaster ground back in there.

So I have two questions:

1. What kind of design is this supposed to be? Do they really expect people to never be able to remove the trim without knocking another hole in the wall? I understand that the thick wall installation method would not have had this shortcoming, but the wall was thinner than 1/4" (just barely) and them's the instructions.

2. What do I do now, if anything? I'm thinking maybe put some liquid nails around that plaster ground to glue it in place before I seal up the wall. At least the next guy will have a fighting chance of getting the screws back in that way, as the plastic won't fall down or rotate in the wall.

I'm unloading the house soon so I'm not interested in installing a bunch of blocking and reinstalling the valve a different way. But leaving it as-is would sure be a nasty thing to do to somebody. I'm kinda miffed that Moen would even do this. They should have had another pair of screws to hold the valve to the plastic plaster ground which wouldn't rely on the escutcheon screws!
 
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Old 09-09-14, 06:23 AM
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I dont use the plaster ground. I support the valve in several areas.. Hot/cold lines, shower and tub lines in back.

I'm not interested in installing a bunch of blocking and reinstalling the valve a different way.
Well ok...

I'm kinda miffed that Moen would even do this.
Possibly you can call moen.. I have never had an issue...
 
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Old 09-09-14, 06:47 AM
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I dont use the plaster ground. I support the valve in several areas.. Hot/cold lines, shower and tub lines in back.
Hot/cold lines are now PEX because lines in that area freeze all the time. So minimal support there. The goofball who originally installed the shower appearenly didn't use a drop eared elbow for the shower arm because that pipe swings freely. It is at least providing support in the vertical direction somehow.

Yes, if I had thought all this through I would have disregarded the instructions and done it differently, not using the plaster ground like you said. After spending 5-6 hours on that (and the associated mess) I've just about had it and I'm not about to take it apart again.

I have never had an issue...
Not surprising, since you (wisely) never use the plaster ground.
 
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Old 09-09-14, 07:01 AM
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Hot/cold lines are now PEX because lines in that area freeze all the time.
I always stub copper off the valve body some 8-12" or so for rigid support..

But leaving it as-is would sure be a nasty thing to do to somebody.
At least your nice enough to think about the guy down the road...


Leave a note in the wall for the next guy explaining your sorry, and it was the guy before you who was at fault...
LOL...
 
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Old 09-10-14, 07:15 AM
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So to close this out (for future Google search results purposes):

Can we say that Moen's instructions are FLAWED? And everyone who follows the book is open to the same (intentional) issue? This, I find astonishing. The only way to install it properly is to go _contrary_ to the instructions?

Yes, for anyone reading this, don't use the plaster ground. In other words, use the 'thick wall' installation method. BUT the THIN wall installation instructions are right there in the book. Silly me for reading it. Moen thinks this is ok, got it. (??)

Calling them won't do squat so I don't see the purpose. This Moen design seems almost as bad as the Delta 3x3/8" flimsy copper tubes deal that I destroyed just trying to remove the rusted bonnet nut. End result is the same either way: HOLE IN THE WALL.

Moen s-cks. Or at least their design does for thin wall folks. Man.

If you can't install it like that don't TELL US TO DO IT THAT WAY!

Argh! Ok, rant over. Done with that valve and I'm done with Moen too. The faucet feels cheap as hell anyway, with the stop clacking away throughout the turn. I got my $89 worth, meaning cheapo. Cheapo Moen designed by cheapo Moen engineers assembled by Moen Chinapeople. At least the instructions were clear. Clearly wrong.
 
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Old 09-10-14, 07:30 AM
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I can understand your disgust with MOEN, but they are not cheapo valve sets. And yes, the design or instructions are a bit screwy. Nearly all instructions by any company written by the designers or engineers are bad. They are too close to the item. What is needed is a non-connected individual from off the street to try and put an item together. Then let someone in manufacturing write up the instructions.
Call MOEN and complain. I had an issue with MOEN and called them ans insisted on talking to an engineer or designer. I made my point and they told me future instruction would be corrected.
 
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Old 09-10-14, 08:59 AM
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but they are not cheapo valve sets
Mine actually may have been. $89 at Lowes. I have no doubt that the "real" Moen valve sets would be better, but they would all suffer the same problems if installed per the instructions in a 1/4" fiberglass surround.

What is needed is a non-connected individual from off the street to try and put an item together.
I think you just found such an individual. You saw the results. Pro-plumber installing it as directed would have run into the same thing I think. There is no possible way except to throw away the instructions and do it like lawrosa said.
 
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Old 09-10-14, 09:27 AM
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Mine actually may have been. $89 at Lowes. I have no doubt that the "real" Moen valve sets would be better, but they would all suffer the same problems if installed per the instructions in a 1/4" fiberglass surround.
For what it's worth...

Moen does not make an inferior valve set or a superior valve set. They are all made as equal quality. They do not sell an off brand or lesser quality valves to the big box store vs plumbing stores. Pricing is reflective of features and esthetic design only. I know this because I sell the units and have raised this question with manufacturer rep and distributor. Risking one's reputation for quality is stupid at best by making a lesser quality unit and using the same name as the better quality units. I dare say the same for the other name brands such as AM STD, Delta, and Price Phister. If for any reason a Moen unit (and other brands) do not function as designed they will replace the unit with the same or equal quality including repair parts for as long as you own the unit.

"Buy it for looks. Buy it for life."
 
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Old 09-10-14, 09:56 AM
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Thanks for you input, Norm. I know manufacturers do put out products solely for the big box stores, but in THIS case I'm glad they are the same quality, even if not the same model number. I appreciate the time you took to write that post, and I'm sure others will too, years down the road.

In my case though everything about the trim kit is "cheap", but it does look nice. The metal peice that covers the stops appears to be about 1/4" too short. The plastic Posi-Temp stop peice scan be felt wiggling around throughout rotation.

This $89 valve set has a cheap feel so don't buy it for yourself, is all I'm saying. For a rental or remodel, sure. You could not pay me enough to install this in my own house, even notwithstanding the installation issues. It feels like a Cracker Jack toy. Big hat, no cattle, as we say here in rural town. No way again. In my own house I'll pay twice as much and take twice the chance, but not this one again. And DON'T FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS.
 
 

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