After changing cartridge, have low pressure on Moen kitchen sink (hot and cold)

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  #1  
Old 11-10-14, 08:54 AM
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After changing cartridge, have low pressure on Moen kitchen sink (hot and cold)

Yesterday I replaced the cartridge on my sink because it was leaking (from faucet). It took three trips to the hardware store and some bad language, but ultimately I got the job done. However, now the water pressure is very low, maybe 1/3 what it had been before. This is the same for hot and cold.

I tried googling this issue. From what I found, I guess stuff (particles, sediment?) can get dislodged during this procedure and can cause some kind of blockage.

Alternatively, I did have to shut off the water under the sink to do this, and I found other posts by people whose kitchen sink water pressure never came back to normal after they had shut the water off for some unrelated issue. So I guess just shutting the water off and turning it back on can cause low pressure problems?

So I don't know if my problem is due to the cartridge replacement work, or just due to the shutting off of the water pressure. I'm not even sure it matters, if the "fix" would be the same in either case.

One of the threads I was reading (on other forums) talked about "flushing" the sink/faucet to remove any debris. I'm not even sure what that means, how to do it.

Another thread talked about snaking the faucet, but I'm 99% sure a snake is not going to remove the kind of small particles that are probably my problem, and it seems as likely to knock more particles loose.

Some one else said their water pressure was fixed by changing to a new cartridge.

Another forum, some one talked about changing out some kind of O-ring that is in the faucet, somewhere near the cartridge (I don't recall seeing such a thing when I did my cartridge replacement).

Basically, I could not figure from all my research what my next step should be. Any suggestions?

Ken
 
  #2  
Old 11-10-14, 11:03 AM
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First, remove the aerator on the end of the spout and make sure it's clean. If that doesn't take care of it I'd remove your cartridges and clean them out. You can also try opening and closing the shutoffs under the sink several times while the water is running.
 
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Old 11-10-14, 01:21 PM
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Thanks, Pilot Dane, I did what you suggested, and it somewhat improved / changed the problem.

First, I have a spray wand / extensa type faucet. So I removed the "spray wand" and checked pressure coming right out of the hose, which I had not thought to do before. It was strong. Now, I THOUGHT I checked and found it strong on both hot & cold sides, but I would not bet my life on it. And, based on what happened later, I have to assume I actually only checked the pressure with the cold water...

Thinking this pressure check had narrowed the problem to the wand aerator, I found the aerator within the wand (very easy to do) and, sure enough, it had black stuff gunking it up. I cleaned it out and re-attached it. Then tried the water and now I got a suprise. I had great pressure on the cold side, but still hardly any on the hot side (maybe even less than before).

I then turned the hot cut-off valve on/off a few times, still had very little hot water pressure. I removed the wand again and found more black gunk. I cleaned it out, but the problem remained, and I realized any clog to the aerator would affect both hot & cold, so this was probably a "deeper" problem. I realized I could check this by checking the pressure with the spray wand detached, as I had done before starting any work. I did this check, and found what I eexpected -- strong cold pressure, very weak hot pressure from the hose, proving the problem with the hot pressure starts before it reaches the aerator.

Well, I had some "wtf?" moment, because I had thought I checked hot & cold pressure coming straight from the hose before starting any work, and so I was thinking this problem must have arisen after I cleaned the aerator, and I was thinking "Is it possible that cleaning the aerator and restoring strong pressure somehow caused a new problem with the hot water side, deeper in the sink?" I was trying to figure that out, but I've decided that the simpler explanation is that I did not initially check the pressure from the hose using both the hot & cold sides. So I'm assuming this problem was pre-existing (well, existing since the cartridge change yesterday), and just was masked by the clogged aerator problem.

So, I think a clogged aerator was part of the problem, now fixed, but this exposed another problem on the hot water side, deeper in the faucet assembly. Again, I had great hot & cold pressure before doing the cartridge change yesterday.

Anyone know what I should try next? Removing and cleaning the new cartridge (Moen 1225 by the way)?

Ken
 
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Old 11-10-14, 05:55 PM
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All sorts of stuff can magically come free when changing something. The crud in the aerator shows that something is coming loose. Try removing the sprayer head, remove and clean the valve cartridge, open and close the shutoff valves and get both the hot and cold flowing well with the sprayer head removed. With the head removed any chunks dislodged will hopefully be flushed out. Once it's running clear then put the head back on.

If you find the flow reduced with the head on dig deeper. I have not looked up your model but some have additional flow restrictors in addition to the basic aerator. They too can trap sediment and hurt flow.
 
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Old 11-11-14, 02:30 PM
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Thanks for the reply.

I called Moen customer service yesterday to ask for advice. The lady asked me if, when I changed the cartridge, I cleaned & flushed the valve before installing the new cartridge. I had not (the instructional videos & paper instructions had not shown anything of this sort). She said I should have done that, using a toothbrush to scrub around with the old cartridge out, then running some of the water so it'd flush any debris. She then said she'd send me out a new cartridge (free of charge) on the assumption that the one i installed two days ago is now crudded up beyond hope. She also said she'd e-mail me detailed instructions on the cartridge replacement.

Well, I got her e-mailed instructions and, oddly, they say nothing about the cleaning/flushing step...they just say after taking out the old cartridge, put in the new. So, I guess we're just supposed to "know" about this step.

This cleaning/flushing sounds similar to what you are suggesting. I'm thinking of trying it now, before I get the new cartridge from her. If I can clean out the system, and my current cartridge (only 2 days old), I'm thinking there's a good chance it'll work. I guess I'm not convinced 2-day-old cartridge is permanently ruined from not having done this cleaning/flushing step.

I read an article on back-flushing, where you flush one side then the other. But I suppose just flushing up through the spout-hose sounds simpler.

Ken
 
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Old 11-11-14, 04:13 PM
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No, nothing is ruined. It's probably just needs cleaning. Modern cartridges are quite high precision and have small orifices and passages to meet the flow restrictions in the US so they are more apt to clog than old fashioned faucets.

As for why the instructions don't tell you everything like flushing out the lines. People want it quick and easy. To sell products to DIYers manufacturers try to keep the instructions as simple as possible.
 
 

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