How the Internet (and a Rush fan) saved me $200
I arrived home recently to find a leaking kitchen faucet. It’s one of those problems that sounds simple to fix but usually turns into an all-day ordeal. I expected that my Saturday was shot.
I figured I would go to Home Depot for parts that I really didn’t understand (a “cartridge”? How does that regulate the flow of hot and cold water?), that I’d struggle to install it for a couple of hours and then would end up calling a plumber. It’s shocking how much plumbers cost in our area. It can be $200 to $300 just to replace a faucet or snake a clogged drain.
So I turned to the Internet. A search for “Moen leaking kitchen faucet” revealed that Moen faucets are pretty common but that my single-handled model is not. Is it The Arbor? The Haysfield?
On the Moen site, the “troubleshooting” link had instructions that all seemed to apply to other models, but they all indicated that I needed a new cartridge. I also found a pdf for “Illustrated Parts / ARBOR™ Single-Handle High Arc Pulldown Kitchen Faucet.”
It wasn’t a repair guide, just a schematic of how the parts fit together. It looked quite complicated, like the faucet had been created by the same engineers who designed the hydraulic system in a Boeing 737. From what I could tell, I needed “Cartridge, Cartridge Nut and Set Screw. “They attach to “Wand Screen and O-ring Kit.”
I was about to leave for Home Depot when I did one last search, but this time I specified videos. The results included a silent rant by someone named htz70. On August 11, 2013, htz70 was so frustrated with the leaking faucet that he/she posted a YouTube video about it.
The video “Moen Haysfield Faucet — Leak,” had no commentary, just 1 minute and 55 seconds of running water and a leak dripping from the handle.
The next day, htz70 posted another video, the silent but snarky “How to fix the leak from a Moen Haysfield Faucet handle.” It showed the drip being channeled by aluminum foil into the sink.
“Just use some tin foil to send the constant drips from the handle into the sink,” htz70 wrote in a comment beneath the video. “And use some plastic packing tape to send the leak from the deck plate into the sink, instead of running all the way down the counter and onto the floor. Looks great, good as new.”
A year later, the power of the Internet kicked in.
The original video by htz70 was spotted by someone who calls himself ShreddyLee. His avatar is Geddy Lee, the lead singer of Rush. I couldn’t find out much about ShreddyLee. His YouTube profile is blank. Videos he has made and watched indicate he has an affinity for AC/DC, Rush and butchering wild game.
He added this comment to htz70’s video:
Here is how to repair:
1.) 3/32 Allen Wrench placed into hole on Handle. Undo set screw and remove
2.) Pull handle out
3.) Unscrew Counter Clockwise Handle Dome (Cover)
4.) Tighten large nut on the outside of black Plastic Cartridge (Do not over tighten)
5.) Replace parts in reverse order.
NOTE: If you can’t get your Allen wrench into the hole because of the length of the wrench, turn your faucet base about 2" clockwise to allow for clearance. Turn back when complete.
I have had no problems after that. Hope this helps. It will save you about $150 on a plumber.
I followed his instructions. I had difficulty reinstalling Handle Dome and Handle, but I finally got them back on. The whole operation took just five minutes.
My leak was fixed. ShreddyLee had saved me hours of frustration — and the $200 I inevitably would have spent on a plumber.
The comments indicated that ShreddyLee had rescued several other owners of Moen faucets (they did not identify whether they owned The Arbor or The Haysfield.)
“Thank you so much ShreddyLee, this worked like a charm. Took all of 2 min.,” wrote twistacatz.
“I don’t know who you are ShreddyLee,” wrote adamparker2006, “but you are the man!!!”