Switching Your Old Moen Plastic Shower Handle to a Metal Handle
You may have been told that you cannot replace your Moen plastic shower handle with a metal one that won't break and that you have to keep buying costly plastic replacement handles. If so, you are not alone, so I'm here to tell you how you that you can switch your Moen plastic shower handle to a metal handle that's all shiny and new, it's easy and it won't cost you an arm and a leg.
The two most popular Moen plastic shower handle models are the Chateau and the Chalet. They look very much alike, and people confuse them all the time, but they can't be interchanged. If you have a Chateau plastic handle and you want to simply replace it with another plastic handle, it has to be a Chateau model. Likewise, if you want to replace a Chalet model it must be with another Chalet model.
Check out the difference below.
The Moen Chateau "positemp" handles have a large notch located at the base of the handle (position 7 to 5 o'clock) of the back side and the diameter of the back side is also smaller than that of a Chalet handle.
The Chalet "positemp" handles have a larger cavity on the back side and the notch that is located on the bottom of the handle is much smaller, than the one found on the back of the Chateau handle.
However, whenever you look at the top side of these tear drop shape plastic handles, they both appear to be identical. The only difference is on the back side. Please pay close attention to this, because if you get the wrong one, it will not work on your faucet. In my job I see people who get this wrong everyday. If you want to make sure you get the right handle, take your old handle with you when you go shopping.
Moen Chateau Shower Handle Trim
Unlike the Chateau and Chalet plastic shower handles, Moen's metal replacement handle can be adapted to either model, if you buy one that comes with an adapter kit. The kit includes a metal handle and all the necessary parts and will adapt to either the Chateau or the Chalet model of shower valve.
Before You Get Started
There is no point trying to replace your Moen shower control handle unless you first purchase a replace kit. After you have purchased a new handle you will be able to replace your shower control handle. To help you out, here are some of the parts you will want to consider. Where possible, keep in mind that genuine Moen parts work best.
On the left you can see a Moen Shower Handle Replacement Kit. As you can see it comes with two types of handles and adapters, one for the Chateau and the other for the Chalet plastic handles. This way, you only need to purchase one model, of Moen Handle Replacement to cover both models of handle.
Watch this video on Shower Handle Replacement
Removing Your Old Moen Handle
First, you will have to remove the screw cover by prying it off using a fine screwdriver or utility knife, anything with a fine blade should work.
Next, using a Philips (star shape) screw driver, remove the screw from the center of the handle and pull the handle off.
This is what the adapter kit for a Moen Chalet handle looks like. Here you have a top and bottom view, you can see what they look like from both sides.
You can quickly test the shower handle adapter to make sure it fits the handle, by first inserting it into the handle. It should feel snug.
Next, insert the adapter as shown into the end of the "stop tube" and over the end of the cartridge and secure it with the brass screw that was included in the kit or you may be able to use the old screw that you previously removed from the previous handle if a new screw is not available.
Once you have attached the handle adapter to the end of the cartridge, it's time to attach the new handle to the shower control. The handle should slide easily over the handle adapter and you should be able to rotate the valve approximately 180 degrees, left to right or right to left depending on where the cartridge is positioned.
The final step is to secure the handle to the handle adapter using the small set screw and Allen key (not included). The screw opening should be on the lower side of the shower handle. You should be able to rotate the handle to the left or right to make this job somewhat easier. One thing to note is that depending on where the product was manufactured, you could be faced with either British or Metric sized screws, I find it handy to have both types of wrench available, just in case.
You are done, enjoy!