Although the Moen single-handle faucet may seem like a recent invention, it has been with us since the 1940s. The lever handle is held into place with a small set screw. In some instances, the set screw may need to be loosened or removed in the maintenance or repair of your faucet.
Moen is an American company that manufactures faucets for the bathtub, shower, vanity basin or kitchen sink. According to Moen, the company founder -- Al Moen -- almost burnt himself from hot water coming from a two-handled faucet in the late 1930s. He designed and manufactured one of the first single-lever faucets as a result. The first single-handle Moen faucets were marketed in the late 1940s.
Lever Handle Assembly
The Moen single-level faucet controls both the hot and cold water. Depending on which way you turn the handle, you can get hot water, cold water or almost endless combinations of the two. The faucet cartridge controls this function, and although it may last many trouble-free years, it may eventually need replacing. You can access the cartridge for replacement by first removing the lever handle.
Lever Handle Removal
The set screw on a Moen lever handle is threaded into the base of the handle. When tightened, the screw is forced against the cartridge assembly of the faucet, keeping the handle from coming off while in use. Loosening the set screw and backing it off a few turns should be sufficient enough for the handle to slide off the cartridge. You will need a small hex key wrench or Phillips screwdriver to loosen the screw. In the event you want or need to replace the set screw, unscrew it completely from the handle.
Lever Handle Replacement
If you removed the set screw from the handle, it can be a chore to get it threaded back into the small hole in the base of the handle. This can be more easily accomplished by removing the handle from the faucet. Thread the screw into the hole a few turns, but not far enough that the screw sticks out past the edge of the opposite side of the threaded hole. Position the handle back over the faucet and tighten the set screw with the appropriate tool. If you need to replace a lost or damaged set screw, replacements may be available where plumbing supplies are sold.