Repairing a kitchen dish soap dispenser pump
February 24, 2017 8:20 AM   Subscribe

My kitchen sink has a Moen soap dispenser. Inside, it uses a plastic pumping mechanism with a spring inside. After a couple months of use, the mechanism gets gunked up and no longer pumps. I've replaced it 4 times at ~$20 a shot. Is there anything I can do to fix it or replace it with something better?

I've tried disassembling the pump and cleaning it to no success. Even if the solution is to buy a bulk supply of pumps for cheap, I'm fine with that, but ordering directly from Moen is expensive.
posted by krunk to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sounds to me like the pump needs to be cleaned out periodical. I would try rinsing the container and filling with water then pumping the water until the soap is cleaned out of the pump.
posted by tman99 at 8:25 AM on February 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

did you install the pump yourself, or did it come with the sink ?

(we installed something similar ourselves, and have gotten free replacements because we bought direct and are the original owners. But the pump has broke only once in the 8 years.. The aerators in the faucet, however.. )

How is it gunking up ? For us, the plastic housing/reservoir around the spring cracked, so there was no "pressure" to pump out soap. Have you tried different soap ? When you disassemble it, what do you see ?
posted by k5.user at 8:26 AM on February 24, 2017

I use a pump with Dr Bronner's hand soap, and dilute the soap about 50:50 with water; the soap's just as nice that way if it's not made too thin. Before using diluted soap the pump (generic from store) would clog and die, but with the thinner soap the pump lasts years.
posted by anadem at 8:47 AM on February 24, 2017 [2 favorites]

I got so frustrated with my pump breaking that I finally just plugged the hole with one of these. Problem solved.

If you're set on repairs, contact Moen directly. I had a part fail on a Moen faucet a few months, and when I contacted customer service to buy a replacement part they sent it to me free, even though the faucet is at least 10 years old.
posted by bassomatic at 8:53 AM on February 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

Moen has great support; you should ask them. I'm wondering if your soap is to blame, anadem's suggestion to dilute the soap (OK! OK!) is a good one.
posted by Nelson at 9:27 AM on February 24, 2017 [5 favorites]

We've got much the same problem and diluting the soap, which seemed so promising, didn't help at all.
posted by DrGail at 3:11 PM on February 24, 2017

@k5.user: the inner and outer plastic cylinders seize up, as though there is something between them that creates too much friction.

I'll ask Moen about it but they didn't seem too bothered the last 3 times I ordered one!
posted by krunk at 3:31 PM on February 24, 2017

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