6 Common Reasons Your Moen Soap Dispenser Pump Is Not Working (Plus How To Fix Them)

Soap dispensers are fairly straightforward additions to a kitchen, but they might go on strike every once in a while. Perhaps they won’t pull soap through the tube, or maybe the pump won’t move at all. Whatever the reason behind the issue might be, it usually requires a relatively simple fix to get the pump up and working again. 

If your Moen kitchen sink soap dispenser unit is on strike for an undetermined reason, you’ve come to the right place. Continue reading for a breakdown of the common reasons behind the lack of proper function and a guide on how to fix them. 

Why Isn’t My Soap Dispenser Working?

The inner workings of a kitchen soap dispenser pump are pretty simple. You fill the dispenser bottle with soap and thread it onto the underside of the sink deck. Then, you insert the tube attached to the head of the dispenser. Once everything is in place, you press down on the head of the dispenser to create air pressure, which pulls the soap up the tube. And just like that, you get a dollop of soap. 

Moen S3947SRS Modern Deck Mounted Kitchen Soap Dispenser with Above the Sink Refillable Bottle, Spot Resist Stainless

But why isn’t your soap dispenser working? Here are a few of the most common reasons:

  1. The pump stops working correctly. 
  2. The soap is too thick. 
  3. There’s a clog in the soap dispenser tube. 
  4. The dispenser bottle is broken or leaking, causing the soap to drain. 
  5. The head or tip of the dispenser is broken.
  6. There’s a manufacturing defect with the product itself. 

How Do You Fix A Soap Dispenser That Won’t Pump?

Given the inherent simplicity of soap dispensers, fixing them is pretty straightforward, regardless of the issue. Of course, manufacturing defects might create an unfixable situation, but if that’s the case, you can reach out to Moen for a replacement. 

The sections below outline the correct repair process based on the issue, so find the right segment (based on your soap dispenser’s predicament), then continue reading for a few tips. 

1) Pump Doesn’t Work Properly

Moen 3942SRS Deck Mounted Kitchen Soap Dispenser with Above the Sink Refillable Bottle, Spot Resist Stainless

In some cases, the pump might seem to be on strike. Despite your best efforts, the soap might not come up the tube. When this is the case, a few things could be causing the problem. 

First, make sure there’s soap in the bottle. While this might seem like a no-brainer, it’s easier to forget than you may think. So, take a peek inside the bottle and ensure there’s plenty of soap. 

If the dispenser is full, try pumping the mechanism 10-15 times. This usually fixes the problem for scenarios when the pump doesn’t work right after filling the dispenser bottle. After a few pumps, you’ll generate enough pressure to pull the soap up the tube. 

2) Issues With Thick Liquid Soap

Unfortunately, thick, luxurious hand soap or dish soap might not work in a soap dispenser. In some cases, the soap might be too thick or sticky for the mechanism to move it up the tube effectively. So, to avoid issues such as these, try adding a bit of water to thin out the soap or stick to liquid soaps. 

3) Clogs In The Soap Dispenser Tube

Soap can dry up inside the tube, creating small hard pieces that block the mechanism. When this happens, the pump will be unable to pull soap through the mechanism, leading to a lack of soap. So, if you tried the solutions listed in the previous section to no avail, give this option a go. 

Remove the soap dispenser head by lifting it up from the sink deck or countertop. Place the entire soap dispenser head (including the tube) in a pan of hot water. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, then remove it and work the pump mechanism. 

Leave the bottom of the tube inside the warm water and pump the mechanism until it easily pulls water through the entire mechanism. Remove the tube from the water, pump it a few more times to remove excess water, and then put it back in the dispenser bottle. 

4) Leaking Dispenser Bottle

Moen 344113 Soap And Lotion Dispensers

Sometimes, the soap dispenser bottle might be the culprit. If there is a leak or break in the dispenser bottle, the soap could leak out of the bottle, creating a mess in the cabinet beneath your sink. So, if you can’t seem to find a culprit for the problem, check underneath the sink.

Look for cracks and breaks in the dispenser bottle or soap on the bottom of the cabinet. If there’s a crack in the bottle, remove the bottle from the underside of the sink by unthreading it. You might be able to repair it with glue or a piece of duct tape, but if the crack is too large, you may need to replace the entire bottle. 

5) Broken Dispenser Head

The spout tip, soap head base, and pump tip are three places prone to breakage, as they receive the most pressure. Look for cracks or breaks in these areas, as this could cause issues with the pump. 

Generally, it’s best to replace the entire pump head when this is the problem, as repairing small parts within the mechanism is tricky. These dispensers are relatively inexpensive, so it might be better to replace the broken piece with a new pump head. 

6) Manufacturer Defect

While it doesn’t happen very often, a manufacturer defect could be the culprit causing the problem. If this is the case, you might see visible issues with certain parts of the mechanism (such as faulty springs, a blocked tube, etc.) or bottle. Or, you might not be able to discern an issue at all, regardless of your troubleshooting efforts. 

If this is the case, reach out to Moen’s customer support team for assistance. Generally, when the problem results from a workmanship defect in one of Moen’s products, you can get a free replacement. However, restrictions may apply, so check with Moen’s customer support team. 

Before you contact Moen, be sure you know your product number. This way, they can better serve you according to your particular model. In addition, if they send you a new faucet accessory to replace the broken one, be sure to choose the same finish (if you want it to match your current faucet).

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