Bathtub hot water valve cartridge drops/falls


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My hot-water handle fell off my valve, but when I try to put it back on, it pushes the cartridge down into the valve. I can use pliers to pull it up and gently set the valve onto the broach fitting. If I do it just right, it will temporarily set, until it falls back in.

Am I explaining this well? Anyone else have this problem?

It would be as if I were working on a car engine with a socket and ratchet, trying to tighten a nut, but the nut just gets pushed into the engine, so I can't get a good hold on it with the socket.
 
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Welcome to the forum. Could you post a picture or two? I am totally confused. When you say valve are you referring to a Moen type cartridge? The more information you can provide, the better your chances you have of getting an answer.
 
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Here's a metal version. I haven't taken anything apart yet, so I can only see the top, which is shaped like this, but is plastic.

Now that I see the setup, I wonder if that brass clamp is missing, and I just can't see it?

Thanks for asking. I thought I'd included the name of the fitting (which I've since forgotten) in the original post.
 

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