View Full Version : Kohler Wellington From 1987 Salvageable?

02-08-2012, 10:40 AM
Hi everyone,

We have a Kohler Wellington in an impossible to get color. It is from 1987 and came with our house when we bought it a few years ago. I know fully well that there are water savings to be had from buying a new toilet but let's put that aside for now. The toilet has been clogging very frequently. A couple years ago it clogged really bad and a plumber came and had to remove it temporarily but finally unclogged it. He said that specific styyle is notrious for clogging. A few days ago the same thing happened. A plumber came and checked the basement and narrowed the problem down to the toilet again and said over the years it will build up minerals that accumulate and tighten the opening. He was unable to unclog it with an auger and recommended purchasing a new toilet.

Are there any fixes for toilets that reach that point (somehow breaking away at the mineral deposits etc) or is the only solution buying a new toilet?

Gary Swart
02-08-2012, 11:15 AM
It wasn't a good toilet when it was new, and sure hasn't improved with age. You are facing one of the problems others are facing in trying to match the fad colors that were popular 25 years ago and are no longer in vogue. I realize you would like to match the color of the rest of the fixtures in the bathroom, but that just may not be possible (you didn't mention what color the toilet is) Most manufacturers have a variety of color possibilities, so perhaps you can find one that would at least be complementary. I would suggest that as long as you must replace the old water hog, you get one that is a top performer. Old name brands such as Kohler, are not one the cutting edge of technology today. I would urge you to follow the link to Toto toilets found at the top of this page. A new toilet, while not necessarily inexpensive, is an investment that will last for many years to come. You could spend a great deal of $$ trying to clean the old dog up and still have a poor performer.

02-08-2012, 11:33 AM
Thanks for the advice, Gary. It is darker red color (merlot?).

02-08-2012, 11:40 AM
Sometimes you can auger from the bottom of the bowl and push it back up the way it came.
If there is Lime buildup, you may also need some acid cleanup. We don't do that in Seattle, our water comes off the mountains and is pretty clear.

02-08-2012, 03:04 PM
Anything can be restored to original function if you want to spend the time and money on it.

Separate the bowl and tank. Take the bowl outside and pack the drain hole inside the bowl tightly with a hand towel or similar object. (An air test fitting might work best). With the bowl up-side down, fill the trapway from the bottom with a solution of CLR or Lime-Away and let it soak for a few hours. Eventually it will leak out through the towel, but the idea is to soak the trapway. Be careful with the CLR/Lime-Away, because it will discolor concrete, stone, etc. It might also dissolve skin or cause you to lose your eyesight, so, well, try to avoid those things.

When you are done, drain the trap and power wash the bowl with your garden hose. Reassemble the toilet, preferably with all new parts in the tank.
It should then work at least as good as it did in 1987.

A plumber will charge you about the cost of a new toilet to perform this service, and there will be no guarantee of anything.

(My father's toilet is from the beginning of time and it still works like it did when it was made, thanks to his overpowering desire to never replace it, and this procedure.)

Most of all, have fun.

Gary Swart
02-08-2012, 06:09 PM
Just a parting thought on the color. To my not-too-fussy-eyes, I would replace the Merlot Kohler with a White Toto Aqua. The colors certainly won't match, but would look good together and, most importantly, you would have a first class toilet for years to come.