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Thread: Can't find Kohler Tub Part...

  1. #1
    DIY Member Backglass's Avatar
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    Default Can't find Kohler Tub Part...

    Hey all,

    We just moved into a fixer-upper house that has an older Kohler whirlpool tub. The button to turn the whirlpool on/off has rusted out (pics below) and I can't seem to find a replacement anywhere. In fact I cant even find any info about this tub in general. It still works great if you stick a small screwdriver/chopstick/etc into the hole. I am assuming it's an airswitch.

    Do any of you pros know where I could find a replacement?

    I have zero access to that part of the tub which will be a whole new thread...assuming I can find a new switch!

    Thanks!



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    Customer Service Manager Plumbing Wholesale Peanut9199's Avatar
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    What material is the tub made of Cast iron, Acrylic...?

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    DIY Member Backglass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peanut9199
    What material is the tub made of Cast iron, Acrylic...?
    It is cast iron.

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    Customer Service Manager Plumbing Wholesale Peanut9199's Avatar
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    I think this is your tub

    http://www.us.kohler.com/onlinecatal...egory=90&ssm=1

    I looked at the parts breakdown but i don't see that part.
    It shows a control pad but it doesn't look like yours.

    http://www.us.kohler.com/onlinecatal.../1019456_5.pdf

  5. #5
    DIY Member Backglass's Avatar
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    Yes exactly.

    I have looked at every tub on the Kohler site, and can't find it. I believe it's an very early model.

    I don't know where to go to get this part.

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    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    A thought...have you tried calling the MFG?
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  7. #7

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    I think you are going to have to do whatever is necessary to get at the frame of the unit and locate the model number.Problem is,it may be so old that even when you find out what part is needed,it may well be unavailable.

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    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking air switch??

    if that is an air switch , you are probably out
    of luck finding the exact match....


    call someone that does whirlpool repairs in your area...

    they will have something that can replace that switch...

    as long as you can get to the back side to do it,

    or usualy they will leave the old switch alone and simply
    drill another hole somewhere and run a new suction line to the pump....

    those fellows have a great time trying to change out
    parts on the back side of those jets...

  9. #9
    DIY Member Backglass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lancaster
    I think you are going to have to do whatever is necessary to get at the frame of the unit and locate the model number.
    Any idea where on the frame the model number is usually located? I have very good access from the faucet side...but haven't seen anything yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by master plumber mark
    or usualy they will leave the old switch alone and simply
    drill another hole somewhere and run a new suction line to the pump....
    I thought about that...knocking it down inside, finding a plug for the hole and then re-wiring to a wall switch or something. I may not have a choice.

  10. #10
    DIY Member Backglass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyPlumber
    A thought...have you tried calling the MFG?
    You know...I hadnt thought of such an obvious answer and just got off the phone with them. Evidently the model number on Kohler whirlpools in on the pump housing, which might as well be miles away from my access panel. They asked that I send them an email with the photo's above and they will research the tub and call me in a few days with a part number!

    So far...top notch customer service from Kohler!

  11. #11
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backglass
    You know...I hadnt thought of such an obvious answer and just got off the phone with them. Evidently the model number on Kohler whirlpools in on the pump housing, which might as well be miles away from my access panel. They asked that I send them an email with the photo's above and they will research the tub and call me in a few days with a part number!

    So far...top notch customer service from Kohler!
    Chuckling here...thought I was the only one to often miss the completely obvious! (the lil' lady's getting a copy of this one...hehehe)
    I usually go to the source...even plumbing suppliers often have no clue about the products they sell.
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  12. #12
    DIY Member Backglass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backglass
    They asked that I send them an email with the photo's above and they will research the tub and call me in a few days with a part number!

    So far...top notch customer service from Kohler!
    Update: I got a response from Kohler today:

    Quote Originally Posted by Kohler
    Mr. Backglass, Thank you for contacting Kohler. I did receive your photos, however we will need the model number of the tub. It is located on a label on the pump. Once we have this information, we can correctly identify the part that you need. Thank you for choosing the Bold Look of Kohler. Becky O.
    AGGHHH. I cant GET to the pump & model number and told them that. That is why instead, they suggested I send pictures.

    Hello Right hand! Meet Left Hand!

    This is a one piece tub with no access panel on the pump end. What are my options? Cut a hole in the side of the tub with a Sawzall to get to the pump and put in a plastic access panel?
    Last edited by Backglass; 07-05-2007 at 08:38 PM.

  13. #13
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    Note to self: Don't buy cast iron spa's with no access panel.
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  14. #14
    DIY Member Backglass's Avatar
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    Update: I tapped around and realized that the end panel wasn't as permanent as I thought. Thanks to a little help from my friend "Wonder Bar" I was able to pry away the end panel and (drum roll) exposed the pump and found the model number. K-513 (not the current K-513-H2)

    Thats the good news. The bad is the Kohler site states it is a discontinued product with no service info available. I will have to wait until Monday to ring them back and find out for sure.

    If they no longer have parts, can I get an air switch from a 3rd party? Or should I just hardwire in a timer switch on an opposing wall somewhere and plug the hole where the air-switch was somehow?

    K-513

    Last edited by Backglass; 07-06-2007 at 05:19 PM.

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