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Thread: Kohler faucets - replace or upgrade

  1. #1

    Default Kohler faucets - replace or upgrade

    I have one shower and 2 tub/shower combinations that I am remodeling. They have 30-year old Kohler faucets that work perfectly. (I had the valves in all 16 faucets in the house reconditioned about 10 years ago at a local faucet repair shop.)

    The escutcheon and handles look terrible. The handles are obsolete and also very dated - but the faucets work great.

    The bodies are brass and in excellent condition. I would like to replace the 1-1/4 turn valves with the new quarter turn valves. That way I could buy new hardware (handles, stems, escutheon) to match the new lavatory faucets I am going to buy.

    I also suspect that the parts for the existing valves my not be available in a few years, so I want to replace them at this time. I expect the replacements to lasts 30+ years.

    Can the old faucets be upgraded using the existing body? If not, what are the other options?

    If I replace, what is the best brand to buy?

    Ron

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    San Diego
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    Default

    With a brand like Kohler, which changes parts more often than I change my underwear(!) it is likely you would have few if ANY choices regarding upgrade to an old rough=in valve. You are much better off going all new.


    WHich brand? Obviously, your Kohler has given you way beyond an expected life of about 20 years for lavs and showers.

    I have liked American Standard and Delta.


    Personally, I stay away from Grohe, KWC, etc. or other "foo-foo" brands which are gorgeous, but where will you ever find parts?

  3. #3
    Plumber Deb's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
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    Idaho
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    Cool Deb

    It would be foolhardy in my opinion to reuse these valves--they are very old and they are not pressure balance. And if this job is being permitted and inspected (as it should be), Code requires pressure balance valves for every shower and tub/shower. And it is simply the smart easy way to protect your family against accidental scalding.
    I'm with Jimbo (although I have had enough trouble with Amer Std lately that I am using more Moen and Delta). There is alot to choose from. Most pressure balance valves come with temperature adjustment only and no volume adjustment, on is on, off is off. You can get valves with both and I prefer a separate volume control. So, if you want separate volume and temperature control, be sure to specify.
    Foo-Foo valves.... I simply hate it when I walk into a place and see some fancy ass looking faucet with no identifying marks and mystery insides that need to be replaced. Or, trying to get Grohe parts? .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. ..........forget it.
    Deb
    The Pipewench

  4. #4

    Default

    Jimbo and Deb -

    Thanks for your input. I was trying to avoid all the labor associated with the repaing of the walls. All 3 showers/tub showers have imitation marble enclosures. I guess I will just have to bite the bullet and go for replacing.

    If I replaced, I had planned on using use Delta, American Standard, or Moen. I have installed both Delta and American Standard in rent houses and had very good luck with both.

    Ron

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