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Thread: KOHLER Single Handel Shower Faucet TROUBLES Help

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    DIY Junior Member wright424's Avatar
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    Default KOHLER Single Handel Shower Faucet TROUBLES Help

    I Have recently done a bathroom remodel and my old single handle faucet has in terrible shape. I decided to go ahead and upgrade to the Kohler Forte' and now I am stuck. I have never done this before and I am a bit "rusty" when it comes to the proper terms however I tried to install using the old valve in the the wall and to my surprise not the same. I have no Idea what brand the old one was and I am not sure what to do. Do I need to cut the copper pipping to the valveor is it a diverter?? and replace that whole thing or can I buy a universal kit fr this????? I hope I dont sound like a complete dummy but I am truely stuck.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You need to take a picture so we can see what you are talking about...really hard to troubleshoot in the blind. It is a rare faucet that can be replaced directly with new. You almost always need to move a few things around. A lot of the people here don't prefer Kohler...their design of the day means that it is almost impossible to get parts locally when it needs them eventually. Their parts book looks like a phone book, so it is rare that anyone has parts and they have to be ordered.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default faucet

    There are no "universal" kits that allow you to install one brand, and model, of trim on another's brass part in the wall. And if you do not know the make and model of that part, you also do not know what parts you do have to purchase. To use your Kohler parts you have to install the Kohler valve inside the wall.

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    DIY Member CindyJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    A lot of the people here don't prefer Kohler...their design of the day means that it is almost impossible to get parts locally when it needs them eventually. Their parts book looks like a phone book, so it is rare that anyone has parts and they have to be ordered.
    Your reply leaves me wondering which brand(s) of bathroom faucets folks in the know do prefer. I'm in the process of choosing faucets and shower components for two bathrooms, and I was one click away from ordering the Kohler Forte K-10215-4-BN Single Control Lavatory Faucet for one of the sinks before reading this post. Faucet recommendations would be most appreciated. Thanks!

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Up to a point, you do get what you pay for, but that point varies, and isn't always true! How's that for waffle words!?

    Many of the US manufacturers came up with a decent internal design, and have stuck with it for a long time - this allows them to use the economy of scale when adjusting the trim and handles to satisfy multiple styles and whims - your internal replacement parts can be limited to a few different items. Not normally true with Kohler. This doesn't make it a bad product by any means, just that when the time does come for a maintenace part replacement, because they change things fairly often, most places can't or won't stock all of the variations and it must be ordered.

    Asking which is 'better' is sort of like asking which car brand and model do you like...everyone has their own opinion. One thing to keep in mind, the federal regulations regarding heavy metals (primarily lead) mean that the old test of weight often no longer applies - eg. solid brass verses plastic - the regs make it almost impossible to make most parts in brass today, at least those parts that water passes through.

    Most people don't need replacement parts often, but it can take a long time to obtain them if you have something esoteric or unusual that isn't sold in big quantities. This may or may not be a big issue to you.

    You should also keep in mind that most manufactuers have multiple lines, and what you may find on their economy line, while it may perform fine, could wear out or start to look funky earlier than those nearer their higher end stuff that often comes with a lifetime warranty on the finish and often the guts as well.

    As a consumer, I've had decent luck with Delta and Grohe. Getting common parts for Grohe is fairly easy, but it is time consuming on replacing things that don't normally break. I had my WH replaced, and it stirred up enough crud to stick the check valves in my shower valve. It will likely be over a month. It runs, but produces a feable shower - enough to get by on, but not its original self. I could probably take them out and clean them, but in the chance that doesn't work, and I only want to take it apart once, I ordered new ones. On the other hand, I can stop in the local supply, and pick up a cartridge today. Some people swear by Price Fister, Moen, etc. Just don't pick their economy stuff if you want it to look good long down the road. Some companies don't make an economy line.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    If you look around the site, you'll see that some of the moderators and many of the experts prefer Delta, followed in some distance by Moen. I think they specify particular models as well.

    See, for example, this thread: http://www.terrylove.com/forums/show...+shower+faucet
    Last edited by wjcandee; 12-08-2012 at 03:41 AM.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Every one of us has a specific preference when it comes to faucets, and we do not always prefer the same brand for every application. For shower/tub units my preference is the Delta 1700 series, which comes in a plethora of designs. Kohler is a good valve, but it is not very high on MY list, while others have it #1 on theirs.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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