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Thread: Kohler Rochelle K3385-EB Ballcock & Flushvalve Replacement and Repair

  1. #16
    DIY Junior Member Eddie_T's Avatar
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    A new problem the 51344 shaft eases out to the point that it hangs the lift mechanism. If I push it back in place it stays for a few days then creeps out again. I haven't tried pulling it all the way out so I don't know what is supposed to hold it in place. What appears to be a white crown nut is in place so my guess is that the shaft must be made of two parts and the crown is holding the other part in place but the shaft slips out of the larger part.

  2. #17
    DIY Junior Member BizzyBeePlumbing's Avatar
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    I know you have 6 of these in your house, but I would just replace them. Old Kohler is expensive to repair and a ton of the aftermarket parts are horribly made and by reading your last post, you are figuring this out.. Weird things happen with aftermarket parts on Kohler toilet.

    I always recommend 2 piece toilets, but if you like your one piece Kohler has made some great changes to new their one piece toilets and they are not hard and expensive to fix now. Bit the bullet and upgrade. You will be happy for another 15-25 years instead of trying to fix these every year.

  3. #18
    DIY Junior Member reefer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kslerner View Post
    Attachment 12285
    I have a Kohler "Old Style" Rochelle Model #K-3385-EB (30886) which is leaking down the back of the toilet indicating that the valve is not completely shutting off. I can hear a slight trickle of water even after the ballcock is in the closed position. When I pull up on the ball by hand the water shuts off, but it won't shut off due to a rising water level in the tank, even if I bend the rod down lower. I have replaced the following parts (51251, 51420, 51250, 51288, 20504, 51291, 51435, 51444, 51230, 53154, 50159, 51350). I have completely replaced the valve parts with no success; there is still a trickle I can't get rid of. I can't understand why the valve is not shutting off. Kohler has not been helpful on this point. To replace the entire unit would cost $350.00, probablly not a good investment for a 15 year old toilet. Should I buyt a new part 51428? Can you offer any suggestions for why there is still a leak and how to fix it other than replacing the entire fixture?
    I do NOT see part number 51419 (Seat) listed on you replaced parts list. This seat can be removed with an allen wrench (not sure of the size). If the very top of this seat is not totally smooth, the water will not shut off completely. Put your finger on it and twist it around...maybe you will feel a "burr". Even if you DON'T, I'd replace that item first. Also if the level of the water in your tank is too high the water will continue to run into the rim around bowl. See if the water level is above the "hole" in the front of your tank. There is a short hose that runs from the unit into the rim of the bowl. It is up high...at the water level...and runs frontwards towards the front of the toilet into the rim around the bowl. That's the rim with all the little holes in it...you can feel them by running your hand under the rim.
    Lastly, if part number 51428(Cap & Float Lever Assembly) is not totally clean, the "plunger" will not slide up and down easily. This could cause that problem, which say can be fixed by lifting the ball up.
    Take that part off the clean the "hole" with a stiff brush using Brasso, or some other brass cleaner. Sometimes a build-up of calcium-like crud can form there. For a brush, go to a auto parts store and buy a cheap spark plug adjuster...sometimes they come with a brush. Call Autozone and see if they have a brush like that. If the hole is clean, the o-ring will make good contact with the sides. Good luck.

  4. #19
    DIY Junior Member Limuobai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reefer View Post
    I do NOT see part number 51419 (Seat) listed on you replaced parts list. This seat can be removed with an allen wrench (not sure of the size). If the very top of this seat is not totally smooth, the water will not shut off completely. Put your finger on it and twist it around...maybe you will feel a "burr". Even if you DON'T, I'd replace that item first. Also if the level of the water in your tank is too high the water will continue to run into the rim around bowl. See if the water level is above the "hole" in the front of your tank. There is a short hose that runs from the unit into the rim of the bowl. It is up high...at the water level...and runs frontwards towards the front of the toilet into the rim around the bowl. That's the rim with all the little holes in it...you can feel them by running your hand under the rim.
    Lastly, if part number 51428(Cap & Float Lever Assembly) is not totally clean, the "plunger" will not slide up and down easily. This could cause that problem, which say can be fixed by lifting the ball up.
    Take that part off the clean the "hole" with a stiff brush using Brasso, or some other brass cleaner. Sometimes a build-up of calcium-like crud can form there. For a brush, go to a auto parts store and buy a cheap spark plug adjuster...sometimes they come with a brush. Call Autozone and see if they have a brush like that. If the hole is clean, the o-ring will make good contact with the sides. Good luck.
    Hi, Kslerner, Did you try Reefer's suggestion? Did it work? I'm having the same problem. I bought a 10" ball cock arm to extend the total length from the original 12" (including ball) to 15". That help a lot but not completely shutting off the water. I can still hear a tiny little bit of hissing. I'd like to find a perfect solution.

  5. #20
    DIY Member grazzy's Avatar
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    Default k3385 repair

    I am still stuck with a couple of these brass units that sell for anywhere from $240 to $389. I took an impact wrench and a 1-1/16" socket to remove the check plunger which has a groove and a little gasket (part no. 20504) that seems to have failed, causing the continuous leaking whther the ballcock arm is held upward or not. There are no other parts in this side of the unit. On the side fastened with the two screws is another plunger kit that is readily available online and from Fergusons and other parts supply places. I believe most of the leaking occurs in one of these two locations or from allowing the water level to come up too high and flow thru the upper part of the toilet into the bowl. It is critical to stop the ballcock at the water line.

  6. #21
    DIY Junior Member SteveF's Avatar
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    Default Rochelle Kohler

    Have replaced all the rubber on the unit and the hex nut(part) right on top ( part number 51288) still gushes water during the fill cycle. After it shuts off, it is ok. Any thought on how to stop the gushing during the fill cycle? The water is leaking into the white plastic tube..somehow it gets in the tube even though the slip washer is new and then the water drips out.

    http://www.us.kohler.com/us/catalog/...uestid=4035965
    Last edited by Terry; 05-16-2013 at 09:51 AM.

  7. #22
    DIY Junior Member Limuobai's Avatar
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    I finally figured out my K3385 problem. I filled the tank and then turned off the water supply. After 1/2 hour, the whole tank of water is gone. The final water level is sitting right at the rim of the tank seal where the flapper sits. To be safe, I changed out the flapper, the tank rubber seal, and other rubber parts with genuine Kohler parts. The problem persists!!! I then noticed the flapper is not sitting on the metal ring tightly. I pressed down the flapper to create a tight seal, and repeat the experiment. The water didn't go lower for 2 hours. So I readjusted the lift wire carefully so that it won't put up lift pressure on the flapper after flushing. So far so good but not sure how long it will last. I would say this is a design flaw by Kohler. No professional engineer would let such a lousy design sold to the market place.

  8. #23
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I skimmed through this thread looking for some humor. I found it. It amazes me no end why anyone would spend more money for a part to fix an old obsolete toilet than a brand new Toto. (several models cost less than this part). Even when the repair is made, the toilet is a first generation low flow, and this is the generation that earned low flow toilets their bad reputation. Even American Standard work pretty well now... if you can find one that is not lopsided, patched, or otherwise defective from the factory.

  9. #24
    DIY Junior Member Limuobai's Avatar
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    Not if you have a matching Kohler sink, tiled floor, tiled wall, ..., etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    I skimmed through this thread looking for some humor. I found it. It amazes me no end why anyone would spend more money for a part to fix an old obsolete toilet than a brand new Toto. (several models cost less than this part). Even when the repair is made, the toilet is a first generation low flow, and this is the generation that earned low flow toilets their bad reputation. Even American Standard work pretty well now... if you can find one that is not lopsided, patched, or otherwise defective from the factory.

  10. #25
    DIY Junior Member MoFoJoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Limuobai View Post
    Not if you have a matching Kohler sink, tiled floor, tiled wall, ..., etc.
    ^This is the exact same reason why I am out searching for replacement parts for my 1982 Kolher Pompton toilet. When you have matching Kolher steeping whirlpool bath, Kolher dual sinks and Kolher 4' shower stall and those colors were the anchor points of your bathroom decor.........parts replacement makes sense to me.
    Last edited by MoFoJoe; 03-07-2012 at 06:32 PM.

  11. #26
    DIY Junior Member MoFoJoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    I guess we all have our own priorities. Mine is to have appliances that perform like they should. Now I'm not going to mix stripes with polka dots, or pink with orange, but if I have a new top of the line toilet that is a different color than my bath tub and that bothers you, then you can just hold it until you get to your home where the colors match but the toilet clogs and is unreliable.
    .....and I guess when my 1982 Kolher Pompton developes similar symptoms such that you mention, I may. For a 1982 all Kolher bathroom with only once replacing the toilet flush ball and now #51429 for 5 bucks locally, I'm pleased. Would I buy Kolher again?....Never, but it is what it is and I sure do like the (peace of mind) built-in over flow design protection....

    Edit:....and I have untreated well water
    Last edited by MoFoJoe; 03-07-2012 at 06:31 PM.

  12. #27
    DIY Junior Member Eddie_T's Avatar
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    IMO the Kohler Rochelle is hands down the best looking toilet I have seen to date. It's too bad they are expensive to fix, but mine were installed in 1973 and still look great. They are color matched to tub/shower and lavatory any of the new toilets on the market would look like an escapee from a hospital if installed in my baths. Mine are still using the original mechanisms and have a quiet flush, but have to be tweaked every few months.

  13. #28
    DIY Junior Member Mrrich's Avatar
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    Question Kohler Rochelle tank fitting repair

    I have 4 Kohler Rochelle toilets. Several years back I replaced the entire brass/copper tank fitting (coupla hundred bucks each) on 2 of them, worked fine. Now, all (4) of them are acting up again. I rebuilt 3 so far with ALL new parts (gaskets, seals, rotor, plunger kit, etc). 1 works fine now. 2 of them still won't completely shut off even with all new parts. Even holding the float arm up manually does not shut off water flow. Could it be the brass/copper fitting has gotten pitted or worn out so that water is leaking out the sides of the new seat? Any suggestions short of replacing the entire unit, (up around $300.00 now)? Maybe a bunch of teflon tape on seat, and grinding down where the seat goes a bit with a Dremel?

  14. #29
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Two more pictures


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  15. #30
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    As I've said before, Kohler likes to do things their own way and is severely infected with NIH (not invented here) syndrome...they like to do things their own way, and as a result, their volume is lower and prices are higher for many repair parts. And because of the volume, there aren't too many aftermarket companies that find it economical or possible (maybe because of patents?) to make replacement parts. I do like some of their stuff, but you should go into the purchase knowing that it is a style statement, and not necessarily a quality one, and you pay for this privilege. I'm by no mean saying they make bad stuff, although not that much is world class, either. It's just that repair, when the time comes, can sometimes be problematic. Now, if they'd come up with a good design and stick with it, I'd be happier, at least on the guts. Style is personal, and I'm not touching that!
    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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