Installing a Kohler Rite-Temp bath & shower valve, K-304

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Terry, May 1, 2011.

  1. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Installing a Kohler Rite-Temp pressure balance bath & shower valve, K-304
    Rough in instructions from Kohler with some added tips.

    Most plumbers will remove the cartridge, and solder pipe to the valve body first, and then reassemble the valve. The valve comes with the option to thread on a "female adapter", or to insert copper pipe into the brass body of the valve. I prefer to solder copper pipe to the valve.

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    two, The pipe to the tub spout needs to be full size. No PEX here. PEX is undersized for a tub spout and will force water up toward the shower head. Either copper or threaded pipe like galvanized or brass. I use either copper or brass. Galvanized will rust and the first time you open the faucet in the morning, you will get some rusty water.

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    three, if you have a back to back installation like below, you can reverse the valve without making the pipes cross over.

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    Last edited: May 2, 2011
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
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  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Last edited: May 1, 2011
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    One "minor point". Valves which have the option to solder the tubing directly into the valve, have MALE threads, so you would have to use a "female" adapter, NOT a male one, to connect to the valve. And do you really think plumbers or most handymen/DIYers read the directions?

    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2011
  6. bananavida

    bananavida New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Belize
    K-304-K-NA installed and no water

    I have loads of water pressure however, after installing the K 304 valve and turning on the water nothing comes out except a couple of drips. It's like the flow is restricted somewhere. I removed the pressure balancing unit and confirmed that yup, loads of water pressure.

    Could my pressure balancing unit faulty right out of the box as it seems to be restricting the water flow to the point of nothing coming out?

    I'm at a loss.

    Any help would be appreciated. THanks
  7. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    Is it a tub and shower Or shower only? If shower only check restricter in shower head.
  8. bananavida

    bananavida New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Belize
    Well now that makes sense. We don't have a hot water heater yet, so that is not plumbed in, just the cold water is. So, if we plumb it so the cold water comes up the hot water pipe as well, then it should work? Where I am cold showers are still pretty warm.
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,817
    Location:
    New England
    As long as both the inputs see similar pressure, then yes, the valve should open and work 'normally'. Course, you'll have no temp adjustment, but you probably knew that.
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Belize.
    I stayed there before, and noticed that some showers only have cold water. Same thing in Guatemala.
    You will have to run water to both sides. If you have a water heater hook-up, you can flex the cold over to the hot side.
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,279
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The prohibition "Do not install the valve upside down" ONLY applies for a tub/shower installation. In a shower only installation, I ALWAYS install it upside down. There are two good reasons for doing so;
    1. the bottom port is larger than the upper one so you get maximum flow to the shower head, and
    2. The capped bottom port, unless it was a "shower" or "tub" only valve, can accumulate debris and eventually stop flow to the shower head. Removing this debris can be a difficult job, especially if it is calcium build up in the transfer tube between the lower tub outlet and the upper shower outlet. (the last one I did was especially challenging because they had soldered the brass cap on. I had to unsolder it, while unscrewing it, and at the same time not drop the hot cap down the wall since I did not have a replacement for it.)
  12. bananavida

    bananavida New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Belize

    Thanks for the tips. It is a shower only instal so I guess putting the valve in upside down would make better sense. Now, is there anything else I should know before I cut out the PVC (my last weekends' chore) and replumb?

    Serious though, thanks for everyone's advice. I know what I'm doing this weekend.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2011
  13. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,279
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; It is a shower only instal so I guess putting the valve in upside down would make better sense

    Just be sure to "reverse" the cartidge or you will get hot water first instead of cold.
  14. bananavida

    bananavida New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Belize
    But aren't I just inverting the brass casing and the innards/cartridge would go in the same way? The cold will still come in on the right and hot on the left.

    Or, am I missing something?
  15. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,279
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Internally, when the valve is in "upright" the right is cold and turns on first. Rotating it 180 degrees puts that side on the LEFT so the hot will flow first. So you rotate the "core" back 180 degrees so it is oriented the same way it was to start with. If you remove the core and remember HOW it was oriented, i.e. which side was UP, and reinstall it the same way you will do the same thing.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2011
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