Kohler Champlain Slow to Flush

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by netrouter, May 31, 2008.

  1. netrouter

    netrouter New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Hi Everyone,

    I have 3 Kolher Champlains (K-3390-EBA) in my house and all three now require me to hold down the handle for a long time in order to flush. Also one of the three is very slow to fill the tank. It takes about 10 minutes. I have the parts diagram from Kohler, but since I am not a toilet expert I have no clue which parts to replace to fix these issues. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Joe
  2. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Oh boy.... You have one of those...
    Oops sorry 3 of those...
    I'll clue you in...
    Nobody is an expert on those and If I never see one of them again it would be fine with me!
    http://www.kohlerserviceparts.kohler.com/ServicePartsPage.aspx?DocumentID=1863f7f3ee134bce81b3430253bbe98c&ModelID=90b03dfefc6f43e88934f6f6d5155cb3
    If you buy the complete float kit it's only $431.50

    [​IMG]

    Doesn't it look like something Rube Goldberg designed"
    http://www.rubegoldberg.com/

    Why not consider a fine new Toto toilet...
    They use 95% fewer parts and flush 300% better!
    http://www.totousa.com

    I would suggest checking out this link before purchasing any toilet.
    http://www.terrylove.com/crtoilet.htm
    Last edited: May 31, 2008
  3. netrouter

    netrouter New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Thanks for the information Redwood. I was worried the internals would cost a fortune. I was hoping I could just locate a bad gasket/seal or something else but from what I read and your comments these things are no fun to work with. Time to start shopping.

    Cheers,

    Joe
  4. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Here is the inside the tank view of a Toto...
    Doesn't it look a lot simpler?
    While they are not sold at big box stores... All the replacement parts are...
    This puppy will slam 900 grams of solids per flush down the pipe!

    [​IMG]

    Oh it also will probably cost you less than the Kohler Kit... You may be able to find the offending parts but I'm thinking given the age, & complexity, It may just have something else go wrong shortly...
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2008
  5. Beads

    Beads All thumbs

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    New Orleans
    Champlain toilet

    I recently bought a house with a harvest gold Kohler Champlain toilet. The seat is broken, but usable for now. (One side has broken plastic around the hinge pivot.) For the uninitiated, this is a low-form toilet. It has a special seat that bolts thorough into the tank.
    It looks like the OE seats are not available from Kohler and getting a seat will be expensive by my standards. It looks like the ballcock/flush valve in the tank are probably specialized and going to be costly if I need one. Right now there are prices on **** of $275 for aftermarket seats and about $400 for the valves. If anyone knows better about the replacement parts, please correct me. I am a bit fearful of touching the nuts that attach the seat because they look quite corroded.

    I don’t really care for the toilet. For one thing, it does not clear the bowl very well. I don’t particularly like the look, but I can live with it. The rest of the bathroom is pretty serviceable and does not need renovation. Some paint, caulk, grout and a new vanity top/sink might hold off renovation for a decade or more. A white toilet will not, however, look very nice, as there is nothing white in the bathroom. I do not think I will find a new gold toilet to replace it.

    I appear to be stuck between the horns of a dilemma. Can anyone help me out of this mess? Have I overlooked something? Are there new, inexpensive gold toilets on the market? Am I wrong about the cost of maintaining the dinosaur; will it be inexpensive compared to a new toilet and its subsequent upkeep?

    I am prepared to accept advice such as, "suck it up and spend the $275 for a seat, you cheapskate". Don’t be afraid of offending me.
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,005
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Keeping an old Kohler one-piece toilet running will be expensive.

    Jamie's father in-law is constantly throwing money at his.

    The funny thing, is that for years plumbers hated one-piece toilets, based on their experience with Kohler.
    There is no worse feeling, than to make a service trip, write down parts numbers, order parts, get parts, come back and install parts, and the whole time, the homeowner is complaining about the costs.
    Are there any plumbers out there that ever recouped their real costs keeping these dinosaurs running?

    I sell a lot of the Toto one-piece toilets, they use the same parts.
    I can run down to Lowes Hardware and pick up what I need for a quick repair.
    Not that easy on Kohler though.
  7. Beads

    Beads All thumbs

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    New Orleans
    Thanks Terry. I read some other comments in this forum so I was expecting a similar answer about keeping up the Champlain. I have seen a couple of yellow toilets on manufacturers' web sites. I may be going in that direction.

    It is a true mark of low achievement when you can build a product so bad that keeps both the owners and service people mad. I bet Kohler is mad about the toilet too. It probably turned a few people away from their products.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2010
  8. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,349
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Kohler is living on their name. Years ago, Kohler did make top of line products, but after selling out to China, their quality is gone. I find it somewhat amusing that the name of the largest manufacture of toilets in the world, Toto, is not known by the average person. I might add that Kohler is not the only famous name to sell out their quality for cheap labor.
  9. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,005
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The last time I installed a Kohler one-piece for a customer, I spent an extra tweny minutes trying to get the handle linkage to swing clear inside the tank.
    Twenty minutes, and it still going to be sticking.
    How hard is it to produce a trip lever that doesn't stick up against the side of the tank.
    It makes no sense at all.
  10. Beads

    Beads All thumbs

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    New Orleans
    Great, just great, Kohler is the only new, yellow toilet that I can find.
  11. Beads

    Beads All thumbs

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    New Orleans
    Is there anything in particular that I should look out for if I decide to pull this one out. A relatively "normal" toilet should fit in the spot so I don't have to do extensive plumbing?
  12. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,005
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I sell a few thousand toilets a year.
    I carry all brands.

    I have the best "luck" with Toto.
    Parts are simple, they last, and quality control is at the top.

    For a good basic one-piece toilet,
    MS854114SG
    Elongated Ultramax with Sanagloss
    or MS604114CEFG
    Elongated Comfort Height Ultramax II with Sanagloss
  13. Akorach

    Akorach New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Chicago
    Kohler Champlain

    I have a low elongated toilet in what is probably harvest gold, although I think my color is lighter than that, the sink also harvest gold, is a top mount has a triangular shape this sits on a rare colored marble vanity. My problem is many fold. I would like to find this exact toilet new, good luck, right. Should I scavenge for new parts, is there a way to find the whole shebang? If I cannot find all these things I would probably have to get a white toilet because I don't think this color is even manufactured. In the event that I replace this with a white one I would have to have the sink epoxyed in white. Help.
    Ann
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