Kohler cimarron flush valve leak

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by williamp, May 13, 2014.

  1. williamp

    williamp New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Alabama
    Hi all, newby here. I have a Kohler cimarron toilet that is leaking very slowly somewhere around the flush valve. This toilet has the aqua piston flush (canister). The toilet has been leaking almost as long as I had it (about 2 years). I have replaced the canister seal 3 times and the shank gasket once. Still a slow leak. I can't find a new flush valve assembly around here and was wondering about changing to the flapper type flush valve. Will this work on a Kohler or not? The flush valve assembly part No. is 1113629 but changed to 1188999 according to some web research. Maybe this is an upgrade? Anyway I don't seem to be able to find one. I did a leak test found on this forum and it verified that the leak was the flush valve.
    Any help or suggestions will be appreciated.
    bill
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,130
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    You may be able to remove and reinstall the flush valve, checking the inside of the tank for roughness. Sometimes it's a simple fix like that.
    A bit of emory cloth may be the answer, or it may just be loose.

    [​IMG]
  3. williamp

    williamp New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Alabama
    Do you mean remove the entire flush valve or take it apart like your pic shows? I had it out last week so I don't think it's loose. Thanks for the reply.
  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,130
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    If the water in the tank leaks down to the cannister seal, then that's the problem.
    If it leaks down to the porcelain, then it's the flush valve seal, and you will want to remove it and see why it's not sealing.
  5. williamp

    williamp New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Alabama
    O.K. will do a leak check overnight tonight and see what happens. Thanks!
    Bill
  6. williamp

    williamp New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Alabama
    Water leaked down to the canister seal. I had already replaced the gasket seal 3 times over the past year and it never stopped leaking. It would leak down about 1/2" and then fill back up. It took 2+ hours for this to happen. So, I replaced the flush valve with a Fluidmaster 507AK and it looks like my troubles are over(unless using the Fluidmaster becomes a problem).

    I inspected the flange on the Kohler flush valve after I got it out and found 2 very small dents in the plastic on the seat for the seal. I think that was the problem. Found the dents using a magnifying glass.
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,130
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Dents in the surface of the flush valve will do it. :(
  8. williamp

    williamp New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Alabama
    O.K. about 3 weeks ago I took matters into my own hands and replaced the Kohler flush valve with a Fluidmaster universal 2" flush valve. It fit the hole in the bottom of the tank perfectly. The only thing I had to do was shorten the overflow tube about an inch or so to get the top of the tube below the level of the flush handle. I also replaced the flush handle because the Kohler arm for the chain was too short to get a decent pull on the flapper. Now I don' have a leaking flush valve and the toilet seems to be working just fine without the Kohler flush valve installed. (Kohler flush valve hard to find around here.)
    I wanted to know if the non Kohler part would work and it will.
  9. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,898
    Location:
    New York, NY
    You learned the simple truth that most of the time these unique flush valves are more marketing than science, like the allegedly-4" flush valve on the AS Champion 4, which goes into a 3" hole just like many new toilets. Korky makes a standard 3" flush valve with flapper that can replace it, and it works like a champ.

    Congratulations on replacing the thing yourself -- you got it working and saved yourself a bunch of money!
  10. williamp

    williamp New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Alabama
    Right, the Kohler flush valve claimed to be a 3" but it tapered down to a 2" hole in the bottom of the tank. Thanks for your post.
    Which is best, Fluidmaster or Korky parts?
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014
  11. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,898
    Location:
    New York, NY
    A lot of plumbers swear by the Fluidmaster 400A fill valve. Terry has said that he likes the Korky 528 because, among other things, it's easy to install, very flexible in terms of the number of toilets it can work in, and can be repaired by a homeowner themselves with Terry giving instructions over the phone, and the moving parts are all contained in a $3 cap that is a one-minute job to replace. I like it in addition to those reasons because on the 528MP, which has an adjustable refill ratio, the little knob that you turn to adjust the refill is very precise and stays in place; Fluidmaster uses a slider on the rubber hose that isn't really infinitely-variable, and doesn't stay in place in my experience. In our old family home on Long Island, I have replaced the fill valves on all seven toilets with various flavors of Korky 528, and they work great. They are also a bit quieter when running than the 400A, which I know because a couple of the toilets had 400As in them when I replaced them.

    On the flush valve, I think the Korky flapper is almost the universal winner. Almost every plumber carries the Korky flapper on his truck, and uses it to replace the flapper on any generic flush valve. I have seen a number of pros on here opine that the Korky flapper is better than the Fluidmaster flapper, which is more rigid and a different design. That said, if a flapper closes at the right time, reliably stops the flow and doesn't leak, it's a winner.

    Now that many manufacturers have gone to 3" flush valves, a plumber can replace almost any 3" flapper with the Korky universal adjustable flapper, which means fewer parts needing to be on the truck to make instant repairs.

    I like the Korky replacement flush valves, which again have gone into many toilets in our own home, because you don't need to cut them, as they have an oversized overflow riser that is twist-to-lock adjustable. They are also made of a nice, heavy plastic, which is sturdy and unlikely to crack.

    But others may have different opinions, which is what makes the world go around.

    One other thing that's important to me: Korky products are made in Wisconsin, and their customer service people (answering at their call center in Wisconsin) will bend over backwards to give advice or immediately mail out a replacement if a flapper fails within 5 years. They really understand customer service. And I feel I should reward that. Fluidmaster is a famous brand, but a lot of its stuff is hecho en Mexico. Not to be jingoistic, but besides the inherent quality of their products, I feel good about giving Korky my money.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014
  12. williamp

    williamp New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Alabama
    Thank you very much wj for your very informative reply. Good stuff to know. Once again, thanks.
  13. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,898
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Always a pleasure!!
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