Kohler Class Five Problem

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by dfhsah, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. dfhsah

    dfhsah New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    [​IMG]

    Just installed my new Kohler Highline Class Five toilet. The flapper valve closes instantly upon release of flush handle not allowing enough water to flush properly. Only a small amount of water returns to bowl. The temporary solution is to hold down the flush handle for approx. 3 seconds to get a good flush.

    Have spoken with Kohler and have not been able to resolve the problem.

    Has anyone had a similiar problem with the class five flushing system?
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2007
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,416
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    It's a 1.6 gallon toilet.
    It will never drain the entire tank.

    That's how toilets have been working since 1992
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    As Terry pointed out, it is probably flushing the 1.6 gallons, and doing it almost like a "gulp". This is how they work. Many 1.6 gallon toilets using the large flapper design that Kohler calls Class 5, flush very well. The flush "looks" and "sounds" different than what you are used to.

    Are you actually having poor flush performance?
  4. dfhsah

    dfhsah New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Problem with my Class Five Kohler toilet.

    The toilet only lets out approx 3 quarts of water and the bowl only recovers about 4 inches of water measured from the absolute bottom of the bowl.

    The tank refills to the 1.6 gal mark but never discharges the correct amount.
  5. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Again, does the toilet dispose of the waste? They do flush with a "gulp" and compared to older toilets which in truth probably flushed MORE than the specified 1.6, probably seem skimpy.

    Some of these "class five" type of toilets have a low water spot. You can confirm the water spot by taking a gallon or so of water and very slowly pouring it into the bowl. If the water level rises and stays there, then you do have a refill problem. If it stays at the same level, that is your design water spot.
  6. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,053
    Location:
    Omaha, NE

    Have you actually measured the amount of water used?

    The mark on the tank is not the 1.6 gal mark - as has been said, modern low flow toilets do not discharge their entire tanks when they flush. In other words, the tanks hold more than 1.6 gal. They use the "head pressure" of having more water than the flush capacity to move the water more forcefully into the bowl.

    If you want to really check how much water is being used, mark the tank at the level it refills to (not necessarily the same as the permanent mark on the inside of the tank). Then shut off the water to the tank, flush the toilet normally, and see how much water it actually takes to refill.
  7. Larry0400

    Larry0400 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Considering Kohler highline

    Does anyone know if this is a decent toilet? I like its looks, don't like the looks of the Toto and was considering this for my 23 year old house. The run from the toilet to the septic tank is about 50 feet and I am sure the slope is minimal code in the drain pipe. Any ideas.
    Thanks
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,313
    Location:
    New England
    Toto makes probably 50 different models...you hate them all?

    The total water use on a toilet is not only the amount that gets dumped quickly while the flapper valve is opened, but most toilets also overfill the bowl some, and nearly none empty the tank during a flush.

    Kohler isn't on my good list, but then again, I don't do this for a living. My personal experience with them has not been good.
  9. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Which specific model are we talking about?
    Class 5 flush?
    Pressure assisted?

    IMHO they are all lesser quality than the Toto.
  10. Larry0400

    Larry0400 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Kohler vs. Toto

    I visited a Toto dealer. Great showroom. It isn't that I dislike all the Toto's, just wasn't thrilled with the appearance of what the fellow was showing me. Most likely this was because I mentioned that I have exactly 11 inches rough in (wall to center of the bolts), The dealer suggested some skirted models with adapters that were made in various lengths for 3 models- the Gwenaviere, the Soire and one other single piece toilet that I can't remember the name of. Each had the latest features including Saniglaze and a swirling flush system. I think it looks like it would rinse the bowl as well as any other toilet, as this was one of my concerns. Any thoughts?

    I might be able to use a 12 inch rough in but it will be tight, as Toto allows only 3/4 inch clearance inside the 12 inch spec, and I might just fit it snug against the wall, but it could be a problem by only 1/4 inch.

    The models with different rough in adapters didn't impress me because they had a right angle connection from where the toilet connected to the pvc adapter and it looked like it might act as a restriction. I thought restrictions were something Toto was trying to minimize by the saniglaze. Doesn't the right angle pvc adapter for 10 inch and 14 inch rough ins defeat all the rest of the Toto engineering? I have a hard time understanding why this wouldn't cause problems. I have also read reports of dripping noises in these models. Any ideas on these issues?

    I wasn't too impressed with the plastic seats on the Toto's. Do most people think it is good?

    The Kohler called for a 1 inch space behind on a 12 inch rough in, so I thought it might fit my space better. I also liked the styling better on the Kohler, but everyone on here strongly recommends the Toto's and I don't hear much enthusiasm for the Kohler products. Are any of the Kohlers worth considering?
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,313
    Location:
    New England
    With 11", sometimes you can fudge things, sometimes you can't. The unifit adapter, being cast in plastic, is much smoother and engineered curves than you can do in an all porcelain cast toilet...I've got several - they work very well. The skirted versions might require moving the water supply line, since the skirt does hide more wall behind the toilet. I wouldn't let that be a deciding factor. you could try it with the stock 12" unifit, and if it didn't fit, then pick up the 10" one and be assured it would fit. I have a Carlyle and a Vespin in my home.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2008
  12. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,416
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    If you like the looks of the Highline, then why not buy it?

    The spec on the Toto Drake, which is similar in styling to the Highline says 1-1/8" behind the tank.
    We set them at 11" all the time.
  13. Larry0400

    Larry0400 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Terry- How good is the Kohler HighLine? From what I have read on your site, the Totos you seem partial to the Totos.
    I was all set to get the Toto Gwineth (new dual flush and saniglaze) but at the dealer, when I pushed it against the wall in the distance from the wall to the bolts was exactly 12 inches. Toto's diagram was wrong- it showed the 12 inch rough in included a 3/4 inch space behind the tank to the wall- not so. Perhaps it exists between the sides of the tank and the wall, because they are curved, but the absolute closest distance you can set it from the wall to the bolts is 12 inches with the center back right against the wall.

    Thanks for the reassurance on the plastic adapters not being a problem. I will probably try a Toto skirted model. Most likely Guinevere. What do you think of that model?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 27, 2008
  14. Larry0400

    Larry0400 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Almost forgot-
    Terry, Thanks for the suggestion on the Drake. I know everyone loves it. I didn't get a chance to see it, as I was concentrating on the Saniglazed units. I'll take a good look at it. The folks in the local supplier were pushing the latest gratest models. Wonder what you think?

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 27, 2008
  15. Mort

    Mort New Member

    Messages:
    83
    Location:
    CA
    FWIW, I just had three Soiree units installed and couldn't be more pleased. The Soiree, Guenevere and Lloyd appear to be pretty close to the same configuration. The unifit adapters were the deciding point as all three rough ins were different in my house (and the Mrs wanted all three to match....which I liked as well for the simplicity of having repair parts on hand that were all the same) The rough-in that was 11" used the standard 12" adapter....the plumber tried a ten but the toilet sat too far from the wall. One bathroom had a 12" rough in so that went smooth. The final one was roughed in at 9 1/2 and even with the ten inch adapter the baseboard still had to be notched a tad.

    Anyway, all three function great. My plumber wished all of his installs went as smoothly and repeatedly commented on the quality of the parts. Although two of my supply line inlets were closer in than Toto's spec sheet called for, that worked out well too.

    Mort

    [​IMG]
    TOTO Soiree pedestal lav, faucet and toilet suite
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2009
  16. x77dude

    x77dude New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    Apparently, Kohler uses different "guts" for its Class 5 toilets. I have installed a pair that have the same flush valve as in the photo... but the most recent ones have a large diameter cylinder that lifts up when you trip the lever to allow the water to flow into the bowl. The only issue that I have had with mine of that style is that the hose from the ballcock valve sometimes comes loose and won't allow the flush valve to seat properly. Other than that, it works perfectly.

    I actually LIKE the "defect" posted by Dfhsah-- a quick trip of the lever gives a minimal flush that's very appropriate for liquid waste. If I've "dumped a load" in the bowl, I just hold down the flush lever. It's like a "dual flush" model without the complexity of a dual flush system. Win-win IMHO. YMMV.
  17. x77dude

    x77dude New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
  18. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,313
    Location:
    New England
    None of the modern toilets empty the tank with a normal flush. Holding the lever down will end up using as much as twice the amount it is supposed to. If you need that to flush, it is NOT a good toilet. Any modern toilet does what you are talking about. Only an engineered one designed for dual flush does it well.
  19. Charlie 3

    Charlie 3 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Charleston, WV
    Just Fixed My Kohler Flapper - Try This!

    The flush handle doesn't have enough travel. I took mine apart, and trimmed back the plastic opening that the handle slot travels in. I used a utility knife. I took a little off each side, making the travel about twice as much. It works like a charm. It probably doesn't meet the EPA requirements, but I don't have to worry about my guests having embarrasing problems.




    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2012
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