Please help with Kohler K-304 shower valve

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by khayes, May 8, 2009.

  1. khayes

    khayes New Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Alpharetta, GA.
    I am trying to install a K304 valve in a bath remodel for my daughter and her husband. The wall is still open and here's my dilemma. The valve was disassembled in the box - I bought it from a plumbing supply house in another city, and it was one of their tent sale items. The Kohler instructions left a lot to be desired. Anyway, it's installed - all connections soldered with no leaks. However when it's turned off there is a constant drip from the shower head arm. I was puzzled as to how to position it. On one side it says 'Shower Up/Tub Down. So I put it in as I was reading with the 'Shower Up'. The metal retaining ring as a locating pin at about the 11:00 position and the word 'Top' is at the top. So I think it's located right. The internal valve has 2 chambers and can be installed in either of two positions so maybe that is upside down. What could be causing the drip from the shower arm?
    Thanks for your help.
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    answer:

    "......and it was one of their tent sale items"
  3. khayes

    khayes New Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Alpharetta, GA.
    Jimbo - I was asking for help. If I had not mentioned that, would you have anything helpful to offer? Is it junk? Do I just start over with another valve? I've installed 5 or 6 valves before and never had this problem.
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Sorry that you are the victim of the curmudgeon-like response that we sometimes cannot avoid.

    Point was that buying cast-off merchandise in open and picked through boxes is a risk. We have no idea if someone returned it damaged, missing some little part, etc. But bottom line on a shower valve, if it is leaking, the cartridge or seal needs to be replaced. You could remove the cartridge, visually inspect that no little piece of debris has lodged in there and can be cleaned up. Beyond that, you just have to replace it ( the cartridge ).

    If you don't have a service and parts diagram, go to www.kohlerserviceparts.com put in your model number. Howver, I don't think K-304 is the correct model #.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,537
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    leak

    The kind of a leak in a Kohler valve is VERY, very often due to a defective balancing valve, which is the black thing UNDER the operating mechanism. It is riveted together and often develops a crack along the seam. Often there is a white deposit at the crack.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2011
  6. khayes

    khayes New Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Alpharetta, GA.
    HJ - you are exactly right! There was a white deposit on the seam. I contacted Kohler and they overnighted me a new set of the inner parts and she's working beautifully - at least for now. I know it's risky buying tent sale items but I paid $20 for a valve and trim that Lowe's sells for $154 so I guess I got lucky this time.

    Jimbo - I didn't mean to jump on you but I was excited when I saw you replied to my post because I respect your knowledge. I was in a foul mood over all this, and then to get that response, well...please forgive me.
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,943
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    hj nails it again.
    His decades of experience just keeps on keeping on.
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,537
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    terry

    Aw, shucks. If I could be embarrassed by praise, I would be right now.
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