Problems with Kohler 304-KS-NA Bath and shower Rite-Temp Valve with stops

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by j_and_c, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. j_and_c

    j_and_c New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Arizona
    We installed a brand new Kohler 304-KS-NA Bath and Shower Rite-Temp Valve with stops this past weekend. The stops are stuck and will not turn, but otherwise everything was working properly as far as we could tell until a few hours after finishing getting the valve installed. We heard a loud screeching and the water started coming out of the tub spout even though the valve was turned to the off position.

    Any ideas why it would just turn itself on like this after it appeared to be working fine?

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2011
  2. j_and_c

    j_and_c New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Arizona
    I'm going to add some more info in hopes of getting some kind of response. Our wall is completely open behind the shower and we put in brand everything. We took out all the old pipes behind the shower, soldered new ones to the new valve and soldered the whole thing to the existing hot and cold pipes. Once we had it all in and turned the water on, we couldn't get the valve to turn off. Water was coming out even when the valve was supposedly all the way off. We ended up calling in a plumber who said it was just stuck. Lovely!

    Anyway, at that point, we were thrilled, thought we were good to go, and turned the water back on. It was on for a few hours with no problems at which point we heard this loud screeching and the water just started coming out of the tub spout. The valve was in the off position but water was coming out.

    I called Kohler and they are going to send us a new mixing cap and pressure balancing unit. Has anyone else had similar problems? The more I read and hear about Kohler, the more it sounds like the outside parts look good, but otherwise can be a lot of trouble. If the parts they send don't work, we are going to have to start over from scratch. Any suggestions on whether we'll have more luck with another brand?

    Also, would I have a better chance of getting a response if I post under the plumbing forum? Thanks!
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,990
    Location:
    New England
    My personal experience with Kohler has not been great.

    Did you remove the guts of the valve before soldering it in? This can sometimes cause problems from overheating the guts of the valve. Hopefully, replacing the guts will solve the existing problem.

    I like Grohe, but my exposure is limited. Before I did buy what I have, I used was in a hotel in London that had all of their stuff installed and it worked well. The thermostatically controlled valve kept the temp constant while the pressure was varying all over the place. Delta 1700 rough-in valve is solid with many choices of guts and trims.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,607
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    IF the hot water was off when you tried to run water, the pressure balancing spool would have shut down ALL flow. And if that were the case, the pressure balancer could have ruptured and caused water to flow from the shower with the valve turned off. Almost EVERY instance of Kohler valve failure, with a drip or flow, has been a split balancing unit. Usually when you remove it there will be a white residue where the failure is.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2011
  5. j_and_c

    j_and_c New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Arizona
    Thank you both for your very helpful responses. We replaced the "guts" of the valve and everything appears to be working fine now. I appreciate your replies and it will be very helpful for when we renovate our Master bathroom. Thanks again!!!
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