weird Kohler install problem

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by quantum, May 8, 2005.

  1. quantum

    quantum New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    New Jersey
    This is my 3rd toilet install in about 3 years: all Kohler, 2nd San Raphael. This is the first time I'm having a problem though.

    I have a brand new PVC flange sitting on top of the tile nice and neat. The first attempt was with a Fluidmaster wax ring - leaked. Tried again - leaked. Bought a Fernco rubber thingy - STILL LEAKING! Took left over wax from try #2 and packed it around the rubber thing just in case. Where the rubber thing meets the horn, I cleaned it really well and put a bead of silicone around it. Still leaks.

    The leak is very slow. The water doesn't pour out when you flush, like I thought it would. I flush it, then maybe 45 minutes later a little puddle shows up on the floor. I wipe it up and another 20-40 minutes, another puddle. Last time I had it upside down, I checked for cracks in the china and didn't see any. There is a tiny hole way in the back on the underside but it looks intentional (not sure why its there).

    So - what am I doing wrong? Is it possible its leaking from somewhere other than the horn/rubber thingy? I've felt the outside of the toilet from the rim down and its not wet.
  2. food coloring

    put some food coloring inthe toilet and let it sit overnight.

    maybe you got a bad trap

    also that special "vent hole" I have seen before in American Standard type toilets...

    they will leak on occasion.... I have had to plug up that hole in the back of the bowl with some silicone to get the small leak stopped.


    good luck
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,481
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    toilet

    If it is a new toilet and you bought it from Home Depot or Lowes, then having a defective one is not an unusual problem.
  4. quantum

    quantum New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Thanks guys.

    I did buy it at Home Depot (special order). I shut off the supply last night (on orders of the wife), and this morning there was no puddles. I was thinking about the food coloring idea: maybe put it in the bowl first; see what happens. Then put it in the tank - maybe get a better idea where its coming from?

    If the trap is bad - would it be leaking out of the vent hole? And if I plug the vent hole, won't the water just accumulate in that space? Wouldn't that be a bad thing?

    (Just want to have my facts straight before taking the next step)
    Last edited: May 9, 2005
  5. If shutting off the supply valve eliminated the problem, it could be an issue with the supply valve. With a little age on them, I notice that they sometimes will develop a slow leak.

    There's a fitting (I think called a bonnet) right behind the handle on the supply valve. You can put an open-end or adjustable wrench on it. Turn the water back on and check for a drip there. If so, you can tighten the aforementioned fitting (clockwise) and that often will take care of that problem.
  6. quantum

    quantum New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Its definitely not the supply valve itself; the leak is puddling from under the toilet. Besides that fact that its brand new...
  7. quantum

    quantum New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    New Jersey
    UPDATE:

    Just got off the phone with Kohler tech support. They're going to send me a letter to take to Home Despot ;) to return/exchange it. Who knew the toilet could be such a complicated device. :eek:
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,481
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    toilet

    There is no "vent" hole. Since it is a one piece toilet it doesn't matter whether it is the tank leaking, which is not likely, or the bowl. Either way you need a new toilet. You do not need a letter from Kohler just take it back to HD with your receipt and tell them it is defective and you want a "good" one.
  9. quantum

    quantum New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    New Jersey
    True - the Kohler guy said its "part of the manufacturing process" and not to worry about it. Depot gave me no grief at all about replacing it and said they didn't want the defective one back.

    On a side note - that Fernco rubber toilet seal was REALLY on that horn! I needed a screwdriver to pry it off - that sucka wasn't going anywhere. Its about the same price as a wax ring but seems alot better.
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