Help with old Kohler shower valve problem

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RickT

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Hi there! So, I've got an older Kohler three way in wall faucet system. Hoping someone here can provide me with some help/insight. The system in question is shown in the photo below (there's a hot water handle to the left not shown). I believe it's a Kohler Trend, but the long oval cover plates behind the hot/cold handles seem odd.

kohler-trend-handle-01.jpg


The issue is that the system is old and the diverter recently started acting up and isn't working/functioning properly. There aren't any leaks (that we know of) and it doesn't seem like there's any pipe damage, it just isn't diverting fully/at all. Since this is in a different city than where we reside we had a plumber come take a look. He said he needs to "open all the wall" to fix the diverter and quoted $4k as his cheapest price, which seem crazy (he basically wants to replace the entire valve pipe assembly).

As near as I can tell from Kohler's parts catalog and other online sources, the diverter in this system uses a removable/unscrewable diverter stem. Basically as with a valve you just pull the handle and then unscrew/remove the diverter.

My first question is if this is correct? Is there something I'm missing? Does anyone have experience with this type/model of Kohler handle? It was pretty popular, so I'd imagine lots of people have seen them.

My second question is whether the diverter for my system is Kholer part #20868-CP or #30467? I've found both parts listed in Kohler's catalog for what looks like my system. I'm leaning towards the 30467 given the cap similarities, but I really have no idea.

Thanks in advance for any help!

Best,
Rick
 

Terry

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I worked on a Kohler Trend two handle shower valve last month. I wound up replacing it with a Moen Posi-Temp and the TL2368EP trim.
That would work with any diverter tub spout. That would make it a single handle with a diverter spout. The wall plate is oval so that covers the cutout, and that give you enough room to work with. I tried removing the stems first for the repair, even had the homeowner pick up the parts before I came over. I couldn't remove them, made a second trip, cut the wall and changed out the valve.

I guess I need to charge more. I would like a nice 40 yacht to run around in. I must be doing this all wrong.

BTW, you can upload pictures to this forum, 800 pixels or less.

tl2368ep-terrylove-09.jpg


"Kohler installs their stems with an impact wrench at the factory. This makes them more difficult to remove. Use a heavy wall deep socket with a pipe wrench to turn it."

Nope, still on too tight, it was rounding the nut.

"I ended up buying some 1/2” drive deep heavy wall sockets to remove Kohler stems. They really tight.

They “ pop “ and sound like it breaks when it breaks free it’s so tight. Copper cap gaskets."

And you still had a non-balanced shower valve. The single handle balanced Moen was a better way to go.

tl2368ep-terrylove-10.jpg


tl2368ep-terrylove-11.jpg


moen-tl2368ep-replacement-12.jpg


And one I did for a tub faucet replacement.
 
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RickT

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Hey, thanks for the reply. Sorry about the photos, I copied/pasted the post and didn't think about the photos being thumbnails vs uploads. I'm including them on this one.

In terms of the comments around repair, I've been there with seized valves. Did you shoot it with PB Blaster, some other super lubricant, or maybe something like CLR to try and free it up? My handles haven't been touched in awhile so I'm expecting some problems, but I've always had pretty good luck with lubricant and time. Just wasn't sure if you and the homeowner decided it wasn't worth the effort (rather replace) or if there removal was impossible.

The retrofit is an interesting idea. However, you mentioned you worked on a "two handle" valve system... is that the same as my three handle system (diverter in the middle)? I'm not as familiar with the variants, but I know some of them don't have a wall mounted diverter (diverter is in the spout), and wasn't sure if the handles are mounted in the same position (i.e., if they hot/cold handles are closer together in a 2 handle system).

df9e788b-7bbd-4124-a68f-2587bcba97f8_cdv_photo_000.jpg

Screen Shot 2021-11-19 at 1.34.34 PM.png


Thanks again for the help!

Best,
Rick
 

Terry

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I've removed plenty of stems in my time. There is a point where you consider whether you want to schedule surgery for what you just tore, trying to be a tough guy, and having the doctor say,

"Well, there's nothing we can do for that torn muscle sir."

Or figure you're worth more than a piece of junk in the wall. The Moen is pressure balanced, a single handle.
The old Kohler three handle hasn't met plumbing codes in decades.

moen-tl2368ep-replacement-08.jpg
 
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jadnashua

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If it were mine, I'd replace the valve with something more modern...most every company makes a remodel plate, in various shapes and finishes. If you want to retain a volume control, there are two control devices, and those two handles can have either volume/mix, or volume/thermostatic control. The cost goes up from pressure balance to the volume/mix and volume/thermostatic control, and if you use something like the Delta R10000 rough in valve, you can install any of those three by buying a new trim/cartridge package, so you do have choices.
 
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