Kohler canister flush valve drops too quickly

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by nostickers, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. Seaner

    Seaner New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2014
    Now a very very old thread, but I found it and it helped e when i trouble shot my toilets handle holding issue. So after looking at these post I believe ive solved this issue. Firstly thanks for all the suggestions they helped me figure this out. Now lets talk a little about this issue. These toilets didnt exhibit this issue when new or we would of promptly said thanks but no thank to the retailer that sold us this toilet. So lets get that out of the way right now. Holding the handle for any length of time isnt the solution. Also readjustments generally may get you a little farther down the "now I got to fix this" road. So lets get to the fix. Because this happened slowly until one day we find ourselves double flushing, I immediately thought of hard water and scale buildup. Here in the bay area we have basically cement water. So it was naturally my first thought and for me it turned out right. Now a little about hard water, you may think your water is pristine but remember most water is from underground aquifers or treated surface water (reservoirs) and usually not demineralized. Having said that if youve tried everything else than keep reading. First of all i recommending cleaning out the bowl jets around the inside rim because scale will clogg those and make for more maintenance of the bowl. I used a piece of 1/8 inch spring steel (found in a recycled wiper blades) and gently scraped the scale off. This increased the flow to clean the bown but did nothing to fix the issue. Secondly and more importantly your problem most likely lies in the bottom of the bowl. For this you might want to have a way to pump out the bowl. Now this step requires getting your hands down in there and feeling since where the problem lies you vwont be able to see. Now reach down and poke your finger into the water outlet from the tank (round hole thats aimed to the back of the toilet that jets water to bigger oval flush drain). Now is it smooth, without obstruction or stalagmites. Mine was so obstructed in such a way it actually felt like it was unfinished porcelain and actually made that way. Nevertheless less i constructed several chipping tools made from bent screw drivers and proceeded to clear literally chunks of mineralized deposits up to 1/2 - 3/4 inch thick from the jet port. By the way that jet port is relatively smooth finished porcelain so if its rough and scraggly you have hard water scale. I also took 1/4 inch thick pieces from the drain side beyond where i could see using a small hammer and these tools to gently chip these away. Once that was done, the toilet operated like day one. Now I went a step further and fully drained the bowl and added a cup of muriatic acid after chipping angd let that work for 10 minutes to get what i missed (do so at your own risk as its probably not recomended
     
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  2. Seaner

    Seaner New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2014
    Sorry i hit the post reply by accident. Anyway after the cleanout it works great. Once clean you can see that its basically timing that gets affected when its clogged, not giving it enough time to develop the suction required to drain the bowl before the valve shuts. Probably not the best design but certainly serviceable. Lastly my wife buys generic walmart bleach tank pucks and they seem to control the hardwater buildup anyway hope this helps.
     
  3. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2012
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Your solution makes sense. I had noticed in these posts that people alleged that they were initially happy with the toilets, then presumed that they no longer loosed the proper amount of water into the bowl because it didn't flush the same. We all knew that was wrong, but your experiment shows that the problem is what it often is when an older toilet doesn't flush right: the siphon jet is at least partially-clogged. I had this issue with a 1950s-era toilet not too long ago. Plenty of water in the flush, but it wouldn't clear all the material from the bowl. A bunch of work on the area around the siphon jet (inside the hole) made it function properly once again. Seems that in some locales, even 4 years is enough for stuff to accumulate inside these Kohlers.
     
  4. Fixitgator

    Fixitgator New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2016
    Location:
    Florida
    Seaner: Thanks so much! This solution worked perfectly.
     
  5. stevev

    stevev New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    Seaner,

    I ended up in a similar place.
    I emptied the bowl using a paper cup and put a half gallon of muratic acid in and let it set for 12 hours.
    That light weight acid is a lot better than scratching up the porcelain trying to get the minerals out.
    Working like new now.
    My guess is to get 1.23 gal/flush they have engineered it so close to edge that a minor change in the flow rate through the throat puts it over edge to 'Not-Working' status.
    Removing the minerals was all that was needed.
    Hope this helps others. There are some weird solutions to this problem on the web (I tried the non-destructive ones - didn't work).
     
  6. mr.steevo

    mr.steevo New Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2016
    Location:
    Alberta
    After 6 years our toilets have started having difficulties flushing as described on this thread. I bought a gallon of muratic acid, poured a 1/4 of it into the bowl with water and left it there for two hours while it did its thing. A half a box of baking soda added after two hours neutralizes the acid and after another 20 minutes I flushed it all away. The toilet almost works as new but I should have left the acid in longer than two hours to get everything out.
     
  7. mr.steevo

    mr.steevo New Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2016
    Location:
    Alberta
    I should point out that muriatic acid is NOT a light weight acid. It is also known as Hydrochloric Acid and is strong. Wear chemical resistant gloves, long sleeves and pants, eye protection and make sure you can ventilate your space of the fumes. It will clean your toilet but please take some precaution.
     
  8. Shuttrbg22

    Shuttrbg22 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2017
    Location:
    California
    You guys saved the day, cleaning out the mineral deposits fixed it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2017
  9. DocGadget

    DocGadget New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2017
    Location:
    Chicago
    Well I thank you all for the insight. Checking to see if there was any material blocking the center jet, I came across this... Im not sure if it was put there by Kholer or not. It was loose and obstructing, once removed, the toilet worked flawlessly! Thanks Again
     

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  10. L.C. Cate

    L.C. Cate New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2017
    Location:
    East Tennesseeb
    The Kohler with a cannister flush valve depend almost completly on a rush of water coming out of the hole at the front of the trap pushing the water in the trap out of toilet, and this happens very quickly. If that hole is stopped up the toilet will not flush as designed, and there should be no slack in the chain that pulls the cannister up. I fought with my K 4421 Kohler for a year before I figured this out.
     
  11. Herb Wynans

    Herb Wynans New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2018
    Location:
    Denton TX
    Same problem-o, me too. Worked fine at first then didn't. Had to hold down flush handle. Cleaned out under-rim holes. Called Kohler for trouble-shooting assistance (what a waste!). Replaced flush valve. Pulled toilet to check internal passages and sewer line. Had plumber augur toilet and check vent system. Nothing helped. Read entry on Page 2 of this site suggesting the use of muriatic acid to de-lime that little hole at the bottom of the basin. That may do the trick but, even if it does, I'll never buy another Kohler product.
     
  12. RichPalma

    RichPalma New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2018
    Location:
    NJ
    Also had to hold flush handle to get a full flush.

    Cleaned out the hole at the bottom of the toilet bowl with a screwdriver and a glove, removing a lot of lime. Now it is flushing just like it used to before, no need to hold the handle down!!
     
  13. Mark Wittholz

    Mark Wittholz New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2020
    Location:
    Maryland
    How can we all have this same issue? My other toilets work fine. Well here is another way to permanently fix the issue. After all, the buoyancy of the canister is the issue. When I watch it flush, the canister fills with water through the holes in the bottom. What happens if you drill a bunch of holes in the bottom of a boat? It fills with water and sinks. I used JB weld to cover the flood holes in the bottom of the canister. This allows the canister to float for a longer period of time. You must leave one of the small holes open because some spray from the bowl hose does get in there during the flush and needs to drain. This works 100% of the time now. No holding down the flush lever.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. CheeseHead2

    CheeseHead2 New Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2020
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    You are right! I cleaned out the little ports that rinse the bowl, but that didn't help much.

    Then I used a small brush (like a small bottle brush) to clean out the water outlet at the very bottom of the toilet bowl. That completely resolved the issue! The toilet is flushing great again!
     
  15. CheeseHead2

    CheeseHead2 New Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2020
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Thanks Seaner! I cleaned out the small water outlets around the top of the toilet bowl, but that did not have much effect. Then I used a soft bottle brush to clean out the large water outlet at the very bottom of the toilet. It turned out mine was quite obstructed with soft deposits. I didn't have to chip away anything hard at it, the soft brush did a great job. After that the toilet started flushing great again, with just a quick push and release of the toilet flushing handle. No need to hold down the handle for 3 seconds anymore to get a decent flush.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
  16. Peter123

    Peter123 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2020
    Location:
    British Columbia
    Had same problem with Kohler WC Cleaned out every hole in WC Found your reply Blocked 3 holes on bottom of cannister Toilet works great Thanks Mark Wittholz
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2020
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