Kohler Rochelle Toilet, Replace or Repair

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Eddie_T, Jul 25, 2020.

  1. Eddie_T

    Eddie_T New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Location:
    Brevard, NC
    My two Rochelles have been in use 47 years. The one that gets the most use is having some flush valve problems. They use a flush ball which I have replaced a number of times. Replacements seem to use aluminum rods with a slight brass finish. I have been forming and threading rods out of copper wire that doesn't corrode like the aluminum. The current problem is the flush mechanism doesn't reset so the ball can drop. Maybe disassembly and cleaning can resolve the problem.

    A complete replacement flush assy costs near $380 so I have been considering a new toilet. The tub /shower, ladies lav and toilet were a pea green (not their name) so a white replacement would be too stark. Also I want one piece for ease of cleaning. The market is confusing so many flush problems with the new stuff. I have only had the use the plunger on rare occasions and I don't think the bowl could run over unless a clog and leak occurred simultaneously.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? Also is there any aftermarket conversion flush assy that could replace the pricey OEM assy?

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2020
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The problem you have is the color as far as a replacement. The new toilets work very well compared to the old ones.
    I sell a lot of the TOTO Ultramax II toilets.
    Kohler does have more color choices though. Maybe not green anymore, but many other colors that are of a darker color.
     
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  4. Eddie_T

    Eddie_T New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Location:
    Brevard, NC
    Thanks, especially for adding the a picture of flush mechanism so all can see. I guess that the bad press on new models is mostly because people w/o problems don't tend to post. That's why I trust your advice.

    I like the looks of the Kohler San Raphael in sand dune or thunder grey as they come closest to the Rochelle appearance. The Toto Ultimate in bone or Sedona beige (can't tell the difference online) are lower price than the Kohler. I don't care about gpf I just want a good flush w/o having to go back and re-seat the ball.
     
  5. Eddie_T

    Eddie_T New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Location:
    Brevard, NC
    After finding the right part number I found better options online. A direct replacement assembly for $254.77, a used one (damaged packaging) for $193.33 and a conversion kit for $80.59. The conversion kit is plastic and converts it to a 3.6 gpf which I don't want to risk with a low profile toilet. I am going to keep the Rochelle and try to find what's wrong with the valve knowing that a replacement assy is available if all else fails.
     
  6. Bimwad

    Bimwad New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    I have a Rochelle that's about 35 years old. Haven't had any problems with the rod, but most of the metal components are corroded, and the fill valve spews a little bit of water, which is audible as it drops into the tank. Most recently had to replace the hook for the ball valve chain because it snapped due to corrosion.

    At this point, I'd be more inclined to replace it, with a modern toilet will flush better and use less water. And can use more standardized parts if something goes wrong, instead of all this proprietary Kohler stuff.

    I did run across the conversion kit (K-84499), but it's not suitable for the earlier incarnation with all the components on one side.
     
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Toto is now using their own proprietary flush towers rather than flappers.
     
  8. Eddie_T

    Eddie_T New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Location:
    Brevard, NC
    I notice the OEM replacement flush balls have a recess on top that will hold water. I am thinking that is to add weight to aid in closing the diverter valve. I have been using generic balls that don't have this so have a couple of OEM balls on order. I am going to stick with my Rochelles as they actually have served me well over the years.
     
  9. Bimwad

    Bimwad New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Really? That's disappointing. But perhaps acceptable if it works better, or there is some genuine advancement.

    I have a Toto Ultimate, whose age I can't recall, but it has the typical Korky parts. My only beef with it is that the original plastic bolts holding the seat to the rim loosen over time, and allow the seat to go askew. I haven't tried the newer expanding rubber versions, so I don't know if they solve that problem.
     
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