Kohler San Raphael leaking at base

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Homeowner43

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Toilet: Kohler San Raphael
Manufactured date stamp: 11/7/02

I am really struggling with this toilet. Purchased a home that has these toilets installed throughout. No issues except one toilet in a guest bathroom. About a month after living in the home, I noticed water on the tile floor coming from the base of the toilet. Assumed it needed a new wax ring. The toilet has now been pulled, inspected, and reinstalled by myself (2x), my father (1x), and a plumber (1x). The flange is approximately 1/4" below the tile floor. We have tried various wax rings, replaced the hardware, still leaking.

Leak does not appear to be coming from between or around the wax rings. The leak appears to be coming from the back of the toilet itself, underneath, between the base of the toilet and the tile floor. We can verify this as the water is dripping onto the tile, not anywhere near the flange. Flange is dry. We can't imagine it's coming from the manufacturing hole at the back of the toilet because this is not an opening to water. Is it possible for there to be a crack somewhere inside the toilet itself? We have tried a dye test in the tank - no leaks. That means the leak must be coming from the bowl. We inspected it visually and cannot find any cracks and it is not leaking from the tank (this is a one piece toilet). No one can figure out why this toilet continues to have a slow leak onto the floor. The toilet leaks when not in use but is absolutely exacerbated by flushing. Any ideas? This is an expensive toilet and I hate to just dump it but I am truly running out of patience. I tried uploading pictures but the website kicks them back.
 

Peterson

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It could have a hairline crack, or a pinhole leak. Either way, I would replace the entire toilet.
 

Breplum

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I concur with Peterson, not worth an ounce more of effort.
A badly designed toilet, a pain to work on, with poor performance.
 

Jeff H Young

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Kind of unusual but if you pull toilet and look along the center line there is a hole that is patched with silicone I belive that sometimes leaks. of cource cracks to occur and can be hard to find Ive caught the problem on brand new toilets and didnt even attempt to caulk it , could have but not doing that on high dollar home especially upper floors
 

Homeowner43

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@Jeff H Young -- I did see that hole patched with silicone! I wondered if the prior homeowner had attempted that fix previously. However, that hole is more toward the front or center of the toilet and this leak is definitely coming from the back of the toilet. Went to two more pluming supply stores and both said they've never heard of a leak like this before but would also be done with it and buy a new toilet. Everyone (to include the plumber that overheard the conversation in one of the stores) said they absolutely hated this Kohler toilet for a variety of reasons. I contacted Kohler and their response was they only lifetime warranty toilets after 2020. Anything prior only carries a 1 year warranty.
 

Jeff H Young

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@Jeff H Young -- I did see that hole patched with silicone! I wondered if the prior homeowner had attempted that fix previously. However, that hole is more toward the front or center of the toilet and this leak is definitely coming from the back of the toilet. Went to two more pluming supply stores and both said they've never heard of a leak like this before but would also be done with it and buy a new toilet. Everyone (to include the plumber that overheard the conversation in one of the stores) said they absolutely hated this Kohler toilet for a variety of reasons. I contacted Kohler and their response was they only lifetime warranty toilets after 2020. Anything prior only carries a 1 year warranty.
Thanks for reply I agree about being "done witth it" but always something to be learned. And there are many things I do "not worth the time" just to figure stuff out. The silicone is or was standard I dont think its changed
Ive never thought to go after warranty on these type issues after a year or somewhat close like even a few years but 2 decades I wouldnt dream of. I was so Pissed with kohler on personal fixtures I had purchased in the 90s that had only a year on faucets etc. though sometime around 2000 they had lifetime faucets.
So everyone says thes toilets are junk except you ? you have no issue if not for the leak? I personaly have been away from those medium / high priced stuff for awhile . Used to be 90 percent kohler on jobs I was on now its like 10 percent or less and those are the cheap kohler like welworths I do repair on more modest homes and was involved heavily in Commercial industrial and pipefitting for last 20 years
 
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