problems with kohler Rite-Temp shower valve

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Annec, Apr 22, 2005.

  1. Annec

    Annec New Member

    Apr 22, 2005
    Our shower developed a steady drip from the faucet. I opened up the shower control, removed the K-304-KS Rite-Temp™ Pressure-balancing Valve with Screwdriver Stops. Bought a new one (a mere $96!) and replaced it - as far as I can tell, according to instructions. Now, when I turn the water back on, it's not possible to stop the flow of water completely - there's a high pitched whine from the hot water side, and now there's dripping from the pressure balancng unit itself. The folks at the plumbing supply place were no help whatsoever... any suggestions out there?

    Instructions for the Kohler Rite-Temp valve here
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2011
  2. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

    Feb 6, 2005
    Sensitivity trainer.. plumber of mens souls
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    kohler nightmares

    Kohler is a very poor quality faucet and is usually very hard to get parts forin a timely manner. The more age on the faucet , the harder it is to find the style and parts... their repair parts book is as large as the phone book

    You are lucky that they acutally have the parts in stock in the first place..

    take the part ouit and try to get another one from that store, it couild be defective .....

    if that dont work, call a plumber and ask their opinion,

    most likely they will tell you a that your best bet for only $150 is to change the whole thing out and install a DELTA 1700 pressure balanced faucet....

    if you are up to the task, and it is feasalbe,
    take the 96 buck part back and excahane it for the Delta 1700

    good luck
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  4. Annec

    Annec New Member

    Apr 22, 2005
    Further Kohler headaches

    Called Kohler and they sent an other replacement part - after many apologies and saying that the part is free due to "guarantee" -- well it arrived after 10 days... I put it in and although water doesn't leak from the valve itself, it's still not possible to completely shut the hot water off, once it's on. I think I'll give Kohler one more chance with a replacement part - these parts must be absolute junk!! I think they're emphasizing faucet styles and appearance more than quality :mad:
  5. quantum

    quantum New Member

    Oct 26, 2004
    New Jersey
    I've done 2 of those in my 2 bathrooms (1 stall, 1 tub) in the last 6 months and they both worked fine out of the box. Can I assume you removed the stop gaskets during the sweating of the connections?
  6. petercraiglist

    petercraiglist New Member

    Dec 5, 2006
    Same problem -- figured it out (I think)


    I had exactly the same problem with my kohler valve and pressure regulator. It was dripping dripping dripping. Went to the plumbing store (crest supply in san carlos ca) and got a new pair ($75 for both--the pressure regulator and the "black cap").

    When I put the new valve and regulatory in, everything seemed fine. Turned on the water, adjusted the rite-temp to make sure I don't get scalded. Thought I was done.

    Then about 20 minutes later when I flushed a toilet in the house, the shower suddenly went on and it had a high pitched whining sound. And I couldn't shut off the water anymore on the shower!!!

    I read the instructions again and I think I figured out the problem: I put the (white) spacers between the body and the "black cap" (as the instructions seem to imply). After I removed the white spacers and re-installed, then it is working perfectly! I think the reason is that the whole contraption works by making sure the black cap is squeezed enough in against the pressure regulator. If not, then water can "squeeze" through some of the o-rings (especially in the black cap). It's actually pretty weird design!!! It's all based on friction, it looks like.

    Hope that helps.
    ps: Don't forget to put the steel plate on the "black cap" so the screws don't go directly against the plastic. I wish the instructions were in color (instead of black and white) so I could tell this! If you look carefully at the drawing, the steel plate is drawn in there but not mentioned!

    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2011
  7. New Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    My rite-temp started leaking after 5 years. I see that the valve cap can be replaced, but it's not clear that this will fix it. Has anyone had any luck "rebuilding" one of these, i.e. replacing the o-rings, etc?

    Also, someone mentioned replacing the whole thing with a Delta 1700? Is this assuming I have access to sweat in a new unit or does this fit into the Kohler body? My shower is on an outside will, so my only access is through the tile.

  8. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Dec 15, 2007
    Service Plumber
    Call kohler there is a complete kit they sell. It comes with the pressure balancing unit, a new cap that converts from the plungers to a disc with slots and rubber seats similar to Delta's design.

    I believe the #76851 is the complete kit with every thing. I'd check with kohler.

    Gawd I love Kohler....:eek:
    It's like going to a bar and finding a "10" to come home with you...
    Only to discover she should be in the state hospital for the criminally insane!
    Sure looked good through!
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2008
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Usually a leak in a Kohler pressure balanced valve is caused by the pressure balancer separating along its seam. You will usually find a white residue where it happens, and replacing the spool fixes the leak. Therefore you MAY have done more repair work than necessary, and the new valve could also have a cracked spool.
  10. krow

    krow Plumber

    Feb 11, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    I went looking for the repair kit for this unit. Kohler tells me that the parts are available at most plumbing supply outfits and are free of charge.

    The rite temp valves are cheap quality and very inexpensive.(I found them online for $68 - $98. My client decided to replace this unit with something better.
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