3 Problems With Kohler Shower Valve (And How To Fix)

Problems With Kohler Shower Valve

Kohler was founded in 1873, and since then, it has grown into one of the world’s best manufacturers of plumbing products. The company has invested many years of research and innovation into developing quality shower valves. 

In the United States, this brand is reputable for its focus on quality and professional support services. However, everything isn’t perfect with Kohler shower valves. Several customers have raised serious complaints about the quality of Kohler shower valves, including but not limited to leaks and whining sounds. 

Here, we focus on some common problems with Kohler shower valves and ways to fix them. 

1. Valve Leaking and Fixing It

Many customers have complained about the Kohler shower valve leaking. When leaks happen, they result in water wastage and poor water flow from the shower. Ensuring there are no such leaks in the bathroom becomes very difficult for most people. 

However, it might take just about 30 minutes to fix this problem. But first, ensure that you have authentic Kohler replacement parts. 

Leaks mainly result from cartridges, and valves in the faucet’s body. We recommend replacing the cartridge with a new one to correct the leak. We do not doubt that the shower will work effectively after this. 

Before you start making replacements, ensure you have the right tools. We recommend having a screwdriver, replacement Kohler faucet cartridge, and Allen wrench. Below are procedures to follow:

Turn Off The Main Water Valve

Before you do anything, ensure that your main water source is shut down. This guarantees a neat working environment free of leaks. The main water source is always located closer to the heater. 

Unscrew The Handle

Find the screw that secures the handle onto the cartridge stem. Note that Kohler models have this screw under the handle’s lever. We recommend using an Allen wrench to loosen the screw. 

Removing The Adapter

Most Kohler shower valves are designed with an adapter. In such a case, employ a screwdriver to loosen the screws and slide the adapter off your shower. 

Removing Your Trim Plate

Unscrew the trim plate’s screws and lift it off your shower wall. This is also the time to loosen and remove several screws in your cartridge collar. The cartridge collar houses the cartridge. 

Replace The Collar

It’s time to replace the collar with one coming from Kohler. Here, you need to tighten your collar screws. 

Remove the trim plate and make a replacement with one from Kohler. Tighten the trim plate’s screws without delay. This is also the time to replace the adapter and handle. Ensure you tighten the handle’s set screw. 

Fixing a leaking valve is something you can easily do by yourself. However, if you lack the skills to do it, we recommend hiring a professional to help you. 

Whether you do it yourself or involve a professional, ensure you have everything required, including parts and the Kohler shower valve. Also, buy everything from a licensed Kohler store. 

2. Water Doesn’t Get Very Hot

Some Kohler shower valve users have reported cases of water not getting very hot. As they blend more hot water, it remains pretty warm. Even though the water is warm enough to shower at this point, you’d have turned the handle to last degrees.

Others have complained of their shower running cold or hot water permanently. If you notice this problem, there is a high chance that debris is blocking the shower inlet filters. 

There are also cases of a faulty non-return filter blocking off water from one end of the shower. For instance, clogged non-return hot water filters prevent forward water flow to the shower. 

The problem could also result from a faulty pressure-balancing valve. The role of this valve is to adjust cold and hot water pressure from the showerhead. 

Failing to use the shower for some time causes mineral buildup and corrosion, thus causing the valve to be rigid and eventually experiencing improper water flow. 

Below are steps to fixing this problem:

  1. Turn off the shower water supply and unscrew the faucet handle with an Allen key or screwdriver.
  2. Understand the inside appearance of your faucet as it’ll be critical during the reinstallation process. We even recommend taking a video or picture while uninstalling it. After extracting the faucet’s internal parts, put them in a vinegar jar. 
  3. Employ needle-nose pliers to get rid of the retainer clip. This helps to release the cartridge. It’s now time to inspect your cartridge for any signs of blockage or damage. Ensure you replace any warn cartridge. You should only replace the cartridge with a similar model. 
  4. Refer to the pictures or video you took earlier to reinstall the remaining parts, including the valve stem. 

Although this process is easy and you can do everything yourself, we recommend hiring a professional plumber to help you out.

3. Roaring, Whining, or Whistling Sound

Some customers and reviewers have also reported their plumbing system producing roaring, whining, or whistling sound. This could be a result of the plumbing system experiencing restriction or pressure. 

It also emanates from a blockage in the shower valves, too high water pressure, and minerals building up in your shower head. However, in most cases, the problem has everything to do with the showerhead, thus being easy to fix. 

Below are steps to follow:

  1. Remove your showerhead and try running water again. If you hear no noise, you’re certain the showerhead is the problem. 
  2. The first step in such a case would be soaking the showerhead in white vinegar
  3. If soaking the showerhead in white vinegar fails to produce the expected results, it’s time to consider making a replacement
  4. We recommend replacing the showerhead with one that is water efficient. At the same time, it should offer water at high pressure. However, as per the federal regulations, the showerheads shouldn’t deliver more than 2.5 GPM. 

Ensure that you replace a Kohler showerhead with a new Kohler showerhead. And if you don’t know how to do it, we highly recommend calling a professional plumber to save the situation. Even though a plumber comes at an added cost, they offer guaranteed results.  

Final Remarks

There is no argument that a shower valve is critical in the efficient operation of a showerhead. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to keep it in the best working condition. 

As we have seen, there are times when your valve fails to function efficiently. You might experience leaks in the valve, water not getting very hot, and whining sounds from the showerhead. When you experience any of the above challenges, follow the highlighted steps to correct the issue. 

For the case of a whining showerhead, make a replacement immediately. However, ensure that you buy an original Kohler product. We recommend involving a professional plumber throughout the process. 


kohler official site