Leaky toilet is costing me a fortune (Kohler K-3400-PB)
I’ve completely rebuilt this and it is still leaking (upper rim in bowl) It’s 35+ years old and looked like it was only patched up as required. So I disassembled it, soaked it in vinegar, and cleaned it up; ‘looked good’ I thought. Parts I’ve thrown at it so far: Float valve kit Rotor replacement kit. Before I throw any more money at it I’m hoping someone might have a suggestion. Thanks Shawn
"Completely rebuilt", but the
"Completely rebuilt", but the only part is the float valve rotor replacement kit???
Sounds like you need to pull the tank and install a new ballcock seat and flapper.
35 years old? Buy a new toilet. It will flush better and use less water per flush, besides getting rid of the leaking problem.
leaky 35year old toilet
You said it
Out with the old - get a new Toto
I went on line and a complete repair kit for that toilet is in the $300 range, I think you have to decide if a toilet that old is worth it.
Unless it's an odd setup where only this toilet will fit, replace it. A new unit will use about 1/3 the water, fill three times as fast, and flush just as well if not better.
We bought a new American Standard Cadet 3 to replace one of our 34-year-old toilets (the tank split open) and I couldn't be more pleased with it, even though it only set us back about $250 (not counting the $1000 or so in damages from the old unit).
However, if you really want to try to make the thing work then I'd suggest attempting to replace the entire fill valve assembly with a new Fluidmaster 400. Also, Fluidmaster also makes several different replacement flush valves, if that's what's leaking. One type basically just glues over the old valve seat, so you don't need to remove the tank from the bowl. (I'm pretty sold on Fluidmaster products -- they are well-designed, easy to work with, and hold up well in residential settings.)
I think that particular model had a complex fil valve that used a small flow of water to aspirate air (and odors) from the bowl.
It also may have been a one-piece unit, if I remember.
Anyway, they are a PITA to work on, use a lot of water, and can't be fitted with any standard fill valve.
Unless it' a wierd color and part of a really desirable bath decor, I'd say junk it and replace with a new low-flow model of the kinds that have been recommended--Toto, Am. Std, Kohler, etc.
Make sure the water level in the tank is not higher than the top of the overflow tube, or higher than the end of the hose in the overflow tube. They can siphon water forever. Also make sure the overflow tube has no holes corroded in it. And the flapper valve must seat properly, make sure there is no tension on the lift mechanism keeping it from seating. Finally make sure the seat for the flapper is good. If not, there are replacement seats that can be placed over the old one.
Your 35+ yr old toilet is costing you a fortune. Replace w/ current model w 1/6 gpf or better yet ... install a dual flush model; you can get them fairly cheaply these days.
Quit fooling around with that old behemoth. Nice that you're trying to use the old, but really this is a case where you really should update. Modern low flush toilets flush really well. I just put in a Kohler in my 1960's house and it actually does better than the old toilet in the other bath and at way less than half the flush
Could point albeit not minor, really. I never realized that. I actually didn't install the toilet ... it was done for me and that is what they used. Personally, I don't have much respect for mfgs that use non standard stuff like that. It's generally irresponsible IMO. I understand that sometimes that is a good thing, but often it is not.
You can say that again. I had three Kohler low-consumption toilets with strange pressure units in them; replaced various internals too many times to count in the first ten years, costing me loads. I finally got one of them to work stably, but I replaced two with Totos and will do the same with the third when it goes. The Kohlers look nice, but too hard and expensive to fix, especially here in Japan.
Where did you get parts for your K-3400-PB toilet?
I also have a K-3400-PB toilet that we need to keep for various reasons and have been coaxing it along for years. I was told that no parts were available for its flushing mechanisms so I have been creating all kinds of "Rube-Goldberg" mechanisms to keep it going. But if there are parts available for this toilet I would be very appreciative of learning where to buy them!
I am hoping someone will let me know where I can obtain these parts.
I can give you a link but, I'm not 100% percent sure it has what you want, be ready to see some realy high parts$$$$
Alternative to the "High Parts $$$$"
Using the link you supplied I did find the mechanism listed that is in my K-3400-PB! The cost would be just shy of $300.
It also gave me a good look at the mechanism's design and an idea (and strong motive) for an alternative fix.
The problem I had was chiefly in the flapper valve area. I decided to try a low cost fix. I dug out a new Fluidmaster 555C I had left over from another effort and had never used. The 555C is a hinged flapper-valve/drain-seat assembly with a timing cup that controls flush duration. They call it a "Flush Valve Drain Seat Repair Kit." Cost for the 555C ranges between $5 and $10. It was very easy to install.
I found that the 555C will install quite nicely if you orient it with the hinge at about 7:30 o'clock (you are standing in front of the toilet at 6:00 o'clock). As before the flush lever is linked by chain to the Kohler's fill valve arm and the chain from the 555C' s flapper is linked to the same arm. This buffered (limited chain travel) arrangement turns out to be gentle on the 555C's plastic chain and on its seat seal (ideal for this flapper valve kit).
The 555C has a timing cup that controls the length of flush just about right if you leave all the timing holes open. While it worked as is, it worked better if I added a little weight where the chain attaches to 555C's flapper.
I had to swing the K-3400-PB's arm that used to guide the old (vertical) flapper shaft 90 degrees so that it was out of the way of the new 555C.
The system now works great!
Note: There are two versions of the K-3400-PB. (http://www.kohlerserviceparts.kohler.com/ServicePartsPage.aspx?DocumentID=c9cf26fd7160414bae4201f54a2c8d83&ModelID=169e5c22d2f44e4aa7daee8532c5870c) Mine had a guide arm that you could just pivot out of the way. The other version had a similar arm that appears to be part of the Kohler system's casting but is mounted much higher. So the 555C might have enough room to fit below it. If not, you would have to remove the fixed (now unused) guide arm if you wanted to use this 555C fix.
Thanks very much Shacko for steering me to the URL.
Yeah, I repaired our Eljer units using the Fluidmaster kit. (One kit, I think, was a 555C, and one was an earlier model.) The Eljer's had a molded-in ceramic seat for the flapper valve that was a bit warped to begin with and the ceramic was so abrasive that it wore out valve rubbers in a matter of a few months. The glue-on seat in the Fluidmaster kit was just what was needed. Like your case, had to tilt the Fluidmaster valve assembly one direction and the anchor for the old flapper the other to get things to fit, but they worked well after that (at least until the downstairs toilet split down the side of the tank).
So what is the moral of this story. Kohler has a good reputation (I guess) of being reasonable quality, right? But if the replacement/repair costs are astronomical, maybe it is a lot like the Lexmark printers ... cheap to buy but an arm and a leg to maintain them in print cartridge costs!! I'm going to be replacing a toilet and a Kohler would have been a reasonable choice, but now I'm leary.
We replaced our split Eljer with an American Standard Cadet 3, and have been quite pleased with it. It appears to use standard parts internally, and flushes great.