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Kohler Diverter K-8549 troubles - SOLVED

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JSL3

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I searched the forums here and couldn’t find anything similar to my problem.

I have a bathroom whirlpool tub set up that uses deck mount valves, deck mount spout, deck mount handheld shower and the following diverter: https://www.us.kohler.com/us/Two-way-diverter-valve-and-handshower-hose-guide/productDetail/valves/420254.htm

I believe that the diverter may be plumbed incorrectly but I’m not sure.

So here is my first question: when the K-8549 diverter is in the default (or down) position, should the water flow be to the main tub filler faucet, and when the K-8549 diverter is pulled to the up position, should the water flow then be diverted to the handheld shower?

In my case, when the K-8549 diverter is in the default (or down) position, the water flows to the handheld.

Assuming that in my case, the valve was plumbed incorrectly, here’s my second question: other than replumbing the K-8549 diverter (which would involve tile demo), is there any adjustment that can be made with the diverter cartridge (either re-orienting or changing it somehow) that would correct the problem. Here is the link for the K-8549 diverter installation instructions which shows the type of diverter cartridge (on p.11): https://www.us.kohler.com/webassets/kpna/catalog/pdf/en/113290_2.pdf

Third question: the water pressure had to be quite high (full volume) to keep the K-8549 diverter in the up position. Is that normal? In other words, the weight of the diverter handle (trim piece with set screw) is quite heavy and it takes an enormous amount of pressure to keep the K-8549 diverter in the up position.

Thanks, in advance, -Jim
 

johnjh2o

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Sounds like it is piped backward. My advice has always been to stay away from Kohler brass. They change their brass too often making it hard to find parts.
 

breplum

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No adjustment is available to change the current condition.
 
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JSL3

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There is access to the hose through a side panel in a closet wall that backs up to the tub, so we're good there. If I have to remove or re-pipe the whole valve assembly that would require tile work. I did get through to the Kohler tech support chat person today (Sunday which was impressive). She told me the default position for the K-8549 diverter is up and you need to push it down to change the flow from the tub spout (diverter up) to handheld (diverter down). If that is the case, then the piping is correct. My issue is that the diverter won't stay in the up position when the water flow is on. I've ordered a new cartridge for the K-8549 diverter to see if that will make a difference. Thanks for the replies, very helpful. The new part arrives in 2 days. I'll report back.
-Jim
 

JSL3

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SOLVED - posting in case someone comes across this forum thread in the future.
The new cartridge for the K-8549 diverter solved the problem. In the picture (attached), the cartridges are oriented with the bottom to the left and the top to the right. The old diverter cartridge (top cartridge in the picture) was faulty - the internal spring mechanism was broken. That is why the old diverter wouldn't stay in the up position which is the default position to send water flow to the main tub spout. After the install of the new cartridge, all is well. Now, pressing the diverter to the down position correctly sends the water flow to the handheld. The water pressure holds the diverter in the down position until the hot/cold valves are closed. Once the water stops flowing the new diverter pops back into the up position.
IMG_4031.jpg
 
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