Kohler Rochelle irritating leak

Discussion in 'General Plumbing Help' started by jughead, Mar 11, 2018.

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  1. Mar 11, 2018 #1

    jughead

    jughead

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    Hello everyone, I'm a new member and hope that you can help me. I have an old Kohler Rochelle that is acting strangely. After the toilet is flushed, the tank fills up, the flush valve closes, and everything is fine and working as it should. However, I can hear a "gurgle drip" which I assume is emanating from the fill post (not sure what it is called, it's the plastic tube where the tank ball and shut off valve are positioned). However, that is not the problem. As noted, everything works fine and all is shut off for about 1.5 to 2 minutes, then there is a drip into the bowl. I push down on the tank ball, and there is no difference; I lift the float, and there is no difference; the leak continues. If I flush the toilet, it works fine, the float rises, everything works fine and shuts down, there are no drips into the bowl initially, then a minute or two later, the drip in the bowl materializes. What gives ? is there some sort of overflow tube or something similar that is having some effect on the system ? As I say, the toilet seems to work perfectly and there are no drips or leaks until a minute or two after everything has shut down properly.
    I changed the tank ball to a Kohler replacement but it makes no difference. I happen to have another identical model toilet that works flawlessly, so I switched floats, thinking that maybe there is a hairline leak in the float, but to no avail. Same symptoms.
    Please give me some pointers.
    Thanks.
    David
     
  2. Mar 11, 2018 #2

    havasu

    havasu

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    Run your finger under the flapper. many times, a small bit of gunk will stop the flapper from sealing perfectly, causing water to leak out into the bowl. Also,make sure you don;t have your valve adjusted too high, which would cause water to trickle down your overflow tube.

    A pic of the inside of your talk would help us tremendously.
     
  3. Mar 11, 2018 #3

    Geofd

    Geofd

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    does the toilet have a little black tube going frome the fill valve to the over flow
    tube how far does it stick into it hats the level of the water compared to the height of the overflow tube are thereany cracks in the overflow tube

    take thenumbers off of the ball cock and bring them and these picks to a plumbing supply house
    these one piece toilets have som specialty parts only plumbing supply hoses carry
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  4. Mar 12, 2018 #4

    jughead

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    I previously sanded the rim and inside of the metal seat where the tank ball sits, but it didn't help. I don't see any overflow tube which is characteristic of older standard type toilets, but maybe it is hidden.
    Attached are photos of the innards. I just noticed that on the toilet that does leak, that the water level is above the 3/4" rubber connection between the lever post (I don't know the nomenclature) and the ceramic tank but on the toilet that doesn't leak, that the water level is just below that same rubber connector. I'm thinking that possibly there is a crack in the black tube or it is brittle and water is escaping into the bowl. I will lower the water level to see if that makes any difference; meanwhile, if you could check out the photos you might be able to pinpoint what might be the cause of my problem ? What is that black connector referenced above ? is that part of the overflow assembly ?
    Thanks.

    DSCN5747.jpg

    DSCN5749.jpg

    DSCN5752.jpg
     
  5. Mar 12, 2018 #5

    Mr_David

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    Thanks for the pictures. I hate those toilets

    leak could be from the rubber seal.
    drop the water level below that and see if it still drips.

    after you drop the water level, turn off the water supply.

    add some food color or dye test tablet.

    wait - 5 minutes should be enough time.

    If bowl still clear and no leakage from tank good chance it's the tube that my arrow is pointing at.

    CAREFULLY add some water to tank with out turning on supply.

    If it starts leaking than that's probably your leak.

    I think they still make those fill valves, but they are not cheap.

    DSCN5752.jpg
     
  6. Mar 12, 2018 #6

    Geofd

    Geofd

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    check my edited post
     
  7. Mar 12, 2018 #7

    jughead

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    I bent the float arm; as long as the water level in the tank remains below the 3/4" black rubber hose, the toilet turns off as it should. However, after a few minutes, the water level creeps up to the black hose and the leak in the bowl starts again. It looks like regardless of the position of the float, the inlet valve continues to leak (I can hear the incoming water hisss), so the water continues to rise and eventually overflow into the bowl. I trust that I need a new valve assembly ? Unfortunately, I think the individual valve parts are obsolete and I may have to change the entire assembly. Does anyone know if the fix could be as simple as changing an "O" ring or gasket inside the valve assembly (I haven't taken it apart yet, so I don't know what is in there) ?
    Is the ball cock the entire cast brass unit ?
    Thanks.
    David
     
  8. Mar 12, 2018 #8

    Mr_David

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    You can probably get a rebuild kit for it
     
  9. Mar 12, 2018 #9

    jughead

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    Mr_David: Sorry, I didn't see your reply earlier. I will try the dye test. However, it seems likely that you are correct and that the leak is at the tube. However, I'm thinking that if the tube is replaced (I hope it is available but possibly not) but the water level keeps rising because the valve does not shut off, that I would then have a leak out the back of the tank out of the relief holes, right ? ie. I'm thinking that if the valve is worn out and won't close, and if the tank ball does it's job, then the excess water will overflow the tank, which will be more of a problem than just dealing with a toilet that is leaking into the bowl. Is my reasoning correct or is there some other overflow mechanism built into this type of toilet ?
    Thanks.
     
  10. Mar 12, 2018 #10

    jughead

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    I tried the dye. The rubber hose is leaking. There are no leaks from the tank ball. Since the tank ball doesn't leak, if I change the rubber hose and it curtails the leak, but the valve does not shut off, it would appear that the tank will then overflow. Accordingly, I guess the answer is to buy the valve assembly.

    Thanks to all for your suggestions and help. Please let me know if anyone out there has any other avenues for me to pursue in lieu of replacing the valve assembly.

    David
     
  11. Mar 12, 2018 #11

    TomFOhio

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    You could make things worse if you try and tare that old fill valve apart. Didn't see any repair kits where I looked at but did see many complete replacements.

    shopping4.jpg
     
  12. Mar 12, 2018 #12

    breplum

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    IMHO Given the age of the toilet and how poorly they always have flushed, I recommend replacing the toilet. Those valve assemblies are not worth working on anymore. Those Toilet flush poorly when they were new and now with mineral and lime scale in the trap way they perform even worse Incrementally every year.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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  13. Mar 13, 2018 #13

    jughead

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    I located what I think could be a refurbishing kit for the valve at Barnett. For anyone out there who may have the same problem, I say that it "could be" the kit because the descriptive information refers to all the correct Kohler numbers, but the customer service guy said that it would not fit. Go figure. When I asked him if the description was wrong, he stated "possibly"; so who am I to believe, him or the technicians that provided the kit description ? Geeez. So I ordered two kits anyway and customer service said that I could return them all, including return postage, if they don't fit. I'm not overly optimistic, but I've got nothing to lose since there are some replacement units out there, but they look rather involved, so I'll try this kit first.
    Yes, I could just replace the toilet, but I've had it for about 40 years, and have strangely grown attached to the style of the toilet. I know that sounds really weird, getting attached to a toilet, but I also remember that the toilets cost over $3000.00 each, 40 years ago, and well, you know that feeling (I'm in Hawaii, and nothing comes cheap here). In any case, I'll try to salvage it even though I know it's not the most economical, practical thing to do. Its kinda like owning a classic car that is inefficient, but makes you feel good (well, sort of, it's not really like a classic car, but you get the point).....
    I will follow up and let you know if the kit works. If not, I'll probably opt for a replacement flush valve unit despite the cost.
    Mahalo for everyone's insight and help.
     
  14. Mar 13, 2018 #14

    breplum

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    A Toto Entrada ADA right height elongated costs me $150 from distributor here in N California
     
  15. Mar 13, 2018 #15

    ThatPlumbingGal

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  16. Mar 14, 2018 #16

    jughead

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    YEAAAAA !!!!! I was down at a local plumbing specialty house and they had 2 Kohler KGP 30166 valve kits. I installed one, and now the toilet works perfectly. I just have to make sure that the water level is below the black 3/4" rubber hose. This is the same kit that was ordered from Barnett but has not yet arrived. Thanks to all of you who helped me through this nightmare.
    To the student with the question: I am a former insurance claims adjuster and just retired with over 40 years of experience as a property adjuster and have handled many million + dollar losses. About 85% of all homeowner and commercial property losses are water related from leaking pipes or broken water filters, or deteriorated cast iron pipes that crack; in Hawaii we have huge numbers of condominiums and high rises and all it takes is a leak on the 40th floor to flood 40 floors of condo units and as an independent adjuster, I made a good living at investigating and adjusting these types of cases. Accordingly, I can tell you from much experience, that I would go with copper pipe and rigid water lines to sinks and toilets every time. There is no question but that PEX and all the other types of quick connection units may save time and money in the short run, but prevention of leaks to begin with by using rigid lines will save everyone repair costs and headaches in the long run. No question. The plumber may think that flexible lines are the way to go, but tell that to the widow who has lost all her photographs of her kids and deceased husband when the photos and such are permanently lost; not to mention all the furnishings, floor coverings, cabinets, and the like. One of the worst things ever invented was the steel meshed washing machine hose; it is horrible because there is a rubber hose inside the stainless steel mesh but any homeowner thinks it is indestructible because of the outside appearance; but it's just rubber inside and they bulge and burst constantly. Locally, no one will guarantee this type of hose for more than one year. They give you a false sense of security. Always go with rigid lines.
    In any case, again, thanks to all of you who helped me. I learned a lot.
    Mahalo and Aloha.
    David
     

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