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janralix 08-12-2009 06:41 PM

Can't get set screw in TP holder loose
I have a Kohler K-490 model toilet paper holder (about 5 years old) that is loose. It is mounted to a tiled wall. To tighten it I need to get to the mounting bracket underneath all the exterior hardware, & to remove the last exterior piece I need to loosen a very small set screw. Kohler's service part # for the set screw is 88490 & it is listed as a 8-32 X .188 size. By phone, a Kohler person says this takes a 1/8" allen wrench/hex key, so I tried that. It seems to fit fairly well, but apparently that size is too small, because when I turn the key the screw doesn't turn. I also tried other sizes, including metric, with no success. Knowing that Kohler includes the proper tool when they pack the unit, I e-mailed Kohler asking for the proper key. Kohler's response was that this screw has changed since my paper holder was made & they no longer had the key.

Now I'm not sure what size the set screw is but I do know no size key I have tried will work. Now I'm wondering if I have stripped or damaged the hex or if the screw is just stuck. Whatever the situation, I'm looking for advice on how to remove this pesky thing.

FYI, the set screw is set below the surface of the hole so it can't be gripped externally with any tool. Also, if possible, I don't want to do anything to damage the exterior of the paper holder. However, if the last resort is to somehow break the exterior housing, I can replace that. If that turns out to be the solution, how do I best do that without damaging the tile?

If there's a Kohler expert out there that can shed some light on the screw I have & the proper tool I need, that would be great! If not, I'd welcome any advice on otherwise removing this screw.


Plumber101 08-12-2009 07:19 PM

You are going righty tighty, lefty loosey:eek:

Some that I have seen are metric. If you have a decent allen set you shouldn't have a problem. Some also use a slotted flat screw driver (very small)

buddy builder 08-12-2009 08:35 PM

a trick i use that works more times than not is to tighten it just a little first. this usually "breaks" the hold and will then loosen. also, if all else fails you might just get a metal bit about the size of the set screw and drill her out. let us know if you get it. thanks, buddy builder

buddy builder 08-12-2009 08:42 PM

also i take a pair of linemans (electrical) pliers and grip the short side of the allen wrench with them which gives you five times the turning force of the allen wrench. bb

JDC 08-12-2009 10:47 PM

you sure its allen and not torx? I see mainly allen or like Plumber101 said a very small slotted screw. Another possibility....a tamper resistant allen screw?

If it were giving me THAT much trouble though, I'd just drill the damn thing out

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