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Old 02-20-2010, 07:00 PM   #1
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Tub shower not operating properly

I'm having trouble with my shower/tub combo.

The faucet is a Kohler, 8 years old. The problem is that the shower is no longer operating properly since the valve at the bottom is not closing properly and allowing the water to come out of the shower head instead of the bottom spigot. Attached is a picture of the setup.

I took the bottom part off, and I'm amazed at how simple the system is. Pulling up on the lever causes a plastic slide and o-ring to move into the path of the water, and pressure from the water hits the o-ring and pushes it back up against area around the water outlet, causing a seal and presumably creating enough pressure for the water to take the path of least resistance instead (up to the shower).

The plate that the o-ring presses against was full of buildup, and I tried my best to clean it off but it's not smooth anymore. reinstalling it after cleaning didn't seem to make much of a difference.

I'm wondering if the non-smooth plate is the problem, and that my only option is to buy a new spigot. What else could it be? Is it possible that this problem would occur if my house water pressure were too high? Also, does anybody know if Kohler's lifetime warranty applies to this part? They gave me a new mixing valve for my master bathroom for free when it was dripping.
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Old 02-21-2010, 06:40 AM   #2
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You can remove (counter-clockwise) the diverter spigot and soak it in vinegar to remove the calcium buildup so that it will operate smoother, but the only way to correct the leaking is to simply replace the spigot.
(Coincidentally, I just replaced both of mine at my house.)
There are three types of these spigots...one that has a short pipe from the wall with a male threaded end on it to screw the spigot onto, one that has a longer pipe that goes to the end of the inside of the spigot (called a nose spigot), and one that slides onto a straight copper pipe with an o-ring and a set-screw underneath.
Check and see which yours is and just get another similar to it. They come in all kinds of styles and several finishes.
If it's the threaded-on kind, wrap a couple of flat wraps of teflon tape clockwise only around the male threads. Screw the new one on by hand, which may do it, or you may need to use a protective washcloth over the spigot and a pipe wrench to snug it up.
Good Luck!


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Old 02-21-2010, 08:12 AM   #3
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You're right in that those are a very simple design---probably a NASA Engineer's design. One thing for sure: Once they start having a drip or leak, the traveling water will actually cause minute (is that spelled like minute/time?) crevices, preventing a good seal. It's time---Change it out, they are not expensive. Read Mike's post as to getting the correct unit. David
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:51 AM   #4
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One person on this forum suggested unscrewing the spigot and cleaning off the teflon tape and putting on a little more teflon tape if the spigot snugs up with more than a half turn to go to get it pointing down. Trial and error. Snugging up must occur in the pipe screw threads without the back of the spigot grinding hard against the wall.

Cut a notch about 3/8 inch by 3/8 inch in the bottom of the spigot where it would meet the wall, if such a notch is not already there. This way, should a leak develop inside the spigot, which sometimes happens as the front end becomes corroded and the minute crevices become big, the water will run down and out instead of back into the wall.
The good conscientious technician or serviceperson will carry extra oils and lubricants in case the new pump did not come with oil or the oil was accidentally spilled, so the service call can be completed without an extra visit.

Last edited by AllanJ; 02-21-2010 at 09:58 AM.
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