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Old 05-04-2017, 07:25 PM   #1
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Kohler shower handle that destroyed my kitchen ceiling


A few days ago my kitchen ceiling buckled after a joist cavity let loose a few gallons of water. I won't bore you with the details of how long it took to figure out the problem, but ultimately it ended up being this:

Kohler shower handle that destroyed my kitchen ceiling-showerhandle.jpg

About 20 months ago I had a new shower put in. I discovered that if the cylinder between the handle and the escutcheon (collar?) is slightly loosened, maybe a 1/8 turn counter-clockwise, a river of water goes down the back of the backerboard, and finds its way to my kitchen ceiling.

I assume a slightly loosened trim piece like the collar shouldn't result in water shooting down my interior walls, is that a valid assumption? Should I bring the original plumber back in and have a conversation with him? Is this something I should bring up to Kohler, or is it an install issue?

From what I've briefly read online it looks like maybe the plumber didn't have enough of the neck to bite onto. Is this something that can get fixed with minimal heartache? I do have access from the rear of the unit if necessary.

Thanks for any insight!
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Old 05-05-2017, 05:35 AM   #2
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Re: Kohler shower handle that destroyed my kitchen ceiling


Sounds like a bad install. Call your plumber and use his insurance to cover the damage.
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Old 05-05-2017, 06:14 AM   #3
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Re: Kohler shower handle that destroyed my kitchen ceiling


Looks like the trims extend too far from the wall, meaning the valve(s) is too close to the wall. With rear access, the valve(s) could possibly be pulled back in a bit. This will put more of the trim in the escusheon. There is a dimension the mfg recommends for this placement that came with the valve install instructions.

Secondly, premium high end hardware generally has built in O-rings and seals to prevent water leaking behind the walls. Personally, I also, always seal the edges with a small bead of clear silicone. A small bead around the outside of the escutcheon, and a small bead between the trim and hole of the escutcheon. The inner bead would have also likely prevented the trim from backing out.

If you do this your self, when caulking, only go around the top 3/4 of the circle. Or from about 8 o'clock to 4 o'clock on the dial. Leaving a small unsealed area at the bottom allows any water that may get in a route to drain back out.

Good luck and I would most definitely be calling the plumber back.

Last edited by Yodaman; 05-05-2017 at 06:17 AM.
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Old 05-05-2017, 05:40 PM   #4
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Re: Kohler shower handle that destroyed my kitchen ceiling


After 20 months Kohler probably won't do a thing except tell you it was installed wrong... I would call the original plumber and discuss it with him...again 20 months ...but if he realized he missed the install an has integrity about his business he may work with you to correct the problem.... It's worth a try...good luck. Ben
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Old 10-12-2017, 07:06 PM   #5
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Re: Kohler shower handle that destroyed my kitchen ceiling


Just an update for anyone that remembers this situation - Kohler finally stepped up and covered all the damage.

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Old 10-12-2017, 07:18 PM   #6
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Re: Kohler shower handle that destroyed my kitchen ceiling


Quote:
Originally Posted by MoreCowbell70 View Post
Just an update for anyone that remembers this situation - Kohler finally stepped up and covered all the damage.

Good for you.
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