Kohler Shower Valve Troubleshooting Guide (5 Issues Fixed!)

Kohler shower valves promise versatility and help you regulate the temperature, volume, and pressure of water to enhance your bathing experience. However, the shower valve can malfunction with time, and being conversant with Kohler shower valve troubleshooting would be beneficial.

The common Kohler shower valve issues include shower valve leaking, a fractured or corroded rubber ring, the shower valve not closing, and the shower knob not turning. These issues stem from different causes and also have different fixes.

For the most part, you can troubleshoot and fix these issues yourself. This post provides a comprehensive guide for doing so.

Kohler shower valve replacement parts

Kohler Shower Valve Problems (Causes & Fixes)

This table summarizes Kohler shower valve problems alongside their corresponding fixes.

 ProblemPossible CauseRecommended Fix
1.Shower valve leakingFaulty cartridge inside the faucet
Mineral buildup
Faulty shower valve
Replace the cartridge with a Kohler cartridge
Remove the minerals
Replace worn parts
Replace the whole valve
2.A fractured or corroded rubber ringFaulty rubber ringReplace the rubber ring
3.The shower valve won’t closeMisalignment of the valveAlign the valve
4.The shower knob doesn’t turnMisaligned shower valveAlign the Kohler shower valve
5.Leaking ShowerheadBroken sealRepair the seal or replace the valve

1. Kohler Shower Valve Leaking

Even though Kohler is a leading brand in matters bathrooms, its shower valve is not immune from leaking. Sometimes, enduring a leaking shower valve is taxing since it inflates water and power bills because of water loss and energy.

The good news is it is easy to diagnose the cause of leaking, starting with the mixing cartridge. This accessory enhances your bathroom experience by mixing hot and cold water, but you can miss that if it becomes faulty.

Also, improper cartridge installation will make your Kohler shower valve spew water on your bathroom floor, and I bet you don’t want to walk onto a damp restroom floor to shower.

Furthermore, the mixing cartridge can succumb to fatigue after a prolonged period of service (20-30 years), which would give rise to cracks. Failure to seal the cartridge properly will also have similar results.

Nonetheless, the mixing cartridge isn’t the only culprit behind a leaking Kohler shower valve. Accumulation of mineral deposits in the device is also something worth looking into.

On top of that, friction can exert inconsiderable heat on the washers, wearing them down with time. If you are still hard-pressed to pinpoint the problem, chances are you bought a faulty Kohler shower valve.

You can hardly get a new, faulty shower valve from the brand, but you cannot rule it out entirely. That’s why you should check for fractures and other defects at the store before taking it home.

A leaking Kohler shower valve is costly because it skyrockets your water and electricity bills. Also, it spills water on the bathroom floor, which poses a significant risk to the structural integrity of your bathroom floor.

Replacing a leaking shower valve can be a breeze if you have the tools to supplement your expertise.



  • Assemble the tools needed, i.e., the replacement Kohler mixing cartridge, screwdriver, Allen wrench, pliers, utility knife, cloth, and plumber’s wrench.
  • Stop the water supply. It will help you stay dry and keep other things around your working space moisture-free. You should also note that the location of the shutoff valve varies from house to house, but you can find it near the basement or at the water meter. In some cases, the Kohler shower may have its shutoff valve, meaning you can close it without interfering with other plumbing fixtures in the house.
  • Next, ensure you turn off the shower by turning the shower handle counterclockwise.

Remove The Old Cartridge

  • Locate the screw that secures the shower handle to the cartridge assembly and the cover plate. In most cases, you will find it below the handle.
  • Take out the screw using an Allen wrench. Do this by pulling the equipment back on the handle.
  • After that, detach the shower handle by pulling it back. You may also come across units without screws, which may need you to disconnect the handle and the plate by turning the casing (between the handle and the plate) anticlockwise.
  • Take out the cover plate using a screwdriver. The plate (the cartridge collar) features Phillips screws you can undo with a screwdriver.
  • If you caulked the plate to the wall, you need a utility knife to get it off the wall to access the mixing cartridge.
  • With the cover plate and the shower handle out of the way, undo the screws holding the handle bracket in position.
  • Next, use pliers (or your hands) to uninstall the mixing cartridge. If you are having trouble removing the cartridge, check the model number and contact Kohler to send you a piece of equipment compatible with your fitting. However, this is a rare occurrence.
  • Loosen the collar screws, then remove the trim plate.

Install the Replacement Cartridge

  • Get the replacement cartridge collar (from Kohler) and replace the faulty one.
  • Tighten the screws using a screwdriver to keep the trim plate in place.
  • Restore the shower handle and tighten its set screw.
  • Restore the water supply, then run your shower to see if it’s fixed. If the Kohler shower valve leaks after this, contact a certified professional.

2. Kohler Shower Valve Won’t Shut Off

The Kohler shower valve not shutting off is another problem you should troubleshoot if it crops up. The faulty shower valve causes your shower to drip water continuously, which could be costly.

In case your Kohler shower valve fails to shut off, sort it out as soon as possible to avoid costly repairs.


  • Check the shower hardware you have so you can buy compatible replacement parts. You can check the original manual to be sure.
  • After getting a replacement shower valve, turn off the water supply using the shutoff valve to your shower. Alternatively, disable the main valve.
  • Place a cushioning towel in the shower pan to shield the floor finish from possible falling parts.
  • Slip a flathead screwdriver between your shower wall and mounting caps to access the screws holding the hardware in place.
  • Use a shower-stem socket wrench or an adjustable wrench to uninstall the stem nut.
  • Lift the whole shower assembly out of the wall carefully.
  • Check for faulty O-rings and other fractured components that need replacement. Also, examine the cartridge and determine whether you should replace the entire shower system.
  • Take the shower assembly to a local plumbing store for further troubleshooting. It would help get the correct replacement parts.
Kohler shower valve no hot water

3. Fractured/Corroded Rubber Ring

Another reason your Kohler shower valve may fail is a fractured or corroded rubber ring. When the rings become faulty, they induce low water pressure and low flow because they’ll stop the valve from opening completely.


  • Replace the faulty rubber rings

4. Kohler Shower Knob Doesn’t Turn

Sometimes, the Kohler shower handle may give you trouble turning it on. It arises because the shower valve is misaligned or damaged.

Additionally, a corroded Kohler shower valve will make your shower hard to turn on. Experts recommend immediate repair to avoid more problems.


  • Align the Kohler shower valve.
  • If the valve is corroded or damaged, consider replacing it.

5. Leaking Showerhead

Apart from the problems discussed above, leaking shower heads are also concerns associated with a defective Kohler shower valve. When the Kohler shower valve loses its seal, water will keep dripping from the shower head.


  • Repair the shower valve seal.
  • Consider replacing the Kohler shower valve.

Why Would A Kohler Shower Valve Stop Working?

When the Kohler shower valve malfunctions, you will experience low water flow accompanied by low pressure. You can trace the source of the problem to a corroded or cracked rubber ring, which is the principal cause of defective shower valves.

Once the rubber ring wears, it will stop the Kohler shower valve from opening as it should, and that’s why you have low water pressure.

How Do I Adjust The Water Temperature On A Single Handle Shower Valve Kohler?

To adjust the water temperature on the Kohler single-handle shower valve, follow the procedure below:

  • Start by removing the valve stem’s O-ring and collar.
  • Turn the valve stem steadily until you get the desired temperature.
  • With the set screw pressed against the tab’s side, replace the collar on the valve stem.
  • Replacing the O-ring.

How Do I Know What Model Kohler Shower Valve I Have?

Disconnect the handle, the trim, and the ornamental plate. It exposes the model number of the shower valve.

You will see the letter “K” (followed by numbers and letters) stamped behind the cover plate and on the shower valve. The numbers and letters signify the shower valve line and style.

Are Kohler Valves Universal?

Kohler brand has a Rite-Temp universal valve system that gives you unmatched adaptability as well as an enhanced shower experience. You’ll also love the simplicity of the Rite-Temp system, which is also compatible with multiple valve connections.

Kohler shower valve pressure adjustment

What Is The Warranty Period For Kohler Shower Valves?

Kohler warranties vary depending on the product at hand and its usage. But in most cases, the warranty is between 3-5 years.

How Do You Know If The Kohler Shower Valve Needs To Be Replaced?

Imagine jumping into your shower after a long day only to realize your fixture has underlying issues. If your shower exhibits these signs, consider replacing the shower valve.

  • Difficulties in turning the shower handle
  • Sudden temperature changes
  • Shower valve leaks
  • Low water pressure

Final Thoughts On Kohler Shower Valve Troubleshooting

Kohler shower valve leaking, wear and tear, fractured rubber ring, and the valve failing to turn off are areas for troubleshooting. This post has looked into them and given easy-to-follow procedures for handling them.

If unsure, hire a plumber.

Also, read: Shower Knob Turns But No Water