Replacing Kohler Alterna all-brass mixing valve


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Old 02-11-08, 06:10 PM
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Replacing Kohler Alterna all-brass mixing valve

Hi Folks,

I have two pretty simple problems and am not sure on the best way to proceed. This is all with a mid-80's Kohler Alterna tub/shower (single handle) installation. The set has been in use since about 1986.

First the mixing valve would not fully turn off(bleeds cold water through, small trickle). I pulled the valve body apart, and inspected the two o-rings that are beneith the 'valves'. They appeared in-tact; upon tightening the handle, the hot and cold sides seemed to seal quite well. I re-lubed all the o-rings before re-assembly but it still leaks. What else is internal that could cause this?

I purchased a Moen budget set from the local store ($69), and was suprised to find the valve almost entirely plastic. There were no instructions included, so I'm not sure how to mount the bezel. My question is would it be worth the lack of hassle (with the new valve I'll have to change the length on the four pipes going to/from) to find a replacement? Are these valves still available anywhere? I can post a picture if neccessary.

What price range would i be looking at to find a solidly build valve/set like the original? Or does the old addage 'they aren't built like they used to be' apply?

The second is an extremely slow drain. I do not suspect a hair clog just based on its use. The drain plug (lever operated) seems to raise about a 1/2": should be enough to drain adequately. From beneith it does not look like I'm able to remove the pipe coming out of the drain (parallel to the tub bottom). The top piece on the 'T' goes to the over-fill I presume. Long story short, these are going straight into a ~2-2.5" PVC, with no compression fitting. From there it's a glued trap. Is there any way of safely running a snake down?

My grandfather poured plaster of paris around the tube before seating, so there's not a whole lot of work room. Luckily there is a service panel behind and drop ceiling partially below.

Thanks for reading.
'Slip
 
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Old 02-11-08, 06:40 PM
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You can buy a decent Moen or Kohler valve for under $100 easily. Being that old, it may be worth it to replace, as it would have pressure balancing etc.

It is possible the plunger in the drain is closed half way. Sometimes installing a new valve works wonders on a slow drain...cuts the water in half going down the drain. Gives the appearance of draining better.
 
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Old 02-12-08, 06:40 PM
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Well after doing a little homework I was able to fix the slow drain. I knew that there was a lever mechanism inside, but I had no idea you could get them both out without removing piping (from below).

There was a nice 3-4" hair 'plug' that cam out with the trip lever, and another clump around the rocket piece. Ran some hot foamy water through it, and it drains like a champ now.

Thanks! One down.
 
 

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