I am trying to unscrew my Kohler faucet but it just not giving in. Do
I need to use a strap wrench or something? I don't want to scratch the
chrome surface. I took 3 photos. It's the one in photo2.jpg.
I am going to get a strap wrench today and see if I can unscrew it. I
already got the replacement cartridge from Kohler. Do I just pop off
the old cartridge using a screwdriver or something? Let me know if you
have a suggestion. Thanks again...
Glad to help you. I had a bear of a time with mine.
The top escutcheon and faucet handle are removed as one assembly by
unscrewing them, as I stated earlier. It would help, if, as someone
else suggested, you could loosen the hex nut holding the faucet in,
from below the cabinet. It takes an oversized basin wrench since the
standard basin wrench (at least in my case) did not have a large enough
jaw to grab the oversized hex nut. I was able to remove mine without
loosening the nut, but you may still need a large basin wrench to
tighten it after you put it back together.
Once the escutcheon is screwed off, the valve stem and a surrounding
smaller hex nut are exposed. This smaller hex nut needs to be removed.
I first attempted to loosen it with a crescent wrench, and then a hex
socket and ratchet. In both cases, the valve body started to twist /
turn, putting the plumbing lines into a stresses condition. I was
absolutely unable to loosen the hex nut holding the cartridge in place
without removing the entire faucet valve from the countertop.
I took the vale I removed to my Kolher parts department expert, and
showed him the valve, asking him how to extract the cartridge. He told
me that he has had many people come in over the years with the same
issue, and that the factory installed cartridges are tightened in extra
tight. He put the valve body in a vise (holding it by the bosses built
into the body itself) and spun the hex nut off with a ratchet / socket
and long lever arm. He warned me to pack the valve stem with plumbers
grease to avoid the same freezing situation when the valve needs to be
replaced again a few years from now.
Yours may be looser and easier to remove. I hope so.
I swore I would never buy another Kohler faucet / fixture after this
experience. Very expensive, short life on the cartridge (6 years), a
pain to service.
The basin wrench I ultimately bought to tighten the large hex nut
underneath the counter was made by Rigid. It was the only way I could
successfully grasp and hold the hex nut to tighten it from beneath the
counter. The standard size wrench just is not big enough.
Loosen the nut from UNDER the sink. This will relieve the tension, and then
you should be able to do it by hand. If that does'nt work due to corrosion,
overtightening, or whatever, then you'll need PB Blaster and a nice RIDGID
To make things easier, why not shut off all water valves, disassemble
the drain system and simply remove the whole sink from the counter
top? This has been a pro trick for years, and eliminates the need to
struggle with a basin wrench. This procedure takes a only a matter of
minutes and the resulting work is much tidier than the typical DIY
struggle. Good luck.
I bought a strap wrench yesterday from HD for $30 and tried to unscrew
the faucet handle, but it is not moving at all. The chrome is really
slippery. I put a rubber sheet on the chrome to try to get more
traction, but it is still not moving. Any idea how I can unscrew it?
As was previously suggested, a basin wrench can be used to loosen the
hex nut which lies immediately beneath the threaded valve body as it
passes through the countertop. You will need to get underneath the
vanity / cabinet, and apply whatever torque is neccesary to loosen this
hex nut, thereby relieving the pressure / force currently preventing
the upper escutcheon from rotating.
As I also mentioned earlier, the Kohler faucet uses an oversized hex
nut, and the standard basin wrench claw (at least on the two basin
wrenches I own) is NOT large enough to grasp it. I therefore needed to
purchase a Rigid extra large basin wrench, which has a considerably
larger claw, and can grasp this hex nut. The same wrench is
indespensible when you eventually get to the point where you need to
tighten this same nut.
I suggest you might want to go back and read the prior replies where I
and others have made these suggestions since they offer a bit more
Also, the approach to removing the entire counter top including the
Kohler faucets was recommended as another approach. It sounds pretty
radical, and may not work in some cases, but it may be a great solution
for you also. It makes getting to the lower hex nuts far, far easier,
without buying another $50 tool (the Rigid extra large basin wrench) as
In my case, the countertop has two sinks, two drains, four faucets,
requires two men to lift, and has a molded backsplash which runs up the
wall to expensive wallpaper. Removing it would have cost a fortune, and
the $50 wrench and some grunting and muscle were all I ultimately
needed. In my case, the escutcheon came off without loosening the
bottom hex nut, but I did need it to tighten the nut when re-installing
the valve to prevent the entire vale from turning whenever the handles
were operated on the valves.
This is the specific basin wrench which works with the Kohler faucets.
Notice that the smallest size it handles is 1-1/4 inch and that it goes
up to 2 and 1/2" capacity. None of the others I found can go to this
large size, which the Kohler faucet requires (at least my Kohler
Revival widespread faucets need this extra large size).
Amazon sells it for $42. I paid $50 at a local plumbing supply store.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
Thanks everyone for your insightful input. I really appreciate it...
Just one question... if you take a look at the photos that I had
attached to the original question, there is a brass piece that is
resting on the countertop surface. This piece does not come off when I
unscrewed the chrome handle off the other faucet handles. So I don't
get how undoing the hex nut below the countertop will help relieve
pressure on the chrome piece that I am trying to unscrew.
I guess my Kohlor faucet design is a little different from yours in
the sense that yours does not have this extra brass piece that is
separate from the rest of the faucet handle. So in your case, it would
be good to unscrew the hex nut at the bottom of the countertop.
I once again went back and looked at the 3 photos you have originally
posted, and your faucet looks the same as mine exact for the handle
shape which is slightly different. I am pretty confident that we both
have the same valve and trim design. Please see the Kohler exploded
parts drawing I have taken from the Kohler web site and then labelled
further to make it easy to explain to you what is involved. I suggest
you print a copy of this jpeg for reference. See:
On the right of the drawing are all the stuff that sits above the
countertop, including the escutcheon Part "A" which is threaded into a
collar Part "B". This upper Escutcheon assembly is unscrewed leaving
Part B still remaining on the top of the countertop. In my case the
Part A escutcheon screwed off with a lot of force being applied,
breaking the silicone caulk seal at the base of Part A where it met the
collar, Part B. You may not be able to do so, and this is why the
undercounter removal approach was also offered.
On the left side of the drawing is the valve body Part D and the large
hex retaining nut, Part E. By loosening the hex nut, pressure being
applied upward on the valve body which is pulling the part B collar
down from the top of the countertop is relieved, making it much easier
to unscrew the escutcheon. It may be neccesary for you to loosen this
nut using the large sized basin wrench I recommended. In my case, I did
not need to do so, but it may be required in your case, depending upon
how tight the nut is fastened and how corroded / stuck / caulked the
escutcheon actually is. Even if you do not need the wrench to remove
the escutcheon, you WILL need it to tighten it after re-installing it.
The actual leaking cartridge you are trying to replace is labelled Part
C. It can only be accessed once the escutcheon is screwed off. To
remove it requires yet another trick, to loosen and remove the special
nut holding it in. As I mentioned earlier, I eventually had to take my
valve body to a Kohler dealer who used a vice and socket / ratchet to
get this other unlabelled nut (part number 46115 on the drawing) to
come out. He said it is very common for this part to get corroded /
frozen in place, particularly on factory installed valves which are
usually over-tightened (according to him).
I have described and illustrated the Kohler vanity faucets such as you
and I have (widespreads) in a very detailed manner. Kohler also
provides such information on their website.
Please let me know if I can help you further, and best of luck...
replying to Smarty, Halaji wrote:
I am replying to a seven-year-plus-old thread as I faced this problem myself,
and after an hour's work, and glad to add ten minutes to help others avoid my
pain. To remove the escutcheon (called the "skirt" on the Kohler support site) I
had to: shut off the water supply; remove the small pipe between the supply and
the faucet valve; remove my soap dispenser (as it was blocking the path of the
wrench); remove the drain pop-up rod (also blocking the path of the wrench);
remove the hose between the "T" and the valve; and remove the large washer and
nut securing the valve.Then, I had the valve and "skirt" and handle in a single
piece in my hand, but could not simply unscrew the skirt as instructed on the
Kohler site and in a video. I put the base of the valve (there are cut-outs on
the valve for a wrench so I didn't chew up the threads) in a vice and put on a
pair of gardening gloves with rubber palms and fingers. Then I went to the gym
for six months, drank 200 protein shakes, flew to Jacksonville for a
SEAL-training course, and finally twisted off the escutcheon/skirt. I have to
believe there was smarter way to design this. But my faucet works.
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