How to Clean Out a Kohler Shower Valve

Cleaning your shower valve is a routine task.
Cleaning your shower valve is a routine task. (Image: shower handle image by Leticia Wilson from

Due to the nature of hard water in both rural and municipal areas, damage to plumbing fixtures is unavoidable. A simple home-maintenance task, periodical cleaning of kitchen, bath and shower faucets, is a necessity. Following the manufacturer’s care and maintenance instructions, it should not take more than a couple of hours to clean-out a Kohler shower valve.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Flat-tip screwdriver
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Scouring pad
  • Cloth

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Remove the handle and faucet trim with a Phillips screwdriver.

Turn off the hot- and cold-water stops on both sides of the valve with a flat-tip screwdriver.

Unscrew the two collar bolts with a No. 3 Phillips screwdriver and then detach the metal collar.

Pull off the valve assembly by hand and remove the valve’s large O-ring seal.

Grasp the pressure-balancing unit inside the shower faucet’s body and remove it by hand. Make sure the two back O-ring seals come out with the valve unit. If not, remove them from the back of the faucet with needle-nose pliers.

Scrape out any mineral deposits with a scouring pad soaked in vinegar. Remove any remaining debris with a clean rag.

Reinsert the Kohler pressure-balancing unit by hand, making sure the two small rear O-rings stay in position. Position the two front balancing unit O-rings and the large valve seal O-ring in place.

Hold the main valve unit in place and slide the metal retaining collar over the valve. Start the two collar bolts by hand and tighten with the large Phillips screwdriver.

Turn the water stops back on and set the handle in place. Turn the faucet on and test the water temperature; adjust if necessary.

Replace the faucet’s trim and handle. Test for proper operation and for leaks.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a small amount of silicon grease on all gaskets and O-rings to help hold them in place during reassembly.
  • Open the faucet valve before removing it to make sure the water stops are completely shut off.


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