Kohler Toilet Troubleshooting Guide (8 Problems Fixed!)

It’s easy to overlook your toilet when it’s functioning exceptionally and is clean, but since toilets fail, it’s best to prepare for that rainy day. Kohler toilet troubleshooting guide helps you deal with various problems, ensuring your Kohler toilet keeps serving you and your family.

The problems you will likely have to troubleshoot in a Kohler toilet include leaky valves, continuous running, water pressure, and insufficient water in the bowl. Moreover, watch out for handle malfunction, clogs, and the toilet not shutting off.

You can easily repair some of the Kohler toilet problems, but others will require you to replace the malfunctioning parts. However, check your toilet’s model number before troubleshooting and fixing the issue.

Kohler troubleshooting flush valve

Kohler Toilet Troubleshooting (Problems & Fixes)

 ProblemRecommended Fix
 1. Water running sporadicallyReplace or clean the seal or adjust the toilet chain and water level
 2. Insufficient water in the bowlMake sure the rim feed hose in your toilet tank is joined to the flush valve
 3. The toilet not shutting offClean or replace the fill valve, adjust the tank’s water level, or adjust the trip lever chain
 4. The toilet not flushing completely (poor flush)Adjust the trip lever chain, adjust the water level, remove obstructions in the waste line, jet, or trapway, ensure the hose is connected to the canister’s top, and check the rod length.
 5. Frequent cloggingUnclog your toilet with a small snake or a toilet auger
 6. The tank fill cycle is noisyClean the fill valve, ensure the rim feed hose connects to the fill valve and the overflow, or get a replacement fill valve
 7. No flushEnsure the trip lever chain is connected to the handle and adjust its length for proper slack
 8. The tank takes long to refillOpen the shut-off valve completely, ensure the canister or flapper sit well after a flush, and clean the seat washer/fill valve seat or fill valve inlet. Your water should also be debris free.

1. Kohler Toilet Won’t Flush

Nobody wants a toilet that won’t flush, but you must deal with the issue should it occur. However, you must uncover the cause of the issue first, an endeavor that’s a lot easier if you know what to look for.

Your Kohler toilet isn’t flushing because the trip lever has too much slack or is disconnected from the handle, is clogged, or the water level is too low.


  • Ensure the handle and trip lever chain are connected.
  • Remove a couple of chain links to achieve the right slackness.
  • Make sure the trip lever arm is parallel to the tank’s top.
  • Position the trip arm bracket to be vertical with the bottom of the tank and ensure it fits flat against the tank wall’s interior.

2. The Tank Takes Long To Refill

If your Kohler toilet tanks long to refill, check the position of the canister or flapper after a flush and inspect the seat washer or fill valve inlet for debris and dirt. Also, examine if the shut-off valve is fully open.


  • Entirely turn on the shut-off valve to increase the water pressure.
  • Ensure the canister or flapper seat is properly seated after every flush.
  • Clean the seat washer/fill valve seat or fill valve inlet to remove debris.
  • Make sure your water supply is debris-free.

3. Noisy Tank When Refilling

To troubleshoot a noisy tank when the toilet is refilling, you will need to check for debris in the fill valve and inspect the fill valve and rim feed hose.


  • Partially turn off the shut-off valve.
  • Clean the fill valve if it has debris.
  • Ensure the rim feed hose joins the fill valve and the overflow.
  • Invest in a new fill valve.

4. Frequent Clogging

Clogging is an issue you will often encounter if you use too much toilet paper in a one-piece Kohler toilet. You can protect your toilet from clogs by not flushing certain items, including menstrual products, condoms, baby wipes, hair, cat litter, and gum.

If you discover your toilet is clogged, check the waste line, jet, or trapway for obstructions.


You can rid your Kohler toilet of obstructions using a drain snake. Alternatively, use a plunger, but ensure you pick the right one.

Typically, cup plungers are used for unclogging sink and bathtub drains. On the other hand, flange plungers are better suited for toilets due to their smaller mouths and larger internal cavities.

Kohler toilets repair instructions

5. The Toilet Not Flushing Completely

Sometimes your toilet will only deliver a partial flush, inhibiting it from getting rid of all the waste. This problem arises from a loose chain, disconnected hose, an issue in the waste line, or obstruction in the rim holes under the rim of the bowl or trapway.


  • Tighten the chain by removing a couple of chain links.
  • Verify that your Kohler dual-flush toilet’s rod is the correct length.
  • Check the water level, making sure it reaches the waterline. If not, raise the level by turning the adjustment screw clockwise.
  • Remove obstructions from the waste line, jet, and trapway.
  • Clean the rim holes beneath the rim of the bowl.
  • Unclog your toilet with a plunger.

6. The Toilet Not Shutting Off

You don’t have to keep wasting water and money on a continuously running Kohler toilet when you can fix the problem. The causes of this issue are a faulty fill valve, or the flapper isn’t sealing properly.

Nonetheless, it’s easier to fix this problem if you know its exact cause.


Here’s what you will need to do to troubleshoot and fix a running Kohler toilet.

a) Examine The Fill Tube

Remove the lid of the tank to access the fill tube if you have an issue with the overflow tube. Typically, the fill tube refills the toilet bowl after a flush by squirting sufficient water down the overflow tube when the tank is refilling.

If you find the fill tube is disconnected, reattach it and push it into the fill valve, ensuring it perches approximately an inch above the overflow tube’s rim. Also, make sure the water flows into the overflow tube from the fill tube.

b) Examine The Fill Valve

The constant running of a Kohler toilet can stem from issues with the fill valve. Debris or sediments may be lodged in the cap, the fill valve is set too high, or worn out.

The fill valve refills your toilet with water after every flush, so it must function properly to have a well-functioning toilet.

Check for sediments in the fill valve diaphragm by removing the fill valve cap, then get rid of them by flushing the diaphragm with a steady water stream.

Kohler Toilet Fill Valve Adjustment

Before adjusting, you must know the fill valve type in your Kohler toilet.

Adjusting An Older Style Fill Valve

  • Squeeze the adjustment clip (metal C-shaped clip) of the float valve.
  • Lower the clip and, in turn, the water level by sliding the clip down the float rod.
  • Flush your toilet to ensure the water level stops at the marked water line.

Adjusting A Newer Style Fill Valve

  • Turn the screw attached to the float arm counterclockwise to lower the water level.
  • Flush your toilet to ascertain that the water level stops at the marked water line and the issue is rectified.

If the problem persists after adjusting the fill valve, replace it.

b) Check The Float

The adjustable float could be set too high resulting in the water spilling into the overflow tube and the fill valve not shutting off, causing your toilet to keep running. Fortunately, Kohler toilets are usually designed with a water level indicator on the tank wall or flush valve.


Lower your toilet tank’s water level by adjusting the float. Afterward, flush the toilet to see if the water level stops at the set mark.

c) Adjust The Flapper Chain

The water will keep flowing even after the tank is filled if the chain is tangled or too short, preventing the flapper from closing. The chain can also get disconnected.


  • Detangle or increase the length of the flapper chain to achieve the right slack.
  • Ensure the chain is attached to the rubber flapper and flush lever properly.

d) Replace The Flapper

The flapper is likely worn-out and needs if your Kohler toilet continues running even after completing the above corrective measures. However, before replacing the worn-out flapper, turn off the water supply.

Moreover, ensure the replacement flapper is identical to the old one.

Kohler 1.6 gallon toilet problems

7. Insufficient Water In The Bowl

A partial clog, blocked vent pipes, less toilet tank water, or a hairline crack causes low water levels in the bowl.


  • Raise the water levels by turning the adjustment screw clockwise.
  • Clear any partial clogs.
  • Spray the plumbing vents with water to clear them.
  • Get a new toilet if you see a hairline crack.

8. Water Running Sporadically

Should you experience this problem, examine the slackness of the chain, seal for wear, misalignment or dirt, and the water level.


  • Adjust the chain to achieve proper slack.
  • Lower the water level.
  • Clean or get a new seal if the old one is misaligned, dirty, or worn out.

Final Remarks On Kohler Toilet Troubleshooting

You can DIY the common issues associated with Kohler toilets but troubleshoot your toilet before getting your hands dirty. However, it’s also essential to know when to replace your toilet.

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