Kohler Elate faucet cartridge replacement help
November 6, 2014 11:00 AM   Subscribe

My kitchen sink, a Kohler Elate is leaking from the handle.

Here is Kohler's diagram of the faucet.

They helpfully sent me a replacement cartridge (part #1093674) but I can't figure out how to remove the "bezel" (part 1132368) after removing the faucet handle. This bezel occludes access to the cartridge holder (part 1106462) which appears to unscrew with a ~20mm (but imperial) socket, allowing the cartridge to finally be removed and replaced.

The bezel has a little key nub that fits in the keyway built in to the faucet body so it can't normally rotate. I can pry it out about 1-2mm at the top and then slide a piece of plastic around to pop the key nub out of the keyway which then allows the bezel to rotate but it still binds at the bottom where the keyway is. It is hard to get enough grip to apply a significant amount of force but my best guess is that should pull off, but it doesn't. Nor does it appear to unscrew. My fear is that it doesn't actually come off until you use some special tool to unscrew the cartridge holder with the bezel in place.

Sorry for my lack of proper names for the various parts, I hope someone knowledgeable or experienced can piece together what I'm talking about and explain how the cartridge is supposed to be removed.

I've trawled youtube and various plumbing forums but no luck. In case anyone is wondering, this faucet is a piece of shit and Kohler's warranty isn't worth much when all they do are send $5 worth of replacement parts. I've literally replaced every other part to this faucet in the 2 years I've owned it.
posted by ChrisHartley to Home & Garden (11 answers total)
The diagram isn't much help, is it? It might be a good idea to post some photos of your own faucet, showing the bezel, the key and keyway, etc.
posted by jon1270 at 11:19 AM on November 6, 2014

Response by poster: Ok, I took a few pictures and uploaded them to the album here.
posted by ChrisHartley at 11:44 AM on November 6, 2014

I'll have an answer from a plumber/supply house friend in a few minutes.
posted by notsnot at 12:16 PM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

OK, so the white plastic thing is what you are pulling out some 2mm, correct ?

What does the replacement cartridge look like ? From the parts diagram is it part 1093674 ? Is the green round part in the picture part of the cartridge ?

If it's like a bath/shower spigot, you need to turn the whole cartridge a bit to loosen it, then it pulls out (with some force).

So I'm guessing the white plastic thing is the inner stem - what turns the water on/off, and rotates to go hot/cold. You want the whole cartridge to rotate, not the stem.

Usually there's a plastic dongle/dohickey that comes with the replacement cartridge for doing just that - it fits over the inner stem and lets you twist the cartridge to loosen it, and then you can pull it straight out. If yous didn't come with one, you may need to try alternate ways (there's a little notch on the face behind the stem, put something in that and twist ? )
posted by k5.user at 12:19 PM on November 6, 2014

Response by poster: Here is a picture of the replacement cartridge. Here is an annotated picture showing my names for the various parts. The bezel is the part I can pry out 1-2mm, pop the key out of the keyway and rotate both directions. It doesn't pull out more than that, at least not with as hard as I've tried.

The white plastic part of the cartridge won't come out until the lock ring (see annotated image) is unscrewed, which I can't seem to do until the bezel is removed.
posted by ChrisHartley at 12:48 PM on November 6, 2014

Response by poster: I should note also that we have crappy water that loves to clog things up with mineral deposits, which is probably what killed the cartridge in the first place and could be sticking other parts together.
posted by ChrisHartley at 12:50 PM on November 6, 2014

Best answer: It's probably best to await confirmation from notsnot's friend, but my instinct is that you need to insert a flat screwdriver under the "key" and twist to force the bevel away from the body of the faucet. It looks like the bezel is just held on by a rubber O-ring that sits in a groove in the valve retaining nut (1106462) and also in a parallel groove inside the bezel. If I'm right, then you'll have to apply enough force to compress that O-ring to the point that it pops out of its groove.
posted by jon1270 at 12:51 PM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The name for the bezel that is most commonly used is "bonnet". This might help with googling. In my search, it looks like the vast majority of Kohler bonnets simply unscrew, but the few that have that tab and notch arrangement appear to just snap on & off. Unfortunately, I couldn't find removal instructions for the Elate, only installation instructions for a tabbed bonnet on a similar model. Those say to line up the tab & notch and snap it into place. That would seem to imply that it is just pried off to remove. Are you able to tell what is binding the bonnet and keeping you from being able to pry it up any further?
posted by gimli at 1:07 PM on November 6, 2014

Best answer: Sorry, missed jon1270's reply. The O-ring he mentioned certainly sounds like it's the culprit. If it were me, I'd try prying exactly as he described, and also on the opposite side if needed, as long as I've verified that none of the underlying parts are being pulled upward. If you have any qualms about it, absolutely wait for notsnot's friend to confirm what to do.
posted by gimli at 1:21 PM on November 6, 2014

Response by poster: FIXED! It was indeed just a matter of applying enough force to pop the O-ring out of place. With the faucet installed it was difficult to apply enough force at the bottom without risking the lever slipping and scratching me, the counter or the faucet. In the end it slowly came out and then popped off. Installing the cartridge was easy, just unscrew the retaining thing and pull it out, line up the replace so the eyes and mouth match, then screw the retaining thing back in, push the bonnet back on and slide the handle on the cartridge.

Thank you everyone for your help.
posted by ChrisHartley at 2:35 PM on November 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

Oh good, I was just about to tell you to force it. They like to make things that feel like they're gonna break!
posted by notsnot at 4:17 PM on November 6, 2014

« Older Best description of that-indescribable-horror   |   Three part question about a kitten adoption Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.