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Plumbing in the Home/replacement parts for kohler model 3402

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QUESTION: apparently kohler has discontinued the rialto loboy toilet.  i have two and the insides are somewhat different shapes (one from 1987 and one from 1992).  1987 leaks at the upright tube where the water comes in. do i need to replace the entire insides and where do i get these parts?  are they available locally? as for 1992, i believe only the rubber stopper at the end of the chain needs to be replaced.  i finally found out that kohler uses an entirely different conversion replacement kit at a cost of $135. what are my alternatives?  a plumber told me to just replace the toilets as the parts are too expensive?????  i doubt it costs as much as another special order colored toilet!! thank you for your help.

ANSWER: Susan, Kohler is one of the best manufacturer of plumbing fixtures out there. They are notorious for adding and discontinuing  lines. The Rialto was one of those toilets that when they worked, they were great. Parts and repairs were a NIGHTMARE. We had Rialto in our house when I was growing up. My dad was a plumber and shop owner and we sold them as well and I can still hear him swearing every time he worked on them. The design was  fashioned after the American Standard and Crane  brands that had been around  since the 40's and 50's. The internal  mechanisms were constantly being changed and "upgraded" and parts became unavailable often, that's why you are finding conversion kits out there. Minor parts like flappers and gaskets can still be found but the push was to "convert to the new and improved". Often times the conversion and or repair exceeded the cost of replacing with a more standard toilet With all that being said, the conversion never quite worked perfectly. It put a strain on a lot of customers because the toilets were not cheap and replacements never seamed to match color-wize unless you when with white. The advise your plumber gave you is  the most practical when you consider parts and labor. Before you give up, call Kohler directly and voice your issues. Often times they will cover the parts  or at least give you a break on the costs. They will be more willing to appease  a consumer than a seller/installer.
Note: for the 1992, you are correct, Kohler uses a proprietary flush ball/flapper for their toilets and here in NY home depot has them  on the shelf as does the plumbing supply houses that sell Kohler

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QUESTION: not the best news, but thank you for giving me more information about the situation.  yes both toilets are specialty order colors unfortunately.  what concerns me most is that the conversion kits don't quite "work perfectly".....i'm not sure what that means exactly.  as in will it require constant replacement, or constant maintenance?  with average use for a single person, can you estimate its longevity?  thank you.

Answer
What I meant by that was  the parts have to installed and adjusted correctly. In most cases there shouldn't be a problem. The older Rialtos had issues. I would say that based on the age of yours you most likely will not have a problem if installed properly. When complete there should be 100% shut off when tank refills and no seepage into the bowl. Test it with dye tablets of food coloring placed in the tank. wait and check for water color change in the bowl

Plumbing in the Home

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Jay Nicholas

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Plumbing & Heating (warm air, hot water & steam heat)

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40 years in the business, 35 years as a lic. master plumber in NY State. Retired

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Graduated Magna cum laude at the School of Hard Knocks

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Commercial, residential and light industrial. You name it ...I have probably worked on it

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