New Kohler tiolet, flushing issue. Tank doesn't empty...

srjohntFebruary 25, 2012

We have a new bathroom we're just finishing up, and the Kohler Memoirs toilet does not empty the tank when the lever is pressed, unless you hold the lever down. This toilet uses the new flushing system with the cylinder instead of a flapper valve. Surely this isn't the way it's designed to work. I spent too many years holding down the levers on junky old toilets, I sure don't want to do it on a new one.

Anyone have any advice, or a fix? Kohler's troubleshooting help on thier website was no help. The issue was not addressed there.


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Sophie Wheeler

Shorten the chain a bit.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 12:51PM
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Nope. Sorry. Shortening the chain does nothing. The valve still closes as soon as you release the handle.

But thanks for the response.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 4:09PM
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Mine has always done that too. I replaced the innards, and it still does it. I'm ready to buy a new toilet.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 2:21AM
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I have done some internet research, and finally called Kohler this morning, and unfortunately this is the way this toilet is designed. The first response I got fro m Kohler was "Oh, you don't want it to empty the tank, just use what's necessary." Depending on the type of use,it appears that holding down the lever to empty the tank when necessary is what one must do. Not designed to empty the tank every time when the lever is tripped.

(sigh) Such is the way of the new toilet....

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 11:58AM
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I'm glad you investigated, as we had the same toilet installed last week and have had the same issue. (Incidentally, a new Toto Promenade in another bathroom has this problem, too, which is why I bought the Kohler.)

I'll start thinking of it as a "dual flush" toilet, but with a regular handle instead of the two push-buttons. We had one of those for a few years and I really hated that button, so this is better!

Not something I want to explain to guests, unfortunately. I suppose they will just have to flush twice.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 3:39PM
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Thank you for reporting back on this.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 3:42PM
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I suppose that the tank lid is removed to confirm water remaining in the tank. A good flush depends on the tank water moving quickly to the bowl. If the tank was at ceiling height, the water would flow down faster, right? But that is impractical, so the water in the tank is higher than required to furnish just the amount per flush. The tank may hold 4 gallons and use just 1.6 gallons per flush. The extra water height helps push out the 1.6 gallons faster.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 12:24PM
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If you just flush and don't hold the lever down, does everything in the bowl go down the trapway? If so, what does it matter if there is still water in the tank? We have the new Kohler Wellworth with the cartridge & it doesn't empty the whole tank, but it gets the job done with what does empty from the tank. I have not had to flush twice or hold the lever down no matter what was in the bowl.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 2:18PM
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When I asked my plumber for a toilet with an insulated tank (because of sweating in my humid summers) he said I didn't need one. He explained that because the new low flush Kohler (that we were talking about) doesn't empty the tank, the water is never ice cold because of the mixing when it refills. So no sweating issues.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 10:10AM
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I have 2 memoirs toilets with the cylinder type valve instead of the flap valve. One flushes fine, the other one requires you to hold down the handle.
The "hack" that I used to fix it was to take a couple of zip ties and attach them together (the ones I had on hand were too short). I poked a hole through a foam block from my kids set of foam blocks and threaded the zip tie through it. Then I attached it to the cylinder to act as a float.
Finally, it flushes to completion. You can adjust the buoyancy by the changing size of the foam block and/or the placement on the cylinder. The lower the "float" is on the cylinder, the more water goes into the toilet.
Any foam will do. I was going to use a foam practice golf ball or part of a pool float when I remembered the foam blocks.
Hope this helps someone.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 9:45PM
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We just bought an American Standard toilet. Best ever.

Here is a link that might be useful: Toilet

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 10:33PM
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I'm going to get a closet auger and see if there is an obstruction. After further research, I think that the reason one flushes fine and the other doesn't flush well has to do with the drainage, not the toilet itself.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 11:57AM
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We have an entire house of Kohler portrait toilets with the same problem. I hate them and almost wish they would break so we could replace them. I feel like new codes make toilets not flush effectively. We have to flush some of ours four times!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 8:11AM
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