how to remove/replace Kohler toilet seat bolts w/ anchor

homeboundNovember 18, 2012

I'm having trouble removing a seat screws on a Kohler one-piece toilet. Anybody know how to hold the anchor so it doesn't spin while unscrewing the thing? From my online reading, Kohler sells an outageously expensive kit to remove these, which apparently only sometimes works. So....if I drill and/or cut the screw head off, will there be room for a new anchor if some of the old parts are now stuck in the recess? Anybody familiar with this poorly-engineered piece of Kohler junk? They really tick me off with some of their stuff. Thanks much.

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Oo oh. Someone else reports the same problem:

" KOHLER K-3386-0 Rialto One-Piece Round-Front Toilet, White (Tools & Home Improvement)
This is the worst toilet imaginable. First, the reviewers above are right: this thing plugs up all the time and has to be plunged. Not good, but I can live with that. The real kicker is when (not if) the toilet seat needs to be replaced. This is usually a 5-10 minute job on most toilets. On this thing, it's a two-day project and will cost just under $100. You read that right! The nuts (threaded inserts, actually) are completely enclosed and inaccessible. The only way to get them out is to get a special hacksaw that can fit under the screw heads and saw them off (you DO have one of those special hacksaw's, right? Nope? There's another $15.) Then you have to order special proprietary inserts from Kohler (they don't come with the toilet seat). It's part #84999. Two crummy little bolt inserts with some other junk you don't need. Price? FORTY-SEVEN DOLLARS!!! Yep, you cannot put that new toilet seat on without the $47 (plus S&H) kit from Kohler (plus the cost of the seat) -- oh, and wait a few days for delivery. Some folks have yelled enough at the service rep and got Kohler to send them a kit for free. Good luck with that. For me, I will never buy Kohler again. Any company that continues to sell such unbelievable junk doesn't deserve your money. If you still want this toilet, just remember: you've been warned!'

-from under Kohler toilet seat

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 7:08PM
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What did you end up doing homebound? Hope you found a solution to this Kohler vexation.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 7:07PM
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It's not yet resolved due to the holiday. I am likely going to jam a scraper tool in there to try to hold the anchor in place while I unscrew the bolt. If that doesn't work, I'll proceed to cutting off (or drill) the screw head with a metal blade. Then I'll figure out the anchor part afterward.

The same house has another problem toilet: a one-piece American Standard champion, but apparently an older model with an older flush valve. New flush valve parts are going to run me around $125 with shipping, which includes an adaptor to upgrade to the newer style flush valve. Insane.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 4:38PM
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Yea, that's a pity. I just changed out an AS toilet seat and can't believe what you have to do with that Kohler seat. Thanks for the heads up about the AS Champion. I know I'm going to be replacing a toilet soon if the eroded interior enamel bowl finish poses a general water leak problem and I'll be sure to read up on fix it problems ahead of time.

Hope you had a good break from work and enjoyed yourself.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 5:53PM
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I had the exact problem ! I used PB blaster & soak the bolts for two days, then finally I cut the caps off & pry screw + anchor out. Finally, I replaced new ones with normal #10 drywall screws + plastic anchors. Cost me 80 cents & 2 hours. Details instructions + pics here:

Here is a link that might be useful: Instructables toilet seat

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 1:27AM
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Whenever you run across a replacement OEM auto or other kind of part with an outrageously expensive price tag on it, that is often a tip off that the trade has found a workaround and the item has almost zero demand. Always try to follow up or figure out such clues.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 6:46PM
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Thanks for the information ... :)

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 3:57AM
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With the plastic anchors, using stainless steel screws will make the next replacement even easier.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 7:54AM
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I found that the Kohler-branded replacement anchors were exorbitantly priced @ $8.90 a piece. So, instead, I went to Home Depot and bought a box of 79 #14-16 1-1/2" green ribbed plastic anchors with pan-head combo drive screw, for a grand total of $6.58, incl. tax, based on a recommendation I had found elsewhere. My toilet is one of the one-piece, elongated, low-silhouette models, #K-3322, K-3489, K-14257, or K-14286, all of which are described in the same installation guide ... not sure exactly which one I have but they all take seat models #K-4636, K-4639, K-4713, or K-4732. Somehow, the seat had separated from this particular toilet some time ago and apparently the anchors had been lost or misplaced. So I snipped off about 1/8" or so off the tip of the Home Depot plastic anchors to shorten them a bit and gently tapped them into the two metal bushings embedded in the back of the porcelain toilet bowl. No problem, no damage thus far. Then, rather than using the pan-head drive screws that came with them, which seemed too wide, I used the bolts from the original seat installation which were present. While they, too, were a tight fit, they went in without a problem and without damage. I placed a metal nut under the head of each bolt to increase the standoff distance and everything now seems to fit snugly and securely. Time will tell whether this solution can be considered permanent or may have to be repeated, in which case I have plenty of replacement anchors.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2014 at 9:53PM
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