How To Remove A Kohler Shower Handle

How To Remove A Kohler Shower Handle

Maybe you’re investing in a new shower setup, or perhaps you need to troubleshoot some issues with your Kohler Shower handle. Either way, you’ll need to remove the handle itself. However, the prospect of removing a shower handle can seem daunting, especially if there aren’t any visible screws. 

So, how do you remove a Kohler shower handle? We’ll get into that, so continue reading to learn more!

How Do You Remove A Kohler Shower Handle?

Removing a Kohler shower handle isn’t typically too tricky, but there are a few different types, so the process may vary from one product to the next. That said, there’s no need to panic – we have you covered!

Kohler K-TS23501-4-BN Parallel Shower Valve Trim, Vibrant Brushed Nickel

If you have the installation documents, you’ll probably find the diagrams helpful throughout the process. 

Here is what you’ll need:

  • Tape
  • 3/32 inch hex wrench
  • 1/16 inch hex wrench
  • Pliers
  • Philips screwdriver
  • Flat blade screwdriver

Note: You might not need all of these materials – it simply depends on the type of shower handle you have. 

Shut Off The Water

As with almost any other plumbing project, the water supply is the first place you should start. We don’t particularly love the idea of getting a sudden, impromptu shower, so we’d recommend shutting off the water supply beforehand. 

There might be a shut-off valve for the particular faucet or bathroom, but you might have to turn off the main water supply valve. Either way, make sure the water is off. Once you shut it off, turn on the shower to drain any excess water from the lines. 

Next, dry off the drain and cover it with tape. This way, you won’t lose any essential parts down the drain. 

Remove The Diverter Button

KOHLER TS15621-4-CP Coralais Lever Handle, H 6.5&quot X W 6.5&quot X 2.88&quot, Polished Chrome

Once the water is off and you have all the necessary tools, start by removing the diverter button. Some configurations don’t have a diverter button, so skip this step if yours doesn’t have one. 

Kohler has a few different shower handle configurations, so there are a few types of diverter buttons. Here’s how to remove each of them:

  • Knob diverter button: Unthread the small knob on the diverter button. Hold the diverter stem in place using a flat blade screwdriver while you unthread the diverter button. Unthread it all the way, then unthread the diverter sleeve and remove it. 
  • Threaded diverter button: Unthread the diverter sleeve, then remove it altogether. Remove the valve trim, then use a flat blade screwdriver to hold the stem in place while you unthread and remove the diverter button.
  • Diverter button with a set screw: Unthread and remove the diverter sleeve. Next, remove the valve trim and locate the set screw(s) on the button. Using a 1/16-inch hex wrench, loosen the set screws, then remove the diverter button.

Remove The Trim

After the diverter button is out of the way, your next step is to remove the trim. Again, Kohler has a few different designs, so the instructions for each type vary. 

Trim With Exposed Screws

Using a Philips screwdriver, remove the screw on the valve stem. With the screw out of the way, remove the handle, bonnet, and sleeve. Using the same screwdriver, remove the two screws on the faceplate, which will allow you to remove the escutcheon and faceplate. 

In some cases, you might need to remove the pin from the adaptor using a flat blade screwdriver. Then, you can unscrew and remove the adaptor from the valve. 

Trim With A Plug Button

If the trim has a plug button, there are two ways you can remove it. It simply depends on the type of shower handle you have.

The first method is a bit more common. Start by using a flat blade screwdriver to pry the plug button away from the valve trim gently. Then, unscrew the screws with a Philips screwdriver and remove the handle and adaptor from the valve stem. 

In some scenarios, you might need to turn the cover counterclockwise. Using a Philips screwdriver, unscrew the faceplate screws and remove them. If necessary, remove the pin from the adaptor using a flat blade screwdriver. Then, remove the adaptor from the valve using a Philips screwdriver.

The second method is slightly different. Start by using a flat blade screwdriver to pry the plug button off the valve trim. Then, use a Philips screwdriver to unthread the screw, which allows you to remove the handle and adaptor from the valve stem. 

Shower Faucet Handle

Next, use a 3/32-inch hex wrench to loosen the set screw. Slide the bonnet off the valve, then remove the sleeve by turning counterclockwise. Unthread the collar, then remove the faceplate and collar. Lastly, unthread the seal plate using a Philips screwdriver and remove it. 

Again, remove the pin from the adaptor as necessary with a flat blade screwdriver. 

Trim With Setscrews

If the trim has setscrews, there are four separate methods for removal. 

Using the first method, you’ll need to loosen the two set screws with a 3/32-inch hex wrench. Then, remove the handle and sleeve from the valve. Using a Philips screwdriver, unthread the screw, then remove the adaptor from the valve stem. 

Unthread the collar and remove the collar and faceplate. Using a Philips screwdriver, remove both screws and remove the seal plate. 

With the second method, you’ll start by loosening the set screw with a 3/32-inch hex wrench. Then, remove the handle from the valve trim. Remove the screw using a Philips screwdriver, then remove the bonnet and sleeve from the valve stem.

Remove the two faceplate screws with the screwdriver. Next, remove the faceplate and washer. 

The third method starts by removing the set screw with a 3/32-inch hex wrench. Slide the handle, adaptor, and sleeve off the valve. Using a Philips screwdriver, unthread the screws on the faceplate, then lift the faceplate off. 

The fourth method involves loosening the two set screws with a 3/32-inch hex wrench. Once they’re loosened, remove the handle and bonnet from the valve. Carefully pry the cover plate from the escutcheon, which exposes two screws. 

Unthread the screw from the adaptor, then slide it off the valve stem. Next, remove both escutcheon screws using a Philips screwdriver, then remove the escutcheon. 

Trim With Threaded Bonnets

If the trim has threaded bonnets, there are three different removal methods. 

Using the first method, you’ll start by removing the handle and bonnet from the valve stem. To do so, grasp the handle firmly, then turn the bonnet counterclockwise. Remove the faceplate from the seal plate. Using a screwdriver, unthread the screws, then remove the seal plate. 

The second method requires you to grasp the handle firmly, then turn the bonnet counterclockwise to remove the handle and bonnet from the valve stem. If necessary, remove the pivot ring, then the faceplate. Use a Philips screwdriver to remove the screws from the retainer. 

The third method starts by removing the handle. Grasp the handle firmly, then turn the bonnet counterclockwise, which allows you to remove the handle and bonnet from the valve stem. Remove the screws using a screwdriver, then remove the handle sleeve, shroud, and faceplate.

Trim With Center Cap

If the trim has a center cap, the process is pretty simple. Start by unthreading the end cap while holding the handle arm. Once you unthread it, remove the end cap, the washer, and the short sleeve. Next, remove the handle arm from the bonnet, leaving the O-ring and long sleeve in place. 

Remove the center cap from the bonnet, then use a 3/32-inch hex wrench to unthread the screw from the bonnet. Take the bonnet and sleeve off the valve stem. With that out of the way, remove the screws on the escutcheon using a screwdriver. Then, remove the escutcheon and faceplate. 

Repair Or Replace The Handle 

KOHLER Purist® Rite-Temp(R) shower valve trim with lever handle, temperature control, temperature memory, polished chrome, K-TS14423-4-CP

Once you remove the handle, complete the proper repairs or replacements, then reassemble the handle by retracing your steps. Once the handle is back in place, turn the water supply back on, then check your handiwork. Keep an eye out for leaks. If everything checks out, then congrats, you’re finished!