Kohler is a well-known brand recognized for its high-quality kitchen and bathroom products. The company seamlessly integrates sleek, modern designs with optimal functionality for convenient use. For example, consider Kohler’s touch and touchless faucets, which offer convenient usability without manually engaging the water flow.
Although these kitchen and bathroom faucets are convenient, their technological features open the door to more potential issues. So, what should you do when your Kohler faucet’s sensor is on strike? Let’s find out.
1. Check The Power Source
Power issues are one of the most common culprits behind sensor issues with touch and touchless faucets, as they require plenty of power from an AC adapter or battery pack to function. Without power, the sensor will stop working entirely, leaving the touch or touchless feature useless.
So, before you begin troubleshooting using the following suggestions, check your faucet’s power source. If your faucet uses an AC adapter, ensure the connections are tight and secure.
Or, if your faucet has a battery pack, check the batteries. Verify the batteries have charge and replace them as necessary (you can always replace them if you’re unsure). Ensure each battery is inserted into the pack with the proper orientation (positives and negatives) and is snugly in place.
Once you replace or adjust the batteries, reinsert the battery cover and check the faucet for proper function.
2. Look For Debris On The Sensor Lens
The sensors on your faucet require a clear view of surrounding areas to function correctly. When dirt, grime, or other gunk builds up on the sensor lens, you might begin to notice issues with sensor function. It might not react to movement around it, or maybe it only works when your hands are at a certain level.
When this happens, it’s usually due to debris covering the sensor lens, which prevents the sensor from accurately sensing motion in front of or around the faucet. Luckily, this is an easy repair. Simply use a soft cloth dampened with warm, soapy water (mild soap) to gently clean the sensor lens.
Once you wipe away the grime, check for proper function. Be sure to wipe leftover suds from the lens (if there are any).
3. Check For Debris On The Sensor Wire Connector
The connections leading to and from your Kohler faucet require a clean, dry environment for proper faucet function. Occasionally, debris can build up on the sensor wire connector leading to the faucet. Dust bunnies, gunk from nearby storage, and other debris may create a problematic coating along this wire connector.
The faucet might not function properly when debris builds up on this sensor wire connector. This problem may present as an issue with the sensor. For example, you might notice the sensor doesn’t activate with a simple wave of your hand or by tapping the area. However, the issue could lie with the wire connector.
So, check this connector for debris (you’ll find it on the faucet’s circuit board). If you see debris here, gently disconnect the wire from the board. Next, use a soft cloth to carefully wipe away the gunk, then reconnect it to the board.
4. Tighten The Connections
Since Kohler’s touch and touchless faucets have an electrical feature, they need power to ensure proper function. Various cables and wires beneath the sink leading from a control box supply this power. If these cables are tangled, poorly connected, or completely disconnected, the faucet may function intermittently or not at all.
Luckily, the fix is usually straightforward when the issue falls to loose connections. Check the cables and wires underneath your faucet (usually in the base cabinet) to remedy the problem. Ensure each wire and cable is firmly secured at its connection point and check for tangled wires. In addition, look for wires touching metal parts in the base cabinet, then move them as necessary.
Sometimes, the repair process isn’t as straightforward as tightening loose connections. Sometimes, the problem falls to faulty wiring, which causes the faucet to function sporadically. If the wiring has failed or is damaged, you’ll need to replace the wiring. Generally, this task is left to the professionals (plumbers and electricians).
5. Turn The Spout Away From Steam
Kohler’s sensor design is highly sensitive and responds to the slightest movement. So, you might notice that your faucet activates itself every now and again, even though there’s no apparent stimulus telling it to activate (like you waving your hand in front of the sensor).
When this happens, it’s usually the result of steam floating away from the sink. For example, let’s say you set a hot pot of water in your sink or dump your excess pasta water down the drain. After you walk away, the faucet comes on. Since you’re nowhere near the tap, the sensors shouldn’t activate.
While steam might not seem solid enough to create the movement necessary to activate the sensor, it can happen. As the steam floats into the air, passing the sensor, it might trigger the mechanism, causing water to flow.
So, if your faucet is behaving intermittently and coincides with steam rising from the sink, that is probably your culprit. You can turn the spout away from the steam to avoid splashing water on the source, but the activation as a result of steam doesn’t indicate a malfunctioning faucet. If anything, this points to a sensitive faucet sensor, so it might not be bad.
6. Disengage Manual Override
Kohler touch and touchless faucets come with a handy feature that enables users to disable the sensor as necessary. For example, in the event of power loss to the tap (oops, forgot to add batteries to the grocery list!), you can use the manual override function on the solenoid valve to disable the sensor and use it as a regular faucet.
However, while this feature is handy, it can lead to some issues. For example, you might accidentally forget to turn it off once you replace the batteries or remedy the power issue, making you wonder why the sensor isn’t working.
So, if your faucet’s sensor isn’t working at all, but the manual function works perfectly, check the manual override feature underneath the sink. Try turning it off and checking if the sensor works again.
7. Replace The Solenoid
The solenoid valve in a touchless or touch faucet is the component that engages water flow when you activate the sensor. So, when you wave your hand in front of the sensor or tap the area to engage it, this tells the solenoid to activate water flow.
Like any component in a faucet, the solenoid valve may fail or become damaged, which can happen due to a buildup of mineral deposits. While you might be able to clean the solenoid valve and remedy the issue, some scenarios might require a solenoid replacement.
When the solenoid is damaged or malfunctioning, it might not be able to engage the water flow, leading to intermittent sensor responses (or none at all). In most cases, it’s best to replace the entire solenoid.
You’ll need to purchase the correct part for your particular faucet, so use Kohler’s parts catalog to determine the proper component for your faucet model. If you cannot find the right part for your tap (or don’t know what type of faucet you have), contact Kohler’s customer support team for assistance.
8. Replace The Sensor
Unfortunately, the issue might lie within the sensor assembly itself. An internal component might fail, causing the entire assembly to quit working. And despite your best efforts, none of the above repair processes you try seem to work. So, if you’ve run out of potential solutions, it’s likely an issue with the sensor itself.
You’ll likely need to replace the sensor assembly to remedy the problem. Be sure to order the correct part from Kohler, as not all of its faucet parts are interchangeable. If you’re unsure which piece to purchase based on your faucet model, contact Kohler’s customer service team for assistance or use the Kohler parts catalog.
Kohler offers a stellar product warranty, so it may cover some components. While not every scenario will result in a replacement, it doesn’t hurt to check in with the customer support team at Kohler (just in case you could get a free replacement).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Do I Reset My Kohler Touchless Faucet?
The process of resetting your Kohler touchless faucet may vary based on the particular model. Generally, the process is straightforward and usually involves covering the sensors with your hand until the LED light blinks. However, since it can be slightly different depending on the faucet model, it’s best to check the information sheet that came with your faucet.
You can usually find the reset guide in the product installation guide, but if you don’t have it, you can find it online at the product’s listing (on the Kohler website under the “Installation & Support” section).
How Do You Turn Off The Motion Sensor On A Kohler Faucet?
Kohler faucets can function manually without power, so in the event of power loss, you can bypass the sensor function and switch to manual mode. To do so, turn on the override feature on the solenoid valve by turning it clockwise. This will disable the motion sensor, allowing you to use the faucet like a regular faucet (by manually operating the handle).
When you’re ready, turn the override feature off and ensure power reaches the faucet by testing the sensors.
How Do You Change The Batteries In A Kohler Touchless Faucet?
Changing the batteries in a Kohler touchless faucet is a straightforward process. You’ll need the correct battery replacements for your faucet (be sure you have enough). Once you’re ready, remove the battery cover from the pack beneath your faucet (typically in the base cabinet).
Remove the old batteries and replace each one with a new battery. Keep the old, and new batteries separate, as one bad battery can lead to problems. Confirm you inserted each battery with the proper orientation, then reinsert the battery compartment cover and check for proper function.