How to Adjust a Kohler Shower Temperature Regulator

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You can adjust a Kohler shower temperature regulator in just a few minutes.
Image Credit: Dan Reynolds Photography/Moment/GettyImages

Many Kohler showers are built with a temperature regulator to prevent scalding or discomfort during use. These regulators act as an adjustable stopper to prevent the shower handle from being turned beyond a preset temperature setting. If you find that you prefer your water temperature to be warmer or colder, you can adjust the temperature regulator with relative ease.


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Getting Started With Adjustments

The accuracy of the regulator's temperature is dependent on your water heater, and it can sometimes be inaccurate if the water heater has been recently replaced or adjusted. Whether the water needs to be warmer or cooler, the temperature regulators on Kohler showers can be accessed and changed using a few basic tools.

Depending on the model you have, the precise steps required may vary. Locate your user manual or find it online and follow the specific instructions for your shower if at all possible. In most cases, accessing the temperature regulator will follow a similar pattern. If you can't find a manual for your model, try these general steps.


Removing the Handle and Faceplate

The first step in adjusting the temperature regulator is to remove the shower handle. Look for a screw connecting the handle to the faceplate (usually located under the curve of lever handles) and remove the screw with a screwdriver or an Allen wrench if needed. Set the hardware aside, taking note of where each piece came from, and remove the handle from the faucet so you can better access the faceplate.

If there are any adapters, inserts or sleeves attached to the faceplate, remove them as well. Once again, keep track of all hardware as you go to make for a simpler reinstallation.


With the screwdriver, remove the remaining screws in the faceplate. They'll either be clearly visible on the front of the plate or hidden along the side. Set them aside and remove the faceplate from the wall. You've now uncovered the temperature regulator.

Adjusting the Temperature Regulator

Locate the valve stem and collar on the temperature regulator. These are pieces that would connect to and turn the handle if it were still attached. You'll then need to turn the valve stem and collar clockwise; this should initiate the hot water's flow. Be careful of splashing yourself since the water may be too hot. Check the temperature with a thermometer. It should never exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit.


You should then turn the set-screw on the collar counterclockwise to increase the maximum temperature of your shower. To decrease the maximum temperature, turn the set-screw clockwise. Once you've found your preferred temperature, check it with a thermometer to ensure that it's safe, and adjust the collar so it sits in the right location to stop the stem. Then, turn the water off.

The Kohler model you're working with may require you to remove the O-ring, caution tag and collar for the adjustments. The O-ring is a small ring around the stem, the caution tag will be situated below it and the collar is a red (sometimes black) ring located beneath the first two parts. Set these aside, rotate the valve stem as described above and then reattach the collar to the appropriate setting. Turn the water off and reassemble.


Reassembling the Handle and Faceplate

If the pieces of your faucet were carefully set aside as you worked, reassembling them should be fairly straightforward. Working through the pieces in the order in which you laid them out, screw the faceplate back on the wall and then secure all of the other pieces.

Next, you can reattach the handle. Last, run the shower to make sure it was assembled correctly and that the temperature is comfortable as set. Don't forget that you can make adjustments at the water heater, too, if need be.



Danielle Smyth is a writer and content marketer from upstate New York. She holds a Master of Science in Publishing from Pace University. She owns her own content marketing agency, Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing, and she enjoys writing home and DIY articles and blogs for clients in a variety of related industries. She also runs her own lifestyle blog, Sweet Frivolity.