How to remove older Kohler pressure balancing cartridge?

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Old 08-09-18, 06:06 AM
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How to remove older Kohler pressure balancing cartridge?

My shower was releasing either scalding hot or ice cold water, but nothing in between, so I removed the single handle to see what's going on. It's an older Kohler from the Coralais line. The mixing cap is GP77886 http://www.noelsplumbingsupply.com/content/images/thumbs/0004909_kohler_mixer_cap_for_coralais_pressure_balance_valve_gp77886_300.jpeg). I'm not sure on the pressure balancing cartridge part number but it looks just like GP500520 or the one in this photo: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/yjtht8YZja0/maxresdefault.jpg.

The mixer cap separated into a few pieces when taken out. The outer o ring was all stretched out, and one of the two spring loaded tubes was stuck in a depressed state and the plastic around it all worn - compared to the other tube which appeared in great condition and the spring was functional. I've already ordered a replacement part for this.

After researching, many people suggest changing the pressure balancing cartridge at the same time. However I have a few questions:

1 - I wasn't able to pull this piece out. On newer models I have seen there is a special tool for specific brands, but couldn't find any info on this older model. I only applied light force and it didn't budge. Any tips? From what I can see on the exterior it doesn't look worn out.

2 - Do the mixing valve cap and the pressure balancing cartridge parts typically coming in matching part numbers only for a perfect fit leak proof fit? I'm not 100% certain on which part number I need.

3 - I noticed there were no o rings between the cap and the cartridge hot and cold openings - is that typically the case?

4 - Is it good practice to apply any type of seal between the cap and cartridge? Most videos I saw seem to suggest it's just plug and play. I will say it felt quite snug separating the two, but that could be from just being stuck there for ~17 years.
 
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Old 08-10-18, 10:03 AM
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I was able to find a video from ThisOldHouse showing you just need to pull the pressure balancing cartridge straight out. Mine seemed "stuck" due to hard water mineral deposit buildup. It actually looked like spray foam purpose put in to hold the piece in place.

Also found all the required parts from the Amazon forums from users who made past purchases of the same items. Everything fit in quite nicely and I'm back up and running - it's the 2 part numbers stated in my prior post.
 
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