View Full Version : Toto Drake noise when (ahem) water added

11-06-2011, 04:01 AM
Hello, everyone!

We just had a Toto Drake installed, and its performance is great. However, it is very very close to where we sleep, and it makes a loud dripping sound when water is added, which of course happens in the night. I understand from reading the forum posts on this topic that this is normal and to be expected and as a result of the plastic trapway. We've tried for a few weeks to live with it, but it has not become background noise and in fact wakes each of us up when the other tries to use the toilet discreetly.

Is there a fix for this? Is there a different model that doesn't have this problem? I would replace this one to solve the problem in a blink of an eye, but would hate to have the same problem with another new toilet, and would hate to have to install a wasteful 1950 toilet that doesn't have the noise.

Thanks for the assistance!

Jennifer D

11-06-2011, 06:00 AM
Hard to figure why the OLD toilet did not do the same thing. It's what any trap does...water in, water out. cup in... cup out.

11-06-2011, 06:37 AM
It could be the old toilet didn't refill the bowl and trap to the point of overflow. On my new toilets, the refill comes up exactly one cup short of filling the trap to the point of overflow.

The noise is not from the trapway in the toilet. It is from the plumbing under the toilet. As jimbo said, one cup in - one cup out.

11-06-2011, 06:39 AM
Jimbo and LLigetfa--

Thanks for the responses. There was no old toilet, this is a tiny new bathroom. I still have access under the toilet, Could I change anything down there that would help?

Jennifer D

11-06-2011, 06:51 AM
Assuming plastic DWV, cast iron would have been the route to go. Insulating the joist cavity with a sound deadening rockwool should help.

11-06-2011, 01:14 PM
FWIW, the Drake does NOT have a plastic piece like some of the Toto toilets, and is not the source of the sound. As stated, plastic drain pipes can be noisy...wrapping with insulation can help, but cast iron is much quieter.

11-06-2011, 05:20 PM
Thanks for the help!

I will look into cast iron for the below-toilet pieces. Would I have to change all of them to make a difference, or just some of them? I am a bit skeptical of this solution because it seems to me that sound would travel through the air in the pipe unaffected by the walls of the pipe -- like in a flute where it can be metal or wood but still sounds the same, more or less.

I used my stethoscope to listen to my two 1950 toilets while pouring water into the toilet a cup at a time. I figured that that if the old toilets dripped in the manner of my new toilet, they would still make the sound with the cast iron but that it would just be quieter. However, I did not hear anything at all, even after several cups.

Could it be that with these older toilets the water flows down on the sides of the pipe rather than dripping down and hitting the water with a miniature splash? Or could it be some other kind of issue with the geometry of the Drake that is causing this? Has anyone solved this problem?


Jennifer D

11-07-2011, 10:18 AM
Like mentioned above.
Any toilet you install will let water out the bottom when more is added.
And when the water leaves the bowl, it will be the same regardless. It's a person adding water, not some gadget.

11-08-2011, 05:58 AM
Terry --

Thanks for your insight!

I agree with you about the water in and water out concept. I think what I am trying to figure out is what do I need to replace or repair to get rid of the sound, since what I've noticed in some bathrooms, when you add a small amount of water to the bowl of the toilet you get a dripping sound, and in other bathrooms you do not. I think after a bit of testing and a conversation with the excellent Toto technical support person I've narrowed it to the toilet itself.

When I talked to Toto technical support person, he said that they know about this problem on non-Drake models. He said that the 'unifit' models had this problem, and that they did a redesign which fixed it. He said that in the unifit models, the sound was coming from the toilet itself not from below the floor. He said that this part of the toilet was plastic pipe, like Jim mentioned above, and you could hear it well through the plastic. He said that the redesign made an alteration so that a small amount of water does not go airborne as it passes through the curves of the bowl piping. He said he had not heard of the Drake having a similar problem and suggested I rule out the problem being somehow related to a leaking flapper -- I am still working on that. He said if it's a defect, which we both doubted it could be, we would be able to figure it out.

I also did some tests on toilets that I run into on a daily basis. I added a cup of water to them and listened for a dripping sound. I got a dripping sound from my own Drake and a neighbor's Toto (don't know the model, but it was a much louder sound than mine, which I think is consistent with the unifit models the tech support guy mentioned). I did not get a sound at all from a wall-mounted Toto at work, a wall-mounted American Standard at work, my neighbor's space-age-looking Kohler, and my two 1950 American Standards. In a few days I will be able to test a couple of floor-mounted Toto toilets that are at my church.

If the problem is a defect in my Drake, I'll replace it with another Drake. If it's a problem with all Drakes, I am going to research another model, perhaps a unifit which has the updated design or else a non Toto -- I'm open to suggestions on ones that definitely don't make the sound. If all new toilets have the problem, I will swap my Drake into one of my other bathrooms, and put one of my old toilets in the new bathroom, which would not be the most water-conscious way to go. I will put up an update and tell you how it goes.



11-08-2011, 09:43 AM
To make it a fair test, you need to add more than one cup of water. Not all toilets may refill exactly to the point of overflowing and the supply pressure could be a factor. If one cup raises the level in the bowl, water might not even go around the bend. On my toilets it takes two cups to send it around the bend.

11-08-2011, 02:22 PM
Water hitting porcelain remains pretty quiet. Water hitting plastic can be noisy. The trapway of the Drake is all porcelain. It's unlikely to be the toilet, but the plastic drain pipes beneath it. There's a reason why they use cast iron drain pipes in high end homes...it's quieter.