PDA

View Full Version : Toto Aquia - Small Water Surface Area



lks
06-16-2006, 10:28 AM
http://www.terrylove.com/wc/toto/aquia_top_view.jpg

Looking for anyone who has had experience using this toilet.

I like that this toilet has dual flush capacity, attractive styling, a reasonable price and good flushing capacity.

However, I am concerned that it seems to have a very small water surface area. I have read that toilets with a low water surface area can require very frequent cleaning and have odor problems.

The application will be in a residential highrise apartment building to replace 1960's era 1.6 gpf toilets.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated

Lawrence

Terry
06-16-2006, 10:55 AM
The Aquia, like most dual flush toilets, has a small but deep enough water spot.
Bowl wash is from the rim, and covers the bowl quite well.
The trapway is 2-5/8"

The flush is fairly quiet and quick.

jadnashua
06-16-2006, 11:52 AM
FWIW, I doubt the toilets from the 1960's were 1.6 gallon...

Mike50
06-16-2006, 03:52 PM
Looking for anyone who has had experience using this toilet.

I like that this toilet has dual flush capacity, attractive styling, a reasonable price and good flushing capacity.

However, I am concerned that it seems to have a very small water surface area. I have read that toilets with a low water surface area can require very frequent cleaning and have odor problems.

The application will be in a residential highrise apartment building to replace 1960's era 1.6 gpf toilets.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated

Lawrence

I had all the same fears--I read all the same stuff you did. I've had mine about 3 months now. You will not have the problems you are reading about
with a TOTO AQUIA. You can PM me for further details if you wish.

The bowl is actually "funnel shaped"

lks
06-16-2006, 08:49 PM
The existing toilets are of cause 3.5 gpf not 1.6 gpf as originally posted.

Lawrence.

P.S Thanks for the replies

SteveW
06-17-2006, 10:13 AM
Check out this thread:

http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3397&highlight=australia

and this one:

http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6562&highlight=aquia+seat

An Toto Pacifica owner recently posted her experience with that toilet and its seat. Seems Toto seats tend to make the usuer sit further back than we're accustomed to, so they can better hit the smaller target. Seems to me the Toto engineers thought this one through pretty well.

http://www.terrylove.com/images/abak/abak_pacifica.jpg
TOTO Pacifica CST808

Mike50
06-18-2006, 04:06 PM
Check out this thread:

http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3397&highlight=australia

and this one:

http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6562&highlight=aquia+seat

An Toto Pacifica owner recently posted her experience with that toilet and its seat. Seems Toto seats tend to make the usuer sit further back than we're accustomed to, so they can better hit the smaller target. Seems to me the Toto engineers thought this one through pretty well.

It actually orients your lower torso more forward Steve.
It's not entirely easy to explain. It IS an adjustment.....not
a difficult adjustment.
The first sensation is "this is too small for me". It's not. As Terry says make sure your boot is in the saddle (or something like that).

Bottom line: The modified seat is partially responsible for why no smearing occurs even with a much smaller water spot.

I will speculate this however: A truly obese person may not take well to the TOTO AQUIA adjustment in it's present incarnation imo. I could be wrong about that...but I doubt it. The Aquia seat keeps your aim true. :D

Do NOT buy this toilet without the seat it generally comes with.

Read why the TOTO AQUIA won the silver award from the 2006 architectural design journal here:
http://tinyurl.com/l8lql

It's the first toilet that will engage a lot of people to try dual flush and we all win when that happens.

BTW my water bill is at an all time Low & seasonal low after installation since I've lived in this home. Which is also easier on my new septic tank too. Another win-win.

SteveW
06-19-2006, 02:35 PM
It actually orients your lower torso more forward Steve.
It's not entirely easy to explain. It IS an adjustment.....not
a difficult adjustment.



Thanks for the clarification. I sit corrected... ;)

Mike50
06-20-2006, 06:57 AM
Sure. More important to not lose sight of the end result of this concept:

"By installing the elegant Aquia, an average family of four could save up to 7,000 gallons of water each year beyond that already saved by a standard 1.6 gpf toilet."
Design Journal Magazine


Very few (well designed-affordable) appliances can make the claim of an immediate dramatic positive environmental impact.

And as I have mentioned a couple months back--I spoke with an executive at TOTO and they are so sure about this low flush concept that they will release another low GPF Drake in the near future. (if it's not out already)
Which was unnamed at that time BTW.

SteveW
06-20-2006, 07:47 AM
Sure. More important to not lose sight of the end result of this concept:

[


Oh, the puns are flying now...

inquirer22
06-29-2006, 04:04 AM
It actually orients your lower torso more forward Steve.
It's not entirely easy to explain. It IS an adjustment.....not
a difficult adjustment.
The first sensation is "this is too small for me". It's not. As Terry says make ...

We are pretty close to installing the Aquia I bought a few months ago. This now has me concerned. I bought the seat from Home Depot. Are you saying that you must buy a Toto seat if you don't want a lot of smearing???

I didn't buy Toto because I didn't care for plastic seats that you could break if you stood on to change a light bulb. I didn't buy their brown wooden seat because (if I remember correctly) it cost as much as the toilet.

jadnashua
06-29-2006, 05:29 AM
A Toto seat is much more shaped than many other brands...it kind of forces you to sit in a specific place. It's not that you can't sit there with other brands, it's that you might find yourself comfortable in other than that sweet spot. The soft-close feature is neat. They do have several series - the commercial grade ones are more substantial. Get a ladder or step-stool when changing the bulb!

Mike50
06-29-2006, 08:41 AM
We are pretty close to installing the Aquia I bought a few months ago. This now has me concerned. I bought the seat from Home Depot. Are you saying that you must buy a Toto seat if you don't want a lot of smearing???

The soft close seat comes with the toilet.
I do not have the answer to that question---good luck finding someone who does. I AM saying that smearing does not occur as some fear--and the seat is an integral part of the design that makes that possible.


I didn't buy Toto because I didn't care for plastic seats that you could break if you stood on to change a light bulb. I didn't buy their brown wooden seat because (if I remember correctly) it cost as much as the toilet.

I would not stand on that TOTO soft close seat toilet seat. You could possibly screw up the internal mechanism that allows the "soft close".
It's not a simple hinge.


Look.......this is new technology/engineering. Minor adjustments in your old habits are required. (very minor) IE-sitting forward and erect.

With any NEW technology--if you don't have the temperment to make small changes in behaviour----then don't experiment with newer technology imo.
It's not for everyone.

inquirer22
06-29-2006, 02:28 PM
The seat didn't come with the toilet. It was a seperate purchase that I opted not to buy -- I simply wasn't impressed.

So again my question is, will smearing be a problem without a Toto seat?

Mike50
06-29-2006, 07:48 PM
The seat didn't come with the toilet. It was a seperate purchase that I opted not to buy -- I simply wasn't impressed.

So again my question is, will smearing be a problem without a Toto seat?

How could anyone possibly answer that question inquirer? You can ask Terry.....but I believe most people buy the item which is sold with the TOTO seat designed for the Aquia.

You might want to rethink this and consider Plan "B'. Lots of great toilets that are stylish.
Look at the TOTO Pacifica.

I would not stand on that toilet to change bulbs. It has a small footprint.

inquirer22
07-02-2006, 09:16 AM
Actually that isn't the case. I called back to the store where I bought the toilet and talked to the sales lady. She doesn't just work there, she is the niece of the owner. (She remembered me because I was the second person to ever buy an Aquia in her store. I may very well be the second person in the Kansas City area to have bought one given that the other Toto stores didn't carry them yet.) Anyway, she has sold many of the Aquia since I purchased mine, and she said there are plenty of people who have installed the Aquia without the Toto seats. Several like myself didn't like the plastic seats. Likewise though the hardwood Toto seats are very beautiful, many found them too expensive. She herself didn't like the seats so she got herself a different seat. She told me not to worry about it...

The toilet was finally installed last night. I am now a Toto CONVERT!...

The Home Depot seat works just fine. We have had 4 people in the house use it, and I haven't seen any smearing. We did have to use the bolts that came with the HD seat instead of the nice black plastic rubber divices that came with the toilet because the hinges with the HD seat required that we do so. The light bulb isn't out. Nevertheless, I tried standing on the toilet; I could stand on it without any problem what so ever.

It is also great that the Aquia is a bit taller than the standard height 14.5". Some others didn't want an ADA toilet height 16.5", so the Aquia 15.25" is a perfect compromise between the tall and short people who will use it.

The toilet works great so far! The water line may be small, but it comes up enough during the flush for #1 and even higher for #2. I still want to do some better TP tests, bit haven't needed to do so yet. I would say that I wished they had done a bit more if a "lip" on the tank. When you set the lid, you get the feeling that it could easily fall off. Maybe it is our imagination, but it feels that way.

We did make some mistakes on the install because we didn't read all of the directions in advance. The tank should have been bolted down to the base before we pushed it in place as it is difficult to hold the bottom part from moving when you tighten the bolts from the top. We did get it done, but it would have been so much easier to have done it first. If you bold the tank in before installing it, you can easily reach the bottom part from the back of the toilet.

In summary:

PROS:
1) Dual flush is great. In fact the 0.9 gallon can be used for small soilds too.

2) The toilet is pretty quiet.

3) It is faster than the old toilet at clearing out and filling up the tank.

4) The streamline shape of the bowel will make it hard to be unaware if/when the outside of the bowel needs cleaning. The old toilet curved and made it hard to see and clean.

5) The toilet is BEAUTIFUL. I never thought I could look at a toilet with admiration, but I can with this one. Its shape kind of reminds me of a beautiful new boat that could easily race through water with its streamline shape.

CONS:
1) It would be nicer to have a lip on the tank or the lid so that you don't have the sense that you could bump the toilet and cause the lid to fall off and break.

2) It isn't easy to install. The old toilet had two bolts to install. The Aquia has those two bolts plus two bolts in the back all for the grey plastic drain portion of the toilet. Then you have four more so that you can seat the toilet in place.

3) Limited selection of toilet seats IF you wish to buy a Toto seat. It would have been nice to have something between the plastic seats and the eligant (but expensive) hardwood seats.

4) I suppose it could be improved by having an ADA version for those that must have it. I'm fine without it.

5) Perhaps it would have been a bit more stylish if it were a one piece. I'm fine without it, but I wanted to balance the pros and cons and I was desperate to find another CON for the Aquia! Really only the first two are important CON's for our usage.

Unknown:
I have yet to do a good TP test. So that is to be determined.

----------------------------------------------------


I do have a couple of questions:

1) What can be done with my old vintage 3+ gallon toilet? It isn't so much that I want to get rich off this, but at the same time I do believe in not making trash: reduce, reuse, recycle. Unfortunately, others in my household don't want it as an outdoor planter.

2) The one critism I have of the new toilet installation (not the toilet itself) is that the new tile under it looks bad. We have a pattern of marble with small ceramic tiles around each one. The marble cracked every time we tried to use the wet saw we bought, so it has little pieces of marble. I would like to take the Aquia back out and have it professionally cut so that it isn't so piecemealed together. We already had to remove the Aquia from its grey base 3 (maybe 4 ) times because of things such as the thinset not being dry. (We had to use an additive to spead it up.) We are afraid that we might break something on the grey drain or perhaps wear out the rubber seal on the end of the grey drain. So my questions here are:

a) Can the toilet be removed 6 or so times without wearing out the rubber seal on the grey plastic drain part.

b) IF the worse case scenerio happened and the grey drain broke or the rubber wore out, is buying one real expensive?

Mike50
07-02-2006, 11:09 AM
Actually that isn't the case. I called back to the store where I bought the toilet and talked to the sales lady. She doesn't just work there, she is the niece of the owner. (She remembered me because I was the second person to ever buy an Aquia in her store. I may very well be the second person in the Kansas City area to have bought one given that the other Toto stores didn't carry them yet.) Anyway, she has sold many of the Aquia since I purchased mine, and she said there are plenty of people who have installed the Aquia without the Toto seats. Several like myself didn't like the plastic seats. Likewise though the hardwood Toto seats are very beautiful, many found them too expensive. She herself didn't like the seats so she got herself a different seat. She told me not to worry about it...

The toilet was finally installed last night. I am now a Toto CONVERT!...

The Home Depot seat works just fine. We have had 4 people in the house use it, and I haven't seen any smearing. We did have to use the bolts that came with the HD seat instead of the nice black plastic rubber divices that came with the toilet because the hinges with the HD seat required that we do so. The light bulb isn't out. Nevertheless, I tried standing on the toilet; I could stand on it without any problem what so ever.

It is also great that the Aquia is a bit taller than the standard height 14.5". Some others didn't want an ADA toilet height 16.5", so the Aquia 15.25" is a perfect compromise between the tall and short people who will use it.

The toilet works great so far! The water line may be small, but it comes up enough during the flush for #1 and even higher for #2. I still want to do some better TP tests, bit haven't needed to do so yet. I would say that I wished they had done a bit more if a "lip" on the tank. When you set the lid, you get the feeling that it could easily fall off. Maybe it is our imagination, but it feels that way.


PROS:
1) Dual flush is great. In fact the 0.9 gallon can be used for small soilds too.

2) The toilet is pretty quiet.

3) It is faster than the old toilet at clearing out and filling up the tank.

4) The streamline shape of the bowel will make it hard to be unaware if/when the outside of the bowel needs cleaning. The old toilet curved and made it hard to see and clean.

5) The toilet is BEAUTIFUL. I never thought I could look at a toilet with admiration, but I can with this one. Its shape kind of reminds me of a beautiful new boat that could easily race through water with its streamline shape.

CONS:
1) It would be nicer to have a lip on the tank or the lid so that you don't have the sense that you could bump the toilet and cause the lid to fall off and break.

2) It isn't easy to install. The old toilet had two bolts to install. The Aquia has those two bolts plus two bolts in the back all for the grey plastic drain portion of the toilet. Then you have four more so that you can seat the toilet in place.

3) Limited selection of toilet seats IF you wish to buy a Toto seat. It would have been nice to have something between the plastic seats and the eligant (but expensive) hardwood seats.

4) I suppose it could be improved by having an ADA version for those that must have it. I'm fine without it.

5) Perhaps it would have been a bit more stylish if it were a one piece. I'm fine without it, but I wanted to balance the pros and cons and I was desperate to find another CON for the Aquia! Really only the first two are important CON's for our usage...[...].



Hey...good for you,
I am very happy it all worked out inquirer-and thanks for posting about the no smearing problems with your (non-TOTO) seat. People need to know this and that dispells some mystery and concerns surrounding this toilet.

People are crazy about the style after they have installed it. I show off this thing to everyone who comes over to visit. People think you're nuts--raving about a toilet--but it's the nicest appliance in the home.

Yea. It can be a bitch to install. But after that:
Consider, Style,Innovation,Function,efficiency & skirt is easier to clean, there is nothing like it on the market today.
No more cleaning those nooks and cranys of bolts/covers.

Additionally, I'm estimating my water savings at around 25-30%.
My annualized water savings will be about $150.00. (conservative)

I am actually redesigning my bathroom style to compliment the Aquia.
It's that cool as you know.

The majority of American Aquia owners have had the unit less than 6 months, and consequently our collective experience level is very limited. All we really know is it was successful in Thailand for 6 years.
For me...the only other TOTO feature I wish it had is the Sanigloss finish.

You are a much more capable DIY than myself and Terry is the expert here on Aquia and no doubt will answer the technical things you wondering about. I will however pass on this tip because you are installing it multiple times.
Lubricate the "O" Ring on gray thang with a little liquid soap so it slips on with ease.

IMO the only reason this toilet isn't a huge best seller for TOTO yet AFAIK is simple. I believe that some plumbers and showroom sales are not promoting it. Obviously they would rather not promote something that
they think will bite them in the ass after the sale.
Expensive/unusual install and unfounded fear of smearing.

...and you are right on the money about the .9 flush option--it works just fine
for "small loads" too :D

Mikey
07-03-2006, 06:20 AM
I've got an older American Standard PA toilet which will flush anything, has a nice glossy bowl, but is subject to smearing from some low-quality (or high-quality, depending on your point of view) poop. At work, we use high-pressure washdown fixtures, and have the same problem, so toilet brushes are stationed in every stall, with signs politely requesting that people clean up after themselves, if necessary.

Bottom line: Smearing is an inherent side effect of the disposal process; the only totally smear-resistant facility I've ever seen , and a 0 gpf facility at that, is the outhouse.

Mikey
07-03-2006, 06:35 AM
I do have an annoying problem with the American Standard PA that the Aquia looks like it might solve. I won't go into details, but there's an old two-punchline joke ... "Man, that water sure is cold. Yeah, and deep, too." ... that is appropriate to my situation. How far below the seat is the Aquia's waterline?

Mike50
07-03-2006, 06:36 AM
I've got an older American Standard PA toilet which will flush anything, has a nice glossy bowl, but is subject to smearing from some low-quality (or high-quality, depending on your point of view) poop. At work, we use high-pressure washdown fixtures, and have the same problem, so toilet brushes are stationed in every stall, with signs politely requesting that people clean up after themselves, if necessary.

Bottom line: Smearing is an inherent side effect of the disposal process; the only totally smear-resistant facility I've ever seen , and a 0 gpf facility at that, is the outhouse.

Agreed. No magic bullet. Just FYI TOTO has a line of toilets featuring a state of the art Sanigloss finish that addresses that issue. It's Nano technology I believe.
Additionally, a number of us here experimented with and use the Clorox with Teflon toilet cleaner with positive results also.
Most agree....finally a cleaning product that actually works

Mike50
07-03-2006, 06:47 AM
I do have an annoying problem with the American Standard PA that the Aquia looks like it might solve. I won't go into details, but there's an old two-punchline joke ... "Man, that water sure is cold. Yeah, and deep, too." ... that is appropriate to my situation. How far below the seat is the Aquia's waterline?

LOL. I think I know what you are referring to. And yes you may just be right about that Mikey. Thats my educated guess. FYI It IS a "washdown" toilet.

SteveW
07-03-2006, 07:34 AM
I do have an annoying problem with the American Standard PA that the Aquia looks like it might solve. I won't go into details, but there's an old two-punchline joke ... "Man, that water sure is cold. Yeah, and deep, too." ... that is appropriate to my situation. How far below the seat is the Aquia's waterline?


You too?

Gravity and age take their toll.

What a great site this is! I thought I was the only one.

lnh
07-13-2006, 09:19 PM
I installed an Aquia about 5 months ago and have some additional comments...

1) With regard to smearing. Even with the Toto seat it smears a bit more than the toilet it replaced (Kohler Welworth). I wouldn't call it smear free, but it is much less of a problem than I expected considering the size of the wet area.

2) It has great flushing performance! In the 5 months the hideaway Oxo plunger sitting next to the toilet hasn't been used once. With the Kohler that plunger got used several times a week.

3) You do hear more with this toilet than any other I've ever used. That's not to say the flush is overly loud. As liquids enter the bowl, you hear the water being displaced down the drain. If it's very windy outside, you do hear a bit of water being sucked down the drain from what I assume is a slight temporary vacuum being created in the vent line.

4) When you do the .9 gal flush, you have to learn to push down on the button and hold it down for a small fraction of a second. If you push and release too quickly, the bowl doesn't clear 100%. My technique is to release as soon as I see the first hint of water washing down the sides of the bowl.

5) Being the first toilet I ever installed, I can't rate it's difficulty vs. standard units. That being said, it wasn't the easiest home project I've ever undertaken. Our Aquia is installed on a tumbled marble floor. I thought the drill sizes listed in the directions were VERY tight for the anchors provided. I would have destroyed the anchors if I tried to put them in the specified holes. I also had concerns because the plumbing rough-in was about 1/2" shy of the 12" that the Aquia specifies. Luckily it still went in fine. The Aquia directions also call for a water supply rough-in that's several inches wider than typical. Our existing water supply used with the Kohler worked just fine and that was several inches narrower than Aquia spec. Because of the tumbled marble, I did have to use several plastic wedges around one side of the base because of the flooring. That has also been fine. The last installation issue was finding a seal that would work going into the toilet drain. A plumber we had at the house several years ago cautioned against using any kind of wax seal when you have a marble floor. I tried using the Fernco wax free seal, but it wouldn't seat properly as it wouldn't fully recess into the flange. Ended up using the Fluidmaster Wax Free bowl gasket which seemed kind of lightweight and a bit cheezy compared with the Fernco. I had no issues with the tank bolts or any other leaks (and didn't need to sand either).

6) Did I already say the flush performace is outstanding!

The Aquia has a small learning curve, but I would buy it again in a heartbeat.