Quick overview of penguin toilet
I realize that this thread is nearly dead, but I wanted to provide some insight on the penguin model 524 toilet since this is the first link shown on Google. For background, I own a Toto Dalton toilet (comfort height/ADA) and it has worked beautifully for the past few years without incident. We decided to remodel our master bathroom this past year and since the current toilet was still in "working" condition (an older Briggs toilet) we decided at the time not to update it to save some costs. Well, not even a year after the remodel was done and I've had enough of the Briggs toilet not flushing my morning backlog, so I set out to buy a Toto Drake. While researching other toilets (why? just to see what else was out there), I stumbled upon the Penguin toilet (524) at Lowes.com with very good reviews. Like others I don't really trust all too many reviews especially those that say the overflow protection already worked. I don't want to even get to that point. I looked up on the map-testing site to see that it performed well at >=1000g. That's good, but long term performance is still a concern. Well, I decided to buy the penguin toilet just to see what it was all about and if I didn't like it I would return it before installing it.
First, to be clear, the first toilet I picked up was completed smashed. Apparently the ones Lowes gets are made in china, not sure if they all are, but I would be willing to bet they are. The second one I picked up was intact, so I took it home for further inspection. It says it has a fully glazed trap, which for the most part it does. I would say it had 97% coverage. The exit had some missed area where there was no glazing, however the rest of the trapway was fully glazed. I could not tell if the overflow way was also glazed, but from what I could see, it did not look like it, but again it was hard to determine. I would lean toward the overflow not being glazed, especially since only water is supposed to go down that anyway.
It has the same type of Fluidmaster filler that the Totos have, and a 3" flapper. I've noticed, after install (yes I installed it), that the flusher is a little more difficult to flush than my Toto. I have given it a few good test runs since installing and each one performs on par with the Toto. Larger loads require a second longer hold on the flusher just like my Toto. It is supposed to be a 1.28 gallon flush rather than the 1.6, so that may lead into me wanting to hold it down longer for the bigger loads. I will say that this filler is QUIET. My wife had this requirement for this toilet as the old Briggs had a nasty squeaking filler. The toilet has a similar design to the Toto in that the water rushes out where the load lays, pushing most solids down the trapway quickly. The S-bend, as others have stated, does look to be a bit too sharp of a curve, but seems to work fine for now. I would imagine if you start flushing longer items (we've had a toilet roll holder in the one we replaced with the Toto) it may get stuck - but I don't plan on having any of these types of items flush down the toilet (keep others out of my master bath!). I think for the price, it is not a bad deal - it also comes with its own seat (plastic run of the mill seat). Although I will keep this toilet, I can't help but to continue to recommend the Toto brand, even at this price point. Why not go with something that has a bit more quality control? The Toto I have was immaculate in the glazing and installation. The penguin install was a bit difficult getting the tank tight using the supplied wingnuts, but nothing overly complicated.
That about sums it up for me, I may come back to this dead thread to provide a longer term insight if any problems occur, but hopefully not! I hope this helps all of you clicking on that first link on Google!