Experience with the new flush valves and the one piece Champion
I'm liking the ONE piece Champion toilet with the NEW Champion4 flush valve. That's a combination that I think desires a little higher praise than the general Champion-bashing here might indicate.
- Bought 3 Champions in 2005 to replace all three of our 25-year-old toilets, one two piece right-height elongated and two one piece elongated.
- The design of the flush valves has got to be the stupidest thing I've ever seen in a toilet (well, at least in the TANK of a toilet). One look was enough to tell you that there was absolutely no way they would last. Somebody at AS needs a lesson in KISS design.
Two piece experience:
- Installation of the two-piece was a nightmare due to the tank installation issues everyone has discussed: gasket too thick, support points lower in back than front, tank rocked, etc.
- The flush valve in the two-piece broke after about 2-3 days (some little clip came off in the top and springs and stuff fell out). I took it apart and fixed it with little things from ACE hardware, very similar to the fix described by the previous poster.
- The loud knock when you flush has been highly irritating.
- About 1 out of every 5-10 flushes, the plastic catch on the tower wouldn't hold and the valve would never open (i.e. no flush).
- I'm convinced that a hard quick press on the handle would have totally FUBAR'd the flush valve, but we babied it and it kept working (usually).
- When it flushed, and ignoring the loud knock, it flushed great. Never a clog.
One piece experience:
- Installation of the one-piece toilets was a breeze, very easy.
- Flush action didn't seem quite as robust as the two piece, but still WAY better than our previous 3.5g toilets which required regular unclogging, and better than any other 1.6g one piece that I've seen.
- We've never had a clog with either one piece.
- After about 18 months, one of the one-piece flush valves started leaking, causing tank water to drop. But the fill valve didn't come on until the water was too low to flush effectively, so often the toilet just wouldn't flush (not enough water) and you'd have to wait for it to refill and try again.
Fast forward to August 2008:
- After reading this forum and learning about the new flush valves, I just replaced the flush valves in all three toilets with the new design.
- This was a very simple 10-minute process on the one piece toilets, and a royal pain on the two piece due to having to remove the tank (although reseating the tank was a lot easier than the first time I did it, since I knew to stop short of trying to hit the rear tabs).
Experience so far with the new flush valves:
- It takes a little more pressure on the handle to lift the valve, but we're getting used to it. But compared to other toilets (not just the previous Champion valve), it seems like it takes a little too much pressure.
- The flush action is much quieter -- no more loud knocks from the two piece or softer knocks from the one piece.
- Flush action seems just as effective, at least when you hold the handle down for a couple of seconds.
- A quick press on the handle results in a "partial flush" that doesn't fully empty the tank down to the bottom of the valve opening. The flush action on these toilets is so good that even this partial flush does OK in most cases, but these valves do seem to close a little more quickly than they should.
- Holding the handle down for a couple of seconds until the tank has fully emptied results in a more thorough flush.
- The combination of the extra pressure required to start the flush and the tendency of the valve to close before the tank is fully empty makes me think the valve is a little too "heavy" in the water and could benefit from floatation material to make it a little closer to neutral buoyancy. I'm thinking about adding a float of some sort to the chain, although getting the right buoyancy without causing gaskets leaks could be a little tricky.
- Even with the nit-picks, I would say that these valves are FAR superior to the previous designs.
If I were buying a new toilet now, I would consider the Champion one piece as long as it had the new flush valve design. I have no major complaints with the one piece other than the old flush valve design.
I don't think I will ever buy another two piece toilet. I've always hated installing or doing repairs on them due to the many problems with leaking tank bolts or tank-to-bowl gaskets (it's the dang bolts that I've had the most problems with), but the Champion two piece design problems pushed me over the edge. I'm probably overreacting, but I'm just not seeing the point in putting myself through that pain. The one piece designs are more attractive and a lot easier to keep clean, too.
Grading the best toilets, the ones that work!
American Standard Champion4
I purchased 2 of the American Standard Champion4 in August 2008. Fortunately, I decided to have only one installed to see how we would like it. There are definitely problems with this toilet:
[*]the valve leaked[*]on flushing, the water came up into the bowl like a geyser[*]fecal particles were deposited on the bowl---extra flushes would not remove the matter. Toilet bowl cleaner and brush were necessary.
In contacting American Standard thru the 800 number:
The phone would ring and then disconnect.
After months of trying, I finally spoke to someone. She was extremely rude. After hearing my complaints, she said, "Well, that's the way the toilet is." She stated that the warranty did not cover my complaints. I requested that a supervisor call me. She tried to brush me off also. After much arguing, she finally agreed that she would authorize my returning the toilet to the place of purchase for a refund. Of course, I still had the installation expenses. :-(
I purchased 2 Kohler Highline and am pleased with them. I have other Kohler products. In speaking with Kohler, they have been very courteous, knowledgable, and professional. American Standard should take lessons.
Assembling the 2-Piece Champion 4
Just wanted to share my experience with assembling the 2-piece American Standard Champion 4. Bought it at Lowe's and installed it earlier this week (Dec 2008).
1. Install the toilet seat BEFORE you set the bowl in place. Do it with the bowl lying on its side. This makes it possible to tighten down the one "hidden" nut that's very hard to get at. I had to use a "bare" socket (no wrench attached) to tighten that hidden nut.
2. Yes, when you first set the tank on the bowl, the gasket seems WAY too thick. But it will come together, if you just take your time.
3. Don't use that shoddy tool that Am Std includes. Use a socket wrench to tighten the tank-to-bowl bolts.
4. Tighten each bolt alternately, maybe two or three turns at a time. You won't need another person to "throw all their weight onto the tank as you tighten". But you may need to gently press down on the side of the tank that you're tightening.
5. Using the socket wrench, you will feel when you've tightened as far as you ought to (don't force it!). I was able to get the tank to contact the front ribs on the bowl, but had to stop tightening before I got contact with the back ribs. There was perhaps a 1/4" gap remaining between the tank and the back ribs. But that's OK, because the tank does not wobble at all, the gasket is well-compressed and leak free, and the top of the tank is level enough.
6. After the gasket has "set" for a while (a few weeks?), it may be possible to go back and tighten the bolts further, and bring the tank down to the back ribs. But if it doesn't leak, I see no reason to have to do that.
7. The flush is good and there's a reassuring (but quiet) "thunk" to it.
8. I'll keep a watchful eye and hope the flush valve doesn't begin leaking, as so many have reported. This is one of three toilets in our house, so it won't see a tremendous amount of duty, but I wanted to have at least one good flusher as the "go-to" unit, if you know what I mean.
Thanks to all on this forum for your advice.
I don't have all theese problems
I'm not sure when I installed the first one, but I have about ten of these in various properties and three in my home. None have leaked and all work fine.
One tenant has problems cleaning the lowest part of the bowl due to a poor finish. I'll keep buying them if the finish is good - next time I'll check a little better before installing.