Champion Toilet - Ready for a class action suit
Two problems in two months: 1) Plastic catch/spring mechanism that raises flush valve broke 2) Red seal does not seal and resulting slow leak causes toilet to refill several times a day
Bought American Standard Champion Round Bowl toilet in Sept 2005 from Loews. Used their recommended plumber firm to install it.
Plumber told me it was a great toilet, but warned me that American Standard toilets Lowes purchased were made a little cheaper than their toilets purchased by plumbing supply houses. He went on to say that plumbing supply Champion toilets have a "blue seal" and Lowes' Champion's have a "red seal" and customers had complained that red seal didn't seal.
Didn't really put much weight in what he said and was just glad to have a toilet that worked well and flushed. Two months later the plastic spring mechanism broke and toilet would not flush at all!!!
Called American Standard and was told by a nice woman rep that my mechanism could not be fixed, but they would send me a new flush valve assembly. One problem it would take 6 WEEKS!!!
She also assured me that plumber was wrong because all American Standard toilets regardless of where they are sold are manufactured to same exact standards.
I had inlaws visiting the next week, so I "fixed" what could not be fixed by tediously attaching the cap to flush rod with small copper wire. I didn't use the spring at all. (This will only make sense if you examine the mechanism). Fix wasn't perfect because it would sometimes catch and not close flush valve, but a simple jiggle of the handle would release it.
When new flush valve assembly arrived I installed it only to find that the red seal on the new assembly would not seal the toilet. The old one may have not sealed either and I may just not have noticed.
Called American Standard again and they immediately shipped a new seal. I just installed it and I don't see that it is any different than old one. Will let you know if it still leaks. I happen to be out of food coloring to do a dye test.
In the meantime, I decided to do a search for "American Standard Champion complaints leak" and found this site and lo and behold I am not the only one with this problem. In fact there are so many of us that have this problem I am ready for a class action suit.
Grading the best toilets, the ones that work!
Replace the flush valve w/ Eljer Titan valve
After a year of fighting the two AS champions in my home, I broke down and bought two Eljer Titan tanks ($119.00 each) at Lowes. The Eljer valve is 1/4" smaller than the Champion valve, but fits with no leaks if you use the Champion gasket.
Eljer uses a no-nonsense 3" flapper. Both my toilets now flush every time, with no flush valve leaking. Pictures here .
If anyone ever wants to get that class action suit going against AS, I want my name on that list!