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Thread: American Standard Cadet 3 Three Toilet consumer product review

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member LaNor's Avatar
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    Default American Standard Cadet 3 Three Toilet consumer product review

    American Standard Cadet 3, Made in Mexico or Honduras

    I am looking for some feedback on American Standards Cadet Three right height elongated toilet with the flush right system. I have been told this is a new model from A.S. and has only been on the market about three to four months. I would like to hear from anyone who has purchased one as to how it performs. It appears to me that perhaps A.S. has introduced this model for competition against the Toto Drake CST744SL, which reputedly is a very good unit. If the Cadet three performs as well and looks as good as the Toto, I am a little apprehensive about any product from American Standard because of the complaints I have read and heard about them on the A.S. Champion and some of their other products, so I want to get as much information as possible before I buy one.

    Grading the best toilets, the ones that work!

    Cadet 3 Pepper Test Video

    Last edited by Terry; 01-17-2010 at 05:29 PM.

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    DIY Member LBrandt's Avatar
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    Hello,
    My wife and I just replaced one of our (30 year old) American Standard toilets with a new American Standard Cadet 3 a few months ago, and it works perfectly. Being a new model, it is one of the 1.6 gallon units, and it flushes extremely fast and efficiently. We looked at the American Standard Champion before purchasing the Cadet, and at the time we didn't know of the complaints about the Champion model. We just went with the Cadet 3 because it was less expensive and looked fine. Now that we've read about the Champion problems, we're glad that we went with the Cadet 3. I can only assume that American Standard didn't do enough design work when they came out with the new Champion model, but the Cadet 3 is an excellent unit. Unlike the Champion model, which uses a new flush system, the Cadet 3 uses the same tried and true system that our old and very reliable American Standard toilet used. Of course, it's even better than our old unit, since it's the 1.6 gallon type. The Cadet 3 flushes so fast and quietly that we were amazed at its efficiency.

    Incidentally, we bought the standard height model (not the "right height" model), but I don't believe that there would be any difference in performance between the two.
    Last edited by Terry; 02-24-2008 at 04:53 PM.

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    DIY Junior Member sfphoenix75's Avatar
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    It seems the early reviews for the cadet 3 are favorable, but I don't know that it has withstood the test of time. You can find more feedback on the cadet 3 by doing a search for "cadet 3" here on the forum.

    My advice would be to pay the extra for a Toto. If I were to buy the Cadet 3 only to find problems develop after a year or two,
    Last edited by Terry; 06-13-2007 at 09:45 AM.

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    DIY Member JohnD's Avatar
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    The only difference between the two is the heighth of the bowl.

    The Am. Std. Cadet 3 is in the top five ranking in consumer reports for toilets in it's price range. The 3 is the size of the flush valve on the toilet which Eljer started with their Titan model in the DIY market, and now Am. Std., Kohler, and Jaccuzzi are using in their newer models.

    I think that they are a great toilet for $ spent.


    American Standard Cadet 3 elongated bowl with a built in lean.
    Last edited by Terry; 07-25-2009 at 03:30 PM.

  5. #5
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Eljer did not inovate the 3" flush valve. Toto did that 15 years ago.

    American Standard was the first to copy the 3" idea, 3 years ago with their Champion flush tower, and then Kohler, and in the last two years, Eljer.

    Pretty much, anything recent has been some sort of copy of the original
    TOTO designs.

    Toto is still better on qualiity than the other brands.
    I sell all brands, and install them, and remove the bad ones.

    A Toto out of the box, will look better and last better.
    If quality is important to you.
    Their quality, like that of Toyota and Honda and Lexus, has been very consistent.

    Less than 1% defects on TOTO, way better than the other brands I sell.
    Last edited by Terry; 12-14-2008 at 08:29 AM.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member b.o.b's Avatar
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    Thumbs up American Standard Cadet 3 is the new throne in my castle

    I'm new to posting in this forum, but I've been a frequent lurker since we bought our house a few years ago and I knew the inevitable change to 1.6GPF toilets was coming. As a "Jack of Many Trades" for 6 local nursing homes, I replace anywhere from 10-50 toilets a year when I'm not working on HVAC or electrical problems. We've always been pleased with the Toto brand that our local plumbing supplier carries, and after reading what many of the professional plumbers here have to say about the Toto Drake models, I was pretty well convinced that the Drake would be my choice when it came time to change out the toilets in our house. I was close to making my purchase last week, but I decided to check out the latest offerings at Lowe's, and that's where I stumbled onto the Cadet 3 from American Standard. This really threw a wrench in the works since I knew all about the problems people reported with the dreaded flush tower in the American Standard Champion, and I was already convinced that the Eljer Titan (Consumer Reports rated #1 in August of 2005) was not as good of a value as the Toto Drake, at least based upon the many reviews and opinions here and on another plumbing forum. But what about this fairly new Cadet 3 model from American Standard?

    I needed to find answers, since the specs on the Cadet 3 looked at least as good as the Toto Drake, Well, on Thursday night, I poured myself a half-gallon sized jug of Diet Pepsi and got busy searching for these answers. It seems that most of the professional plumbers that post on these forums are not willing to "take a chance" on American Standard after the problems with the Champion's flush tower, so they will continue to speak highly of the Toto Drake and not think twice about charging their customers a higher price to avoid potential callbacks. I know this may sound harsh, but if they actually took a good look at the Cadet 3, they would see that there is a lot of great features in this inexpensive, very high performance toilet. Here's what I was able to learn by keeping an open mind and pulling one of these toilets out of the box at Lowe's:
    • Very high quality look and feel.
    • Fully glazed 2-1/8" trapway.
    • Fluidmaster 400A Fill valve and brass tank bolts.
    • EverClean silver based anti-microbial glaze that resists bacterial growth.
    • Very nice 3" chemical resistant plastic flapper.
    • 5 year Warranty (that even covers the flapper)
    • Scored higher than the Toto Drake and the Round Front Eljer Titan in flushing performance in the latest MaP Testing (Click here to read the latest November 2006 report.)
    As you can probably tell from my enthusiasm at this point, I learned enough from my research into this new model, and now I am the proud owner of the American Standard Cadet 3, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend this toilet above any of the competition's best toilets. I fully expect this toilet to de-throne the Eljer from the top spot the next time Consumer Reports does an updated batch of testing. The very high quality feeling is a nice surprise considering the very low price. The flushing performance is as good as any other toilet I've ever seen. About 3 seconds and EVERYTHING is gone!!! The bowl washing seems more than adequate, possibly due to the EverClean coating, but either way, the bowl gets clean with each flush. Refilling takes place very quickly and very quietly. And while I'm raving, let me not forget to mention that this is all coming from one of the lowest priced toilets on the shelf at Lowe's. I know that for a professional plumber, there is no real reason to look for a lower cost alternative as long as your customers don't mind paying the price for a good high quality toilet, but most of the people looking for answers on the internet are also interested in finding the best value for their money. Thanks for listening,

    Bob

    Cadet 3 tank
    Last edited by Terry; 04-01-2008 at 10:25 PM.
    I'm not a plumber, but I play one at work...

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    DIY Junior Member sfphoenix75's Avatar
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    That's a great review b.o.b.! Please remember to give us an update in 12 months to let us know how it is going.

    My lingering concern is that the Cadet 3 has not been on the market long enough to indentify long-term reliability. That's a genuine concern not just for plumbers who want to avoid upset clients, but also for homeowners like myself who don't want the aggravation and expense of having to get a new toilet repaired in the first few years of its service.

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member LaNor's Avatar
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    Default American Standard Cadet Three

    Of all the responses to my query about the American Standard's Cadet three versus the Toto Drake, I agree with what B.O.B. had to say. I have thouroghly checked out both toilets specs and have come to the conclusion that although American Standard produced a poor product in the past they have rectified that mistake with the Cadet three and have a very superior tiolet for a lot less money than the Toto. As far as waiting a year to see if any problems develop, remember this is not rocket science, it is a toilet with very few parts to go wrong. If the flush performance is good the first thirty days, that will not change unless damage occurs to the toilet itself, or an obstruction in the drain or sewer line develops. The cadet three does have a lot of extra features the Toto does not have and the warranty is just as good. As for leaks between the tank and bowl any moderatly intelligent person is going to notice if there is a problem either in installation or within a short time of service. The rest of the parts are inconsequential. A bad fill valve? Replace it with a trouble free Fill-Pro valve wich is virtually indistructable and completely trouble free and also eliminates the float and all the mechanism associated with it. The cost of this valve is under $5.00 and the best investment you will ever make. I know this for a fact because I have installed 5 of these valves in 5 seperate toilets in the last 20 years and never had one of them give me a problem. I agree with B.O.B. that the Cadet Three will ultimatly dethrone the Toto because of performance and cost.
    Last edited by Terry; 06-13-2007 at 09:48 AM.

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    DIY Junior Member sfphoenix75's Avatar
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    I hope you're right LaNor - better competition would only help all of us consumers. Still, I recall many of the problems with the Champion not being immediately apparent upon install or shortly but developing over a period of time due to a faulty design and cheap quality parts.
    Last edited by Terry; 02-24-2008 at 04:54 PM.

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    DIY Member LBrandt's Avatar
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    Hello again,
    As I mentioned in my earlier post, we installed a Cadet 3, and we couldn't be more pleased with it. It hasn't been 12 months since we installed it, but it has been 6 months (which should be an adequately long enough time for testing), and it works beautifully. I don't know how any toilet could perform any better.

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member b.o.b's Avatar
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    Lightbulb My Cadet 3 continues to shine

    I agree that American Standard dug themselves into a bad spot with the reliability concerns of the Champion, and that was why I looked so hard at both the porcelain quality and all of the components that they used in the Cadet Three. I would have completely ignored this toilet if it had been another attempt at some new technology or if they had tried re-engineering a time proven flush system, but it looks like they took the best flushing system available today and made it perform better. Their choice in using the Fluidmaster 400A combined with a 3 inch chemical resistant flapper showed me that they are taking Toyota's approach: Listen to what the public likes about a product (namely the Toto Drake) and make it work better, rather than being stubborn in an attempt to do things differently than what is already working. I'm quite sure that they've read their share of complaints both on these forums and in their customers' complaints, and hopefully they will receive enough positive feedback from the Cadet Three that they will continue along this way of thinking, AND keep the price affordable. I think the icing on the cake for me was the inclusion of the EverClean anti-microbial coating at a price that is far below the current favorites in high-performance toilets. This feature above any other would be what I would like to have seen some long-term reports on, but the rest of the product is gleaming with quality, and as LaNor stated previously, what makes this toilet flush so well is NOT rocket science. I'm pretty sure that there was a computer assisting in the design of the Cadet Three trapway, but once they got that aspect perfected so the performance was above that of the Toto Drake or the Eljer Titan, they brought this model to market at a price which in my opinion gave them a huge boost on their climb out of that pit they dug themselves into with the Champion.

    Now if some of you professional plumbers out there would give the Cadet 3 a fair chance and a good thorough once over, I'd love to read some of your opinions on this product just to see if I've been completely blinded by the low price. I think that the powerful flushing action is pretty much all the evidence I needed to feel really good about my purchase decision, but its always nice to hear from those with the day-in and day-out experience.

    Also, for LBrandt or any other long-term owners: I know I tend to get a bit long-winded, but if you do happen to read this far down, how is that EverClean coating working out? Is the Cadet 3 toilet any easier to keep clean compared to your previous toilet? I know that was one feature I failed to mention to my wife before I installed our Cadet 3, and she noticed right away that the lights in our bathroom really seem to sparkle off the outer sides of the bowl, and I've noticed that there is an iridescent pearl-like sheen in the porcelain whenever I need to wipe up those occassional "sprinkles" that don't quite make it into the bowl.
    Last edited by Terry; 02-24-2008 at 04:54 PM.
    I'm not a plumber, but I play one at work...

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    DIY Member LBrandt's Avatar
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    Hello b.o.b.
    Yes, the Cadet 3 coating is excellent. Cleaning is a snap, and you're right, it always seems to sparkle. I'm not a plumber, but I don't see how any toilet could be any more efficient than this one, regardless of price. We have two bathrooms, and if and when we ever need to replace our other (30 year old) toilet, we'll go with another Cadet 3.

  13. #13
    DIY Junior Member carolinakid's Avatar
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    Default My experience with the Cadet 3


    Cadet 3 bowl
    I installed a AS Cadet 3" about 6 months ago.

    In summary - I had to go back to HD a few times to get a bowl that wasn't defective (wasn't flat on the bottom or wasn't fully glazed).

    I have had the toilet installed for about 6 months and have put it through some severe "stress" tests and admit that it has never clogged. Relative to the previous toilet that was installed - I'm impressed. Very strong and efficient flush. Not extra ordinarily noisey.

    I am still a little concerned about overall quality of the unit based on the initial quality problems I had finding one that wasn't defective. I'm wondering if the unit is going to start developing leaks or parts failing. Only more time will tell.

    I'm impressed enough with the toilet that I'm going to replace the other two in my house with the same AS Cadet 3. I fully expect to have to go to HD or Lowes and open every box and inspect the bowl before purshasing to avoid 3 separate trips.

    I was initially going to use Toto Drake until the only local dealer quoted me a very high price and long delivery time. At the time the new report came out on toilets that showed the Cadet 3 performing very well relative to the Toto's (you can find it on the internet if you do some searching).

    I really don't care where the toilet is made as long as its the best unit for the $$$.
    Last edited by Terry; 12-14-2008 at 08:30 AM.

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    DIY Junior Member MPiazzisi's Avatar
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    LaNor,
    based on a week of research I to decided to put in a Cadet 3. The first reason was the Toto Drake was not readily avialable in NW Suburban Chicago. The second reason was price. the MAP report rated the Cadet 3 and Drake about equal.

    I picked it up after dinner tonight and installed it in under 1 hour. I gave it a decent live test and it worked great. The bowl wash was excellent. However I am comparing that to a 1991 AS Plese. The Master bath also has a 1991 AS Plese that is on its last leg. I think it will last 6 more months. If the Cadet 3 continues to please after that I will put in an identicle toilet.

    I have a question about my install. I tightened the tank to the bowl as much as I felt was safe. This is not bolted all the way down and the tank has some play in it. Should I keep cranking down on the bolts until the tank touches the bowl and has no play in it?
    Last edited by Terry; 06-13-2007 at 09:49 AM.

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    DIY Junior Member Barney1's Avatar
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    Mpiazzisi,

    I just purchased the Cadet 3 and my bowl seems to have some play in it as well. What did you end up doing with yours? Did you tighten it down until there was no play? Iím worried that I may crack something.

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