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Thread: American Standard Cadet 3 Three Toilet consumer product review

  1. #271
    DIY Junior Member davenorth's Avatar
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    The gasket I got for bowl->base is quite thick, and I'm sure it should not be torqued down until contact is made. Clearly if you use moderate force on the bolts there will be a gap. Given that, the tank rocks.

    I cannot imagine what harm this causes, if any, unless it eventually causes the gasket to fail. In normal use, my Cadet 3 does not rock or show any sign of instability. On the one hand, I'd agree this is less than aesthetically perfect. On the other? It was cheap, available, and works well.

    Mine has the same built-in tilt, but so far nobody has slipped off to the right. I pretty much doubt anyone would notice if they didn't check it with a level -- I did only because I wanted to make sure the tank bolts got equal torque. Not the best method, but good enough.



    Please note the image was added by Terry, and is not of my installation. Gives the idea, but exaggerates a bit.

    So, could you post a picture with a level on the bowl so we can add yours to this collection?
    Terry
    Sure! Here ya go. And it's not as different as my memory suggested; they're actually pretty close (though mine isn't quite as slanted).

    I did check the floor and, to my surprise, it's level. I'm surprised because the house was built in 1941. Wow, toilet photography is trickier than I thought! Flash flares ... urk. Had to do an inset of the bubble to make the matter clear.

    Another weird point: mine is a round front, not elongated. Yet they both have a similar tilt. What's up with that?
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by davenorth; 01-13-2010 at 09:54 AM.

  2. #272
    DIY Junior Member davenorth's Avatar
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    Default Inspection At Time Of Purchase

    Per the suggestion of several people here, when we bought our toilet we inspected it. However, the store did not seem to have any available floor personnel or any obvious way to do this prior to purchase.

    So we simply bought it and took it outside, then opened the box in the parking lot. This took only a few minutes. Had anything been wrong, we could have wheeled it right back in.

    In the end everything checked out and we were fine with the first unit selected. I would point out, though, that the first box we pulled had clearly been dropped, so we went a bit further back in the pile to get one that looked unmolested.

    If you're at one of those stores that's not very helpful, you still have the option to inspect before taking it home. Plus, when you have a time stamp on the receipt that shows only a few minutes have gone by, it's pretty clear you didn't bung something up during installation.


    Dave

  3. #273
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    And that's why you inspect the Cadet tank and bowl.
    Every time.

    You don't want to waste trips back and forth.
    Let some unsuspecting homeowner bring home the junk.


    This is what they look like at the Woodinville Home Depot.

  4. #274
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Jakeru,
    Of all the toilets I sell, I have the worst luck with American Standard and Kohler.
    I think I'm getting 20% returns for the American Standard.
    One out of five.
    Does anyone think that number is good?
    If you went to a restaurant, and you couldn't eat one out of five visits, would you go back?
    It doesn't even matter where I buy them.
    I'm still returning bowls and tanks.

    I'm not going to spend an hour fixing a defective bowl either.

    We replace toilets all over the Seattle area, from Olympia to Anacortes.
    If someone wants Kohler or American Standard, we put two in the truck.
    Hopefully that makes for one installable toilet.

    If we are bringing out Toto, we don't worry.
    Less then 1% defects.
    That is why we can install a toilet for $50 less then Lowes charges.
    We aren't wasting time.
    This way, our customers can save on labor and get a better product without spending more.
    It also means we don't have call backs.
    Even more savings.

    You guys that can go back and forth returning bowls and tanks, and then spending an hour "fixing" a brand new toilet must have nothing but time on your hands.
    Last edited by Terry; 01-09-2010 at 02:55 PM.

  5. #275
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    I think I'm getting 20% returns for the American Standard.
    One out of five.
    Does anyone think that number is good?
    Sounds like good odds to me, and I'm not much of a gambling man.

    It's lower than the chances of having a divorce.

    And certainly much better than light bulbs.

    About half of the ones I buy are duff by the time I get them home nowadays (lamps, not wives, that is).

  6. #276
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    And certainly much better than light bulbs.
    That's a good analogy Ian.
    Light bulbs are good for 750 hours.

  7. #277
    Comments by readers Reader Review's Avatar
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    Default Posted by Jakeru

    I have some new observations to report about my cadet 3's performance.

    Bowl Wash Update: Positive
    In the bowl wash deparment, the update is positive. I managed to make my cadet 3 (compact flowise model) pass the "pepper test" successfully every time, 100%. (It was previously leaving behind some unwashed pepper in the bowl in some areas.)

    The culprit turned out to be a bit of glazing "flash", such as what I found under the bowl rim nearby some of the bowl rinse holes. The porcelain/glazing "flash" was diverting some of the bowl rinse water coming out of the holes, to prevent the water from distributing evenly around the bowl. A mechanic's "mirror on a stick" was useful to identify and remove any. I knocked the "flash" off and generally smoothed the surface under the rim by using using the flat chisel edge of a prybar. The other thing I did was use a bent metal clothes hanger wire to ream out the bowl rinse holes.
    I found a single hole that was obstructed near the top (probably by glazing flash) that I managed to ream out with the wire. I got other holes flowing better by bending an inserted wire in various directions to effectively ream out the bottom opening of the hole. Although bowl cleaning has never been a problem due to the "everclean" gloss finish, (and we still have yet to ever need to use a bowl brush on the inside of the bowl, which has been fantastic), it is kind of nice to see all surfaces of the bowl glisten with running washing water after every flush, every time.

    Flushing Performance Update: Mixed
    In the flushing department, the update is mixed. Since increasing its flush volume from 1.138 to 1.35 gpf, the toilet is flushing better, but still not perfectly. The flush volume increase eliminated all occurrences of the trap not syphoning due to inadequate water, which I had encountered previously ever so often at 1.138 gpf. However, the toilet does on rare occasions encounter clogging, especially when a particularly long specimen (IE: 8-10"), is combined with any toilet paper. The work-around is to double flush on any such scenarios (with the first flush happening before any paper is added.)

    Clearing any clogs that have arisen has at least been pretty easy. Often a "long" flush (holding the handle down as long as is necessary until clog frees) does the trick. Sometimes, some time waiting for the bowl water level to drop and then performing a subsequent flush does the trick. For those times when no additional flushing and waiting seems to work, I have found a plunger is always effective (and easy to use on this toilet, using the style with the horn on the end, which helps block the syphon jet hole.)

    Jakeru


    9/22/2009
    Ian - solids not clearing the bowl reliably in a single flush is the main negative issue I have experienced. However, it might be simply because I don't have the flush quantity properly adjusted yet.

    I just measured the current flush volume (by taking the difference in water meter read before and after 10 flushes, then averaging per flush, and converting from cubic feet to gallons) and the way I have my toilet set up, I got a low, 1.138 gallons per flush. It's a possibly significant (~12% lower) difference from the rated 1.28 gallon per flush figure that this toilet was spec'ed at. Also the MaP testing lab should would have adjusted the flush volume close to 1.28 (when practical) prior to performing the MaP testing. This particular model did get the highest, 1000 gram rating, so I am optimistic the increase to 1.28 may help.

    I am thinking that by shortening the length of chain between float and flapper, it might keep the flapper open longer, and increase the flush volume. I have not made any adjustments to mine yet since installing it, but I will go ahead and try shortening the flapper float chain length, and report back. I think I have the water level set about as high as I would want it to be. Although I was confused if I should have set it 1/4" inch below the top of the white overflow tube, or 1/4" below the top of the blue coupler that sets over the top of the tube.

    So, the jury is still out, if increasing my flush volume will make this a reliably awesome flusher. Like I said I've only had this about 3 weeks so far, and haven't made any adjustments, just been trying it and living with it. I'll report back after I have more information.

    My only other negative is a minor cosmetic one - in the bowl, the syphon jet hole is a bit misshapen, not totally symmetic looking. But I'm thinking it's pretty minor; you have to look for it to see it.
    Jakeru


    9/3/2009
    I can back up gurgler's claim that the Cadet 3 doesn't have an ideal bowl wash. I performed the "pepper test" on my Compact Elongated Flowise Cadet 3 (where you sprinkle black pepper around the bowl, flush it, and observe any areas of the bowl that weren't washed.)

    I found unwashed pepper remained in the bowl around the 6 o'clock and 4 o'clock positions. I think I also see some yellow urine stains developing there. Although luckily, that location is actually pretty hard to see.

    I am also still trying to figure out how to make it flush consistently. It seems the flapper closes so quickly after releasing the lever, that the flush quantity varies depending on how long the lever is held down. On one recent occasion, releasing the flush lever too quickly didn't syphon the trap and clear solids. A longer flush is a completely different story however. Also with the varying flush quantity, the refill quantity, and therefore the water spot level after the flush varies. Holding down lever longer -> more flush quantity -> more time refilling the tank and bowl -> higher level water spot. I find the water spot is not usually completely refilled for a very short quick flush. Regardless, I find the water spot level to still generally be pretty decent on this toilet, especially considering it's only using 1.28gpf.

    Jakeru
    Last edited by Reader Review; 01-11-2010 at 11:24 AM.

  8. #278
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    When you buy anything new, you don't expect to have to correct manufacturing errors or quality deficiencies. Would you buy a new car if you had to tune it up before it ran properly? Would you buy a shirt if you had to sew all of the buttons back on after you tried it on once and they fell off? Why you think reaming out holes that should have been open from the factory is an okay thing represents a good product, I don't know.

    I'd rather use my time and money doing other, more pleasurable things. The cost of getting it right the first time out of the box is worth it to avoid AS. To each his own...every once in awhile, you get one that works as designed and built correctly. Too often, you don't.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  9. #279
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    That's where Pros and DIYers differ Jadnashua.

    It's the joy of the job and taking pride in one's workmanship.

    And all too often fixing other people's mistakes. Even the best contractors won't do a "perfect" job to the discerning eye. They simply do not have the time.

    I've never had a licensed professional leave the job exactly as I want it, 'cos I'm picky.

    I had a chimney specialist around reparging my fireplace at the weekend. He did a great job but scratched my wood surround with his boots. Of course he did not notice, but I did and so after he left and I had paid my thanks, I refinished it.

    What could possibly be more pleasurable than that?
    Last edited by Ian Gills; 01-11-2010 at 04:43 PM.

  10. #280
    DIY Senior Member Runs with bison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Gills View Post
    And certainly much better than light bulbs.
    Off topic but I have to ask: incandescent or CFL's? If incandescent then I suggest being more selective in picking ones mid pack in the display (less likely to have taken a tumble than the ones in front--ditto for eggs, crackers, Pringles, etc!) and treat them gingerly when bringing them home. If it is CFL's giving you trouble then it is likely the brand (Feit, GE, Cosco, and Lowe's house brand are not very good.) I primarily use the orange box store's house brand--out of ~80-100 CFL's installed my failure rate has been 1 per year for the last two years.

  11. #281
    DIY Junior Member shingo43's Avatar
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    Default my american standard cadet3 RH splashes!!!! please help

    Just installed on weekends, the 1st flash always splashes!! if you flash again after one flush when water is refilled, the problem is gone! is there a slow leak problem? what should I do? is the problem from the tank or bowl ? will replacing flapper fix the problem?
    please help!! ps the forum is awesome!

  12. #282
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    is there a slow leak problem?
    Are you saying the water level in the bowl drops between uses?

  13. #283
    DIY Junior Member shingo43's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Are you saying the water level in the bowl drops between uses?
    no, water spillout when I flush

  14. #284
    DIY Junior Member shingo43's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shingo43 View Post
    no, water spillout when I flush
    I found the problem is that after you flush, the water level is the bowl is getting less and less, so when it reaches the point that almost no water, and you flush again, it will splash!! How do I fix the water level problem in the bowl, please help!!!

  15. #285
    DIY Junior Member rbico's Avatar
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    Smile my experience...

    After reading through this very long thread about one toilet, I decided to try the cadet 3. Heeding the warnings here, I inspected the toilet before I bought it and also grabbed a better seat before I left the store. The install went really fast, other than I put the bowl on and tightened the bolts then remembered I had jammed two rags in the drain to keep the gases from escaping. Luckily I had also purchased a backup wax ring, so that was an easy fix. After putting it together, I only needed to make a slight adjustment to the water filler thingy to get the tank to the right height. I still cannot believe that the little wimpy flush can get rid of everything, but so far it has. Leaving out descriptions, I have put down with one flush what would have been a 2-flusher with my old tank (an old pink 70's 4 gallon monstrosity).

    So for what it's worth, I give the thing 5 stars. I lucked out with a level bowl, good finishing on the ceramic, a non-cracked wax ring, good flapper, and all of the parts were there. I am, however, going to get a Toto when we remodel next year and pout the Cadet in our spare bathroom. Not that anything is wrong with the cadet, but Terry speaks so lovingly of the Totos and I think it just looks a little bit nicer than the Cadet.

    Question: I found that my rough-in was 13". Is there anything I can do about the 2.5" gap behind the toilet. An adjuster cap or something that will allow the toilet to sit back closer to the wall? our bathroom is small and every inch counts.

    thanks to everyone!

    PS: I consider myself a nerd/geek and I thought I would never be surprised at what geek-dom I might across. I have to say, you are all toilet nerds, especially that British guy who pimped-out his cadet 3. I mean that with respect, as a fellow nerd, but I think that I have now truly seen everything.
    Last edited by rbico; 01-27-2010 at 03:31 PM.

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