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Thread: Costco Water Ridge Dual Flush Toilet Review & pictures

  1. #106
    DIY Junior Member gnosker's Avatar
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    I have bought two of these toilets from Costco and love them both. Best toilet I have owned yet. Terry the
    so called expert plumber does not know what the hell he is talking about. He just can't sell his toilets for
    that kind of money, so he is running down Costcos. Both toilets flush great, and liquid flush I use most
    of the time. When it is the solid flush, it does a great job and has plenty of water to flush everything
    down. It averages out to 1.2 gal. per flush and saves me a lot of water. I give it an A+

  2. #107
    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnosker View Post
    I have bought two of these toilets from Costco and love them both. Best toilet I have owned yet. Terry the
    so called expert plumber does not know what the hell he is talking about. He just can't sell his toilets for
    that kind of money, so he is running down Costcos. Both toilets flush great, and liquid flush I use most
    of the time. When it is the solid flush, it does a great job and has plenty of water to flush everything
    down. It averages out to 1.2 gal. per flush and saves me a lot of water. I give it an A+
    I am not of the opinion that everything from Costco is crap. We get meat, cheese and produce there that rivals anything in the best shops here in Manhattan. Their prices are great, if not always the lowest. More importantly, they focus on service. For example, their truly-excellent and proud service in the tire shop blows away anything I have experienced at the Mercedes dealer. We bought a very expensive, high-quality massage chair there. Paper goods, water, button-down shirts, HP computers, printers, televisions, DVD players, plants, flowers -- all name brands from Costco and all provided with excellent service, excellent support, and an amazing return policy. If they have the thing that you are looking for in the model that you are looking for, it's a great place. If not, you get it somewhere else.

    But there is no reason to attack Terry personally for his opinion, which I value and trust. The toilets that he recommends are premium products, even if they are cheaper than many lesser products at places like Home Depot. He expects them to last a long time without problems. He guarantees his installations, which he performs thoughtfully, professionally, and at what seems to this New Yorker to be an amazing price, given his expertise and willingness to do things for free that other plumbers where I live would charge extra for. I expect that because he guarantees his work, he wants to install something that he is (a) not going to get complaints about from the customer and (b) isn't going to have to come back and fix for free within two years. The consensus here and elsewhere is that when you put in a Toto toilet, most likely the only thing you are going to have to fix within the first 5 years, if even then, is the flapper. And maybe, if you get crud in it, the diaphragm on the Korky fill valve. Both of these can be done by mere mortals, and the parts are readily available at almost any local hardware store for less than $5, and at Lowe's for less than that. Ten, fifteen, twenty years from now, if you need to change a valve, there is no reason to believe that you won't be able to find replacement parts easily, cheaply and locally, just like we still can for the more-generic, 50-year-old American Standard toilets.

    The consensus about these Water Ridge toilets seems to be that the initial investment is low, and they seem to satisfy many of their purchasers when they work properly, no doubt because there isn't much not to like for $89, and if you find it fun (as I do) to install your own toilet then it's just another fun project to undertake if you have to replace the thing. However, the total initial investment isn't so low if you have to pay someone $300 to put it in; in that circumstance it probably behooves a person to make a little-higher investment in materials to avoid the need for the expensive professional to return to repair or replace the thing.

    What also seems to be the consensus about the Water Ridge toilets is that they have a non-standard mechanism that comes out of whack over time. It appears from some comments here that if one knows what to do about that, one may be able to get back in business on one's own. If not, as would be the case for most people (and maybe even many local plumbers unfamiliar with the product), then an expensive headache awaits.

    And I don't think that too many can argue that that's the deal.

    If you have had a good experience and you are prepared to fix the thing when it finally does break, great. But that's no reason to crassly impugn the integrity of a friendly, honorable guy that understandably doesn't want to be dragging himself back out to a customer over and over to fix something that has now cost the customer more in total cost than the customer would have spent if he had just paid another $120 in materials to get the premium Toto Drake. And customers like that are never happy people. Also, Terry always seems to approach even the most inane questions on here welcomingly and with good cheer. You're entitled to your opinion, but you should be ashamed of yourself.

  3. #108
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Gnosker,
    There are plenty of negative reviews on the Costco WaterRidge and some positive reviews. This one generates a lot of opinions.
    We have the bargain hunters that buy on the low end giving a product review on one of the cheapest toilets they can find.
    Personally, I work on all the brands, and sell all the brands. I get to work with low end product and high end product. There is a difference. And it's a pretty obvious one. That being said, even the builder grade stuff is approved for use in homes. You bolt it in, and it works for a lot of people. And then there is product that I can even recommend for restaurants, churches and commercial buildings. This isn't one of them.

    I'm sure you think I'm a car snob too. I like taking my Toyota 4 wheel drive Highlander up skiing in the Winter. I could have bought a VW Bug. I'm not a bug guy though.


    I'm not liking this trapway on the WaterRidge bowl. It might work for for some if you needs aren't much, but it's a bit on the small side and has that strange offset at the exit of the bowl. Ouch!
    Last edited by Terry; 06-13-2012 at 05:21 PM.

  4. #109
    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    Terry,
    Very classy response! I would have not been as nice or as patient as you.

    Gnosker,
    Really bad form to join a free internet DIY site like this, hosted, for FREE, by Terry, and which has attracted really smart and helpful professionals who give DIY'ers like you and me FREE advise.

    I have gotten much good advice over the years and have never bought a toilet from Terry (too far away, or I would!)

  5. #110
    DIY Junior Member SkyRiverRat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveW View Post
    Terry,
    Very classy response! I would have not been as nice or as patient as you.

    Gnosker,
    Really bad form to join a free internet DIY site like this, hosted, for FREE, by Terry, and which has attracted really smart and helpful professionals who give DIY'ers like you and me FREE advise.

    I have gotten much good advice over the years and have never bought a toilet from Terry (too far away, or I would!)
    I purchased two of these $79 WR toilets from Costco recently, but wanted to check reviews before installing. In searching the Internet for reviews came across this forum/thread and this DIY site. Lucky for me, I live very close to Terry and may very well take advantage of that!

  6. #111
    DIY Junior Member mopilac's Avatar
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    I've had my water ridge dual flush toilet for about 4 years now and for the past 2 months it's been draining and refilling and the water bill is ridiculous! Now I'm not sure who to contact for help since this is a product sold only from Costco..I've been trying to do some research on how to fix running toilets but nothing helps. I'm almost positive that the water is draining into the toilet boil and that the seal needs to be replaced; however, I do not know how to remove the dual flush center unit. Can someone please explain to me in very basic terms on how to remove it?

  7. #112
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    You will need to call Costco for the parts. No hardware stores support the WaterRidge brand.
    Normally on the flush valve, you can rotate them out, counter clockwise.

  8. #113
    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    To expand upon what Terry said, I would read the posts on this thread (I know there are a lot) to see what others have done to solve the leak problem, because it's not an uncommon problem with these toilets.

    One poster said that he had solved the problem by removing the flush valve, examining the grey seal, and popping any blisters on it that had formed, and that this had solved his slow leak.

    As far as getting parts, call Costco Customer Service 866.789.2273 and talk to them about it. Now if you decide to scrap this thing and buy a Toto, which often uses American-made Korky parts, you could call Toto customer service and/or Korky customer service, and either one would actually sit on the phone with you and walk you through the steps necessary to fix your toilet while you are doing it, kind of like how computer tech support does. In this case, I think that the most you can expect from Costco is that they will send you replacement parts under warranty, although they do purport to offer some level of "technical support" when you call.

    If you are trying to get the flush valve out of the toilet, the steps would be: (1) turn off the water supply to the toilet at the wall there; (2) flush; (3) disconnect any hoses that go to the flush valve (I'm just not familiar with it so don't know if there are any); (4) rotate the flush valve counterclockwise. If you can't get it out by turning with your hand, I'm not sure you're going to get it out easily. I'm assuming that this is a one-piece toilet, because the method for a two-piece would be different.

    Hope this helps, but I think that calling Costco tech support directly is your best bet to start.

    And let us know how it goes, so that others can be helped.
    Last edited by wjcandee; 08-22-2012 at 02:04 PM.

  9. #114
    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    Just a quick and separate observation, using the latest forum member as an example.

    I am intrigued by how many folks have been persuaded to view a toilet as a short-term disposable item rather than a long-term capital improvement. I guess that strategy works okay if one doesn't plan to stay in one's house very long, but otherwise it seems so penny-wise and pound-foolish.

    Taking today's example with the Water Ridge, the guy must have felt like he made out well by buying it over, say, a Toto EcoDrake, which would have set him back maybe another $100. And I'm sure he felt good about that savings for the first four years. But when the moving parts of the thing eventually wear out, as they will, now comes the comeuppance. Had he purchased a Toto, we could have told him to go to Lowe's (or Ace or any number of independent hardware stores) and come back in 20 minutes with the part he needed, whether it be the Korky Fits Toto flapper or the R528 Fill Valve Repair Cap. And in less than five more minutes, he would have been back in business. Instead, he has a major hassle on his hands, and there are few feelings worse (at least for me) than to know that you have something important that isn't working and you have no idea how to get it working again. Who do I call? What will it cost? Am I better off fixing or replacing? It just sucks.

    Now let's see what the delta is on this hassle factor. A customer receives four years of trouble-free service during which time he tells everyone who would listen what a great deal his WaterRidge is. Then he finds himself with a broken product and a bunch of frustration. For about $2/month over that four years, he would have, at the end of four years, no hassle instead of immense hassle. In a ten-year window, we're talking about less than an extra $1/month for the Toto, and we can predict two or more episodes of hassle during that time.

    If you look at it that way, it's a no-brainer. And if people bothered to educate themselves, they would walk right past a whole lot of pretty fixtures in the big-box stores and make what we here know to be the right decision. It makes evangelizing for quality plumbing fixtures a rewarding diversion.
    Last edited by Terry; 02-16-2014 at 05:21 PM.

  10. #115
    DIY Junior Member mopilac's Avatar
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    Thank you for your help on removing the flush valve! Now I removed the grey rubber seal and cleaned it (although it really wasn't dirty) and I did not notice any blisters. Now my question is, the black rubber seal at the bottom that is still attached to the tank..could that be the source of the problem? It looks like I have to unscrew it in order to get to the black rubber seal. I'll have to call Costco in the morning when their customer service hours are running.

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/254/img1644pm.jpg/

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/440/img1649pv.jpg/

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/201/img1643a.jpg/
    Last edited by mopilac; 08-22-2012 at 07:00 PM.

  11. #116
    DIY Junior Member mopilac's Avatar
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    The pictures didn't upload. I'll keep trying so you can see what I'm talking about with the black rubber seal
    Last edited by mopilac; 08-22-2012 at 07:01 PM.

  12. #117
    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    I see what you have there. Personally, I think that's less-likely a location for the leak, but possible. One way to check is to, without reinstalling the dual-flush assembly, put water in the tank to below the bottom of the mouth of the flush valve housing. Make sure it's below that level so none runs through the flush valve opening. Add some food dye in the tank, and wait. If you get any colored water in the bowl, then the leak may be between that black seal and the tank. If not, then that isn't the problem (assuming that the pressure of the additional water doesn't vary your test results, but with enough time, if there's a leak you should see it). One other test: put your flush mechanism back in, turn on the water to fill the tank, then turn off the water and leave it overnight. See how low the water goes by morning. Sometimes, you can find a leak or crack just by evaluating how far down the water goes -- if it's basically-dry in the morning, leak at very bottom of tank. If a little water left in, you can figure out where the seal point is that it's leaking. If water settles to a particular level on several runs of that test, then look there for a crack or other source of water leak. (We had a guy a few weeks ago who couldn't figure out why he was losing about an inch -- and only an inch -- of water in his toilet when he tested by turning off the water. He had a crack in the overflow riser from the top down about an inch or so, and which was obscured by the clip for the refill hose. He kluged the repair with some waterproof tape, and was happy and back in business.

    Also, I can't tell from your third photo: is that refill hose "daylighted" above the lip of the overflow riser on the flush valve, or is it shoved down that riser? If it is shoved down the riser, water can siphon from the tank through the fill valve and down that hose into the overflow riser and from there into the bowl.
    Last edited by wjcandee; 08-22-2012 at 07:48 PM.

  13. #118
    DIY Junior Member mopilac's Avatar
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    Thank you wycandee! So it wasn't the black rubber seal and was in fact the grey rubber seal of the dual-flush assembly. When I reattached the flush unit, I filled the water about an inch above where the grey seal is and instantly I heard the water dripping and the water in the bowl changed color. I just called Costco and they will send me a new flush valve and hopefully this will solve the problem!
    Last edited by mopilac; 08-23-2012 at 07:27 AM.

  14. #119
    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    Great detective work! When you receive and install the part, let us know how it goes so others will have the benefit of your experience (how long the part takes, how easy to install, whether it solves the problem the first time, etc.). Have a great week!

  15. #120
    DIY Junior Member j1paque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mopilac View Post
    Thank you wycandee! So it wasn't the black rubber seal and was in fact the grey rubber seal of the dual-flush assembly. When I reattached the flush unit, I filled the water about an inch above where the grey seal is and instantly I heard the water dripping and the water in the bowl changed color. I just called Costco and they will send me a new flush valve and hopefully this will solve the problem!
    I have the same problem. I also noticed the short flush works fine, the rubber seals it properly. But when using the long flush, it appears the seal is never made again and the drip starts. Did you call your local Costco store or a support number? Did you need a receipt? I need to do the same!

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