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Thread: Briggs Vacuity toilet review and comments. Rated #1 by Consumer Reports

  1. #16
    Comments by readers Reader Review's Avatar
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    I installed a Briggs Vacuity seven years ago and it worked as advertised....until recently. Leaks.leaks-leaks!
    The inner tank began to leak into the outer tank until the water found it's way out the flush handle hole. As a quick-fix I notched the inner tank and siliconed the plastic nut around the flush handle hole. This worked until I FINALLY heard from Brigg's tech MRr.Don. My many calls to Briggs were not returned, so I resorted to e-mail which fell short of a real conversation. Don advised I disassemble the tank and silicone a 3/8" bead around all through-tank fittings, then reassemble the tank. This I carefully accomplished and allowed to dry for three days prior to mating tank to bowl. Now the leaks started from the tank bolts until I tightened them far beyond what I felt prudent. After that leak was fixed, (whew!) the toilet still leaked from the inner to outer tanks....and developed yet another leak from the fill nipple below the tank. Tightening that fitting did not stop the leak. After three weeks of trying to save my Briggs Vacuity I took it out to the garbage and hammered it to pieces.
    I felt that Brigg's Customer Service was unresponsive and unprofessional, both in their "try this-try that" attitude and in their poor support. I just installed an American Standard Champion 4. It has a 10 year warranty. Bye-bye Vacuity.... and Briggs.
    Steve Ceskowski
    Beach Park, Illinois

  2. #17
    Comments by readers Reader Review's Avatar
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    We had installed a Briggs Vacuity about 5 years ago based on the Consumer Reports comparison article which rated it as top choice. We had never had a flush problem but were plagued by mechanical parts problems. I had replaced the entire flush mechanism with parts directly from Briggs at what I felt was a hefty price considering most toilets are pretty much an install and forget item. This is about 2.5 years after total re do of interior items an am now again plagued by tank to bowl leakage. The whole unit will now be replaced by another brand as replacing the parts again would raise the price of toilet plus cost of repair parts to about $700. Foolish in anyones book. Our water rates are facing about 58 to 65% increases which would my monthly Cape Coral, FL water bill of $85.00 seem cheap by comparison.
    Frank C Cape Coral, FL 33990

    Hardware stores don't carry parts for the Vacuity toilet.
    Something Consumer Reports isn't concerned with.
    Their testing only requires it to flush a few times.
    After that, it's buyer beware.
    Last edited by Reader Review; 11-22-2009 at 10:19 AM.

  3. #18
    DIY Junior Member sholleran's Avatar
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    Default Briggs Vacuity works great

    I know I'm the only happy Briggs customer, but here goes.

    I bought the Vacuity 4408 (?) identicl to the CR review, must have been about 2003-ish. Love it, works great. Have 2 old Mansfields water wasters that don't work 1/2 as well - they have plungers next to them. Briggs - no leaks, no noises, flush great - no plunger in the room.

    From that experience, during a remodel I replaced my in-laws' toilet with the Briggs Aegeis. She's at least 250 LBs, he's well over 300. No complaints, and I can only imagine the workload they impose on that appliance. (And they might not complain to me, but my wife would make sure I heard all about it being my fault.)

    My wife's been begging me to replace the Mansfields so she can ditch the plungers!

  4. #19
    Comments by readers Reader Review's Avatar
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    Default August 15th 2010

    Hi, I am one of the unfortunate that have this toilet in my home. That is i have five!
    Soon as we moved into the home that was built in 2004, in 2007 we began having problems with two of the toilets. Now all five have failed repeatedly. They have to be flushed several times, every time you go to the bathroom. Each time you have to use a plunger and we all know how those do on the toilet model 4430/4440, they don't. All of this is great fun in the middle of the night, early morning or any time you have to mess with this.
    Today my husband and I have tried repeatedly to repair the top portion of the toilet where it connects with the bowl. Not only was it nasty just from the way it was put together, it is impossible to find the same parts even at Lowes.
    If you try the Briggs web site, good luck. The numbers on your toilet will not match anything on their site nor do they warn their customers of monstrosity they have sold. The whole site is a jig saw puzzle, this bowel goes with this top and this seat goes with that toilet and all the parts together look kind of like number #000000. No wonder they could not invent a working toilet they can not even manage their own web site!
    So after spending all day long, it is now 6:49 pm, August 2010, we have given up. You can not stop it from leaking its newest feature. So we will buy from another supplier with a record of superior product and service.
    Any one who loves to piddle with trying to fix things is welcome to the five non flushing, non cleaning, can not plunge toilets we are so proud to call our own. I think I will line them up on the street at a local Briggs supplier with all of the fine attributes. At least someone will be saved the horror of owning one.
    Briggs owes it customers replacements for the toilets that do not do the simple function they where designed to do. No wonder customer needs and complaints are ignored. They still have their heads buried in the ground. A good place to keep them so they do not try to invent any thing else to saddle the buying public with.

    My advise: do not buy from a company that does not stand by it product. For the owner of Briggs, please come by and pick up my toilets and install them in your home. Good luck!

    Sincerely,
    Feed up in Texas

  5. #20
    Comments by readers Reader Review's Avatar
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    Sold to me when the sales clerk said, "There's a toilet for a good price that you won't have to worry about, Briggs"...My unit has never plugged, but while tracking down a slow leak that was costing me money I chose to try and upgrade to a dual flush insert to further save money and help conserve water. I saw the usual minor hard water crumbs on the bottom of the tank plus the usual corroded bolt heads you see in the midwest where the water is fairly 'hard'. The new flush unit also leaked so I drained the tank and was planning to put a small amount of sealent around the meeting point, to eliminate the possibility of leakage, when I absentmindedly started to scrape the deposites off the bolt heads that connect the tank to the bowl and THE BOLTS DISINTEGRATED TO POWDER......So..Since Briggs could not be bothered to include bolts that resist corrosion(installed LESS than 3 years ago) I'm gonna' go buy bolts, spend more money and time repairing their product and reassemble the new flush unit to "save money the environment and time" and, now that I read these postings, I get the feeling I may be spending MORE MONEY AND TIME replacing the clearly sub-standard toilet in the future!! Kansas City has hard water, but not it's not 'unusual' water. Another reamed consumer~
    Scott A.
    Kansas City

  6. #21
    DIY Junior Member harringg's Avatar
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    Default Briggs 4400

    Have a Briggs 4400 Vacuity toilet that was leaking between the inner plastic chamber and the porcelain tank. Called Briggs and they sent out the gasket (flat piece with four holes) and I installed that. However when I had it apart, all the other seals were worn and I thought I should try to replace them. Found a Plumb Works brand, Extra Thick Gasket and Bowl Kit (label says fits Briggs Vacuity Toilet tanks), part number: 664-1315.

    However, I can't get that gasket to physically fit over the base of the tank.
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    It was installed in early 2004, has a manufacture date stamp of July 2003. Started to have the issues where it ran every 10-15 minutes, replaced the flapper and that seems to have solved that issue.

    Being a noob at this, I didn't think to take pictures as I took the system apart, but does the gasket with the two flaps sit flush to the base of the tank, or over the nut/washer? I know the gasket goes over the bolt, but wasn't sure if I put the "ear" on before or after the washer/nut?

    Here is the original seal, that easily fits in place, but it's worn.Name:  photo-1.jpg
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    I've just come across this forum, does this project look like something that is better off with a new toilet (and not a Briggs?).

    I've seen the 1-piece toilets, I can imaging these type of issues aren't a concern (seat/tank and fitting/sealing), but are there other drawbacks to the 1-piece?

    I've read about the Toto, but being budget conscious, and not having a local dealer, are there brands that "prove the test of time?" Not opposed to a 2-piece bowl, but would like some feedback on the 1-piece.

    Thanks for any input on either the continued repair of this toilet or the suggestions to replace it. It's been having the dreaded "multi-flush" as of late too. Maybe time to throw in the towel on this one?
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by harringg; 10-01-2011 at 08:59 PM. Reason: Images aren't lined up with text. The original seal is the one with the hand in the picture.

  7. #22
    DIY Junior Member harringg's Avatar
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    Never mind. Bought a Kohler Cimarron 11813-0 Class Six for under $250.00. Will return the parts I bought for the Briggs and apply towards purchase of new toilet. Needed something working before Monday.

    Thanks

    Moderator, feel free to delete my post.

  8. #23
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    I had a Briggs Vacuity toilet installed in 2003. Until about a month ago I had no problems, no getting plugged up or anything bad. However, it has started to make a loud swishing noise every 3-4 hours for about 8 seconds then there is a thump and all is ok. I think maybe the flap needs replacing as it is possibly leaking and then when the water reaches a certain low level the swishing noise is the water filling the tank. (I am not a technical person!) There is no sound of a leak. The outlet where I bought it doesn't carry Briggs any more. I have sent email to a plumbing supply web site and hope they can help, but there are so many parts listed. It's been a great toilet and I wish I could work out how to fix it!
    Judith C.
    San Jose, CA=

  9. #24
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Shut the water off at the supply to the toilet and let it sit overnight...see if the water level in the tank has dropped. Or, put some food coloring in the tank (and still turn the water off). If it's leaking, you'll probably see the tint in the bowl before you might notice the level changing.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  10. #25
    DIY Junior Member B West's Avatar
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    Was almost ready to replace this toilet. What I've done to improve performance over several years time messing with it.
    1. Notch the dam to allow more water to flow from float/valve area to flapper side. ~ 1/2" deep and 3/4" wide. (Performed years ago)
    2. Ensure a Briggs flapper with float as close to flapper as possible and not a lot of slack in chain. Middle hole on lever.
    3. Water level about 1/4" below overflow. These 3 items helped, but didn't solve the problem.
    4. (I was about to pitch the toilet until I did this!) Cut a notch on bottom of the vacuum tank right hand side so water can escape quicker and draw better/quicker vacuum in trap-way. ~1 & 1/2" wide and ~1/2 - 3/4" deep. I think over time the plastic vacuum tank settles / deforms and reduces the path area for water to escape from the vacuum tank out the flush valve.
    The toilet now flushes well, consistently. If you have not already notched the dam area (1) I would try notching the bottom of the vacuum tank first.

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