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Thread: Porcelain Quality Control - Bowl Bottom Not Flat

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    DIY Junior Member tcjimm's Avatar
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    Question Porcelain Quality Control - Bowl Bottom Not Flat

    I am a homeowner who occasionally installs toilets for myself and friends and have noticed many manufacturers no longer make much of an effort to ensure their toilet bowl bases are indeed flat. Most recently I replaced a 3.5 gallon toilet. The old toilet had a bottom which had obviously been ground flat by the manufacturer after the porcelain had been fired and no shims had been required. The new unit bowl would not sit flat without extensive shimming (the floor was flat). Inspection of the bowl bottom with a straight edge easily found the problem spot. I was able to correct the problem by grinding down the high spots.

    Does Toto make any special effort to ensure a flat bowl base for their toilets?

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Where are you buying these toilets? That will often determine the effort the manufacturer puts into providing a first class product. IF they do NOT have to waste time inspecting it and grinding it, then the can make a bit more profit. And if YOU do the inspection and grinding, instead of returning it for a better one, then they are money ahead.

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    DIY Junior Member tcjimm's Avatar
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    I totally agree with that observation!

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    At Flushmate in Novi Detroit

    I talked to Roger the Plumber from Kansas last week in Detroit, he has been to the TOTO factory and has seen how they do it.
    He said that they destroy anything that isn't up to their standards rather then boxing and shipping.



    In Seattle, I find that this has saved me from having to inspect on my end.

    My personal experience after selling thousands of their bowls, is that the return rates have been less then 1%
    I don't even think about it if the box says TOTO.

    If it's another brand, I like to have two on the truck so I can make sure we can do the installation without going back.
    There have been some owner supplied bowls from other manufactures that would have required 1/2" shims to install. I didn't install them. I made the homeowner go back and get a replacement bowl. One was an A/S, one was from K.


    TOTO uses an injection method of pouring the bowls, with drier clay. They start closer to the final size before firing in the Kiln.
    I notice almost no sagging or deformation, they look the same from bowl to bowl, and from tank to tank. Very consistent product.
    If I need to shim, it's been the floor.
    Last edited by Terry; 09-26-2010 at 03:42 PM.

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    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    Roger has over 12,000 parts stocked on his truck. I'm sure there is space for a spare bowl or two.

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    DIY Junior Member tcjimm's Avatar
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    That is what I am looking for.

    I will try TOTO next time for sure.

    Thanks

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    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    Good luck!

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    IF he has 12,000 parts on his truck, then I doubt that he has extra room for a bowl, and with his prices, those 12,000 parts are a gold mine.

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    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    You can always strap a couple of spare bowls to the roof.

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    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Terry, since you have so much invested in this business of toilets, I think a trip to the Toto plant and then to the Kohler plant would give us all here a real dose of reality and a true inside comparison of techniques and QC.

    I would guess with your background those factories would give you a grand tour, and your insights would be priceless.

    Not to start a fight, but Kohler has a guy with a big hammer too.

    Hide a camera in your hat for us also.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Roger had been to the Kohler factory too. He told me that Kohler didn't break up as many.
    And I'm sure that's the case, I've had my share of the K brand that I had to return.

    And you're right, I will need to make some road trips. The next one will be to New Jersey to see American Standard.
    I did wind up shooting more video than I was supposed to at Flushmate.
    I will have to make sure I don't make that portion of the video public, too bad too, it was real nice HD video. I have enough other shots though to make an interesting video of the process though.

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    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    The next one will be to New Jersey to see American Standard.
    You'll need to dress up for that one, before they let you in.

    The quality of the Cadet 3s is excellent. No impurities and attention to detail.


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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Ian, we all know how loyal you are to AS, and I think we're all glad you have had a good experience with AS. However, when professional plumbers such as Terry and Redwood cite numerous quality problems with AS and virtually none with Toto, it's really pretty hard to support your statement, "The quality of the Cadet 3 is excellent. No impurities and attention to detail."

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    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    They'll come round Gary. They'll come round.

    Although, it would have been easier if I had picked up a lemon of a Cadet 3.

    Which, of course, I didn't.

    Three to four years now (perhaps more - I can't remember) and still going strong.

    American Standard is the name residential and commercial customers have come to trust and depend on to deliver innovative styling and exceptional performance since 1872.

    It all begins with their legacy of quality and innovation. It is this tradition of quality and innovation that puts AS toilets in three out of five homes in America, as well as, countless hotels, airports, and stadiums. They provide the style and performance that fit perfectly into life, wherever that may be but especially for the modern East Coast professional.
    Last edited by Ian Gills; 09-27-2010 at 01:22 PM.

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    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    wow - Ian, are you trying to hook a job with the AS boys?

    Those toilet casting machines are actually disguised centrifuges deep in an Iranian mountainside. And that Chinese engineer is teaching them how to get the enriched material they need to obliterate Israel, and thus chip away at America until they can do their D-day on the beaches of San Francisco.

    Which city, by the way they essentially built back in the 1850's with picks and shovels for 25 cents a day. Maybe they deserve it. Gonna have a hard time with the gay pride parade day however.

    And Terry, I suppose its coming, but what exactly is the flushmate meeting proposing?

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