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Thread: Mansfield Alto 160 toilet product review

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member scullybean's Avatar
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    Default Mansfield Alto 160 toilet product review

    My plumber suggested I install a Mansfield Alto 160 during my recent bathroom remodel. He swore up and down that it works great, has one in his home, wouldn't install anything else. Yadda yadda. I'm afraid I believed him. Some time has passed and it's almost time to install the toilet and I am second guessing this selection. Can't decide whether to take him on his word (I mentioned that the first time it clogged he would most certainly be receiving a call from me) or just get a different toilet. I just want one that works. I can't afford a $$ one like a toto. Perhaps the Cimarron? Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    The Toto Drakes moves 900 grams and is the one to beat. Elongated bowl $220
    The Cimarron works well, as does the Toto Dalton.
    Both come in comfort height.
    The Dalton comes in regular bowl $185 and elongated $195, and moves 650 grams.

    The Mansfield Alto 160 regular bowl is of lessor performance, they are a builder grade toilet moving something like 280 grams
    We replace the Mansfield all the time for better products.
    My daughters new home had three, which they plugged the first day they moved in.
    They suffered with Mansfield Alto toilets for 1.5 years before they were thrown out.
    We put a Sterling in down stairs, which was better, but still plugged.
    A Cimarron went in the Master, better, but still plugs
    The Main bathroom that gets most of the use, got the Toto Drake, no plugs yet.
    That was two years ago.

    Recent testing

    TOTO Drake 800 grams by Veritech, Video
    Last edited by Terry; 04-04-2011 at 05:29 PM.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member Peterson's Avatar
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    Smile Experiences with a Mansfield Toilet

    Hi Everyone

    Well, my cracked toilet (which I previously posted about months ago) finally sprung a leak and I sent it off to the garbage. When I pulled the toilet off, I found that the crack on the outside of the bowl went through to the underside into the trapway. It did some damage to the linolium. If you have a toilet bowl with a hairline crack, even if it doesn't leak, get rid of it!!

    I went to Habitat for Humanity and purchased a very tall ADA Mansfield toilet made in 1988 for only 15 dollars. It needed all new parts and a good scrubbing. Mansfield customer service was EXTREMELY helpful in identifying the toilet model number and the appropriate parts that go inside the tank.

    I thought because it was a Mansfield toilet, it took Mansfield only parts. Wrong! I opted not to use the Mansfield flush tower because I didn't want to have to replace the washers on it. We have very hard water and I didn't want to constantly have to special order parts for this flush tower. I was able to substitute the Mansfield flush tower with a regular plastic flapper style flush valve. I ended up using an American Standard tank to bowl gasket to fit the flush valve. I had ordered the Mansfield tank to bowl gasket, but it was too big as it was designed to fit the Mansfield flush tower only. I had no problems setting the tank with the new flapper style flushvalve and the American Standard gasket. It fit perfectly and is very secure. No leaks at all!

    I must say, the quality of this toilet is far superior than the one it replaced (an American Standard from the 1980's). The finish is flawless, and the porcelain seems very sturdy and thick. This toilet was MUCH heavier than the old one which tells me it was made better. The holes under the rim are bigger than the other toilets in the house, and the toilet flushes GREAT. I'm guessing that it uses about 3 gallons to flush.

    To make a long story short, yes you can use generic parts in a Mansfield toilet without having it affect the flushing performance. If you opt to use Mansfield only parts, you can special order them at Lowes at a very cheap price.

    I hope my experience helps other people that have Mansfield toilets.

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member achutch's Avatar
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    Default Rebuilding a Mansfield tank

    Hello,

    About 10 years ago, I completely rebuilt a Mansfield toilet tank that was made in 1972. I replaced its leaking Model 204 flush tower with the Model 210 and its very cheap looking plastic float valve with a Fluidmaster 400A. I installed it in the outside (shed) half bath at my camp along with its matching lavatory. It worked perfectly, and as you said about your "new" Mansfield, it was well made and the china was flawless. If yours was made in 1988, then it used 3.5 gallons. Mine used 5 gallons.

    Shortly after, it was given a new home at my New York City neighbor's winterized camp. They needed an exact replacement for their Mansfield (it had cracked due to poor winterizing several years before and they suddenly realized it could become a problem) because a longer base would block a trap door in the floor in front of the toilet. They sold their camp a year ago and it is now a year round home, and my restored Mansfield is still going strong!!

    My aunt who is in her late 60's completely rebuilt her Mansfield tank by herself (and I am very proud of her for that), exactly as you did. She used a Fluidmaster flapper valve and Fluidmaster 400A instead of Mansfield parts, and her toilet works perfectly just as yours does. And for being original to the house (1973), it looks like it was installed yesterday.

    Congratulations on your find and with your fix, your Mansfield will serve you well for years.

    achutch

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    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    My wife and I have a Mansfield 160 we got for free when a local manufacturer removed and demolitioned a portable-bathrooms structure that had been used inside the building. It is tough! I tripped, dropped it and fell on top of it while first carrying it away as one piece (tank and bowl together), yet I could not later find even a scratch anywhere on it. This toilet is the first 1.6-gallon-flush I have ever had, it is only *very* rarely that we have to a little plunging to help a heavy load along, and all of its original parts still work well at around fifteen years.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member happydogs's Avatar
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    Default mansfield dependability

    In an interest to conserve water I ordered a Kohler Cimmeron el bowl ADA. What a disappointment. As mentioned by some other member, using the Kohler was like sitting in an outhouse. I have no idea why! Maybe someone could answer that queery. Kohlers quality is down the toilet, Yes it flushed loudly, the ADA was also a mistake, my wife & I are short folk and our feet barely touched the floor. Sitting to long results in thighs going to sleep. I also could not get the tank tight. I feared cracking the bowl. As a result the tank moved if presure from leaning back. I ended up putting my old 3.5 gpf mansfield back on. It does not have a flapper valve but rather a bubble body which always seals. I was now considering a pressure flusher toilet, but have been advised that our rural water pressure does not always maintain 15psi. Therefore such a model is out of the question. I was considering a ToTo drake but have read where they suffer from streaked bowels as well. May have to keep looking. A friend of mine was given the Kohler. He is tall and already is use to outhouse smells. LOL Avoid Kohler at all costs! Stick with your Mansfields until your absolutely sure your want a change! Mansfields are dependable even with a small throat and only 1-7/8" tank outlet!

  7. #7
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm actually quite fond of Mansfield toilets because a great deal was installed in my area at one time, they are real easy to rebuild and easy to diagnose over the phone (hard to flush) along with liking the idea of a 3 bolt pattern for even distribution. Some plumbers quickly despise them and change out the innards of that simple one of a kind flush valve seal that there's only 1 size....that's it. No 30 kinds of flapper variations.


    But...it's really strange but some homes have nothing but problems with them, some not at all. It's never in the tank either......it's always with problems with clogging.

    It has to be the ones using it and what they're putting down it because I have customers that have had them for years without any problems whatsoever.....and then you can go back even farther in time when the 208-209 flush valve was used on the 3.5 gal flush toilets.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member achutch's Avatar
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    Default Rustic Mansfield

    Yes, the Mansfield was very easy to rebuild.

    The photo below is of the matching Mansfield sink and toilet that I installed in the attached shed at my camp in the woods. I rebuilt the tank using authentic Mansfield parts, new lever, 09 Ballcock, and 210 Flush Valve. The toilet worked flawlessly with my gravity water system (15 lbs pressure) and did not plug.

    I wish I had kept this one, but my friends in the neighboring camp needed it more than I did because they required an exact match for the base to clear a trap door in the floor in front of their toilet. Before I gave it to them, I swapped the 09 for a Fluidmaster 400A, as that is what they were familiar with.

    Almost 5 years later in what is now a year round home, my Mansfield is still working flawlessly!!

    Here is a photo of it in place in the shed (my test center for my restorations).

    achutch

  9. #9
    DIY Senior Member achutch's Avatar
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    Default OOPs! Where is my Mansfield??

    Looks like I pressed the wrong button and my Mansfield photo disappeared.

    Here's another try.....

    achutch
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member Peterson's Avatar
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    Talking Mansfield 1 month Review.

    I've had the Mansfield toilet installed for almost a month now and it works flawlessly! It has never clogged, leaked, or done anything that a toilet is not supposed to do. The entire bowl gets washed down during the flush and it stays very clean. This toilet is in the main bathroom of our house and gets a lot of use. The only thing I notice is that the flush is louder than the toilet it replaced, but I really don't care. So far, I am very impressed. If I ever find another ADA Mansfield toilet of the same style, I am going to replace the second toilet (a horrible Kohler) in our house with it.

    It was interesting to read other people's experiences with their Mansfield toilets. Mansfield sounds like it has continuously made products that work, priced at reasonable prices.

    If I move out of this house, this toilet is going with me!


  11. #11
    One who lurks Basement_Lurker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterson View Post

    If I move out of this house, this toilet is going with me!



    Now that's toilet pride!
    Broken promises don't upset me. I just think, why did they believe me? -Jack Handy


    www.blackbirdkitchenandbath.com

  12. #12
    DIY Senior Member achutch's Avatar
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    My former next door neighbor took his 1957 Mansfield with him when he sold his condo. Of course I am the one who rebuilt and installed it originally for him (to replace a beige AS Plebe and matching lavatory).

    Before Steve moved, he brought the old Borg-Warner toilet that had been removed from his office during remodeling (I made him clean that one up) and we did a swap. The Mansfield from his condo was relocated in the bath off his master bedroom.

    That was 10 years ago, and from what I undestand, it's still there and working just as well as it did when it was new!

  13. #13
    DIY Junior Member lucylou's Avatar
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    Smile mansfield flushing

    I have 2 Mansfield toilets in a new home. they have been fine except they both have developed a very difficult flushing problem. i have exchanged the flushing mechanism in both and withing 3-6 months it starts again. i actually broke one handle having to push so hard to flush. it seems that it is worse when the water is colder....and easier to flush before the tank is full again. they worked just fine for 3 years before this happened. the guy at the hardware store said he's heard this complaint quite a bit but had no answer. another person suggested it was because of hard water. that is possible but doesn't explain that it works fine when tank water isn't full yet.
    is there anyone that knows about this?
    could there be something to rub onto the ring so it doesn't suction so hard?
    i sure could use some answers....thanks.

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    DIY Member micp879's Avatar
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    Im assuming your toilets have the "flush tower" as opposed to the standard chain/flapper set up? I say that because it is the gasket on the flush tower that is NOTORIOUS for causing this suction issue on some mansfield toilets. Apparently as the red gasket at the base of the flush tower gets older, for whatever reason it starts to develop an increasingly strong suction. In the future, dont go to the extent of changing out the entire flushing mechanism; its a waste of your time and money. Just remove the red gasket at the base of the flush tower, and replace it with a new one. You may initially have to flush the toilet a few times to form a good seal with the new gasket to prevent any leaks, but after that, you should be all set, and the suction should be resolved. Another option is to completely remove the entire tower flush valve and replace it with a traditional flapper/chain flush valve.

  15. #15

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    The Mansfield 209 and 210 flush valves have discs that last much longer than flappers, since the tower pulles straight up, rather than stressing a flapper peeling it back. I'm sure they can be found locally.

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