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Thread: Consumer Reports Recommended toilet, Gerber DF-21-318 a big Flop!

  1. #31
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    When 40% of the tanks fail within six months, that's a Lemon.
    Consumer Reports may like products that fail that quickly, but then they aren't plumbers, and they don't have to do the service calls. I'm still waiting for them to apologize for the mistake and let people know that their "Best Buy" should read, "Lemon".

    WDI EcoFlush, a dual-flush pressure unit.
    Made in China, not that it should have made any difference.
    Last edited by Terry; 08-15-2011 at 12:41 PM.

  2. #32
    DIY Junior Member Shoeless's Avatar
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    I have three of the "lemons" and the first one I purchased (probably 5 years ago) is exhibiting a weak flush. I called the 800 number and got an answering machine but before throwing in the towel and ordering a Flushmate replacement, I called the 949 number. A woman answered and transferred my call and someone picked up immediately. He was very helpful and asked a series of questions. He said I needed a new flush valve control assembly and offered to send me one - free for the part, $8.99 shipping.

    I then told him I had read about the general unreliability of this unit. He was very familiar with this thread and assured me that this part is undergoing "continuous" redesigns to improve it. I didn't say I believed it, I'm just relaying what he told me. But I decided that it was worth a try to spend $9 rather than $140 or so for the Flushmate.

    When life hands you lemons, get a new flush control valve assembly!


    If I had the choice originally to buy a U.S. made system rather than a Chinese one, I would have paid substantially more. Not because that U.S. made items are necessarily better than Chinese made ones - the Chinese can make good products just like U.S. companies can make junk at times. I just would much rather support the U.S. manufacturing base. I think the best hope we have for U.S. manufacturing is for democracy to sweep into China with the eventual (and probably very gradual turn to) fair wages being paid to their workers. Wouldn't that be nice?

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  3. #33
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Yeah, it's tough to toss something that even when not ideal is functioning. However, you might want to keep in mind how much use a toilet gets per day, per week, per month, per year. Is it really worth hanging on to a poor performer? Certainly, that's a question only you can answer, but it is something you might want to consider. Would you keep a car that wasn't reliable?

  4. #34
    DIY Junior Member Shoeless's Avatar
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    But if the replacement part is truly redesigned (as the manufacturer said) and now reliable, then it makes no sense to throw out the baby with the toilet water. A visual inspection indicated the $9 replacement valve was certainly a different design so I'm back up and running and only time will tell. Seems like a better decision than spending $400+ to replace all the units.

  5. #35
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    I'm back up and running and only time will tell.
    Yes..........time will tell. Let us know in a few years how that works for you.

    My customers and myself got burned pretty badly on the previous tanks.

  6. #36
    DIY Junior Member churchillrow's Avatar
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    Default Thanks for the info, Here is a link to the flushmate part.

    Amazing that the problem is widespread enough that they have brought out a product specifically to deal with it.

    https://www.eflushmate.com/FP/category/WDIMaster.html

  7. #37
    DIY Junior Member toby emerson's Avatar
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    I have 301 of these EcoFlush gabage toilets in the hotel i work. I have ecoflush B8104's.I have single flush 1.1 per flush, when i call Zern to get my warrenty parts they send me the 8601 cartrages now ( box is marked 8401). I have not found a compatable alternative insert for the Zurn brand I have.In the past year and a half ( they were installed 3 1/2 years ago) I have ran through 26 cartrages, 8 bladders ( for some reason the water at base of it likes to flow into the tank. Another Chief Engineer at a different property had to have Zurn ( or ecoflush) out to his property and put 280 yes, 280 mini hose clamps on one of the lines added because thhe original crimped piece was malfunctioning and spraying water in the guest rooms. I hate EcoFlush, I hate Zurn, i wish there was a replacment bladder for my side handle tanks, but i have not found one as of yet.--- Thanks

  8. #38
    DIY Junior Member GCk444's Avatar
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    It is clear you have a defective EcoFlush vessel that suffers from defective parts, and many EcoFlush vessels have pinholes and all kind of malfunctions. The good plumbers will not sell or touch any American Standard, Gerber, Mansfield or ZURN's EcoFlush toilet. My plumber told me that every time he calls Eco technical supports, they tried to make him pay for shipping cost when the damn products are defective. They always bullshit you this is first time they ever see any pinholes and other defective problems. If anyone wants good stuff, be safe and buy US made like Sloan or be very SORRY with all these CHEAP made in china products from EcoFlush/WDI!

  9. #39
    DIY Junior Member GCk444's Avatar
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    To everyone that has the EcoFlush toilets, DO NOT be Scammed and pay the $8.99 shipping fee when you have DEFECTIVE parts from your EcoFlush pods. Why does anyone need to pay it when the damn things FAIL all the time??? If EcoFlush/WDI tells you to pay for any shipping fee, you just need to contact the Toilet manufactures (i.e. ZURN, GERBER, MANSFIELD, AMERICAN STANDARD etc..). I don't have these toilet manufacture info but you can just google them. These EcoFlush pods have a 10 years warranty, and no one should pay for any DEFECTIVE products, plus WASTING your time on these BS products. Buy American (Sloan)! ����

  10. #40
    DIY Junior Member seatocl's Avatar
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    Default longevity fix orings

    Quote Originally Posted by Deb T View Post
    We have this toilet and it worked for about two months, then stopped flushing reliably. Called the company and they sent a new flush mechanism. Very prompt service. Because of the shape of our tank, it was not an easy task to replace this part. Would have to remove all of the insides to replace the flush mechanism. So, we tried just removing the two little caps on it and replacing the springs inside with the springs that came in the new unit. It worked! Flushed reliably again for about 3 months. Now, back to never knowing if it will flush. If we take off the caps, the toilet will flush while the cap is off, seemingly from some kind of relation to the spring action being released. My husband wants to just replace the toilet. I am going to try to find a source for the springs and see if replacing them regularly will solve the problem. Just guessing, I suppose, but for our unit the springs definitely seem to be a factor.
    Here is what I do:

    1. Turn off water to Eco-flush.
    2. Remove caps on flush handle.
    3. Remove the springs and pull the white plastic plungers with tip of finger.
    4. Clean and inspect plungers and o-rings.
    5. Apply small amount of bee's wax or petrol. jelly to the o-rings. The o-rings here trap air not water. Plastic to rubber makes wear and leaks.
    5a. With the bee's wax rubbed into you finger rub finger into cylinder walls leaving no trace to be pushed down into piping.
    6. Wipe any excess from plungers then re-install plungers back into the cylinder with the notches aligned.
    7. With your finger, raise and lower plunger to check and distribute some bee's wax to the inside cylinder wall.
    8. Replace springs.
    9. Replace caps.
    10. Make sure the handle lifts and lowers correctly. If not reinstall again.
    11. Turn water back on and wait until water sound stops.
    12. Pray!
    13. Hold your breath and cross your fingers.
    14. Flush.
    15. I would do this when new. You would assume they would lube these at factory. but I have always found them dry when leaking.

    I have had a couple of these and have replaced the handle once. Simple physics would make these usable longer. The other plungers in the system need this also. I learned this years ago when my Dad serviced my bike pump that had leather seals. "Keep them supple and they will seal. Happy Fathers day.

  11. #41
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Many plastics don't like petroleum products...try a silicon plumber's grease. No idea if this will work, or work long term, but at least use something designed for this purpose!
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  12. #42
    DIY Junior Member GCK4444's Avatar
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    TO ALL OF YOU WHO OWNS ANY ECOFLUSH PRESSURE-ASSISTED TOILETS,

    You will have nothing but problems! These EcoFlush pods' have many many changes all the time. They are trying to bandage all the design flaws and quality problems. If you call their Technical Supports, they have only 2 guys working there and had been LYING to the customers that nothing wrong with those pods!!! Hopefully, NONE of you are being fooled to pay the shipping charge when the damm thing is defective! These EcoFlush B8104, B8106 and B8100 pods do not work like Terry said. They leak, water-log, have hissing sound from the pinholes, have cracks, and other failures.

    Someone in the plumbing industry mentioned this WDI/EcoFlush engineer, who left Pfisher/Stanley Black & Decker and went to work for WDI. This engineer is so frustrated with his new bosses because they have no clue in management. They just pushing him to lie to their customers (American Standard, Zurn, Gerber, Mansfield, Crane, and others) that everything is OK. The higher up, Kevin Oak, CEO of the company writes like a 3rd grader. How can any reputable company be running by an idiot? This speaks alot about their products....

    EcoFlush and WDI are owned by a chinese company, WDI, located in china. They use WDI International Inc. in the states. STOP BUYING CHEAPLY MADE IN CHINA CRAPS! Go with SLOAN, NOT the copycat pods from EcoFlush. They have quality pressure-assisted products and are proudly Made in USA!
    Last edited by Terry; 11-09-2012 at 08:22 PM.

  13. #43
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Many of the regular users of this forum have tried to advise folks about the shortcomings of many of the old well known brands to toilets that have merged and/or been outsourced to third world countries that have little or no quality concerns or control. Gerber is but one of these companies. We sometimes come across as snake oil salesmen in our praise and recommendation of the Toto line of toilets, and I'm sure many folks pass this off as overzealous hype. However, it is fact that Toto realized from the very beginning that the low flow requirements could not be reached with superficial and minor changes to flush valves. Toto engineers made significant design changes to the internal workings of the toilet. True, these changes are not apparent to visual inspection, but the results were immediately apparent to plumbers and users alike. Toto toilets were dependable, they flushed everything every time, and they did not clog. This resulted in Toto becoming the largest manufacturer of toilets in the world even though they are not heavily advertised and are not sold in every plumbing shop in the country. They did not rely on gimmicks like pressure assisted flushing or fancy flush valves to accomplish this, so when normal replacement of things like flappers is needed, they are available in hardware stores and discount centers everywhere. So yes, we do tend to tout the Toto toilets, but it is with good reason that we do.

  14. #44
    DIY Junior Member archibald tuttle's Avatar
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    Default gimic or not??

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    However, it is fact that Toto realized from the very beginning that the low flow requirements could not be reached with superficial and minor changes to flush valves. . . They did not rely on gimmicks like pressure assisted flushing or fancy flush valves to accomplish this, so when normal replacement of things like flappers is needed, they are available in hardware stores and discount centers everywhere. So yes, we do tend to tout the Toto toilets, but it is with good reason that we do.
    Just stopped by with an unrelated toilet problem (well the problem is virtually always the flush in one way or another but my problem does not involve a pressure assist, either WDI or Sloan) but my inability to avoid browsing lead me to Terry's recommendations for low flush toilets which then lead me to his anti-recommendation for these ecoflush toilets and thus to this thread.

    And I really had literally nothing to add until I got to the very last post. While I can appreciate the accolades for Toto -- and I used to buy them when they weren't gold plated pricewise -- I have found the sloan pressure assisted flush is generally a better value these days -- can usually get one around $300 or just under, and have had no reliability issues (should be noted - maybe it is elsewhere on this site - that there is a major recall/refit out there where they want you to put a pressure regulator on the infeed and a band over the tank. But I'm on reasonably low pressure system anyway - and I'm sitting on the thing right now and not sweating bullets).

    The only complaint I've had is that the bowls aren't interchangeable - at least according to the suppliers - and so I can't retrofit that system -- although I'm not above trying it anyway. And the Bowls sold with seem to run a slightly higher weir and that has caused occasional dredging problems, which isn't about endowment - I can assure you.

    But given that pressure flushing is a long tested commercial urban design for water systems that can deliver pressure and volume without a nearby tank. So, I don't really think it is fair to call pressure-assisted flush a gimic - and it does appear, whether for marketing purposes more than redesign of the hydraulics - that the bowls associated with these pressure assisted toilets have been redesigned. Maybe they didn't go anywhere near as far as Toto, and given my success with these toilets, maybe they didn't have to.

    I have installed pressure assisted in numerous places where I had niggling flush problems, occasional clogs without seeming provocation from foreign objects, etc. and they always solved the problem. It is probably unfortunate for the technology as a whole that one of the two major entrants into the market is making a maintenance nightmare.

    To see folks from hotels writing in who have to keep 200 or 300 of these WDI units running makes me glad I only have about 50 toilets to keep running (and only 4 of them are pressure assist, the rest are working so why mess with success (of course maybe half of those are full flush 3 to 5 gallon units from the good old days).

    As to Consumer Reports, I pretty much disregard it in favor of consumer experience now accessible on the web filtered through the prism of realization that more people are likely to take to the netwaves with complaints than with praise. And CR has definitely morphed from what I thought I respected, offering choices and dissociated testing, to telling you what you ought to buy.

    Washing machines are another particularly great example and as a previous poster pointed out, 50 to 60% of installations I'm familiar with are not suited to the high vibration associated with frontloading washers - which is more or less synonymous within the industry with water saver or high efficiency although there are now some top loading 'water savers'. On top of that, front loaders evolved as an industry segment just as digital control was taking off, and there is nothing more unsuited to digital control than a washing machine in my experience. The vast majority of problems I've had with these machines is failure of the black box. Not only is it an expensive part that the average homeowner can't replace, in many cases it is difficult even with purported 'secret' test regimes to actually diagnose whether the problem is the box or a peripheral signal to the box. In this sense the maintenance history, at least in my limited experience servicing a fleet of 20 odd washers with half gone over to front loaders, isn't about the front loading technology -- anymore than the maintenance history of WDI is about pressure assisted flush. the vibration is, to an extent associated with the technology, but the digital controls just happened to be an attempt to dress them up in some kind of space age costume to make it something different than the technology that has been available as the laundromat for 50 years or more. It is a big a mistake as putting digital controls, at least ones that can't be bypassed on ovens.

    The companies I respect are those that buck these trends or at least offer options. It's hard, but if you look carefully (and I hate to give away this guarded trade secret) you can find a frigidaire front loader with an old fashioned timer (and several other brand labels have their name on the same unit). (BTW it still does have a digital motor controller but have a dozen of these units in service, some for half dozen years or more and no problems with the motor controller, vs. nothing but headaches with the digitial interfaces vs. standard analog timers)

    You can also get a great stove from Avanti that is simple, reasonably priced and analog (I'm familiar with the gas units haven't tried one of their electrics). Even the electonically sparked over ignition can be overridden in a power outage or if the ignitor fails) and the oven is not tethered to a digital timer or electronic control. For years they carved out a niche making apartment size units, but I believe they have a 30" in the works.

    So it isn't that I don't decry gimics, or the overuse of technology that makes something simple into something complicated and difficult to maintain. To bring this full circle and not be accused of trying to discuss appliances rather than toilets -- I guess toilets are appliances in some parlance -- I'm not ready to put pressure assisted flush for residential use into the category of inappropriate gimics, although I hope my magnum opus might inspire continued reflection, debate etc. on this great thread.

    I respect what Toto is doing for the toilet but they are on that same trajectory as Toyota in terms of price. I own 6 toyotas all made in the 1980s and 1990s, but I don't anticipate buying any 2000s. (it isn't only price but a loss of simplicity and servicability which is going on across the industry so I'm distinguishing toyota on price here). Some folks can afford to pay more for a toilet than I can and it is a credit to Toto that their quality and function supports the kind of pricing they maintain. I'm topping out at $300 a toilet and generally at a third of that or less, but that looks like Toto's entry level. I used to be able to buy a Toto in the low hundred dollar range. That made sense. These days I put in the cheapest one that works in a given location. I've given up on the notion that I can predict which installs are going to give me trouble because Murphy works in mysterious ways.

    And because I work on the same buildings, I do have the advantage of constantly being back anyway. I don't have a callback issue in the same way the plumbing contractors would and I can absolutely see why they would push to install a product that is not going to reflect badly on them, and despite the price premium my guess is that you can shave a modest bit on labor and profit to make the Toto more competitive if there is a much smaller chance you'll be called back for failure.

    And now for the really funny thing, I'm going to click on the "post quick reply" button.

    brian
    Last edited by archibald tuttle; 12-27-2012 at 06:31 AM. Reason: hanging line and add title

  15. #45
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Brian,

    If I'm comparing cost on a "pressure assist" to a Gravity, the gravity winds up being less expensive.
    Your too munch money works "if" you are comparing gravity to gravity.

    Though, I'm finding the TOTO Drake bowls being installed in many of the "commercial" places I'm visiting.
    A pub in North Bend, a ski resort on Snoqualmie, Hotels in Blackcomb British Columbia, Golf course, churches, restaurants and bars.

    My cost on a pressure assist toilet is more than for gravity.
    My returns on the EcoFlush dual flush pressure assist were ridiculous.
    If you only have four pressure assist bowls, and they are the American made Flushmate, then you really haven't been made aware of the dual flush problems in the field yet.


    WDI Technology EcoFlush
    Last edited by Terry; 12-27-2012 at 10:18 AM.

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