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Thread: How good are Toto toilets? Are they really all that?

  1. #16
    DIY Senior Member Runs with bison's Avatar
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    Defects happen but good manufacturing practices and QC checks should catch most of them. If there is a defective one in a lot, I'll get it... And indeed this happened with one of my three Totos. I had one tank that was slightly askew. I noticed while trying to align it within a gnat's a##...it looked different depending on which side of the toilet I was comparing. The problem became apparent when I put the matched lid (I didn't mix it with the others.) There was 1/8" or so gap on the corner and some tank twist was apparent; I also noted the tank walls were closer together on one side than the other. Functionally the toilet and tank were fine and I used it for several days before swapping the tank at the supply house. This was a substantial cosmetic defect and the tank lid wobble was unacceptable to me. I doubt 80% of homeowners/installers even would have noticed it.

    Haven't needed a plunger so far...I'm waiting for a year plunger free to declare victory.

  2. #17
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Defects happen but good manufacturing practices and QC checks should catch most of them.

    Haven't needed a plunger so far...I'm waiting for a year plunger free to declare victory.
    runs with bison
    I think when you first posted about the tank, that the suppliers had agreed with you that it was a returnable defect.
    Those are the things I count.
    That would be a good example.

    A year without a plug?
    You could have grand kids come over for a visit and flush army men down the toilet, you're just tempting fate aren't you.
    Last edited by Terry; 01-12-2010 at 01:38 PM.

  3. #18
    DIY Senior Member Runs with bison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    I think when you first posted about the tank, that the suppliers had agreed with you that it was a returnable defect.
    Those are the things I count.
    That would be a good example.
    Yep, it was considered returnable and went back with no hassle (no fees.)

    I thought I should mention it in this thread as I have a great deal of praise for the Totos, and I want it clear that I won't hide anything just because I like the product (the implication of the person you quoted that some of us might put on our blinders.)

    Consumer bias/perspective is imporant when comparing defect data too, but there is an effect that runs counter to what one might expect. About two decades ago (if memory serves) there was an interesting effect noticed in some "initial quality" surveys of a car that was made on the same assembly line for the U.S. market. Roughly half the cars received Geo badges and the other Toyota. The buyers of Toyota badged version reported far more defects than the domestic badged version. What differed? The expectations of the buyer.

    Another factor in toilets that is harder to account for when one is not getting things unopened directly from the distributor is shipping damage and/or part swapping and resealing the boxes. Distributors are likely to handle these things properly...can't say the same for big box stores or traditional shippers.

  4. #19
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Another factor in toilets that is harder to account for when one is not getting things unopened directly from the distributor is shipping damage and/or part swapping and resealing the boxes. Distributors are likely to handle these things properly...can't say the same for big box stores or traditional shippers.
    Nobody like picking up boxes from the big box that have been opened before.
    I remember installing a toilet that was customer supplied,
    Can't even remember the brand anymore.
    It worried me that it had been opened. I installed the tank, and water was weeping from a lower corner of the tank. There was no visible defect or crack. It was just porous.
    I went to return it, expecting someone to mark the box, or tank.
    The guy in the isle said someone would mark it latter.
    How latter?
    Or was he just going to restock and resell the tank, because he couldn't see the defect with his naked eye?

    A few months ago, we were to install a Big Box faucet, and it was missing parts. The homeowner wanted us to drive to big box and wait in line for new parts for the faucet that he had supplied.
    Yeah, like that was going to happen.
    I did mention that Jakeru wouldn't mind running down to big box for him.
    We kept on working on other things, while the homeowner returned his faucet.

    I prefer that faucets at my supply houses. Less chance of people picking the parts out.

  5. #20
    DIY Senior Member Runs with bison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    A year without a plug?
    You could have grand kids come over for a visit and flush army men down the toilet, you're just tempting fate aren't you.
    If grandkids show up I'll have a lot of 'splainin' to do with the spouse...and my kids would be very surprised...but not as surprised as I would be. I've had a line clogged by a paratrooper, and a rubber ducky.

    I've been trying to decide what value to put on the improved domestic tranquility and reduced labor/yuck factor from not plunging toilets and cleaning up afterwards. At $20/episode the payout would be longish, but at $50/episode that and the water/sewer savings would be a fast payout. I think one of us was snaking/plunging about 4 times/year and we had some rules about extra flushes to avoid clogs. If I could have put a $20 in the jar everytime it happened so that it didn't, I would have. Not sure about $50 though...except when company was involved.

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    DIY Junior Member davenorth's Avatar
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    Sliding back to the topic at hand, I recently downloaded the latest MaP report and was puzzled to find that none of the Totos rated at the top in this regard. I'd be interested in hearing comments -- is performance just not as important as a low defect rate? Is a particularly high MaP rating unimportant as a measure of performance? Does the MaP system have a built-in bias of some sort?

    Dave

  7. #22
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    The MaP only tests one thing.

    And even John Koeller says that 500 grams is all you need.

    He also said that some manufacturers had found out how to ace his limited version testing of the bowl, sometimes by leaving out bowl rinse.

    The test does not rate:

    Bowl cleanliness
    Quality
    Percentage of returns.
    Whether the flush handle sticks against the inside of the tank
    Whether there are any replacement parts.
    How long any of the parts last
    How much shimming the bowl will need on a flat floor
    Whether the bowl leans to one side
    Consistency, they test only one bowl, Which means they may have tested a better then average or less then average bowl for that model.

    Would you buy a Chevy Nova with two valves per cylinder because it had more cubic inches?
    I wouldn't.


    Really big engine, with drum brakes.
    Get's 1000 on the MaP test.
    The winner!
    or you have the homeowner favorite Toto Drake

    The MaP rated the TOTO MS854114 at 325 grams
    I had one installed for two years without plugging it.
    I had to find a plunger in the truck, that wasn't one in the house.
    I installed four in the church I go to.
    It was a great toilet.
    But not according to MaP

    The MaP had rated the Kohler Cimarron at 650 grams.
    That one plugged weekly.

    But then, that was a home and a church.
    Those weren't in the MaP limited testing facility.

    I also have a customer that has several daycares.
    He mainly puts in Toto Drake, though he did try the Niagara Flapperless and the Cadet 3
    He now only puts in Toto Drake, even though he pays more.
    Last edited by Terry; 01-18-2010 at 09:50 AM.

  8. #23
    DIY Junior Member CCNA_Dad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    I had to remove and replace 20% of the American Standard toilets I've been selling.
    That means two or three extra trips.

    I have had to remove and replace less then 1% fo the Toto products I'm selling.
    Wish I'd read this post before letting my plumber convince me to go with an American Standard Cadet 3 instead of a Toto for the same price. Bought two AS toilets. One is working, the other flushes right only about half the time, and often splashes dirty water onto the floor and/or the person flushing the toilet. And the plumber says that's "good enough" and isn't covered under warranty. Needless to say I'll never buy American Standard or hire "The Honest Plumber" again.

  9. #24
    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCNA_Dad View Post
    Wish I'd read this post before letting my plumber convince me to go with an American Standard Cadet 3 instead of a Toto for the same price. Bought two AS toilets. One is working, the other flushes right only about half the time, and often splashes dirty water onto the floor and/or the person flushing the toilet. And the plumber says that's "good enough" and isn't covered under warranty. Needless to say I'll never buy American Standard or hire "The Honest Plumber" again.
    The good news is that on this forum, if you look around, you can find lots of DIY advice. If you had a plumber recently install a toilet, the prep work has been done, and all you have to do is remove your AS toilet, drop a new wax ring on the floor, and put a new Toto on top. Lots of us on here spent a happy afternoon doing that as their first DIY plumbing project. So if you ever decide to replace that AS, just get a bid on something like a CST744S (or the 1.28gpf version CST744E) Original Toto Drake from your local plumbing supply (I recommend calling at least 5 and asking for their best price with model number and color already in hand). You are looking at $220-ish as the typical street price.

    Regardless of what your mean-spirited plumber says, YOU are the beneficiary of that toilet's warranty, and I would call and raise hell with AS and demand a new bowl (at least), which you could install yourself or with a buddy. You should also take the time to write a scathing review of that asswipe on Angie's List, Yelp and the like.

    Let us know how it works out.

    PS Not flushing right half the time could be the result of something as simple the starting water level in the tank or bowl not being correct, or the chain being misadjusted on the flapper, or could be improved by changing out the flapper to something like the Korky adjustable one which might let you get a little more water in the flush. So if you want to explore that with us, feel free.

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