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Thread: Toto Flush lever complaint

  1. #1
    property manager Gleno's Avatar
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    Default Toto Flush lever complaint

    I am replacing my second failed Toto toilet flush lever, at a cost of about $28.00, and I am really dissatisfied with both the poor engineering of the part as well as the need to buy the entire assembly for want of the tiny plastic piece that was the root of both failures. The part that fails is a small plastic bracket that is the interface between the flush handle and the brass flush arm inside the tank. There is simply insufficient material and strength in the plastic bracket to tolerate the torque load of the flush motion. The part is brand- specific, therefore Toto has a captive market. They do not offer the plastic bracket alone as a purchase option. Clearly, Toto is aware of the issue, since at my local Toto dealer they have three racks of replacement levers for sale at $28.00 a pop. I find this to be outrageous corporate behavior, and consumer pressure is needed to correct the issue. As a property manager for 30 years, and a builder, this is absolutely unacceptable. Having the best-flushing toilet in the world is of little consequence if the service calls chew up your bottom line. Toyota would have fixed an issue like this.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Toilet manufactures don't make the handle hardware. The Eljer Titan uses the same handle as the Toto Drake.
    They also don't make their own fill valves, flush valves and flappers.

    A generic handle can be used from a hardware store. You might need to bend the brass rod to fit.
    Some like the Ultramax can use a side mount Eljer replacement.
    If not, I sell the handles in the Seattle area for $19.99

    Remember, hardware items are just that.

    Of the thousands of TOTO toilets I've sold, I rarely get calls for handles. But when I do, I can get them.

    Last edited by Terry; 07-03-2013 at 01:12 PM.

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    I've known some people that use their foot to flush the toilet...this can be tough on handles.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #4
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    I haven't noticed any failure trend with the Toto tank levers...

    But I will say that any toilet I have seen where the tank lever had broken it was usually from either corrosion of metal parts on the tank lever or, the lever breaking from a flapper that was badly in need of replacement and sticking to the flush valve seat causing a much higher effort required to open the flapper and flush the toilet...

  5. #5
    DIY Member bubb1957's Avatar
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    I have the same problem today, thats why I visitied the forum, to try and find out where to find the plastic locknut. The hardware store generic replacement would not fit properly! Kind of disappointed to have no choice but to buy a new flush lever instead of an inexpensive locknut.


    You can buy a fluidmaster replacement handle and rob the nut
    Last edited by Terry; 04-15-2012 at 11:18 AM.

  6. #6
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You migth be able to find one made in brass or SS- you might take it to a big hardware store or one of the big-box stores and hunt for one that fits.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  7. #7
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Trip levers can be made most anywhere. It's like buying nails to frame a house, they don't come with the trees.

    I remember working on a daycare, they had American Standard Cadets, the mid 90's stuff. The handles were giving me fits, sticking to the side of the tank. When I do rebuilds on Mansfields, or most any brand toilet, I like to replace handles too.

  8. #8
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You might check to see if the people where this is happening are using any of those chlorine tablets in the tank...if so, that is against Toto's and nearly everyone's recommendation as it can quickly degrade platics and rubber.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  9. #9
    DIY Member bubb1957's Avatar
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    Default Hardware

    Even with the few "nickel and dime" problems I have had with the Toto Drakes, I am still happy with them, and would purchase another Toto if the 2 I have need replaced. As Terry stated, the handle hardware is not made by the toilet manufacturers, and I think are probably not foreign made parts. Also, I have never used the Chlorine tablets in my tank.

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member sepblues's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Another Toto Flush lever failure

    Quote Originally Posted by Gleno View Post
    I am replacing my second failed Toto toilet flush lever, at a cost of about $28.00, and I am really dissatisfied with both the poor engineering of the part as well as the need to buy the entire assembly for want of the tiny plastic piece that was the root of both failures. The part that fails is a small plastic bracket that is the interface between the flush handle and the brass flush arm inside the tank. There is simply insufficient material and strength in the plastic bracket to tolerate the torque load of the flush motion. The part is brand- specific, therefore Toto has a captive market. They do not offer the plastic bracket alone as a purchase option. Clearly, Toto is aware of the issue, since at my local Toto dealer they have three racks of replacement levers for sale at $28.00 a pop. I find this to be outrageous corporate behavior, and consumer pressure is needed to correct the issue. As a property manager for 30 years, and a builder, this is absolutely unacceptable. Having the best-flushing toilet in the world is of little consequence if the service calls chew up your bottom line. Toyota would have fixed an issue like this.
    I totally agree with Geno's post. If this were an automobile part failure- most likely there would have been a recall and the faulty part replaced at the manufacturer's cost. As it stands, i now have to also spend 28.00 to replace the cheap plastic handle- a monument to built in obsolescence designed to soak customers. I really would prefer that Toto step up and take care of their customers on what is an obvious issue with their handle design. What about it Toto? Do you really need my 28 bucks that badly? If so, you are being penny stupid and pound foolish too. A happy customer is always the best policy!
    Last edited by sepblues; 04-15-2012 at 11:15 AM.

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member ab8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sepblues View Post
    I totally agree with Geno's post. If this were an automobile part failure- most likely there would have been a recall and the faulty part replaced at the manufacturer's cost. As it stands, i now have to also spend 28.00 to replace the cheap plastic handle- a monument to built in obsolescence designed to soak customers. I really would prefer that Toto step up and take care of their customers on what is an obvious issue with their handle design. What about it Toto? Do you really need my 28 bucks that badly? If so, you are being penny stupid and pound foolish too. A happy customer is always the best policy!
    I agree too. See photo of lever, likely defective from day 1. I have e-mailed Toto; awaiting reply to see if they are willing to replace lever only for a nominal sum.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  12. #12
    DIY Junior Member ab8's Avatar
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    Reply from Toto: "The trip lever comes as an assembly only. The list price for the handle is $31.00. The trip lever is a mechanical part and will fail over a period of time. The cost of the part isn't adjustable."

    Sounds like designed to fail. No more Toto for me.

  13. #13
    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ab8 View Post
    Reply from Toto: "The trip lever comes as an assembly only. The list price for the handle is $31.00. The trip lever is a mechanical part and will fail over a period of time. The cost of the part isn't adjustable."

    Sounds like designed to fail. No more Toto for me.
    Enjoy re-learning how to use your plunger!

  14. #14
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    The Eljer Titan used the same handle as the TOTO.
    Neither Eljer or TOTO made the handles. It's just a generic manufacturer that makes the parts. Same situation for fill valves and flappers.
    You can find plenty of handles for around $20

    By the way, that's a pretty old handle in the picture. I haven't seen those in years.

  15. #15
    DIY Junior Member ab8's Avatar
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    Default Plunger OK; got lever for $10 locally

    Quote Originally Posted by wjcandee View Post
    Enjoy re-learning how to use your plunger!
    That's no problem, Toto needed the plunger about 3 times in 7 years.
    A shot of hot water sometimes helps too. YMMV.

    Got a handle locally for $10 plus taxes. Here's an example of good service (Toto could use a lesson or two): I had also sent a blind copy of my e-mail (to Toto) to Paradise Bath and Kitchen, 48 Northside Road, Nepean, Ontario, Canada. An alert staff member, Carlie, noticed my e-mail to Toto and its attached picture, went looking for the part, found one and replied to my e-mail. Exact same part number 9592.

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