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Thread: Penguin Toilets W/ Overflow Protections

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member molo's Avatar
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    Default Penguin Toilets W/ Overflow Protections

    Hi All,

    I discovered the Penguin Toilet and would like to know if anybody has any experience with them. I'm looking for a toilet that is least likely to clog and overflow. The penguin has been used by some apartment complexes and housing authorities.

    Here's the Penguin:
    http://www.penguintoilets.com/

    Name:  penguin_toilet.jpg
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    Last edited by Terry; 03-22-2011 at 09:50 PM.
    "Any American who is prepared to run for President should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so."
    Gore Vidal.

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    DIY Senior Member dlarrivee's Avatar
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    That is hilarious.

    What happens when you get a clog downstream of the trap way?

  3. #3
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I think I'll stay with my two Toto toilets that don't clog to begin with.

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    The "trap" for the overflow feature REQUIRES water to flow into the overflow openings or it will dry out and allow sewer gases into the room. That will only happen when the toilet is plugged and ready to overflow.

  5. #5
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    It never ceases to amaze me how many of us try to find a "better" toilet when there are Toto toilets in almost every price range. Maybe "better" is the wrong word...perhaps "cheaper"? This is another Mexican import, supposedly made by a known brand name company. Now, who do we know that makes their toilets in Mexico and seem to have a bad reputation for quality control?

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member molo's Avatar
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    It does appear that the overflow is not tied into the main trap. Could this be resolved if a whole-house trap was in place? It won't stop a clog beyond the trap, but no toilet can do that. The Syracuse, NY housing authority is apparently using these.
    "Any American who is prepared to run for President should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so."
    Gore Vidal.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Frankly, from the looks of the bowl, it's very likely to get plugged and need snaking. So they put in overflow holes so the people can keep using the toilet without clearing the plug.

    It would make more sense to get a bowl that doesn't plug, or even if you do plug it, will take three flushes before overflowing the rim.
    I have seen, and used bowls that will overflow with two flushes on a plugged bowl. One that comes to mind is the Gerber 21-712. That was horrible.

    Unless they are getting these for $75.00 or less, I can't see the point. A good toilet isn't going to overflow.
    If they are worried that tenants are going to plug the bowl, and then have a leaking flapper, and leave for the day, then I guess it makes sense. Kind of like expecting babies to change their own diapers. Someone has to clean the mess for these people.
    Last edited by Terry; 03-23-2011 at 02:59 PM.

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member molo's Avatar
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    I agree that it is a good idea to get one that doesn't plug in the first place. HOWEVER, The plugged toilet and leaking flapper thing does happen, so perhaps there should be a protection built into all toilets.
    "Any American who is prepared to run for President should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so."
    Gore Vidal.

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    DIY Member schipperke's Avatar
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    Gary, its a long drive, but I have an UltraMax for you..

    This Penguin scores 1000 on the MaP test
    Last edited by schipperke; 03-24-2011 at 02:48 PM.

  10. #10
    DIY Senior Member molo's Avatar
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    I'm not stumping for the Penguin, but I am surprised that a toilet that could prevent thousands of dollars of damage if a flapper stuck w/clogged bowl has not been received with any warmth. Maybe Toto should put this into their good flushing toilets and save people thousands of dollars of water damage. The average homeowner doesn't pay attention to the toilet to catch this scenario (at least half of the average homeowners).
    "Any American who is prepared to run for President should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so."
    Gore Vidal.

  11. #11
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    hj mentions an old toilet design that is similar in that regard; the ability to plug, and not overflow. I can't remember the name of the toilet now, but maybe he will read this and remember for us.

    The picture I see of the Penguin reminds me of the Mansfield trapway design that we take out. Maybe they have changed it from the picture, maybe not, but based on our experience in the real world, I don't like see those two sharp bends. There are plenty of bowls that will "MaP" out pretty well, assuming you use 3/4" x 4" plastic missiles. In the real world, they aren't wrapped in slippery plastic, and the sizes are different. They also don't try flushing toothbrushes or make up pens. I find my share of odd things between the two sharp bends, so I would naturally feel better about it if the picture didn't show that flaw.

    I understand how fascinating it must be to consider a bowl that can be left plugged, with a leaking flapper that nobody has bothered to fix.
    Can you say "Renter" ?
    A person plugs the bowl, and then walks off. You hear the water running day and night, but if you turn your television up just a bit, you no longer hear the white noise of the leaking toilet in the next room, just the white noise of the television.
    I have been getting calls from a renter quite a long ways from where I live; she has a $4.99 toilet seat, and the hinges are flimsy.
    I mention to her that if she goes to a hardware store, she can pick up a $14.99 seat with wide hinges and they won't wobble back and forth. Just the driving time there and back would be at the minimum 90 minutes, but she would like me to donate my time and install the $14.99 seat rather then go to her local hardware store, and pop a new seat on herself. She says if "I" put the seat on for her, she will be calling me back to snug up the screws every few weeks for " For Free! "
    So maybe she needs one of the bowls that she can plug, and let run and run, she's sounds perfect for that.

    Is it common for people to plug their toilets, leave them that way and let them run and run and run onto the floor.
    Maybe this is a good idea.
    I know they have a shutoff at the wall, but that would require someone bending down and getting their hands dirty turning the valve off.

    I did read some reviews, and one said that the overflow "protection" "has already paid off." Does that mean he plugged it?
    Last edited by Terry; 03-25-2011 at 05:59 PM.

  12. #12
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You could take the flapper out of a toilet and let it sit, and unless you also plugged it, it won't overflow. So, Not really sure what advantage that is except being another pathway that could get plugged up and then not work when those weird conditions called for it to work. And, as mentioned, if the main line is plugged, it won't make any difference! Unless I'm missing something, it doesn't magically shut the water supply off, and that would be the only way it might work; it only provides another path down the drain.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    So jadnashua, that would be like my son in law that was showering and the downstairs toilet overflowed. So he cleaned that up, and then went upstairs to shower again. Must have been a long shower because now all of the carpets were wet. In this case it was a main line plug.

  14. #14
    DIY Member schipperke's Avatar
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    Default All kinds

    I've seen posts from "men" where it takes a thread to explain how to install a standard flapper.

    I have an older American Standard Round bowl (down from two recently) where the water volume in the bowl can be absolutely normal, and if clogged and flushed, you are talking a boat load of water on the floor , out in to the hall and through the floor. Even if a my two 5yo's had the genius to turn off the water quickly, they would not be able, in fact found out my wife couldn't (and yes, this was after explaining what to do next time) as they were old valves that took "Arnold" to twist six turns shut. Installed a Toto round bowl, and when it clogs, I've flushed it once more, without it over flowing. (btw, installed a 1/4 turn valve)

    What I'm getting at is I'm sure there may be many that see the Penguin as a miracle, if they had the experience with my American Standards.. As far as the Toto taking an extra flush , you could be sure a renter would keep flushing until it did over flow, then realize it is clogged..

  15. #15
    DIY Senior Member molo's Avatar
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    New Code: Outhouses only for rental properties. No indoor toilets.
    "Any American who is prepared to run for President should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so."
    Gore Vidal.

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