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Thread: old school vs toto vs pressure assist

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member claybob's Avatar
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    Default old school vs toto vs pressure assist

    Hi all,

    First - awesome forum - lots of good advice!

    Now the questions:

    I have 3 old school (circa 1990) Kohler standard flush toilets. All are working fine and we've had no problems (mainly). Some time ago I started talking about "upgrading" to new low flows. Is this really an upgrade or am I better off leaving well enough alone?

    If I do decide to upgrade it appears that Toto (Drake) is really the best option. With regards to the Drake/Drake II, does the Drake II do a better bowl wash? I'd hate to see my wife spend more time cleaning toilets (as would she) and I'd probably never hear the end of it! Does the Drake II evacuate as well as the Drake and leave a cleaner (less maintenance required) bowl?

    I'm also told (by co-workers) that a pressure assist is the ONLY way to go (sorry for the pun) but this website seems to dispel this myth. I was looking at a Gerber power flush (1.6 - not dual) but am concerned by what I'm reading here about Gerber in general and pressure assist overall.

    I know its hard to comment on whats right for ME but I'm looking for some overall thoughts.

    Thanks in advance,
    ClayBob

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I appears you have been doing your homework and are looking for assurance that a Toto would be the best choice. About all I can do is reinforce what you have already read. All models of Toto toilets are superior products, so price and style are the major considerations. A basic low flow toilet fact to realize is that none of them (any brand) will have as good a bowl wash as the old water hogs. That said, few people have a real problem with this. An occasional streak, but not a daily problem. There seems to be a consensus that those with a problem with bowl wash may need to improve their diets. My personal experience is a brush kept handy with quickly and easily take care of the infrequent streak. I do not have Sanigloss, but that would be a good option to consider. Pressure assists are to me a gimmick some makers use to try to make poorly designed toilets work. There are at least two real problems with them. First, the powerful blast of water tends to shred toilet paper and these small shreds to not completely flush out. So while the "big stuff" may be gone, there is cloud of these fine particles of paper floating in the bowl. Second concern is that since the system works with this pressurized tank, sooner or later the tank will fail. Repairs to these often are as much a a whole new toilet. Toto has developed a flush that uses what they call a double cyclone and is on some models, but these are not on Drakes or lower priced units. Reports are this double cyclone rinse works very well, but my experience with my Dartmouth and Drake has not convinced me that I would see any difference since I have no bad experiences with bowl wash after 2 plus years. The only clogging ever reported on the forum has been when an object that should not be put in the toilet gets crosswise in the trap. Many of us don't even own a plunger. The final thought I have is that it seems that the hardest part of buy a Toto is to select the model. The good part of that is, no matter which one you choose, you will have an excellent toilet.

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The Drake II can be had with both sanaglos (recommended, but not necessary) and has the double cyclone bowl wash, which is superior to the already good Drake performance. Sanaglos is a super smooth glaze that most stuff has a very hard time sticking to, so if you add the double cyclone, it does a really good job. There are videos showing the flush comparisons here if you search a little and on UTube.

    Other than the eventual costly repair required on any pressure assist unit, I don't like their noise nor the sometimes sticky lever. Gravity doesn't go away and costs nothing extra. Toto's figured out how to make it work for them quite well.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    I guess you could call me "old school" because I have only installed a half dozen Toto toilets, and have not had any complaints about the brands I do use.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    I guess you could call me "old school" because I have only installed a half dozen Toto toilets, and have not had any complaints about the brands I do use.
    Think he was comparing gravity to pressure assist, brand independent. Between the two, my vote is gravity. Most Totos use a siphon jet, the really old toilets got their siphon by using LOTS of water, slowly dumped into the bowl. Most low flow toilets use a siphon jet now.
    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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    If you are comparing "old school" toilets made before 1992 and toilets made in the last 19 years, then yes, more brushing or cleaning will be needed with toilets manfacutred in the last 20 years.
    Older then 1985 five to seven gallon
    85-92, 3.5 gallons
    92 to present 1.6, 1.28, 1.1 gallons
    Pressure assist toilets also fall in the need to be cleaned more catogory. With 1.6 or less gallons, and most of that diverted though the lower trapway, A brush will be handy.

    I find that the Drake II works well with the double cyclone and Sanagloss. I installed this in my main bath and for my GF. She loves her's. Of the recent bowls, they work well.
    Last edited by Terry; 11-21-2011 at 09:44 AM.

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    In the Trades mtcummins's Avatar
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    Go with the Drake II with sanagloss and double cyclone. Its what I have, after replacing crappy low flow toilets that streaked all the time.

    As has been said above, you can't really go wrong with Toto in general. The sanagloss will likely not make a huge difference immediately (compared to the same toto w/o it), but its supposed to hold up longer in terms of being "non-stick" The double cyclone is pretty impressive.

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