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Thread: Where to get info on toilet water level height?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member GrumpyMom's Avatar
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    Default Where to get info on toilet water level height?

    We recently remodeled a bathroom. I ran out of money before buying the toilet so settled for a popular national brand sold locally instead of the Toto I'd hoped to buy. It works fine but I was shocked to find that, although this was a tall model since we are tall people, my husband could not sit on the toilet without getting his male equipment dunked. In scouring the Internet for risers that don't look like hospital equipment, I've discovered enough other vague references to believe this is not an uncommon problem. I'm horrified that I have to either replace a brand new toilet or put up with ugly risers. How is the customer supposed to know what the water level height will be? Or better yet, manufacturers should be required to post the distance between the rim and the expected water level. Is there any place to get this information if I decide to replace this toilet or if I ever do any more remodeling?

  2. #2
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    I don't know of anywhere that this info is published. Your best bet is always to always research thoroughly before you make such a purchase, as you might have found the negative reviews before your money was spent.

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I am not aware of this data being published by any manufacturer. I agree that it can be an annoying problem. Water height in a bowl it determined by the height of the weir or dam that holds the water in the bowl until flushed. This is known as the "water spot". The water spot will vary from model to model, with the newer water saver 1.28 gpf being lower. The trade off in have a very small water spot is that often there isn't enough water to cover the waste and prevent odor. I have found the Toto Drake and the Toto Dartmouth, both comfort height and 1.6 gpf, to be pretty good on both counts. There is an occasional dunking of vitals, but not always and not too bad when it does occur. The water spot is a good size to prevent odor. This is not to say that other Toto toilets do not work as well, these are the two models I have in my home and have experience with. I would think that staying with the Comfort Height or ADA models would be preferred.

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    DIY Junior Member GrumpyMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    I am not aware of this data being published by any manufacturer. I agree that it can be an annoying problem. Water height in a bowl it determined by the height of the weir or dam that holds the water in the bowl until flushed. This is known as the "water spot". The water spot will vary from model to model, with the newer water saver 1.28 gpf being lower. The trade off in have a very small water spot is that often there isn't enough water to cover the waste and prevent odor. I have found the Toto Drake and the Toto Dartmouth, both comfort height and 1.6 gpf, to be pretty good on both counts. There is an occasional dunking of vitals, but not always and not too bad when it does occur. The water spot is a good size to prevent odor. This is not to say that other Toto toilets do not work as well, these are the two models I have in my home and have experience with. I would think that staying with the Comfort Height or ADA models would be preferred.
    I definitely appreciate the input of guys on this subject since I can't easily research the problem. I don't know of any dealer who has flushable toilets you can try out - even assuming I could get my husband to agree to such a thing! The Toto Drake was the one I'd pretty much decided on before foolishly settling for an ADA Eljer on sale for our vacation cabin. Luckily our main home toilet is an aging but still workable Kohler 18" which I guess is no longer made. Anyway, I'd appreciate any/all recommendations of ADA/comfort height toilets that don't have this problem.

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    DIY Junior Member weaver's Avatar
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    I have an UltraMax ELG 1.28, three years old. Filled to the maximum, overflowing the weir, the surface of the water spot is 6 inches lower than the level of the rim top. Placing a straightedge across the top of my Toto 114 seat in the forward area of interest (the seat slopes a bit back to front) adds 1 1/4 inch to the elevation. I'm male and happily dry with this. I leave the calculation of your household's dunk dimension to you. May I add that we are very pleased with this Toto model (we have 2). I think that the water spot in the CEFG is somewhat smaller and probably lower; others would have to confirm this.
    Last edited by weaver; 04-28-2012 at 04:43 PM. Reason: add spec

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    DIY Junior Member GrumpyMom's Avatar
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    Thank you, Weaver, that is useful information. I measured my home Kohler and it is 7 inches water to rim and gives no problem. I think the Eljer at the cabin is closer to five inches but will have to remeasure. Seems to me manufacturers should think about publishing this info somewhere. It never occurred to me that tall toilets would have this problem. I would have expected them to have more distance between water and rim - not less!

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    As the federal regulations on water saving toilets gets tougher, you're caught in the problem about bowl volume...you need to be able to juggle multiple needs and desires: you want the whole bowl to be emptied when you flush, you want decent depth to cover the smelly stuff before you do flush, and you want to cover a fair amount of area to help prevent skid marks. These criteria are in conflict. So, you have a choice of shallow, wide coverage area that may not cover the stuff dumped in there, or a smaller spot that is deeper. The volume must remain about the same, since the whole thing is limited on how much water it can use. then, there's the design of the trapway. To make a reliable, clog-free toilet, the trapway needs to be fairly large and the changes in direction need to be smooth without sharp angles. This means that there must be some height since the things flush to the rear, then it must swing around to make it to the toilet flange, which is about middle of the thing. So, raise the height to get a good quality flush, make the bowl area smaller so you get enough height to cover things, and since the overall height to the seat is relatively fixed, that puts the water spot higher up.

    It's never easy...but maybe I gave you something to help rationalize why.
    Jim DeBruycker
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    DIY Junior Member GrumpyMom's Avatar
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    I'm no engineer, Jim, but I do understand that government regulations are often arbitrarily imposed with no consideration for the practical problems involved. I like to think that Americans are creative enough to figure a way around these problems. However, in this case it appears that the easiest solution is publishing that crucial measurement between the water spot and rim. It would take only a few drops of extra ink or a small amount of extra space on a manufacturer's web site. Meanwhile, maybe Mr. Terry Love - who runs this exceptionally useful web site - will consider starting a list where people could contribute that useful statistic for any makes/models they personally deal with.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; I don't know of any dealer who has flushable toilets you can try out -

    You do not have to put water into the toilet because most, other than the skirted ones, have "exposed" traps and if you measure from the floor to the BOTTOM of the "inverted U" and subtract that from the distance to the top surface, it will tell you how far down the water will be. you might also try keeping the bathroom very cold because his "equipment" will retract when it gets cold.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  10. #10
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Or keep the water nice and warm,,,LOL

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    DIY Junior Member GrumpyMom's Avatar
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    HJ, I plead ignorance. I get the part about measuring from floor to bottom of the external U on toilet base. But when you talk about subtracting that measure from the distance of the top surface, I'm lost. The top surface of what? And once I get that measurement, does it tell me how far down the water will be from the rim or up from the floor or what? Sorry to be stupid, but I've never gotten into toilet innards before.

  12. #12
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    You have the opposite complaint of most folks with new toilets...that the water spot is small and low!

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