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Thread: American Standard Champion toilet Review and comments. Rated #1 by Consumer Reports

  1. #196

    Default Inherited Champion

    We discovered we had a Champion in the home we purchased when the toilet quit flushing a few days after we moved in. When I opened the tank the flush valve brought power station cooling towers to mind. I reattached the chain to the valve and it worked again for a few days. When it stopped flushing again and I opened the tank and I found that the spring mechanism the chain was attached to had separated from the valve. I futzed with it a bit and managed to reattach it and it worked for a few more days when the spring mechanism fell apart again. This happened a few times with increasing frequency until my daughter decided to fix it with some wire. This worked for a few days. When this fell apart we called the plumber who recognized the model as the golf ball toilet. When he went for parts there were none to be had but Home Depot let him salvage what he needed from a spare tank they had on hand and he succeeded in replacing the valve.

    I called the plumber back a few days later when I noticed the floor was squishing and traced the source back to the tank seating. This was remedied by the plumber and all was well for a few months until we noticed the tank was refilling itself between flushes. We tolerated this but it kept getting worse until it was running almost constantly. We opened the tank repeatedly looking for the problem and found no reason. We started shutting the water off between flushes and contemplated yet another call to the plumber. However, I opened the tank one more time and ran my fingers around the red seal. I was thinking may a piece of debris was stuck to it. I found nothing so I ran my fingers around it a second time. On the second pass I felt a bulge in the seal. This turned out to be an air bubble which collapsed when I squeezed it. Suddenly the seal was working and I felt like the darn thing might actually work out for a while.

    To my disappointment a month later the spring mechanism fell apart again. I put it back together and it lasted a few flushes. Yesterday we started shopping for a new toilet which is how we came to this site, about one nine months from the time we purchased the house. We will not purchase another Champion or any other AS product.

    I am not sure what our standing is for a class action suite given we inherited our Champ from a previous owner but we'd be happy to give it a go.

    hmt

  2. #197
    DIY Member plumbtired's Avatar
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    Unhappy Another dissatisfied Champion toilet(s) owner...but wait, there's more!!

    Just found this forum...wished I'd found it earlier, like two years ago when I bought two of those pesky Champion (Williamsburg) toilets.

    I, too, am plagued with leaky (and extremely noisy) flush valves. Both toilets are problematic. I have been getting middle-of-the-night phantom flushes (both toilets--different nights, fortunately) due to the leaky valves causing the tank to refill, plus incomplete flushes when I do flush the toilets.

    I saw Terry's photos (at least, I think they are Terry's) of the valve seal replacement and of the replacement flush valves. I've done the valve seals bit, with no success. So...I (just) phoned American Standard (800-442-1902), and after a short wait, spoke with a representative who was very courteous and promptly took my name and address. He also asked for the model number (etched inside the tank, starting with a "4" and is 4 digits long, of each toilet--was the same number) and told me they would be shipping me a couple of ("free"!!) replacement flush valves. It was a painless procedure and I didn't even have to complain about the lousy toilet, other than tell him the flush values were no good...and no parts were available to fix them.

    I should receive my two replacement flush valves within 10 days, the representative informed me. A big "THANKS" to Terry for this forum and for posting the photos of the replacement flush valve. By the way, I think the American Standard telephone rep was somewhat surprised when I replied to his "the replacement valve will look different than the one you have" that I knew that because I'd seen a photo of one.
    Last edited by plumbtired; 01-16-2008 at 05:45 PM. Reason: forgot to include

  3. #198
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plumbtired View Post
    I (just) phoned American Standard (800-442-1902), and after a short wait, spoke with a representative who was very courteous and promptly took my name and address. He also asked for the model number (etched inside the tank, starting with a "4" and is 4 digits long, of each toilet--was the same number) and told me they would be shipping me a couple of ("free"!!) replacement flush valves. It was a painless procedure and I didn't even have to complain about the lousy toilet, other than tell him the flush values were no good...and no parts were available to fix them.

    I should receive my two replacement flush valves within 10 days, the representative informed me. A big "THANKS" to Terry for this forum and for posting the photos of the replacement flush valve. By the way, I think the American Standard telephone rep was somewhat surprised when I replied to his "the replacement valve will look different than the one you have" that I knew that because I'd seen a photo of one.
    Don't let them fool you... They know they've got a lemon!
    Are you installing this new valve yourself or, are you hiring a plumber?
    Did you ask them where to send the plumbers bill?

  4. #199
    Comments by readers Reader Review's Avatar
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    Applying castor oil to the base and the gasket seems to help stop leaking water.

    Tom M.

  5. #200
    DIY Member plumbtired's Avatar
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    Smile Follow-up on Champion flush valve replacement

    As was promised, American Standard sent the two replacement flush valves as well as two new tank-bowl gaskets and hardware, all within the ten days they stated (via the phone order).

    Had a little problem with the new flush valve's chain hookup to the handle stem-arm since the replacement setup involved a pin and cotter key attached to a chain. The pin was too large to go through the holes in the handle stem-arm, so I just hooked it up like it had been with the old flush valve--a wire s-hook through the hole in the arm and the other end crimped around the chain.

    It works great! No more loud "clunk" when the toilet is flushed plus a much improved flow of water into the bowl. This looks like a "win" for us...and a pat on the back for American Standard. They stepped up, admitted the error of their ways (i.e. the bad piston type flush valve), and replaced it with the new-and-improved flush valve (free!).

    Yes, it was a hassle. But we had installed our own Champion toilets in the first place, so pulling the tank off, removing the original no-good flush valve, installing the new-and-improved flush valve, and then re-seating the tank to the bowl was not THAT big of a deal.

  6. #201

    Default Question: New Flush Value Kits



    I just purchased an older home where previous owner put in the infamous leaker. I just called AS, and they're sending me two new flush kits. I didn't have to argue with them.

    In trying to decide if better to have the kits changed or purchase a new tank, can someone advise if the new flush kit solves the leaking problem.

    Also, is the way in which the original tank sits a possible cause for leaking as well?

    Trying to grasp if leaking can be from both flush kit and tank seating variables.

    Thank you.


    Grading the best toilets, the ones that work!
    Last edited by Terry; 05-03-2009 at 11:46 AM.

  7. #202

    Default How to Hot-Wire Tower?



    Quote Originally Posted by Reader Review View Post
    I've had more problems than we should for a year's use. All three in our new house have had problems. However, ours have a lifetime guarantee and AS has cheerfully replaced all parts for free. I have a new flush tower now that I replace parts out of. Besides that, if your spring goes, you can hot-wire the flush tower and get 3 gallons a flush.

    I have two more bathrooms to go and I don't think we'll buy the Champion again...

    -dayl
    Can you explain to me how to hot-wire the tower. I recently got one of these toilets and I have had two drain clogs because the toilet is not sending enough water with the flush. I think it is because the plunger falls too quickly.

    Thanks
    Last edited by Terry; 02-23-2008 at 05:23 PM.

  8. #203
    DIY Member plumbtired's Avatar
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    Red face It works!

    I'm responding to several of these kinds of questions this evening...it must be Champion flush valve day...

    Yes, the replacement flapper-style flush valve is definitely worth the fuss and bother of requesting it from American Standard and going through the pain-in-the-rear installation process. You definitely will be pleased with the results...no more leaking in between flushes, no more incomplete flushes, no more frustrations with your Champion toilet (hopefully!). I noted that after we changed out the two Champion toilets' flush valves, it was like we had brand new toilets...a world of difference!

    Go for it!

    One thing we discovered, however, was that the clevis pin hookup for the chain from flush valve to flush lever arm did not fit into the too-small holes in the flush lever arm. I simply removed the clevis pin from the new chain and re-installed the simple s-hook from the old chain to the new chain and to the flush lever arm...problem solved...and it works perfectly (even impressed my spousal unit, who did most of the work removing the old piston-style flush valve and installing the new flapper-style flush valve!).

    I will add that you need to be very careful reinstalling the tank onto the bowl...make certain you use that deep socket and perform the alternating-sides tightening routine. I have read many complaints about leaking tanks but if you are careful, take your time, and seat the tank, gasket, and bowl tightly (not too or you'll break the ceramic!) and EVENLY, you will have 100% success. We learned the hard way...on our second Champion, we hurried...we were flush with success from the flush valve replacement of our first Champion, earlier that day. We tried to do the tank-to-bowl bit quickly...that is, we did NOT go from side-to-side after each series of 2-3 cranks on the ratchet. Oh, man...water ran out of the tank onto the floor at about 100 gallons a minute! Lesson learned...we started all over and did it the RIGHT way, the SECOND time, with success!
    Last edited by plumbtired; 02-25-2008 at 09:45 PM.

  9. #204
    Retired Engineering Technician Ed East Peoria IL's Avatar
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    I installed a American Standard Champion 16 1/2" about 2 years ago replacing a Kohler Wellworth 3 1/2 gallon, elongated bowl unit. The Kohler's only issue was letting paper not flush without a second flush. The Champion assembled ok, and has had a decent pressure flush. The misfire occurs occasionally. No leaks so far. This unit has a problem with not cleaning sticky waste from the back or around the sides of the bowl. Even below the water line, it is very inconsistant. This is a problem that I also see with toilets from other manufacturers that are low water volumn units. The combination of steep taper sides and back, low water level in the bowl, and a small volumn, short duration wash make this a time consuming and water wasting problem. The toilet usually needs to be flushed a second and third time and the sides brushed to remove the sticky waste. The nuisance value combined with the lack of water saving make these designs a serious case for higher water volumn flush toilets. Another issue I hear about is the lesser water flush does not move the waste out the lines effectively. Depending on where the toilet water drains relative to other sinks, showers, etc... that can be another potentially expensive repair if a router service is required to clear the matter from the sewer pipes. I have an old 5 Gal toilet in the house that has none of the "water saver" unit issues.

  10. #205

    Default Not worthy to be a toilet

    The new flush valve is a piece of you know what. I installed a couple of these toilets in August of 2007, and one owner put a toilet cleaner in the tank (One that hangs on the side of the tank) It ate away the gasket. The toilet was losing about an inch an hour through the flush valve every 20 minutes. It is the only toilet in the house. American Standard took almost two weeks to send the replacement part. They were trying to blame the cleaner. I explained to them that these products work on every other toilet, and maybe they should actually engineer the product to work with these items.
    I could not find the replacement gasket to buy anywhere near me, and when I asked them to give me a list of places that carry replacement pars, customer service could not. They did remind me that there is a 10 year warranty, and I explained to them that the warranty is crap if it takes 2 weeks to get parts, plus they are not remiumbursing for labor. So you decide. Just let the people cleaning the toilets not to put any cleaners in the tank.

  11. #206
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Here's a switch... I'll defend the champion for the first time.

    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzyk31 View Post
    I installed a couple of these toilets in August of 2007. The toilet was losing about an inch an hour through the flush valve every 20 minutes.
    Okay I'm not clear on how bad the leak was...
    An inch an hour
    or,
    an inch every 20 minutes?

    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzyk31 View Post
    One owner put a toilet cleaner in the tank (One that hangs on the side of the tank) It ate away the gasket. They were trying to blame the cleaner. I explained to them that these products work on every other toilet, and maybe they should actually engineer the product to work with these items.
    Use of in tank bowl cleaners will void most manufacturers warrantees.

  12. #207
    DIY Member plumbtired's Avatar
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    Unhappy Another chemist reports "argh" for toilet tank chemicals

    I am also a chemist (see thread, "I'm Blue," for another chemist's comments on toilet tank chemicals). Why people buy that tank treatment "crap" off the shelves of the stores, I'll never understand. I guess it's the ole case of: "if it's on the store's shelf, it must be good"...

    Anything with bleach or acid (or an alkali/base) is NOT good for plastics, rubber, or metal, much less for your hands. Over time, it hardens the plastic and rubber as well as deteriorates these compounds. These chemicals corrode and erode metal. And, can you imagine what that treated water does to the multitude of pets who drink from the "oasis"? I noticed that some manufacturers of those tank cleaning compounds even have the audacity to state the product is "safe for consumption." Scary, isn't it?

    Redwood is correct: manufacturers will not honor the warranty on their products if you use these in-tank chemicals. No wonder...!

    I cannot believe the manufacturers of these cleaning products still push them onto an unsuspecting public...but if the market is there, "sell it"!
    Last edited by plumbtired; 03-10-2008 at 10:09 PM.

  13. #208
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    The reason they're used so much is because certain types are very effective in their use of saving the hardship of hard scouring the bowl of rust stains or the periodic cleaning done without.


    The products we knock are the products that employ us. And here on the internet, we shame the use of them!

    As you see, people ignore correct advice when it comes to sweating the small stuff.


    If plumbers told the public to over use toilet paper, use chlorine tablets, jam the garbage disposal tight, pitch tampons in the toilet........



    they'd do the opposite and stop.


    I don't want them to stop. Keep it up! I love being able to make in 15 minutes what it took you 13 hours to earn!


    Okay I'm off my rocker.

    Time for my meds. Name:  index.png
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    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  14. #209
    Comments by readers Reader Review's Avatar
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    We had four of these toilets installed when we remodeled in Spring 2004, and four years later are getting ready to replace all of them.
    They have leaked, flushed improperly, constant running water, etc. We tried getting replacement parts from American Standard, but they never solved the problems. After this experience, I will never purchase another product from this company.
    T. Brown, 11 March 2008

  15. #210
    Comments by readers Reader Review's Avatar
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    I purchased 3 AS Champion toilets for our new home. Within a few months the periodic flushing began. First with one then all three. Upon discovery I found all 3 red seals to have a small "bump" approx 1/4" x 1/4" on the edge of the 3 seals. Thinking they might be defective, I purchased 3 seals at Home Depot for almost $6 each. Fine for a month then problems recurred with same result. More red seals, more leaks. Finally after 3 each seal replacements I contacted American Standard. They said I had the "old"
    models and they would ship the replacement tank parts complete for all 3 toilets which they did. Fortunately I was able to act as the plumber here which saved us huge sums of money but if I weren't able I shudder to think how much more we would have had to spend on each and every call.
    Everything was fine for the first 7 months then, voila! Then the "new"
    green seal developed a 1/4" x 1/4" bump near the edge just like the red seals!! Two calls to AS Customer Service with a direct request to talk to a qualified, ranking design engineer resulted in several rebuffs and finally a call back several days later by someone identifying themself as a design engineer.
    Our story is this. My wife is a regional/national accounts manager for GE's water treatment. We are on a well and because of this paid for a 150 point water test in a nearby state's lab. The results were used to design a whole house system by GE engineers for our home as we are a Beta site for water testing for GE.
    The AS "engineer" upon learning of this said it must be our water quality causing the bumps not the Champion design. He sent 2 vials for us to fill up with water for AS to "test".
    After reading numerous blogs of disatisfied customers, I trust AS does the right thing and responds very quickly to our concerns "in the field" as the Champion falls far, far short of quality claims.
    D Srygley
    Delaware

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