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Thread: Where to find the "Water Depth from the Rim" for Toto toilets

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Nickie's Avatar
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    Question Where to find the "Water Depth from the Rim" for Toto toilets

    Admittedly I have not read every post on this site and other sites I have perused. There may be a discussion of this critical parameter somewhere but I have not found it. In my household, this parameter is far more critical than the size of the water spot which seems to be always spec-ed. Please forgive me. I'd appreciate a pointer.

    I want to replace the 4 toilets that came with the house because every other day at least one plugs. I have been searching the web for toilet specifications. I can usually find all the specifications I need EXCEPT for one: the distance between the rim and the water spot level. Only Kohler seems to be spec-ing that parameter in the documents available on their web site. However, lots of people seem to have troubles with Kohler toilets so I am looking for alternatives. This site and others like Toto toilets. Great, but where can I find the water depth from the rim parameter. My husband would like it to be 6.5" or greater so that with the seat thickness, there will be more than a 7" clearance above the water spot.

    I am considering the Drake EL, Drake II EL, Drake II EL ADA, Eco Drake EL, Eco Drake EL ADA, Entrada EL, Vespin II EL ADA. I have eliminated the Ultramax model from consideration because its MaP rating is only >= 500. Can you tell me where I could find this data? Can any of you with access to some of these models installed measure that distance? I have not been able to find all the models installed and connected to water; and estimating the elevation of the weir on a dry sample is at best imprecise if at all possible (in particular when the toilet is skirted).

    I'd like all the toilets to be elongated, white, to have a MaP rating of 800 or better (i.e. not clog), a good wash of the bowl, leak resistant. Three need to be "comfort height" with 7" or so clearance below the seat. One needs to be standard height with 5.5 or 6" clearance below the seat (kids' use).

    My plumber recommends a VitrA toilet. They all appear to have a high MaP rating. But I have no spec on them. Any experience with this brand?

    Thanks for your comments and inputs.

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Let me answer the easy question first. MaP ratings are pretty much meaningless now days. Most early low flow toilets performed so poorly that this rating was important, but today it think all toilets meet or exceed the minimum 500 MaP requirement. Now the harder question. I frankly don't know what manufacturers, if any, have a listing of distance from bowl rim to water. The water "spot" is the size of the water surface which is determined by the internal height of the trap weir, and while that my have relevance to you question, it doesn't really answer it. Toto toilets all flush extremely well, so any model in the Toto line would be satisfactory from that standpoint. ADA rated toilets must be elongate. Universal height are basically the same as ADA except the flush handles on ADA tanks can be purchased either left or right sides. One thing you need to know is the rough in size(s). To get this, measure from the finished wall to a flange bolt. Toilets come in 3 rough-in sizes. 10', 12", and 14", but all will fit in less space than their rated size. Unfortunately, there is no industry standard on exactly how much space is needed, but if you are within an inch or even a tad more you will usually be OK, but if you get a measurement of more than that, check back here. Since 12" is the standard rough in, you will find more choices with that size. Toto has some options available if you have a 10" or 14" rough in.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Personally, I have NEVER seen that dimension specified for ANY toilet.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Senior Member guy48065's Avatar
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    Clue me in please. How is the distance to water important? Is it a flush quality thing or a Dangle Dunk Distance thing?
    Romeo and Atlanta, MI

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    DIY Senior Member Reach4's Avatar
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    I think it may be bragging, but it could be a splash thing. Or maybe he is looking for a bigger splash after eating hot sauce.

    Seriously, if it is a splash thing, a sheet or two of toilet paper atop the water in advance does wonders. It could also be that he wants to make flushes while still seated, and wants margin against a level rise.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member Nickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reach4 View Post
    I think it may be bragging, but it could be a splash thing. Or maybe he is looking for a bigger splash after eating hot sauce.

    Seriously, if it is a splash thing, a sheet or two of toilet paper atop the water in advance does wonders. It could also be that he wants to make flushes while still seated, and wants margin against a level rise.
    No issue with splashing. It's a "dangle dunking" thing for my husband. I don't want to hear another shocked scream triggered by a cold water dunk (and I will not consider warming the incoming water which would cool off anyway while waiting in the bowl). In addition, I consider such a dunking a health hazard. I don't have the problem obviously.

    I found that the VitrA Evergreen toilet specifies its Water Depth From Rim to be 6 7/8" on their web site.
    I called Caroma which is reputed for its extremely large trap opening making clogging very unlikely. They quoted me on the phone 11" for the Somerton Smart 270 Elongated and 12" for the Sydney Easy Height Elongated. Their web site does not mention this dimension. I find these numbers hard to believe although I was put on hold while someone supposedly went to measure.
    The specs for the Kohlers I looked at vary between 5 3/8" and 6 3/8".
    I guess I am going to call Toto and hope they will be more informative that American Standard who claimed this dimension is unavailable and can't be specified because it varies with each fabrication run! It makes one feel very dubious about American Standard quality control.

    I would appreciate if one of you with access to a Drake II EL or Eco Drake EL or ULTRAMAX or Rowan or Entrada or Vespin II would report on this Water Depth From Rim dimension by measuring a water-connected toilet.

    I have to believe that the MaP scores have SOME meaning although they do not represent REAL USE experience. However there must be a difference between a toilet with a MaP score of 500 and one with a MaP score of 800 or 1000. When my 4-year old grand-daughter can clog the toilet at my house and at her parents' house, I know I must pay attention to this score. Between her, her father and her grand-father, I have had it with plunging toilets.

    Is it a false impression or is it true that it's becoming difficult to find a standard height toilet bowl (<= 15")? Several I checked into have been discontinued and now only exist in ADA height.
    Thanks for all your comments and inputs.

  7. #7
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Again, Map scores are not very valid. It's a lot like horsepower ratings in automobile engines. Sure, you have to have some, but unless you're going into racing, super high numbers are meaningless. Clogging a Toto takes a major effort. Most of us Toto users don't even own a plunger.

  8. #8
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The MAP score is a measure of the amount of weight of plastic wrapped soft paste logs in grams. Most people produce a load less than one pound, so even if you throw in a bunch of toilet paper (which doesn't actually weigh much), you're less than 500g. Some manufacturers, knowing that, look for ways to make it work great on the test, and may not work that well with sticky, real stuff.

    FWIW, on my Toto Carlyle (I just went and measured) is about 6.25" from the RIM to the water. Then, add in whatever seat thickness you have to that.

    If you ever saw a raw, unfired toilet, you'd be surprised at how much larger it is before being run through the kiln! It shrinks LOTS when it is fired. And, a slight variation in how much water you mix things with can make a big difference in how big it ends up when finished (which is why AS said it can vary). Also, the amount of time you wait for the liquid to solidify means the wall thickness can vary, too, changing the overall size. Toto is the only one I know of (there may be others) that uses a much drier clay mixture and injects it under pressure into the mold rather than pouring in a liquid (at least this is what I've been told!). This allows their porcelain pieces to be much tighter in tolerances from piece to piece.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member Nickie's Avatar
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    Thanks Jim for taking the trouble to measure the Water Depth From Rim on your Toto Carlyle. 6.25" is not great. I would have prefer closer to 7". I'd love for someone to provide here the data for a Drake II and an Ultramax EL.

    I understand about MAP scores and need no more indoctrination on that topic. However, the more I investigate toilets, the more I scratch my head. One can't tell from looking at a toilet picture or real commode how it will perform. Why so many models? Why not design highly functional innards, offer a few cosmetic and color options, and establish a reliable manufacturing process. A higher volume on fewer models would streamline the price wouldn't it? I must be na´ve. I do not expect my toilets to be objects of beauty but to PERFORM RELIABLY.

    I wish Toto used consistent specifications and format for all their models on their site. Even terrylove's site (by far the most enlightening) raises lots of questions. For instance,

    1) If there is no mention of a 3" flush valve, how much smaller is the flush valve? I assume that the larger the valve, the more effective the flush.

    2) Are the 1.28 GPF toilets as effective at flushing and bowl-washing as the 1.6 GPF? How about the 1.0 GPF? The UltraMax toilet seems to be available on the Toto web site in 1.0, 1.28. 1.6 GPF. What flushing system is the most effective: Double Cyclone, E-MAX, or G-MAX? I assume that Dual-MAX is essentially a G-MAX with a reduced volume option. Based on your vast experience in the toilet field, how would you rate the flushing effectiveness?

    3) What is the benefit of a "skirted" toilet? All my life I have had toilets with visible trap ways and I never had any cleaning issue with them.

    4) What makes the price of a toilet? The Drake is listed on terrylove's site at $250, the Ultramax at $500 (round numbers starting prices). They both list G-MAX technology. The Ultramax is one-piece whereas the Drake is two. Apart from the possible ease of cleaning, why would I want a one-piece rather than a two-piece? What do I get for double the price?

    Sigh! ;-)
    Nickie.

  10. #10
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    1. The larger the flush valve, the more water can be dumped in a short time. The short time is critical, since you need enough speed to start a siphon, especially when you are using a small amount of water. Older toilets just relied on lots of water ending up IN the bowl, and the pressure of it started the siphon to empty it...really easy to get an overflow if there was a clog. There's a limit on how big you can make it and make it reliable...Kohler tried to make a bigger one, and then scaled back when it didn't last...looking for bragging rights 'I've got the biggest..." didn't work for them. It takes some actual engineering to make it all work.

    2. Flushing, a well-designed toilet will remove waste fine with the lower use. No low-flow toilet cleans the bowl as well. Toto's Double Cyclone shoots the available water around the bowl and does a good job, but none will work as well as a gully washer that used sometimes as much as 7-8x as much in the old days. Some of the water use savings comes from more carefully calibrating the water that goes to fill the bowl. Excess water there just goes down the drain, so if you calibrate it really carefully, and stop refilling when both the bowl and the tank are just full (only sense the tank), you can minimize use.

    3. For those of us that may not be as fastidious, having a skirt means fewer places for dust and dirt to accumulate. That, plus it's a design style.

    4. A one piece toilet costs more because it still must be made in multiple pieces, and patching them together takes more time and skill. As a result, there's more labor and rejects, and thus the cost. Again, it's a style thing. ANd, a cleaning issue...no crack between the tank and the bowl that can get dirty (and is a major pain to clean!). Deal with a lot of young boys, and you may find out what I mean...
    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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    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    Aaaaaaaaah!!!!

    Respectfully, you are obsessively-reinventing the wheel.

    I don't understand dangle-dunking but whatever.

    Look...all the Totos perform fine. Unless you insist upon emptying half a roll of Ultra Charmin into the bowl and trying to flush it all down together, any Toto is going to flush pretty much anything you reasonably throw at it.

    The II version toilets with the double-cyclone give you a little more bowl rinse and don't have rim holes so you don't get gunk there.

    We have two Drake 1.6gpfs that flush great, and a Carlyle II that flushes great. You would do just fine with the Ultramax II. The 500 rating on the Ultramax is total BS. It's a great-flushing toilet. I have used it in a few hotels. That hotels replaced their toilets with the Ultramax II tells you that they aren't worried about it clogging.

    Just decide which Toto looks nicest to you and is in your price range at the right bowl height, buy it (after shopping carefully for price), and you'll be all set.

    Really.

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    DIY Junior Member Nickie's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the feedback. I have learned a lot. I just wish that one of you with a Drake II or an Ultramax II would measure that distance.
    Toto USA has been very nice but unable to provide the data. They acknowledged my request and supposedly passed it on to Engineering! If I ever get a reply from them, I'll post it here.

    Looks are not important to me. Functionality first, then price are. As it stands now, my best bet is the Rowan model with a 6 11/16" Water Depth From Rim parameter. It is a dual flush mechanism but it appears to be on the low-cost end of the Toto spectrum. Does anyone out there have experience with the Rowan? Is it junk?

    I would prefer a Drake II if its WDFR parameter turns out to be 6.5" or better. Would you chose a 1.6 GPF or a 1.28 GPF or the new 1.0 GPF model of the Drake II, solely based on frequency of clogging and bowl cleaning ability? (That is... ignore the water saving factor and the commode price) Any model that flushes the bowl content in one flush will be an enormous improvement on my current situation where getting rid of solids requires 5 to 8 flushes of a 1.6 GPF toilet with lots of plunging! Argh!

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    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    Ack! No! Let me rephrase. Any Toto except the Rowan and the Carusoe.

    They are "builder-grade". Avoid! 2" flush valve.

    This just goes to show why this measurement that you are so fascinated with really isn't any kind of measure of performance. Nevertheless, you're absolutely entitled to drive into any ditch you want.

    I hope it works out well for you.

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    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    I didn't think we were going to have to explain it, but if you have ever sat down on a toilet and found your genitals were IN the water, then you realize the importance of the distance measurement between the rim of the bowl and the level of the water.

    The Drake 2 measures 5-1/2", but the shape of the bowl causes a pretty small waterspot, making the issue less notable than bowls which have a large waterspot.

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    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cacher_chick View Post
    I didn't think we were going to have to explain it, but if you have ever sat down on a toilet and found your genitals were IN the water, then you realize the importance of the distance measurement between the rim of the bowl and the level of the water.

    The Drake 2 measures 5-1/2", but the shape of the bowl causes a pretty small waterspot, making the issue less notable than bowls which have a large waterspot.
    Unless someone has been hanging weights on that part of their anatomy, all the Totos should be fine. I have the original Drake and one of the Double Cyclones, and --- eew --- it so has not been a problem that I never in my wildest dreams would have thought about that issue.

    Now that I get it, I would say that it also has to do with toilet operation. In the old days, you would pull the trip lever and the toilet would raise the water level (i.e. fill up) and then go down. On the Toto Drake and Double cyclone, it just goes down. No fill first. Here's the Drake video. See, nothing rises, so no "scream". See...it clears the bowl without raising the water level.



    And here it is flushing paper.

    Last edited by wjcandee; 10-12-2013 at 01:46 AM.

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