Plunging the Toto Drake -- Any Tricks for this Nightmare?!
Posted by Once Clogged But Still Hopeful on April 23, 2004 at 14:08:25:
Thank you for telling me about the Toto Drake. It's incredible. But have you figured out how to plunge it? Toto customer service hasn't. And plunging it's a nightmare!!

My wife and I bought our house about a year ago. It had been foreclosed on and showed all the signs of the previous couple's pain. The stove was a mess, the flooring was neglected, the yard was a jungle, etc. So when they left a toilet plunger in the midst of this pain, I should have seen the significance of their thoughtfulness. They left us with Briggs Avilla toilets.  

To avoid clogging the Briggs toilets, I often had to flush them 6 times after a BM! I kid you not. And I'm not that big. I weigh less than 170 lbs, though I am a male and a vegan vegetarian. (To be honest, I am probably in the 99th percentile for average fecal size according to the British study cited in the CWWA toilet study you reference.) But my wife had to flush several times and even my 6 year-old daughter had to flush twice after a BM -- and I checked the reasonableness of her tissue use!

After some checking, my plumber suggested I replace my toilets, both Avilla models by Briggs, one at a time and see if that works.

So after reading your recommendation and researching more, I drove an hour from the small town in which I live to the nearest dealer for a Toto Drake. I wanted a toilet with commercial capability.

When I installed my Toto Drake Tuesday, I thought I had been duped! My old toilets sounded like a Lear jet taking off, waking everyone in the house. The Toto Drake sounded like it wished the whole matter hadn't been brought up, allowing people to sleep undisturbed. In resignation, I started testing the Toto with paper towels, tissue wads and actual use. I can't tell you how enthusiastic I was -- over a toilet!  Toilet paper Poll

Well, I evidently reached the limits of the Toto Drake two days later, on Thursday morning, after an actual use . That commode stopped up so tight you couldn't get a flax seed past it with a sledge hammer.

After quickly tapping out my solutions to this problem, I turned to Toto customer service. Lighter plunger motions didn't work, since the toilet bowl basin is shaped so that a conventional orange-domed plunger won't seal over it. Buckets of warm water didn't work. And assorted hoses of varying stiffness didn't work.

So after 5 hours of effort, I turned to my plumber, who spoke to me on his cell phone while driving home at the end of the day. I think he nearly drove his truck off the road laughing at my story and feeling the exhilaration of his daily challenges. Finally, I decided to pull the toilet, since I didn't want to scratch the basin and thruway with an auger.

I found the thruway clogged with a surprisingly dense wad of tissue. I reinstalled the toilet that evening, last night.

Now apart from this morality tale of not challenging the Toto Drake, I would also like to know if you have figured out how to plunge this toilet. What do you do when this incredible -- but unforgiving -- toilet clogs? That's likely to happen to any owner at some point. Is there a special plunger from Yokohama we need to buy?

Thanks.


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