Advice appreciated on appropriate toilet

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by JerryMR, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. JerryMR

    JerryMR New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I'm a homeowner and I'm having a bathroom remodel done right now and trying to figure out the right toilet to get. We have two main requirements:

    1. Dual flush
    2. Our 7 year old is disposed towards large, less soft poop, the sort which frequently requires plunging the existing toilet. So we want one that will handle that well.

    After doing a bit of reading, we are tending towards the Toto Maris, since it has Dual Max and Double Cyclone and Sanagloss. On the other hand, this is a relatively new model with not many reviews. There are two things I'm still unsure about. I've read the shape of the trapway is a factor in things getting stuck, but I have no idea whether the Maris is good in this regard. Second, the bigger flush is 1.28. How important is it that it's not 1.6, given the other technology on this model?

    Any info on whether this seems like a good choice for our needs, or pointers towards a better solution, are greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Jerry
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
  3. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    As regards your other questions on the Maris:

    Presumably, you're talking about the floor-standing Maris, not the wall-hung, correct?

    1.28gpf is fine in the Toto line -- it gets the job done. Some of the savings there is in keeping bowl-refill water from running down the drain in any event, not in materially-reducing the flush effectiveness. (Remember, "gallons per flush" means "gallons of water flowing through the pipe from the wall from the time you pull the flush handle until the time the toilet shuts off". Run an extra gallon down the drain because you overfill the bowl with refill water, and that counts, even if the amount of water used TO FLUSH is the same.)

    Toto's trapway design is the best in the industry. They were the first to use a "dual-siphon" trapway, which was a real breakthrough in getting the 1.6gpf toilets to work properly.

    If you're looking at the dual-flush because you want to save water or help the environment, another alternative you might wish to consider is to go with the new Toto Drake II 1G, which is a 1.0gpf toilet, in which Toto tweaked the trapway to work well on 1 gallon per flush. It's relatively-new, but they have been out there a few months and the few reviews I have seen so far are positive. No feedback yet on this site; Terry just now has them available. They're going to be a bit less expensive than the Maris, and look nice.

    But if your offspring really does produce waste in that top percentile of waste, then the Caroma trapway may be a godsend.
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    We have to get used to the 1.28, which is being phased in as the spec in many, in not all, states. But a dual flush calculates an average, like 3 #1 and 1 #2, so in those cases you can still get 1.6 gpf for a waste flush.
  5. JerryMR

    JerryMR New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Terry: those large traps on the Caromas look great. I have to check with the wife if the splashiness and poor cleaning is a deal breaker. One question on these: do the Caromas use standardized parts inside, or is it all custom? How much of a worry is it having to find replacement parts?

    wjcandee: yes, floor-standing, not wall-hung. I'll have to read up on the Drake II, thanks.

    I guess the main thing I have to figure out is if the existing toilets get clogged because my son has 1% poops, or if the toilet is just bad.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    You didn't mention what you currently have and how old it is. Many of the 3.5g toilets were dogs, and many company's first (and second, and even later) attempts at the 1.6g versions weren't very good, either. It takes some actual engineering to make a low gpf (gallon per flush) toilet work well.
  7. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    Tell us what you've got. We probably have an opinion.


    The Drake II 1G is model CST454CUFG. The 1.28gpf Drake II is CST454CEFG. E for Eco. U for Ultra-Low Flush.
  8. JerryMR

    JerryMR New Member

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    14
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Good question - I will post existing toilet info tonight once I get home.
  9. JerryMR

    JerryMR New Member

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    14
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I have a Kohler, an Eljer, and something blue. The first two pictures are the Kohler, the next two are the blue one, and the last three are the Eljer (the worst of the bunch). I think they're all 1.6 gallon.

    kohler1.jpg kohler2.jpg blue1.jpg blue2.jpg eljer1.jpg
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  10. JerryMR

    JerryMR New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I guess there's a photo limit. Here are the other two pics of the Eljer.

    eljer2.jpg eljer3.jpg
  11. JerryMR

    JerryMR New Member

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    14
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    It turns out the Maris is unacceptable, since we need something available in biscuit, and the Maris only comes in white. So if we use Toto, it would have to be the Aquia.
  12. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    Thanks for the photos of the toilets! One way to confirm their identity is to look inside the tank and see what numbers are there. On the Kohler, it would be a number that begins with a K, or example.

    On the biscuit toilet, the Drake II 1G that I mentioned also only comes in white at this time. (The regular Drake II comes in other colors, but for now the 1G only comes in cotton white.) So I guess you are right if you want an ultra-water-saving Toto it's gonna be the Aquia.
  13. JerryMR

    JerryMR New Member

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    14
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    OK, the blue one is a Gerber and only says W4. The Eljer says 1410230, and the Kohler says K4620CA. Below the K number, it says 14 97 086. I guess that's easier than posting pictures. :)
  14. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    The pictures are more fun, though!!

    So we have a Kohler Wellworth circa late 2000s, and an Eljer Cypress. Both of them are 1.6gpf. I'm a little less sure about the Gerber, but I'll look around.

    About the late-2000s version of the Wellworth, Terry said in 2009: "The lower trapway of the Wellworth is known for clogging.
    Elongated bowl, 125 grams
    Regular bowl, 250 grams"

    So the Wellworth of that era wouldn't likely flush as well as the Aquia, all of which have a MAP rating of 500 grams or better (800 on some). Of course, the floor-mount Aquia comes in a number of flavors, one-piece and two-piece, universal-height and not. The Kohler color "biscuit" is equivalent to Toto "Sedona Beige". All three flavors are available in Sedona Beige.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  15. JerryMR

    JerryMR New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    The Eljer is late 2000s, but the Kohler and the Gerber came with the house, which we bought about 10 years ago.
  16. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    Cool. Bottom line is that none of these are renowned for their great flushing ability. So it may be that your son's solid-waste visits can overwhelm them but might not require the Caroma trapway and would be good with the dual-flush Aquias. The 1-piece has a 1.75" trapway while the 2-piece is 2.125"
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  17. JerryMR

    JerryMR New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Thanks for the info. We're now leaning toward the Aquia 2-piece. Also, we realized since there's some lag time between doing the different bathrooms, we can get one Aquia and essentially "try before we buy" the other two toilets.
  18. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    Sounds like a plan. The one big difference between the Aquia bowl (dual-flush) and the other Toto bowls (Drake II, Ultramax II, etc.) is that the Aquia bowl is a washdown flush rather than a siphon-jet flush. In a washdown flush, all the water comes down on top of the water (and waste) that's already in the bowl, and pushes it through. In a siphon jet flush, whether it's GMax or Double-Cyclone, there is a hole in the bottom of the bowl that shoots water across and into the outflow hole and thereby sucks (siphons) what is in the bowl down the drain. You may get a little more oomph with a siphon-jet. However, the MAP ratings (amount of solid waste the toilet can evacuate) on the Aquia are still very good and the washdown flush by necessity has better bowl wash.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes!!
  19. JerryMR

    JerryMR New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    This is good info, wjcandee, although now I'm less certain about the Aquia :)

    I get the impression from things I've read that the Drake and Ultramax have a pseudo-dual-flush - is this correct? That is, you can hold the flusher for a long or short amount of time, and thereby cause an increased flush by holding it longer. If this is correct, is the minimum flush the rated amount of water for the toilet, and holding it longer uses more than 1.28 or 1.6 or whatever the particular toilet spec is? Does this hold for that 1.0G Drake II too?
  20. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    Sort of...

    Toto puts more water in the tank than is going to be used on any individual flush. In normal operation, you push the lever and let go. The flapper opens and then closes after the right amount of water has been loosed into the bowl, leaving a good deal of water in the tank. The reason for this design is simple: the weight of the extra water provides increased force on the water that IS used in the flush, and pushes it faster through the flush valve. Pretty clever.

    Because the flapper closes before the tank empties, one can hold the lever down and cause the toilet to use more water. Some people have called this a dual-flush. Some people have erroneously stated that you use a regular push on the lever for liquid and hold the thing down for solid. This is wrong. The thing works just fine for almost everything with a regular push on the lever. However, it IS true that if the bowl seems overloaded, you can hold the lever down to drain the whole tank just to make sure that it all goes down. This is useful on an occasional basis, but it's incorrect to use the method like you would a dual-flush.

    You are correct that with a regular push, the toilet uses 1.28 or 1.6 or whatever the rating of the toilet, and with holding the valve open by holding the lever, you will use around twice that. There isn't twice as much water in the tank, but the tank is going to refill longer than usual and thus the refill water into the bowl will be more than usual, and that will just run over the weir and down the drain.

    The Drake II 1G uses a different flush valve than the rest of the non-dual-flush fleet. It isn't just a flapper attached to a chain, so I can't say for sure whether holding the lever in one position will necessarily hold the valve open. Toto customer service could probably tell you, though.

    The Drake II 1.28gpf toilet does use a standard flapper flush valve, as does the Ultramax II. So you can do the above with them. They are both excellent toilets.
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