American Standard Cadet 3 Three Toilet consumer product review

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by LaNor, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. Probedude

    Probedude New Member

    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    CA
    Any issues with the quality or the fit of the 3 you bought?
    Thinking of getting one for my dad's house.

    Dave
  2. Probedude

    Probedude New Member

    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    CA
    How is the wash down? Are 'dingles' washed from the sides of the bowl?
  3. davesyo

    davesyo New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Maryland
    I seem to be having a problem with bowl wash on my new compact cadet 3. I'm not sure if I'm going to return it or try to solve this .I thought I'd try the korky and the fluidmaster adjustable flapper to see if they closed slower neither seemed to make much of a difference .Does any one else have this problem ?
  4. amateur_plumber

    amateur_plumber New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Brookfield, CT
    I know this is an old post, but this information alone tipped me over the edge - I will NOT consider buying American Standard anything at this time. Even if the quality was OK prior to this event, I'd put money that corners have been cut since.

    I don't know much about plumbing but I know a little about business. Given that this business is now owned by these private equity guys (Sun and Bain), you can bet it's being managed for cash flow, not for quality. If quality costs more in the short term, it will be sacrificed.

    Management is now working for their investors, who have a 3 to 7-year time horizon. Goal is to sell the business for a big profit within that time. They will take any action they need to squeeze more profit and cash flow out of the business.

    Private equity has its legitimate place in the business world - they are great at cleaning up lax, inefficient companies, however, from a consumer's perspective, there's a big difference between a company that's owned by buy-and-flip shops, and a company that is thinking about what their reputation will be 20, 30, 50 years from now.

    Anyway, I will be shopping for, buying, and installing a Toto in the near future. Will post results on this forum.
  5. davesyo

    davesyo New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Maryland
    The Cadet is 1.6 gals and I have the water level to within 1/16 of the top of the overflow tube and the flapper chain is adjusted properly with hardly any slack .
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2009
  6. davesyo

    davesyo New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Maryland
    I called American Standard and they said since it's 1.6 gals it will not work the same as my 3.5 gal .Does this mean that all 1.6 gal toilets may do this to a point ? Because if so then I would either put the 3.5 back in or just keep the cadet .
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,422
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    3.5 Gallons and 1.6 gallons.
    That is a big difference.
    They haven't made 3.5's since 1992.

    And many cities will be rationing water during Summers.
    In other countries, they use less water in the bowl.

    The old 3.5 bowls kept more water in the bowl.

    However, those that switch to using less, have been noticing less expensive water and sewer bills every month.
  8. mikazae

    mikazae New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    New York
    What's the word of the 1.28 Cadet 3 flowise?

    I have not read anything posted recently (during 2008) on the current reliability reviews of the new Cadet 3 flowise toilets. Now that it is a WaterSense toilet does it maintain a powerful flush?

    I just really want to know if there are new reports of leaking or quality issues like its ancesters had.
  9. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    You, my friend are lucky. I've also been confronted with Kohler Cimmarons that were all jacked up!

    There is no incentive for us to knock these brands around because what would be the reasoning behind that¿ Just calling 'em like we see 'em.

    [​IMG]
  10. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Tom You're lucky and I wish you the best with them. do watch for the blistering flapper and when it happens use the Korky flapper for cadet 3's to replace them.

    You see the difference between me and you is I do it for a living. Callbacks or redoing a job cost me money. I figure a callback on a toilet is probably going to cost me in the neighborhood of 3 hours time on a job that I originally charged 1 hour. 2 of those a week and it's about like taking a day off without pay.

    What would I be doing if I wasn't playing with a calback dealing with defective product?

    I'd be working making money.

    I like to keep my callback rate low... Like 1% or less.

    Installing a toilet and discovering it's leaking and needs replacement or having a flapper blister before the 1 year guarantee is up is not a way to make money...

    Sometimes customers have a problem with it too...

    Just not good for business!
  11. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,422
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Redwood is right, you might as well pick up the Korky flapper to replace the Cadet flapper when it starts to blister.

    We installed a Kohler Cimarron in Seattle, water leaked from the outside of the bowl onto the floor.
    Suck the water out, pull the bowl, drive 35 minutes each way, wait at the counter 30 minutes for a new bowl, drive back 35 minutes, install the new bowl and hope like heck that one doesn't leak.
    We run a business, we really don't have time to run around all day playing nurse maid for companies that don't inspect their product before it leaves the factory.
    If they are willing to pay us for our time, then fine.
    But that's never going to happen.

    So TomW, how much time are you willing to donate?
    Is it two hours of every day?
    One hour a day?
    How much time do you expect plumbers to donate?
  12. davesyo

    davesyo New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Maryland
    One thing I did not realize until a couple days after I installed the cadet is that there is a water flow restrictor in the fluidmaster outlet that you can pull out if you want more water in the bowl and the tank fills up a few seconds sooner , but the bowl will only fill so much as the rest will just go out the drain .I could not figure out at first why the restrictor was in there because usually when you buy a fluidmaster it does not have a flow restrictor.
  13. From a service plumbers perspective on these toilets, I am starting to see American Standard taking on a new life in sales of the Cadet 3 and the Champion 4. I have installed 5 Champion 4 toilets in just the past 20 days.

    Amazing since the Champion 3 was riddled with tower problems, but I think the champion 4 retrofit flush valve along with the champion 4 toilet is somewhat a huge presence in the owners hands.

    For the most part, the property owner has the product there for me to install, and that is not my choice what they buy. It's consistent that AS is leading on purchases, otherwise I wouldn't be installing so many lately.

    When you see a champion 4 flush, and see how little drops out of the tank, I can't figure out how they did it, and make that much turbulence to pull solids out of that toilet. ??????

    I've got about 18 Champion 4's installed since they came out, Too many Cadet 3's to count. I also work on a lot of those AS Plebe's as well and I feel those are low-grade end. You might as well toss the smart valve because it's useless. Still flushes decent.


    If I was to put my finger on "why" AS is having such a presence in getting their product out there would be the fact that it's big box store charm.

    Step into a plumbing supply house or plumbing showroom specifically for plumbing, and you have vultures that are hurting for sales at this point. They don't display 22 toilets of all shapes and sizes across one run, they show the "high" end, colored toilets with coordinating shower or tub setup...to display a bathroom set. You want just the plain white, you're going to have to sit down with the lady/man with a book and see a simple picture.

    I'm saying this from all the years I pointed my customers to these places, and now it's a why bother attitude when HD and Lowe's have something very comparable.


    But I'm shocked to see how well the AS 4 is doing when AS 3 was horrible for problems. How fast we forget.


    Friday I replaced 3 peerless toilets with 3 AS 4's, rebuilt a AS Plebe saturday, today I installed an AS4 and reset a sterling tonight.

    That's 5 AS products in just a simple 5 days. Amazing.
  14. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,325
    Location:
    New England
    Some of the manufacturers pay the suppliers to calibrate a fill valve so that the toilet actually uses the 1.6 gallons they were designed for. removing the restrictor changes the balance, and you're wasting water.
  15. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    I think for the most part it comes down to price. When someone asks me what is the best toilet to get I say "Toto." Then they cringe and ask how much and I tell them, "Said and done, cost is around three hundred." (Quoting a Drake) Inevitable question is "What about the toilets at the H*** D**** (big orange box)¿ They have some for hundred bucks. All in ones." I tell them do their research.
    A lot of people think it's just an apparatus to drop and run. Not realizing that their frugalness may lead them here seeking help for what they thought was a great deal.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2009


  16. And when they go to a plumbing supply house, you can't "see" the product you're buying.

    When you go to the plumbing showroom, you see everything that is not made to cost minimum, just elaborate, high end stuff.


    I think that's where the big box stores prove their measure by starting at the bottom, working their way up to a threshhold where the average buyer will most likely range in the $100-$300 toilet.

    Most people have 2-4 toilets in their home so when they figure the multiplier, that's another consideration.

    And, they can see the product their buying, open up the box even to know what they are getting. Two entirely different modes of marketing that works. When you buy from a plumbing supply house, you're getting a brown box, at the big box you get a half wall of toilet seats to your choosing, in style and choice.

    I wish I could install more totos, I like them, but Drakes start at $350 with a normal seat, and the customer has the ability to look and see at the competition. On my end, they're just going by my word, and that's where the special trip to the supply house/showroom is defeated by the big box because even people like me love the opportunity to buy lots of items in one place. Doesn't have to be just plumbing, it can be electrical, gardening, plants, wood, hardware and on up the chain.

    We knock the big box stores but in turn they provide an ability to do more without special tripping to numerous places most times, like years ago.

    Most plumbing supply showrooms in my area when you go to their website, have nothing to the idea of e-commerce like Terry does. Huge difference and that's where the investigative shopper has to be purged to call and speak with someone, has to wait on pricing, and are going to hunt otherwise...even out of state at that point to make the buying decision.

    Certainly not rocket science.
  17. Mad Plumber

    Mad Plumber Mad Skills

    Messages:
    221
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2009
  18. davefoc

    davefoc New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    California
    I just read through most of this thread.

    Since January of 2008, I've installed three of the cadet 3's in the apartment building I own and a couple of more in private homes.

    One big gotcha was that the extended height version was too high to fit under a vanity counter that extended over the toilet. Obviously a little more foresight or knowledge would have prevented that problem. But in the second private home installation I did even the standard height round version barely made it under a wrap around vanity counter.

    I did a bit of research before I settled on the Cadet 3 including the MaP toilet performance tests, Consumer Reports and this web site. Consumer Reports wasn't of any value but based on the responses here and the MaP results I thought the lower price of the Cadet 3 was enough to make me choose it over the Drake.

    My results have been mostly positive. I haven't had any of the flapper problems that have been reported here. But it is a tedious job to attach the tank. I have never succeeded in tightening the bolts enough to get the tank fully seated. I come close (using the push down on the tank and tighten the bolts technique) but at some point the amount of torque required to tighten the bolts scares me to the point that almost fully seated seems good enough.

    I was paying about $60 for the bowl and $60 for the tank. I just bought one at Lowes yesterday and the price had jumped to $87 for the bowl and the kit was $187. I don't like the kit because it comes with a cheap plastic toilet seat that I wouldn't use anyway and I especially don't like the kit when it costs $40 more than the separate units cost.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2009
  19. Tomw

    Tomw DIY Homeowner

    Messages:
    14
    I bought three Cadet 3 one piece, ADA height, elongated toilets recently. All three of them were perfect - no flaws. They were very easy to install and they sit perfectly flat and level. The flushing performance is phenomenal. They are MAP rated at 1000. The bowl wash is very effective and the water spot is relatively large for a 1.28 gal flush toilet. The everclean glaze that they use seems stays very clean - the water still beads on it after over 2 months. I have not had to use a toilet brush so far.

    The flapper is different than the one that is shown in previous posts. Maybe they improved it? I don't know, but I have had no issues so far.

    All in all - I am very happy with my purchase. The one thing I don't like is that the Toto S300 Washlet seat I purchased will not mount on the one-piece Cadet 3 toilet. This is because there is a lip that rises up to the tank from the bowl. This is supposed to make the toilet easier to clean, but it also prevents me from installing the washlet.

    I found that the washlet will fit on a Champion 4, but this meant I had to swap toilets from the guest bath to the master bath. What a pain! The washlet works perfectly on the Champion 4 and is highly recommended. It was very easy to install - less than 1/2 hour. Now, not only am I using a lot less water, but I am also using a lot less TP. A good combination for a septic system.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 28, 2009
  20. davefoc

    davefoc New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    California
    I just installed my sixth Cadet 3 toilet and was careful to note details suggested by some of the posts in this thread.

    The toilet had a few defects:
    1. The toilet seat bolt holes were 5 5/16 inches apart instead of 5 1/2 inches apart. I've been buying the toilet seats with the nickel plated hardware lately and this kind of seat isn't forgiving as to the spread on the holes and it barely worked with this defect.
    2. The American Standard logo near the toilet seat bolt holes was somewhat askew. Enough that I would have noticed it even if I hadn't been looking for defects. Probably enough to annoy somebody that was looking for perfection in their house furnishings but possibly nobody else.
    3. There was an inch long thinset like material along the rim of the bowl. It seemed similar to what somebody had noted above. A Scotch bright pad removed almost all of it.
    4. There was a very minor defect along the front or the rim. I wouldn't have noticed it if I hadn't been looking at the overall quality.

    Overall, I suspected that the person who had speculated above that American Standard might be selling seconds to the box stores might be right. The defects weren't major but I would have expected a routine quality inspection to have detected them and caused this toilet to be rejected.

    I also was very careful to note how difficult it was to attach the tank. I looked at the instructions (no particular help), I made sure the tank gasket was installed properly and I very carefully tightened each side a little at a time. I eventually got to the point where I was tightening the bolts but I couldn't see that the gasket was continuing to be compressed. So like in the past I left a narrow gap between the tank and the bowl that was a little less than a 1/16 of an inch. It might be possible to eliminate it completely but you need to be prepared to really tighten the bolts.
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