American Standard Champion 4 toilet review and pictures

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Reader Review, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. ishouldhaveknownthat

    ishouldhaveknownthat New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Texas
    Well, what do you know!!!

    Well, I was told...

    Went to put in the AS Champion 4 today and noticed it had been patched in two places underneath with some kind of white stuff that didn't match the toilet. Also had some residual wax underneath where the original people who bought it had actually tried to install it looks like.
    After seeing this, I took it outside onto our walkway and put a little water in the bowl, waited several minutes, and looked underneath. Sure enough, it was leaking water in two places underneath where the patchwork was.
    Back to Home Depot it goes!!! Good thing I had not taken out the old one yet (an AS), even though it doesn't work.

    I have learned my lesson. Going to get a Toto Drake.
    Any suggestions for a good value on one in the Austin area?

    By the way, we have very hard water (an old well) so wondering about the Drake if it uses parts that don't break down or rust.
    Would it still be a good idea to get a brass or SS tank bolt set, or does the Drake come with one already?
  2. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,771
    Location:
    New York, NY
    KIVA Kitchen and Bath is a dealer in Austin. You may have to hondle with them a bit. You can also look around on here to see where folks have bought their toilets.

    I think you'll be okay with the Toto parts... But you need your own wax and closet bolts and seat.
  3. Acinchus Apexstar

    Acinchus Apexstar New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    OK
    Need list of replacement parts to install NEW Champion 4 and have leak free install

    We need to replace toilets in our 19-20 yr old home and in the one bathroom we have a platform running above the tank, so can go with only 28 inch height. We are getting floor tile work done in the bath room in 10 days and want to replace toilets then, so our choices are to go with models available at HD or Lowes, and besides couple of less rated Kohler models (Wellworth, Santa Rosa) the only model that seems to meet our criteria is the AS Champion 4.

    But after reading the leaking valve problems in other sites and then on this forum, I need to build confidence in decision to go with Champion 4.

    So the main question: Is it possible to get a long (5-10yrs) leak free install with Champion 4?

    I am willing to spend a little more in getting replacement parts vs using OEM part.
    :confused: Need a recommended list of parts I should get in advance of our floor install based on the experiences folks have had.
    I will be getting a plumber to get this installation as right as possible. :)
  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,308
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Not many folks on this forum will recommend any AS toilet product. Surely you have seen how many negative comments on them have been posted on this thread! As far as having the flooring guys install the toilet, that's a real crap shoot, no pun intended. The new flooring will likely recess the existing flange which can require thicker wax rings or other methods to compensate the space. A flange is supposed to rest on top of and be anchored to the finished floor. These guys may know there stuff on flooring, but we find many times where toilets have developed leaks from improper installation on remodel jobs. It's your choice, but can you explain why you would elect to go with a toilet that is by all accounts of lesser quality for essentially the same price? This is something that should remain in use for many years to come.
  5. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,771
    Location:
    New York, NY
    As far as tank-to-bowl, you want something of the quality of something like the Lasco 04-3675, which you can google. Maybe not this expensive, but the bottom line is you want it to be nice heavy solid brass or stainless steel, with two nuts and two of each kind of washer for each bolt. I did not see a single set at Lowe's or HD that met this requirement of quality. Then you install it as follows: rubber washer under bolt head on inside of tank, metal washer and nut on the outside of tank; then insert bolt into bowl and on the far side put rubber washer, metal washer and nut. Don't get wing nuts for the under-bowl nuts because they won't fit in the deep recess in this toilet design.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012
  6. big2bird

    big2bird IBEW Electrician

    Messages:
    141
    Location:
    Anaheim, Ca.
    I just bought a Champ 4 at HD, and after reading this thread, I am considering returning it. Without reading all of this thread, what is the latest suggestion? Are the issues resolved, or is the AS Champ a POS?
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,824
    Location:
    New England
    There's a tutorial on installing toilets here on the website. Check that out.

    But, basically, the toilet must NOT rock once set down - it may need shims. The toilet flange is designed to sit on TOP of the FINISHED floor, and be anchored through it into the subflooring. Many end up below or even with the floor, but that takes special actions - thicker or stacked wax rings, to ensure it creates a good seal. Always use a new supply hose, and if the old shutoff is a multi-turn one, replace it with a quarter-turn ball valve.
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,824
    Location:
    New England
    The design is okay, and if you get a good one, it is a viable product. I prefer others that you don't have to check as closely and have a better chance of getting a defect free one (defects include both cosmetic and structural).
  9. big2bird

    big2bird IBEW Electrician

    Messages:
    141
    Location:
    Anaheim, Ca.
    What would be an equal with proven quality?
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,824
    Location:
    New England
    It's obvious you haven't read lots on this site! People, myself included, like Toto products (the largest toilet maker in the world with a factory in Georgia, USA). The Toto Drake is a nice toilet at a decent price comparable to the Champion. There are lots others with different style which could be a good choice if it fits your design.
  11. GCK4444

    GCK4444 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    California
    AMERICAN STANDARD toilets (CHAMPION 4, CADET 3 and ETC.)

    DON'T buy any AMERICAN STANDARD toilets (CHAMPION 4, CADET 3 and ETC.) that uses the cheaply made 3" flush valve that's made by WDI in China. Its seal bubbles up and flat rubber piece is warped because they use cheap rubber materials. WDI lies to American Standard all the time (I have people that are working for WDI said they DO NOT trust their own products). I wonder why American Standard switched to FluidMaster now.
  12. 4thGenerationPlumber

    4thGenerationPlumber New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Minnesota
    We use mostly Kohler at our shop. I'm not a big fan of the AmStan products currently.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  13. GoKohlerGo

    GoKohlerGo Brand New Plumber

    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    Michigan
    I have used a Champion 4 and quite frankly, I don't think it is all that bad. I have flushed a lot of toilet paper down it and it performs quite well. I know that 80% of the claims why people don't like them was because of the old flush tower. With the new accelerator flush valve it does not leak. And believe me, I have put it to the test. I flushed about 50 feet of TP down and it just ate it like it was nothing. I am getting one for my outside testing in the summer.
  14. gusherb94

    gusherb94 Member

    Messages:
    124
    Location:
    chicago/nw IN
    Flushing was never the issue with the Champion. Originally it was the flush tower as you mentioned. Now it's the quality of the Vitreous China! They send out all kinds of defective bowls with all kinds of weird stuff going on, like severe bowl lean (this happened to me, never attempting to get a Champion 4 to test again!), the design of the bowl makes it overly heavy, and clunky to handle during installation. The tank and seat bolts are nearly impossible to get to. Because of the giant tank to bowl gasket it requires nearly busting the tank to get it close to touching the bowl.

    For less then the price of a Champion 4 I suggest getting your hands on a Gerber Avalanche, Toto Drake, A-S Cadet Pro, or Kohler Wellworth (not the Wellworth Classic at the big box)
  15. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,824
    Location:
    New England
    The material the testing agencies us is plastic wrapped paste, fairly short, and not too big in diameter. The real stuff comes in lots more sizes and consistencies. So, what gets great scores on the tests has little to do with reality. The quality of the design and EXECUTION then comes into play as to how well it works overall. AS has not had the QA/QC in line with Toto, and in some areas, their design is not as good. Do they work? Certainly. Do they work for everyone, no toilet does. Do they have compromises? Certainly, all of them are compromised in some area or the other. Who has made 'better' decisions on products and execution, I think Toto has. Will you be dissatisfied with an AS product, many people aren't, some are. Your results will vary. For often a similar price, my bet is on Toto for a more reliable product that performs well (street price, not retail).
  16. big2bird

    big2bird IBEW Electrician

    Messages:
    141
    Location:
    Anaheim, Ca.
    I have had mine 3 months or so. No issues here, and a good price on sale at HD.
  17. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,799
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Nobody has said it doesn't flush.
    They may have said things like
    poor casting or finish,
    heavy and bulky,
    Takes up space
    Hard to find parts

    But does it move water? Nobody on this thread as said it doesn't. At least not the new 4.
    The original had a problem with the cam wearing in and not dropping enough water, but that contraption has been changed out.

    You can get the same performance in a smaller package, the Cadet 3
    Most plumbers would prefer installing a Cadet 3 over the Champion.
  18. newfydog

    newfydog New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Bend,Oregon
    We built a house a couple of years ago and installed three Champion fours(new tower ). One leaked from the beginning, and the plumber fixed it. The other two recently started a steady drip/refill. leaking at the flush valve. I replaced the blue seal with the red Corky seal from HD, but they still just drip drip drip. A can't figure out for the life of me why they drip----the seal and valve seat all look good.

    Are these toilets haunted? Will American Std. replace whatever it is which needs replacing?
  19. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,771
    Location:
    New York, NY
    There seems to be a little bit of a trick to getting the original and/or the Korky seals to work in the Accelerator. A number of folks here have found that the Korky seal works perfectly the first time; others have proposed stacking the seals, making sure they are perfectly-aligned, checking the chain to make sure it pulls straight-up, etc.

    If I had one of these beasts, I would probably call Korky and double-check whether the 5030BP Adjustable 3" Flush Valve and Flapper works with the Champion 4. I might even see if they'd send me one if I would review its installation ease and effectiveness on the Champion 4, as it is a new product. Installing it would require pulling the tank, which I have done a bunch of times so it's no big deal to me, but it's not as easy as replacing a fill valve. Then you would have a nice standard Korky 3" flapper controlling the water exit from your Champion tank.

    If the thing is designed to fit the Champ, I personally would rather have a nice, straightforward 3" flapper instead of the doofy "Accelerator". (The Champion "4" has a 3" flush hole, if that wasn't clear...)
  20. GoKohlerGo

    GoKohlerGo Brand New Plumber

    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    Michigan
    Champion 4 Round

    Ok, I have just ordered a Champion4 (ordered because there is not an HD or lowes within 100 miles of me)
    Round bowl standard height. I will get it tomorrow. I will post a video on my YouTube page about it. I am pretty confident that I will like it, and I am just saying that I don't like TOTO much, but I like Kohler and American Standard. I have a Cadet 3 and I like it, so with the Champion with an even bigger trapway and flush valve I am sure I will like it. Like I said, in the summer I will try to clog it with wash cloths, paper towels, toilet paper, etc.
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