American Standard Champion 4 toilet review and pictures

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

  1. gusherb94

    gusherb94 Member

    Messages:
    124
    Location:
    chicago/nw IN
    Hope you don't get a leaner! That was the issue with the one I had. It flushed very good though.
  2. ttabbal

    ttabbal New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I'm curious if anyone has tried the Champion Pro and if so, have they improved on any of the common complaints?

    I'm pretty well convinced to go with the Toto Drake 2, but ran into that one and thought it might have solved some of the issues. It kind of looks like they added their version of Sanigloss and a bowl wash setup, which the Drake 2 already has at a similar price. I'm leaning toward the Drake as it seems to be more reliable overall from reports here and elsewhere and the 4" valve from AS is custom, so parts are harder to get if you need them, and it sounds like you will. It also seems a little like the race to have more blades on a razor, mostly marketing. I know the crew here is more into Toto (sounds like there are good reasons), but the information might be useful for others searching for data on the Pro model. All I can really find is marketing stuff from AS. The Google is not with me today, it seems. Or people just don't buy them, not a good sign. :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2014
  3. GoKohlerGo

    GoKohlerGo Brand New Plumber

    Messages:
    67
    Location:
    Michigan
    The Champion Pro is not the same as the champion 4, so the complaints probably aren't the same. Plus, they started making them back in early-mid 2012. It will have the 4" flush valve, and it probably won't wear out for a few years. I had an American Standard toilet from the 1980's and it still had the original flapper when we replaced it this year. If you are looking for a bigger trapway, go for the Champion Pro. It also has a better bowl wash than the Champion 4 so it is better. If you are looking for the best bowl wash you can get, go for the Drake II. Even though the Champion Pro and the Drake II have about equal bowl wash, I feel that the Drake II has just a touch better. Hope this helps!
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2014
  4. ttabbal

    ttabbal New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Thanks for the info. It's very helpful. I'm glad I found such a good source of information in this forum.

    It seems like the trapway size, like most things, will have a point of diminishing returns. Are we hitting that at the sizes available today? Just wondering if it's really helpful in the real world to go bigger past the Drake. The difference is pretty small.....
  5. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,828
    Location:
    New York, NY
    For 95 percent of the populace, there's no reason to go bigger than the Drake. Only people with certain conditions that (forgive me) produce large, unusually-hard stools can be aided by a bigger trapway, and for that Terry recommends the Caroma.

    The Champion actually only has a 3" hole in the china where the flush valve goes. They put the funnelator thingy on there to try to market a bigger flush valve, but it isn't. I have yet to see any actual scientific information that would support the idea that water flows better through a 3" hole with a 4" funnel on top than it does through a 3" hole with no such funnel. The proven Drake flapper system continues to work well and reliably, and is cheaply and easily replaced, unlike the Champion 4's seal, which some people have no trouble replacing, and others find flummoxing.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,930
    Location:
    New England
    It's the engineering that's important. The bigger the flapper valve, the more water pressure pushing down on the thing, and the sooner it fails unless you reinforce it lots more, which means extra costs, either for the first one, or when you have to periodically (more often than a 'normal' one) replace it. When everyone went from the old monster flushes to the 3.5g ones, they often just reduced the amount of water flow without changing the design. THat was still enough to work okay in some cases. Then, when the requirements dropped to 1.6g, they did the same thing and those that didn't re-engineer things ended up with toilets that were real dogs. Terry said he had a tour of the Kohler factory when this was discussed...they went to a 4" for the bragging rights, not because it was necessary. Kohler tends to have the not invented here disease and likes to do things their own way, regardless of whether it's a good idea or not!
  7. KC2WE

    KC2WE New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Rockaway NJ USA
    I just installed a Champion 4 - 1.28 GPF today and it performs just as good as the 1.6 GPF Champion installed in 2010 in another bath in our home. Although I'm not a plumber and just a homeowner, I'm a EE and had a Red Seal license in NJ at one time (who says electrcity & water don't mix), so I've done some pipe fitting here and there. In my opinion, both the 1.28 and the 1.6 work without a flaw. Since I've had the 1.6 GPF toilet from 2010, we threw out the various hand plungers around the house, 'cause with this one you don't need 'em. Water savings here in NJ is not an issue; it seems at times we have too much water. Anyway, I'd rate both very high. Never had a failure on the 1.6 GPF. I guess they stopped making the 1.6 and now the 1.28 is latest requirement, but not sure. Comparing the two will tell if there's any difference in performance in the coming weeks.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  8. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,915
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I'm not a hater.
    I like people and things. I do have preferences on things.

    [​IMG]

    By the way, my son Jamie and I are having dinner with some folks we know from Kohler in Seattle Monday night.

    From left to right. My son James Love, Terry Love, Jennifer Nye (Kohler), Brian Hedlund (Kohler) at Anthony's Pier 66 in Seattle.

    They had Kohler plumbing fixtures in my hotel in Jaipur, India
    I heard they were doing more business there.

    [​IMG]

    Kohler Wall Hung Toilet with bidet spray on side wall.

    [​IMG]

    Kohler Bath tub

    [​IMG]

    This pool on our private deck was nice.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2013
  9. wptski

    wptski Retired Machine Repairman

    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    Warren, MI
    I like the wall mounted phone, corded yet!
  10. Reader Review

    Reader Review Comments by readers

    Toilet review, Champion 2013

    I recently replaced three toilets in my house with the American Standard Champion model, 2 were elongated and 1 was round. All 3 continually leak water, causing an irritatingly loud noise each time at regular intervals between 10-15 minutes. The fact that this design was to save water is great, the fact that they use more water when they are not being used than when they are being flushed is simply a travesty. If anyone is looking for more disgruntled customers to join a class-action lawsuit, I’m waiting to hear from you. As a side note, I did read the reviews of this problem but figured as they were mostly between the years of 2005 and 2009, this inherent design flaw would have been fixed. I purchased the toilets at Home Depot in the spring of 2013.

    Steve S, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
    Associate
    McLean, VA
  11. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,828
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Well, if Steve's review was from an email to Terry, I don't know if he will see it on here, but if he does...

    Steve, we can probably help you get them so they at least stop leaking. There are some good tricks we have discovered over the years that may help. Post on here and tell us where you perceive them to be leaking (I assume it's through the flush valve seal, i.e. if you turn off the water to the tank, the water level in the tank will have dropped if you look at it an hour later). OTOH, if you want to replace them, we can put you in a Toto Drake for about the same money, or even less, and you assuredly will be satisfied.
  12. Mike Reid

    Mike Reid New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Virginia
    Me too....unfortunately.

    I've owned my Champion (the name seems quite ironic given a 500+ thread detailing all the weaknesses) for about 8 years now. I got sucked in by the GOLF BALL demo at Lowes and fell for it the same as most, lol.

    Marketing in America.....ain't it grand?

    I feel more like a GOOFBALL (now) after reading all the issues with this toilet. Although I haven't had any of the dreaded leak problems referenced, my toilet started running incessantly about two nights ago, and the tank wouldn't fill. I just turned off the water supply and set about researching online. It wasn't until I happened upon this forum that I ACTUALLY came to identify a name for the infamous "Flush Tower" that seems to be the cause of my troubles. After leaving the water supply off for 1.5 days and turning it back on, the "running" problem seems to have abated, but now the bowl won't fill properly.

    Home Depot tried to get me to purchase a generic flapper change kit. Didn't trust that advice so I went back to the scene of the crime 8 years earlier--Lowes. They folks there were much more knowledgeable and revealed that the parts weren't available in store.

    I needed to call AS.....which I will do today for the replacement parts. Wish me luck on if they work or not. Speaking of luck, I'm sooooo glad I bought two KOHLERS and only ONE AS when I replaced my toilets back in '05.

    Them damn golf balls.

    PS- What's the status of that class action mentioned above? Anybody know?
  13. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,828
    Location:
    New York, NY
    If you don't want to wait for AS to get you the replacement for the flush tower, which they call the "accelerator" flush valve, you do have the ability to just go with a flapper-based system, which will be easy to fix down the road. Korky makes a 5030BP Large 3" Flush Valve that you definitely can use in your Champion. In fact, the box expressly shows that it can replace the Champion's flush valve, with a picture of the Funnelator flush valve they now use.

    It's a relatively-new product which you may not be able to find everywhere, but it's a great idea. I have Korky flappers in all seven of our toilets, and they're the ones plumbers recommend. A flapper flush valve will be easy to fix (just swap the flapper) down the road, as opposed to the device that AS is installing in the toilet. I have one of these Large 3" flush valves, and it seems well-made.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2014
  14. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,915
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    [​IMG]

    Trapway exit on the Champion 4 bowl.

    [​IMG]

    Inside the tank of a Champion 4

    [​IMG]

    Champion 4 flush valve.

    [​IMG]

    Side profile of the Champion 4
  15. queen50

    queen50 Member

    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    Washington state
    The newest 'review' here is from 2009. We have 3 Champion 4s in our house, two 'right height' elongated and one round conventional one. Two of them were installed 3 years ago, and one last year. We've never had a clog in any of them, not any problem with them running. We did have to replace the flush handle on one. Also, I AS seats seem flimsy.
  16. FarrellMackennon

    FarrellMackennon Man of pipes

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Bromley
    They might meet high standards for their flushing performance but it sounds like that’s all they’re good for from these customer reviews! I came across these reviews today and was surprised as I have actually fitted quite a lot of American Standard Champion products over the years through my plumbing company, and generally Champion are of a high quality and do what they claim to do. On this product however they seem to have started off on a bad foot, though I have to say that they must have made improvements since these reviews were posted. Any business that gets so many dissatisfied customers has to quickly do some serious sucking up and fix the issues quickly and successfully as otherwise it will have a major impact on their business.
  17. nooton

    nooton New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Utah
    Starting in 2005, I put 5 Champions with the flush tower in our new house. They almost never clogged. My wife really liked them, especially because I travel a lot for work. I don't think I kept a plunger in the house, or if I did, I lost track of where it was.

    Sure, we had the problem where the red rubber gasket at the bottom of the flush tower would get a blister, and start to leak. But I did a combination of poking the blister with a pin, which bought some time, and then would call AS and they'd send me new ones for free, up until the time that AS swapped out the flush tower design for the current design. Then they sent me 5 sets of the new flush design, which I never installed, because they looked worse to me. I eventually had to buy replacement rubber gaskets for the flush towers at Home Depot, but those were cheap, and were made with longer-lasting rubber anyway.

    The flush tower design itself was built so that the tank would fill to around 3 gallons, but only let a gallon and a half out when the handle was pushed. But that let the bottom gallon and a half out, so you had the weight of the top gallon and a half to push. But like others on this forum, the mechanism wasn't too reliable for me. What I did was to just wrap a piece of insulated wire around the body of the flush tower, and wrap that over the lever. That allowed us to get about a gallon out for a quick handle pull, but if you needed the power, you could hold the handle down and get all 3 gallons out, which was really cool. I'm not so much worried about saving water with toilet flushes. My family blows way more water in the shower, sink, and out the lawn sprinklers than to care whether or not we flush and extra gallon of water or not. Plus, the fact that the flush tower went all of the way to the top of the water level meant for relatively easy handle pulls, because there was less water above the valve pushing down on it.

    I say all of this in the past tense, because after 8 years in the house with 5 Champions, we moved to our current house 11 months ago, with 3 toilets. And knowing that I would be travelling, I replaced 2 of the 3 toilets in the house with Toto Drakes, straight away. I had heard good things about Drakes, and I wanted to give them a try. Our local stores (Utah) don't seem to have Toto.

    Quickly we noticed that the Totos would clog a lot more frequently than we were used to. And I had to acquire a new plunger, and a snake to deal with the Drakes. My wife was not pleased, and often a Drake or two would sit clogged for days until I got home from a work trip.

    Since it had been 7 years since we bought a Champion, we weren't quite sure what to expect, but I decided to replace the last non-Toto in the house with a Champion 4 as a test, about 6 weeks ago. It was quick and easy. And has never clogged once since I put it in. Last week, after yet another problem with a Toto clog, that was bad enough for me to need to remove it from the floor, my wife and I confirmed that our pipes were fine and we just decided we'd had enough. I never re-installed the Drake, we immediately went over to Home Depot and bought a new Champion 4, installed it, and kicked the 11 month old Toto Drake to the curb, a couple hours before I headed to the airport. And the result? The clog-plagued bathroom is no more a problem. The Champion just works. I no longer worry about my wife having non-working toilets while I am away. I wonder how long the other Drake will last here?

    Now, not to be too indelicate, my son seems to have larger than imaginable stools, but the Champion 1.28 gallon handles him with no worries what the Drake 1.6 gallon, uh...choked on.

    So that's my experience. You experience might be different.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2014
  18. MaxBlack

    MaxBlack Member

    Messages:
    64
    Location:
    TX Hill Country
    I need to add my 2 cents as a homeowner who bought one of these a couple years ago, having read only Good things about them, and have had just one longterm problem really. Yes, I did have some wobble and agonized about over-tightening bolts and breaking porcelain. I'm knocking on wood right now but hopefully ours remains stable, especially after I re-tightened the thing some many months after the original install. Probably the gasket compressed a little more--there was quite a lot of take-up left in the bolts.

    We've had one or two clogs, mostly after hitting the handle too quickly. You gotta learn to hold it down, not flip it.

    The problem I'm having now is with the chain setup:

    [​IMG]

    The clip on the end has bound-up a couple times in such a way as to keep the flapper from falling completely, thereby leaking water, which is not good for us at all since we are on a closed rainwater system. Just the other night we leaked maybe 100 gallons before I noticed the leak (wife is hearing-impaired and didn't notice). I thought I had fixed the problem recently by replacing the metal loop/D-ring, the one that goes thru the black plastic hole, with a perfectly round key ring (smallest I could find) but that one bound-up too on me a few days ago, and the flapper leaked. Rats.

    Now I'm thinkin' to replace the chain-and-clasp-and-loop with something else, like maybe a metal fishing lure leader-with-swivel. Dunno what else to try.

    Maybe I've just not been careful enough with getting the length of the chain right, so that like the pic above it can't ever get bound-up? It seems really touchy to me...ok that was more like 6 bits than 2 cents!
  19. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,828
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Well if you are handy enough to remove the tank, you can replace that whole silly accelerator thing with a standard Korky flush valve and flapper. They make one that is designed to replace a three inch flush valve, and specifically to replace the accelerator in the champion. Its model number 5030bp, and it's available in a lot of places, and also online. Www.korky.com
  20. MaxBlack

    MaxBlack Member

    Messages:
    64
    Location:
    TX Hill Country
    Hmmm I thought this was the main "magic" of this toilet re: no clogs. I mean, I buy the design (not the chain) whereby the entire top is lifted-off the drain at once, resulting in immediate large flow of water from all sides into the cavity. Any design which is hinged, as the Korky appears to be, seems would be less good in this regard.

    But if I can't solve my sticking problem I will consider it, thanks for the info.
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