American Standard Champion toilet Review and comments. Rated #1 by Consumer Reports

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Reader Review, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. zerkle50

    zerkle50 New Member

    Champion4 redesign is a decent toilet.

    This review is for the newer AmStan Champion 4 (RF) design, without the spring-loaded tower outlet valve. I replaced my aging Kohler Wellworth, responsible for many overflows onto the old linoleum floor. (I swore never to buy Kohler again.) As advertised, it would be almost impossible to clog the AS Champion 4.
    The new outlet valve consists of a large PVC tube with top flange. A huge float with attached gasket sits on top. The seal is very positive. Unlike a small flapper “ball,” the float assembly is heavy and closes before the water level reaches the top of the outlet valve tube. There is no way to adjust this shutoff level. I use a two-stage flush: For liquid waste I just tap the handle for a normal flush, but for solids I hold it down for a slightly longer cycle. (In either case, the flush is less than a second so the value of this longer cycle is questionable.)
    I do not like this new FluidMaster 400 valve. A vaned diverter disk at the input pipe slows down the fill to about 45 seconds. The old Fluidmaster 400A had a straight-through pipe, so fill was only about 15 seconds.
    The trapway pressure is tremendous. Rinse down the sides of the bowl is only adequate, although the under-rim holes are really large and angled. Kohler also had inferior bowl rinse, especially after the tiny rim holes clog with lime scale.
    Installation was easy. (Truthfully, I am an amateur, but have had to replace too many old or terrible toilets.) As users have noted, the tank mounting instructions don't match between the assembly sheet and the hardware bag. I carefully tightened the bolts for a 1/4 in. gap between tank bottom and raised rear rib on the back of the bowl. Any further and the tank would lean backwards. (Front and rear ribs on bowl are of different heights). Be careful, as you can crack the porcelain-coated clay and/or crush the grommet seal around the bolts, leading to leaks.
    Quality control is a little below average. There is some slight lack of symmetry inside the bowl and a few places where the porcelain coating is thinner (like inside the critical trapway!), but it does not seem to affect function.
    I paid $199.00 at Home Depot. Was it worth double the new $99.00 Kohler Wellworth/Ingenium? Only my new floors can answer that!

    Grading the best toilets, the ones that work!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2009
  2. davecoon13

    davecoon13 New Member

    Champion Flush Tower Replacement

    I just called them and they said that "there is a new flush tower design, that looks different, but it will work" they are sending it to me. Does installing this require that the tank be removed from the toilet? Will I need a new tank gasket?
  3. micp879

    micp879 New Member

    Martinez, CA
    Yes, you will have to remove the tank from the toilet. When I did the repair to my parents toilet, I was able to use the same tank to bowl gasket. However, a week or so later, a new gasket arrived in the mail just in case it was needed. Im not a big fan of the Champion, but the new design does seem a little bit better. No rubber valve gasket to constantly pop off, and the "clunk" sound when you press the trip lever seems a little bit less drastic. It was a pretty easy change out, don't be intimidated. Make sure to follow the directions, and alternate retightening the bolts, to avoid cracking the porcelain.
  4. davecoon13

    davecoon13 New Member

    I did it!!!

    AS mailed me the kit for free from Kentucky, it took 5 biz days to Virginia.

    The kit included a giant plastic wrench that I was able to use to remove the nut from the bottom of the tank. That nut would have been easily cracked with my channel locks. It sure was a stubborn nut. I used that same wrench to tighten the new flush tower. I am gonna keep all the spare parts (new tank bolts, that wrench, old plastic nut from the old flush tower) in case I need them again.

    Once I got that nut off, I installed the new flush tower. It was pretty painless...but once I had everything re-assembled, I realized the fill tube should have been further away from the Flush handle rod, but it is OK.

    The kit included new tank bolts w/ gaskets, a new giant plastic nut for the bottom of the flush tower, a new tank/bowl gasket

    I was worried when I was bolting the tank back on with the new tank bolts. One of the nuts for the tank bolt just wouldn't matter how I struggled. So I used the old tank bolt and its decrepit gasket on one side. It hasn't leaked yet. Once I reinstalled the tank and had everything together, I connected the supply line. When I turned the water pressure back on, there was water gushing everywhere. I went to Lowe's and got a new supply line, hooked it up, and the toilet works like a charm! I installed it last night, and tonight I took my first #2, and I think the suction power is greater than before. And the best part is that the annoying kurplunk is gone...

    Now I think I am gonna call AS and get another Flush tower to keep as a backup in case it breaks again.

    I read in Wikipedia that AS ceased making toilets as of 2007, yet there are plenty of Champions in the local Lowe's and Home Depot.

    My basement has a Briggs Toilet made in 1977 (pre low-flow) that works much better, even than the Champion. I still don't know how these new toilets save water if they leak or if you have to flush them three times with one square of toilet tissue.

    The whole reason I put in the Champion in 2005 is because my house came with one of those super cheap $60 Toilets that clogged with only a pee and 2 squares of tissue.

    The Champion worked well for 2 years with that white plastic cylinder until this month. Now it seems to work even better with the new flush tower design, I hope it stays that way.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2007
  5. jluksic

    jluksic New Member

    Replaced the "original" Champion flush tower with the redesigned parts/package this weekend -it took about 30 minutes total. Easy.

    1. No more "clunk".

    2. Lever effort is higher than before.

    3. Flush action is the best and still better than my Toto Drake.

    4. Rear of tank still sits 1/4" above rear of bowl.
  6. maddog

    maddog Engineer

    near San Jose, CA.
    That's good to know - thanks for the info. I've had the Champion for about a year and a half, and have not had any problems yet (other than annoying clunk). It actually has performed very well - no clogs and no leaks. First sign of trouble and I'll be looking for this new flapper-type flush valve. -Dog.
  7. Zozzie

    Zozzie New Member

    Friends don't let friends buy an American Standard Champion toilet.

    We went to our local independent plumber's showroom in town and asked for a toilet with these features -

    Great flushing.
    Quite operation.

    The last thing we were concerned about was cost. We were trying to get over The Toilet From Hell so we wanted the best. The guy on the desk showed us the Champion and said it was the best flusher and quiet. We bought it and I installed it myself. It was expensive.

    Then our nightmares really started. Whoever designed that tower flush valve should be taken outside, tied to a tree and shot 3x.

    You press the handle. IF the little plastic pawls grip the inside of the tower the damn thing comes up with a big "CLICK" followed by a house-wakening "CLUNK" as the tower drops and then the sound of a jet plane taking off as the syphon action (enough to flush a fur coat or a double sleeping bag) scares the hell out of you and wakes our deaf cat.

    Guests would come out of the bathroom and ask (wide-eyed) "What the hell was that?"

    But sometimes (maybe 25% of the time) the pawls wouldn't grip the tower and you'd press the handle and you'd almost go on your head as there was nothing there.

    We stuck with this monstrosity for a few months until we couldn't take it no more. This thing was landfill unless they would replace it with something else.

    Long story very short - the dealer we got it from admitted he'd never seen or heard one in action so he had no idea about its noise and intermittent performance. He couldn't (wouldn't) give us a credit but he phoned A/S for us and left a message for them to call us. They never did. Finally I got hold of them myself and told them of this noisy, junk toilet. I told them that we'd asked for a "quiet" toilet and had been sold this thing.

    The lady thought she had me as she claimed "We don't advertize this as a quiet toilet!"

    I had her by the b@lls as I said "I have your brochure in my hand and it SAYS "This toilet is so quiet that you can say goodby to waking everyone up at night with noisy flushing". She fell silent.

    She then offered me any other toilet in their line and they would send a plumber 90 miles one way to install it for me and take the other one away. That's what I was after!

    We chose their Cadet. Two weeks later a plumber arrived and removed this monstrosity and replaced it with the sweetest crapper we can image - the beautifully quiet Cadet. Get one!

    The Champion was not American Standard's finest hour.

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2009
  8. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Central Florida
    C'mon, Zozzie -- don't hold back. Tell us what you really think :D.
  9. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    San Diego

    Well, you need to be very careful about Wiki. Here is the actual stories.

    American Standard toilets are alive and well. In July, American Standard Companies ( parent of American Standard Kitchen and Bath products, Porcher, Jada, Trane, et al.) SOLD the kitchen and bath products division to Bain Capital Partners, a global investment firm, part of the same consortium who purchased the $15 billion commercial division from Home Depot this year. The $1.6 billion American Standard kitchen and bath products division will retain the American Standard name. The parent company will continue the HVAC division, and will take the name Trane. All this information is quickly found via a google, on reputable sources like Wall Street Journal on line, Bloomberg on line, CNN news, MSNBC news, etc. Unfortunately, I put wiki only one notch above **** in reliability. Use it at your own risk.

    It's sorta like a plumbing forum. You have no idea if a particular piece of advice is coming from a seasoned pro, or from jack the ripper. You bear the burden of putting the reality check on it, and doing lots of research. But to toot our own horn for a minute, this forum has a longstanding reptutation, and is "policed" by so many seasoned pros that any misunderstanding or off-the-mark advice is usually countered quickly with a follow up.

    Anyway, the Champion and Cadet III are here to stay!
  10. Zozzie

    Zozzie New Member

    I can't! Oh yeah that was the short, edited and abridged version. It was six months of effin' around with excuses and non returned calls before it was resolved.
  11. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    That statement makes me predict the next problem for this perpetual lemon of a toilet...
    The broken handles are going to start stacking up like cordwood.
    This is from a company that at one time was recognized as the best!

    IMHO Am. Std. stopped making toilets with the passing of the 1.6 GPF mandate... They have been downhill ever since!
    I love that leaking patch on the back of the trapway!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2008
  12. hmayesh

    hmayesh New Member

    I Love my Champion, May Buy Another

    I purchased my Champion toilet from Home Depot in December 2004, after the Mandfeild 3.5gpf toilet that came with my house got clogged for the last time. I spent $275 on it with the seat. My first reaction to this toilet was that it was huge. Then I realized it was ADA approved height. Installation was pretty straight forward. I did have the concern others had with torquing down the tank bolts. It is a little crooked, but it doesn't leak. I have never had a problem with the toilet. I haven't changed any parts. It doesn't leak, and it will flush anything down that I put in it with one flush, every time. And we have got used to the Clop that you get when flushed. In the 3 years I have owned it, it has never clogged. I also have a Toto Drake in the powder room downstairs. I have had to unclog the Drake 3 times since I owned it. The last time was last night after my 2 year old used it. The funny thing is that it has its own, unshared drain pipe. The other things I do not like is that the tank lid never stays in place. It always gets pushed back when the seat cover is opened. And I've noticed that recently it will not complete a flush unless you hold the handle down a second longer. I purchased the toto a couple of months after the champion. So I have the same amount of use of each. So, like I said before, I may get another.
  13. maddog

    maddog Engineer

    near San Jose, CA.
    wow - based on all the negative posts, I thought I had the only Champion that seemed to work well .... I guess maybe they made 2 good ones!
  14. hmayesh

    hmayesh New Member


    I thought that I either got lucky or no one else knew how to use the thing. And now they have a new valve, so the toilet will be even better.
  15. Reader Review

    Reader Review Comments by readers

    I don't know how old your page is, but I did some research when my american standard champion (actually part brazilian part mexican not at all standard) flush valve started giving me fits. Made some calls and just as I was about to order the part ($25-$35) to replace the one I pulled out/destroyed (I thought a 'universal' replacement kit would work) I found out from a local distributor that they re-vamped the mechanism and if you call they send you a new one free. Mine is on it's way. The new 'tower' is more compact and the notoriously flimsy gasket is now built into the tower. A bit of a pain in the ass, but not to difficult to fix on your own. Of course I get to keep flushing my toilet with a bucket of water until the part comes in and deal with the complaining wife 2nd to that....
    Good Luck.
  16. Reader Review

    Reader Review Comments by readers

    We installed a American Standard Champion toilet (build in 2004) about 2.5 years ago. We do not have a leakage problem. So far the toilet works ok. After having numerous other toilets which didn't impress us at all it rates a good average. Once in a while (every 6-8 months) the chain will get a kink and water runs continuously. We usually catch it pretty fast. We also installed a Toto which performs in my opinion better. The tank fills faster, the toilet flushes more quietly and I never had a problem with kinking chains.
    C. Veihl, 12/26/2007
  17. Reader Review

    Reader Review Comments by readers

    My plumber installed an American Standard Champion toilet two years ago on his recommendation and there have been flush valve problems ever since. I have gotten a new plumber after new parts did not work and the original plumber finally called it a lemon. I am buying a new toilet of another brand.

    Rich Toohey Chantilly, Virginia
  18. Reader Review

    Reader Review Comments by readers

    Just got this toilette - leaking red seal - what apiece of junk.

    Steve - Canada.
  19. Reader Review

    Reader Review Comments by readers

    I bought a champion toilet about 6 mounths ago. It is nothing but trouble. It has the newer flush tower and fortunatley I have had no leaing problems. The problem I have is that the flush tower releases too quickly and often fails to flush. On rare ocasions it flushes properly, but in most cases, little or no water is released. The flush tower apearas to be very prone to hard water fouling. A small amount of scale inside the tower is sufficient to case the pre-release problem. Only solution seems to be regular cleaning of the center section of the flush tower. This is ridiculous!
    John S
  20. Reader Review

    Reader Review Comments by readers

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 23, 2008
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