AS Cadet PRO - better or worse?

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Hillel, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. Hillel

    Hillel Member

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Hello Everyone,

    I am at the point of ordering toilets for three bathrooms as we rebuild our house after a fire. The one toilet we installed since moving in was an AS Cadet 3 (not purchased at HD) which we used for three years before the fire, and it was a great toilet.

    I was going to go with AS Cadet 3 for the new toilets as well. Now I see they are marketing a new version as Cadet PRO. The PRO looks like a redesign of the Flowise 1.28 Gpf feature from the Cadet 3 line. Does anyone have experience with the Cadet PRO? Is this an improvement that is worth the water savings from 1.6 to 1.28 Gpf, or did they ruin a good design?

    Thanks.
    ---Hillel
  2. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,867
    Location:
    New York, NY
    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I hope that the loss was only structural, and that everyone made it out safely. It's a terrifying peril that we always hope will not happen to us or those we care about; I am so sorry it happened to you.

    It doesn't look like any jurisdiction in Ohio presently provides rebates for installing "Watersense" (i.e. 1.28 gpf) toilets, so there is no imperative other than being a good neighbor to consider installing them.

    You usually can't get out of this forum without someone making a pitch along the lines that if you liked the Cadet 3, you'll love the original 3" flush-valve toilet, which would be from Toto. In the same price range as your Cadet 3 is the Drake G-Max 1.6gpf or the equivalently-priced EcoDrake E-Max 1.28gpf toilet. Also, just a little nudge up in price is the Drake II, which packs as standard equipment a bunch of features that would cost extra on the Drake, like Sanagloss finish (to reduce staining and skid marks) and a Universal Height elongated bowl. It also has the swirl-action Double Cyclone flush which gives a great bowl wash on only 1.28gpf and still sucks down that waste. Both are great designs, with the design focused on great engineering of the trapway and bowl-siphon, to do more with less water. All the toilets mentioned use simple parts for which American-made factory-authorized replacements from Korky are readily-available locally at an inexpensive price. And Toto's quality control is the best in the business, so you are least likely to have a lemon land in your new bathrooms. Sometimes, plumbers and designers who know the brand are reticent to suggest it, although they respect it, because many customers don't know what a quality product it is, although that is changing. So it might be be worth broaching the subject of Toto with your professionals and see what they say. Or just telling them that that's what you want. If you shop around, and hondle a little bit, as I do, you'd be surprised how price-competitive Toto's premium-quality products can be. Okay, that's the pitch.

    As to the PRO, I thought it was part of AS's marketing program to try to get back some of the folks in the trade who had abandoned them. Like isn't this a "trade-only" fixture, so that professional plumbers are not competing on material price with HD? (Fluidmaster did the same thing with a pro-only, red-capped version of the 400A fill valve.) Of course, if the AS quality control is as crappy as many of the pros on here say it is, then this marketing will/should fail. There was a sad photo earlier today from a guy who had waited weeks for a Cadet in a special color that he had ordered through a plumbing supply house, only to get it home, carry it upstairs, and discover a dime-sized area in the bowl that wasn't glazed. How did nobody see that? Did it pass through the QC station in Tijuana while everyone was on siesta? BTW, problems like this are a management issue, not solely a location-of-production issue. Toto seems to be able to make product successfully in Mexico, but there are no doubt teams of workaholic Japanese-expat managers down there staying up late to tweak, retweak, and re-re-tweak the process to make sure the output is top-notch. Heck, the Toto fixture that I received that was from Vietnam or Thailand or such was a piece of quality workmanship that fit right together with the US-made tank. It takes good management to make that happen, and it doesn't look like AS is exactly shining with their Mexico-produced products these days...

    I wonder if the PRO series is supposed to address concerns of plumbers like Terry who bemoan having to take multiple tanks, bowls, etc., along on an install so they don't have to make a second trip when one is defective. Or is it just fluff? I, too, would be curious to know, although I probably already know the answer...

    Whatever you choose, Sir, I hope that the rest of your process goes smoothly, and that you and your family are pleased with the result...
  3. Hillel

    Hillel Member

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Thanks for all of the advice available on this forum. As for the fire, thankfully, everyone got out OK. Woke up at 2am on a Saturday last year to find the house on fire. A mix of preparedness, training, and incredible luck had us all out with seconds to spare even before the fire dept showed up. The house was totally gutted.

    After reading all the adventures from customers ever since AS started selling the Cadet 3 at HD, even for the units not purchased at the big boxes, we decided to put in the few extra dollars and go with the Toto Drake II. We have been back in the house for two weeks now, and can't complain about the performance yet. The kids managed to stuff up one of the Drakes with tissues such that it filled the bowl on the next flush, but it cleared itself before I could find where the plunger was packed.

    Thanks.
    ---Hillel
  4. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,867
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Thanks for the update!

    Certainly for any toilet, there is an amount of Charmin that isn't going to make it through. I have found with our Drakes however that any reasonable amount -- and even a somewhat-unreasonable amount -- will go down without a hitch. Glad they are working well for you so far, and I hope that you will ultimately consider them to have been a good investment, as we have.

    I appreciate hearing from a fire-survivor such as yourself, because it puts a face (or at least a screen name) on the idea of "It really can happen." We have taken the time to think about, talk about, and practice getting out in a fire and having a place to meet, and it always seems like maybe we're being a bit too cautious. That your planning helped to keep your family safe reminds me that maybe it's time for another walk-through of our own fire plan. So thanks for sharing your experience!
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,351
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    AS has quality control issues. They dump rejects aka seconds on to Big Box stores, so frequently they have to be returned for a replacement. Many pros, will not deal with them because returning and exchanging costs them big bucks. Returns have been reported to be as high as 25%. Toto toilets do not sell blems, seconds, or rejects. They do not have give away prices to Big Box stores, so you won't find Totos there. With a little shopping you should be able to find a Toto for about what the AS sell for and have a far better toilet. Toto returns are less than 1%. (Yes, that 1% as in "One") Charmin paper has a high rag content to give it strength, but because of this, it does not break down quickly in water and can clog toilets if too much is used. You're far better off to buy the house brand paper at your favorite store.
  6. gusherb94

    gusherb94 Member

    Messages:
    124
    Location:
    chicago/nw IN
    I'm testing a Cadet Pro now. Many of the previous complaints such as sloppy/lacking bowl wash have been addressed, and tightening the tank bolts down so that the tank touches the bowl no longer feels like your gonna bust the tank while doing so like it did on the cadet 3 or champion.
    The closet bolt system it comes with was slightly more convenient, tightening by hand with the plastic nuts wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I'm sure some plumbers will have an opinion on that.

    The Pro model overall does come with some nice touches to attempt to make it more convenient to install, at the same price point as the Cadet 3. Other things it has are an all metal trip lever, uses all Fluidmaster guts now, and a brass shank Pro 45.

    As for the quality of the china itself, it was ok. The bowl I got had none of the issues that A-S is infamous for, the trap opening and exit has some jagged spots, though they don't seem to affect flush performance. Overall china quality is still not quite up to par with Toto or Gerber.
  7. wptski

    wptski Retired Machine Repairman

    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    Warren, MI
    I have a newly installed Cadet 3(Oct/12) and recently looked at the rim holes with a mirror. I was surprised to see one side with all small holes, staggered a few large holes in one spot and an area with 5/6 large holes in a row. Maybe it's supposed to be this way but looks odd. The water will take the route of least resistance, so it seems less rinse in some areas.
  8. gusherb94

    gusherb94 Member

    Messages:
    124
    Location:
    chicago/nw IN
    That was the original design of it, all cadet 3s are that way. Hence the sloppy and/or lacking bowl wash. They did a much better job on the cadet pro, has even rim holes all the way around and gets a good bit of water during the flush.
  9. wptski

    wptski Retired Machine Repairman

    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    Warren, MI
    It's left a spec twice in its time but not enough to warrant a reflush, at least by me.
  10. gusherb94

    gusherb94 Member

    Messages:
    124
    Location:
    chicago/nw IN
    In my case because it missed certain spots a reflush never did any good! A toilet brush was what it needed. The bowl got very very "spotty" after a week or two. I liked it's flush but the bowl wash was awful. I liked the toilet, good fit and finish but after 1.5 years I'm glad I'm no longer testing it in my own bathroom.
  11. kshorty

    kshorty New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Hi there, has anyone else tried this one? I'm looking for a 15" bowl, and Cadet Pro is a contender, but I hardly see any online reviews. Not sure why.

    The selection of standard-height bowls actually seems really limited right now!
  12. Cameron Fields

    Cameron Fields Implementer/Inventor

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Florida
    Well not exactly i went with the cadet 3 flowise it is a great toilet take a look at my video review
    http://www.terrylove.com/forums/sho...lowise-Flush-Review&highlight=cadet 3 flowise
  13. kshorty

    kshorty New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    thanks, it seems like a good line.
  14. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,867
    Location:
    New York, NY
    A better line would be the Toto drake CST744s or the Drake II with universal height bowl CST454cefg
  15. Cameron Fields

    Cameron Fields Implementer/Inventor

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Florida
    The Toto drake line is expensive and has overall lower waster remove I understand it is not a necessity to have a 1000 grams removal score. So why not just go with more power you might need it, plus AS is generally cheap in price but fairly high in quality.
    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Are_Toto_or_American_Standard_toilets_better
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  16. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,867
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Totally, completely wrong.

    You can get a Drake almost anywhere for around $200. At Lowe's your Cadet 3 ranges from $190 to $350, depending upon model. At a minimum, they are comparably-priced, at worst, the Cadet is 50% more expensive at the price at which it is actually available, as opposed to "list price".

    Moreover, AS's crappy quality-control has been documented on this forum over and over and over and over, as has Toto's meticulous quality-control, even on its less-expensive toilets, which is why plumbers like them
  17. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,052
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    And yet when I go to wholesale plumbing houses, the plumbers joke about American Standard and why they don't install them.
    Too funny.

    I do sell them sometimes. They make a Cadet 3 with 10" rough.
    I do sell all the brands. Just some more than others.
    I think the Pro model is inspected a bit better than the home center version.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  18. Cameron Fields

    Cameron Fields Implementer/Inventor

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Florida
    Ok I have to completely agree with AS quality control the cadets that I purchased were a lot less than 200$ other than my vent problem not AS problem they worked fine my cousin still can clog it. In defense of Toto I have only used 3 models eco drake II, Drake II, and the aquia II. And there performance was ok I just would say they don't remove liquid very well and just like AS they leave streaking in the bowl.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  19. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,052
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    And what toilets do you own?

    Because we pull out American Standard and replace with Toto quite often.
    I've disposed of a few Champion's.
  20. Cameron Fields

    Cameron Fields Implementer/Inventor

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Florida
    Actually I owned 1 cheap glacier bay toilet and replace it with the cadet 3 then I replace my WC high flow with the same cadet 3 about a week later because I liked it. the toto eco drake II is at my neighbors and the aquia II and drake II are at my friends house. He just had them installed about a month ago.
    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Are_Toto_or_American_Standard_toilets_better

    [​IMG]

    Glacier Bay Toilet from Home Depot
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 6, 2013
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