AS Champion 4 Vs. Barclay Vicki

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by peterdf, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. peterdf

    peterdf New Member

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    Ohio
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2013
  2. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    Don't know much about the Barclay toilets, and their web site doesn't give us too much information about how they are supposed to work. I can say that the trapway looks pretty compressed compared to the good-flushing toilets that are often discussed on here, so I would at least want to see how it flushes before buying. That it only comes with a cheap white plastic flush handle is a little cheesy, but I understand that when you order it, you have the option of including a nicer handle in a variety of finishes.

    The quality issues and weirdo internal operating parts of the Champion are well-documented on this site. (Click toilet reviews above, and scroll down to the Champion.) The Vicki is a classic-looking toilet and the Champion is more modern looking, so I don't know what appearance requirements you have or whether you are just talking about flush quality. If you look around this site, you will see that you may wish to consider a comparable Toto toilet if low defect rates, excellent flush, quality design, reliability and easy repair are important to you. In the price range you are talking about, the Drake and Drake II offer two different designs that might appeal in the Toto line, along with any others. All these Totos flush well, without the need for one of those loud pressure-assist devices.

    Keep looking here, because someone who contributes to this site will probably have some knowledge of the Barclay toilets.
  3. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    It's a brand they sell at Lowe's. Their website and marketing material is pretty bare-bones, and they don't say much about the engineering of their flush. Also, the bottom of the trapway looks a lot like one that Terry analyzed negatively in a post regarding another brand of toilet.

    One thing I liked: their installation instructions say to place the wax ring on the floor and put the toilet on it, which is what Terry recommends. Most other brands use a different approach.
  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    wjcandee, you are correct. After my post, I Googled Barclay and found what you reported. Guess the reason I never heard of them is I pay no attention to the builder grade toilets in the Big Box Stores. They are all pretty much junk.
  5. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    I understand, Gary. Sadly, the Big Box Stores also sell some pretty expensive toilets; of course, many of those flush poorly as well (e.g. your "junk" label isn't confined to the builder grade stuff). For example. one of those Barclays goes for almost $900 at Lowes. Yikes.

    One theme that runs repeatedly through the threads here is that people go to places like HD and Lowe's because they expect that a national chain will provide good value and quality, have the stuff right there to take home and get working on, and not confuse them too much. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be so true when it comes to plumbing fixtures. It makes me sad to read posts like that of one person who wanted to self-install and said he couldn't purchase a Toto because he wasn't in the trades and couldn't special order it through a supply house. He didn't realize that even in semi-rural America, he should be able to acquire the product from a supply house without a special order and at a not-exhorbitant price. But most people don't know this, or they run into the occasional supplier who really tries to stick it to an individual who isn't knowledgeable. I also know that the culture in this forum is to empower the professionals and local businesses (which I agree with) and not talk about other sales channels that are available to purchasers regardless of where they live, but I hate to see some person in East Smallville driving two hours to the nearest Lowe's to pay $270 for a Cimarron when she could have a Drake delivered to her door in a couple of days from a reliable source for comparable or less money.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
  6. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    I drove 300 miles round trip to Terry's to get my first Toto. Fortunately, when I got my second one, Terry just happened to be coming to within 35 miles of my home on personal business. Never the less, the trip(s) cost were worth it. Great products, great price, no worries about breakage during shipping. You sure are right about the high prices on some of those Barclay's! For what they are charging, you could go way up the Toto pole.
  7. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    If I had a Terry here in New York, I wouldn't have ever learned to put the toilets in myself. I would have bought them from him and happily paid him or Jamie to install them, and never learned as much as I have learned.

    Sadly, there is no obvious place to go here to get a good install of a Toto at a fair price for the item and the labor; and forget about installing one with a Unifit; they want to price it like it's something from Mars. At least in speaking to probably 10 plumbers, including the one we have used for years. Six hundred dollars estimate to install a Carlyle II, not including the toilet? Really? I am sure that if I found the guy that's used to working on Totos, it would be more in range, but I am a pretty good researcher and I didn't. With those kind of numbers, I'm gonna learn to do myself what's a reasonable thing to do myself, mindful that if I go beyond my ability, the damage I could cause would far exceed what I would have paid someone to do it right the first time. But I think we all agree that rehabbing a faucet or installing a toilet is the kind of thing that most reasonably-agile people can do themselves if they educate themselves first. Doing the project myself gave me a great deal of appreciation for the pros that take the time to learn how to do it right and then do it right with pride. It also made me understand some of the joys of the profession (like making something mediocre into something nice, or fixing something broken and making it work the way it should and thereby eliminating little daily annoyances that people had come to accept but are thrilled to have fixed -- daily satisfaction on the job).

    I saw a post in one forum here where a successful plumber told a guy who was just starting out that an enormous amount of business can be had just by asking folks, with some gentle suggestions of ideas, whether there is anything else they would like him to do while he was there to do whatever he was called to do. He pointed out that almost everyone has a pop-up drain that works poorly. I thought: what a genius! If our plumber had ever pointed out certain things to me that I have learned from this forum that I want fixed, they would have been fixed long ago, with money put in his pocket. Example: we probably have ten frozen 100-year old isolation valves in various parts of our system, (including the stop valve to the dishwasher -- I guess they just turned off the house water when installing it) so there's no way to isolate anything, and we definitely need a hot-water recirculation system and...we have a number of poorly-functioning pop-up drains. I would have happily had all that work done if someone had even asked about it and quoted a fair price. There is a peace of mind that comes from having everything working as best it can, and that has to give plumbers a great deal of personal satisfaction when they deliver it.
  8. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    I have no personal experience with a Unifit, but from what I have seen it isn't all that difficult. A bit more time than a regular install, especially for the first time, butf you can read and follow direction, it's doable. I would bet that the plumbers that wanted $600 didn't want to mess with something they were unfamiliar with so priced it way high. I know there are plumbers that only want new construction so they price repairs very high. Probably true of electricians as well. Lots faster and easier to work where the walls are open, no worries about tracking up the floors, and no homeowner peering over the shoulder. The GC pays the bill so no hassles there either.
  9. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    You are correct about the Unifit. It was not difficult at all, even for a novice. Couple of holes to drill -- that's it. Measure twice, make sure it all will fit right. And in it goes. One nice thing: you can inspect the seal between the adapter and the flange and you know there will be no leaks between the toilet and the adapter because of the way it goes on. Really just silly for them to be so worried about how hard it would be. It's not like Long Island is a hotbed of construction or remodeling activity at the moment, so it's odd that they wouldn't want the work -- our longtime electrician sure does. But they are entitled to run their businesses as they see fit -- it's the American way. There's clearly an opportunity for a guy with Terry's qualities to make a mark here, however.

    PS Sorry about the thread drift. So the bottom line for the original poster is that you probably want to be absolutely sure that the Barclay has a satisfactory flush, bowl wash, etc., because there's nothing we can find that tells us about that, and nothing in the specs to indicate that it would. The Champion has been evaluated by Terry and you can see what he and other actual owners think in the Toilet Review section (hint: in some ways it is okay but it has some significant issues), and of course we strongly recommend that you evaluate a Toto in your price range, because you're probably going to be much happier with it over the long haul than either of the ones you mentioned. However, your own personal tastes and needs certainly enter into the decision.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
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