Champion 4... wtf, mismatched bowl + tank?

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by miamicanes, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. miamicanes

    miamicanes New Member

    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Pembroke Pines, FL
    Back in 2009, I bought what I believed to be a Champion 4 elongated bowl and tank from Home Depot. The tank was in a sealed box. The bowl had a Champion 4 picture (with barcode) taped to it by an employee, and rang up as a Champion 4 bowl. It sat in my pile of "things to do someday" until today.

    I got the base installed & bolted down, then discovered that the tank doesn't seem to mate properly with the bowl. The bowl has a ridge along the front and back where it meets the tank. The tank is MUCH larger than the bowl's tank footprint would suggest it should be. The two tank bolts, the gasket, and the water supply pipe all line up, but it just doesn't seem *right*.

    At this point, I suspect that either the bowl was mislabeled (and isn't a Champion 4 bowl), there are different tanks for different Champion 4 bowls (and the nameless Home Depot employee paired up a bowl with the wrong tank), or American Standard decided to make some radical change sometime around 2009 that left new tanks incompatible with old bowls, but some evil decisionmaker at American Standard decided to keep calling it the Champion 4, instead of the Champion 4.1, Champion 4 (rev. 2), or the Champion 5.

    So... do I have a mismatched bowl and tank, or do I just need to tighten the bolts until the tank's bottom rests firmly against the front AND rear ridges on the bowl, and just assume that there's SUPPOSED to be a half-inch gap instead of the tank neatly fitting into the bowl like a key into a lock? If they're mismatched, can anybody point me at either a bowl that's compatible with the tank, or a tank that's compatible with the bowl (preferably, something I can buy at Home Depot or Lowe's, ?

    I'm attaching pictures of the bowl with the tank attached, as well as a few views of the bowl alone to assist with identification.
    View attachment 19172 View attachment 19173 View attachment 19171 View attachment 19170

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2013
  2. GoKohlerGo

    GoKohlerGo Brand New Plumber

    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    Michigan
    I can't really tell, if you could show a picture of the tank it would be great. Another reason might be that the flange on the bottom of the tank is not completely centered with the bowl. I have a Champion 4 and could show you some pictures of what it is like there. I will do that shortly.
    --GoKohlerGo
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2014
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,749
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    That looks pretty normal to me.
    You may just need to center it over the gasket better and then tighten down.
  4. GoKohlerGo

    GoKohlerGo Brand New Plumber

    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    Michigan
    That is what I was thinking too.
  5. miamicanes

    miamicanes New Member

    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Pembroke Pines, FL
    OK, I'll try recentering and tightening it a bit. I was just kind of freaked out by the visible gap, and assumed that the tank would fit hand-in-glove into the bowl instead of just perching on top of the ridge.

    I'm adding pics of the box label and first page of the installation manual.

    (update... I just noticed from the picture on the box that the tank absolutely DOES overhang the front of the ridge on the bowl's tank mounting point.)

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,798
    Location:
    New England
    You need the gasket compressed to make a good seal, so just straighten the bowl up so it's vertical (equidistant to each of the nubs in the front/back, and then carefully tighten the bolts evenly, side-to-side until it is just in contact (or very close) to all of the raised nubs.
  7. miamicanes

    miamicanes New Member

    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Pembroke Pines, FL
    Oh... one more quick question while I'm working on the tank. I've seen wildly conflicting descriptions of just how tight the bolts holding the toilet down should be. Can I safely assume that the point where they're "too tight" is ABSOLUTELY tighter than any point where the toilet can be moved along the floor by a bump or casual attempt to shift with my hands? If it matters, the floor is tile, the toilet seems to be level, and is screwed down firmly enough right now that I could probably shift it a half millimeter if I totally hugged it and tried really hard to move or rotate it, but it's not going to go anywhere from the force of somebody standing up from a seated position or bumping into it... but I don't want to end up having it crack from stress a week or two from now if it's too tight & is supposed to have a tiny bit of wiggle room.

    It might also matter that we're having a cold day in South Florida right now & I had the windows open while working (god, it was nice working in ~64 degree coolness), but the house is normally 10 degrees hotter (~72-75 degrees), and it's not inconceivable that temperatures could hit 85 degrees or more during an extended power outage after a hurricane. Should I loosen and re-tighten the bolts a bit once the house is back to the mid-70s, or is there very little risk of having the porcelain spontaneously crack due to heat expansion if the room ever gets to be ~20 degrees hotter than it is right this minute?
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,798
    Location:
    New England
    In many locations, it is required to caulk around (at least) the front 3/4 of the toilet (ie., leave the back open). This does two things: holds it in place on things like tiled floors, and keeps dribbles, dirty mop water, etc. from getting underneath the edge of the toilet and then starting to smell nasty.
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