Consumer Reports August 2009 toilet report rates American Standard Champion 4 #1

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Mikey, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Central Florida their August issue, page 48. Toto Eco Drake (1.28 gal) was #9, UltraMax II (1.28 gal) was #15. Pretty brief article, not too much depth, but worth a read.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2010
  2. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Omaha, NE
    I agree - not a lot of depth to it.

    I was disappointed that they saw fit to diss the Ultramax II (Gwyneth one-piece) saying they had to double-flush liquid waste frequently.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2009
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Bothell, Washington
    Consumer Reports goes out of it's way to disregard what homeowners and plumbers think.

    The fact that I like Toto, and that most plumbers and homeowners like Toto is not good news to them.

    Rather then agree with most people, they try to find ways to be different.

    It's fine to be different, but it hurts homeowners.

    Some examples of past CR best buys.

    Eljer Aqua Saver, No longer being made, and no parts for them.
    In my testing, I found it to need two flushes to completely remove shredded paper and solids.
    The action was very sudden, startling the women who used it, who in turn complained that they had to be startled twice if they wanted clean water in the bowl when they were done.

    Briggs Vacuity, Even CR admitted in their next test that it was a dud.
    Too many plugged up bowls for prime time.
    In their next review they reversed their decision, not good new for everyone that bought one.

    Gerber Ultraflush, Too noisy for home use. And not as good as the Toto Drake for less money.
    Recent quality control has changed since the company was bought out and moved to China.
    As a replacement bowl, it covered very little. Unless you have just installed new floors, this bowl will not cover the old imprint left behind.
    Not a good replacement bowl.

    Eljer Titan, no longer being made.
    Problems with wax seals leaking at the base.
    In this years report, it has dropped way down the list.

    Their newest pick, the maligned American Standard Champion.
    They are as clueless as they can be. Do they live in the real world, or is it just two guys hanging out in a warehouse without a clue.
    Many issues with quality control.
    A very heavy bowl that will be difficult for a homeowner to handle.
    The first flush tower turned out to be junk, thus all the bad reviews and the class action suit brought against it.
    The new flush tower, meant to be the fix, is developing it's own problems.
    Not recommended in my opinion.

    Here is CR's top pick in a dual flush toilet, Gerber DF-21-318, another bad joke on the consumer.
    40% of the dual flush tanks have come back for replacement in the first year.
    How does a product with 40% returns earn first place in the results with Consumers Reports?
    And it has the small bowl, meaning a new floor if used as a replacement bowl.
    Since we sell and install plumbing products, we know pretty quickly when there is a lemon being sold.
    We reported on the WDI flush problems months before CR gave it such high honors.
    Why does CR give first place to a product with return rate for replacement of 40%
    Their standards must be pretty low.
    Last edited: May 29, 2011
  4. Rehabber

    Rehabber New Member

    Left Coast (Mexifornia)
    Back in the 70s, CR rated the Bose 901 loudspeakers as 'poor'. It only took em 20 years to retract that one. Their ratings of paint is laughable. I would not use CRs advice on a bet.
  5. Handiman

    Handiman New Member

    TOTO doesn't completely flush liquid waste?

    I don't like the part about the TOTO's not flushing liquid waste completely (according to CR). Is this true about the TOTO's not completely flushing liquid waste for those of you that own one of these toilets? I also find it hard to believe that AMERICAN STANDARD is rated #1. I have had many of these AMERICAN STANDARD toilets and all have been poor quality.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2009
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Bothell, Washington
    Just another example of misleading junk coming from the writers at CR.

    They shouldn't even bother trying to write about something they know nothing about.

    The toilet that the other manufacturers have been trying to copy is the Toto Drake
    What does that tell you?

    CR's last number one was the Eljer Titan.
    When I pulled the Titan out of the box, and set it side by side with the Toto Drake, the homeowner would choose the Toto.

    Same thing with the Champion. Why would you buy poor craftsmanship?
    The Champion is hard to assemble, the seat is difficult to install if you have lower nut mounting like you would for a commercial seat or decorative seat, and the seals have been going bad too soon.
    No parts for them either on the shelf. I guess CR isn't concerned with how you assemble, parts down the road, or plumbing call backs.

    Champion tank lid broken at the factory on the right hand side of the photo.
    Sanded and glazed over, and shipped as "Good enough"
    Would you let "your" plumber install a broken tank lid on your new toilet?

    Or how about this attempt from American Standard at a factory repair of a defective bowl that was shipped as

    "Good enough"
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2009
  7. Cookie

    Cookie .

    I find the Consumer reports Terry, disregard homeowners ( don't know about plumbers) in most things. I tried using it once for a sweeper and it was very confusng. My brother in law uses it for everything and has the same complaint. We actually compare notes.
  8. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Bothell, Washington
    Well.........they don't care what women think either.

    Some of the CR Best Buys, the women in the house hated.
    I couldn't get rid of it soon enough to please the women.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2009
  9. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Yikes. I hope not just of our sex, because our money has no gender value.
  10. Peanut9199

    Peanut9199 Customer Service Manager Plumbing Wholesale

    Ontario, Canada
    This is a posting at one of our customers showroom.

  11. Furd

    Furd Engineer

    Wet side of Washington State
    I pretty much dismiss any "rating" given by Consumers Reports. Over the years I have purchased many "big ticket" items that CR has given a less-than-stellar report and almost always they have been exceptional appliances in my experience.
  12. jamie

    jamie Specialist Staff Member

    Seattle WA
    Random Thought of the day.......

    Random Thought of the day.......

    I receive a large number of calls from potential clients inquiring about the latest #1 ranked toilet by consumer reports each time the yearly edition comes out! But if you look at their past recommendations, you would have to be crazy to trust that report. For example in recent years they selected the Kohler Wellworth, Briggs Vacuity, Eljer Titan and the American Standard Champion. Are you kidding me????? just google any of those so called #1 ranked toilets by consumer reports and you will find page after page of consumer complaints! makes you wonder how long it is before the angry masses rise up and sue the publication???

    ps- Go Seahawks!

    -J. Love
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2009
  13. ttt

    ttt New Member

    Bose 901 loudspeakers are poor. I used to own a pair of them before I wised up.
  14. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Central Florida
    Boy, talk about thread creep. I bought a pair of the original Bose 901s from a high-end audio shop owned by a concert violinist, who thought they were the best thing since sliced bread. With the right power, in the right room, they were wonderful, but over time most afficionados have decided they're not all that great for the casual audiophile. I guess it's in the ear of the beholder.
  15. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Yakima WA
    I came to the realization the CR was a joke years ago. I saw some of the things they rated quite high were things that I had already tried and found wanting. My opinion of CR continues to sink.
  16. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Bothell, Washington
    In the 70's I was selling 10 speed bikes.

    The first thing I would ask is if they had an idea of what they were looking for.
    If they said they had read Consumer Reports, I sold them a boat anchor heavy Schwinn and they went away happy.

    If they said they wanted to know about them before deciding, I would let them ride several and let them find out which ones were more fun to ride.

    Schwinn had gotten the number one rating based on how well it held up when slammed against a brick wall.
    The brick wall was their testing method for 10-speed bikes.

    Consumer Reports testing method for bicycles.
    How hard can you slam a bike against a brick wall.

    My personal bike, was a Wes Mason frameset from England with Campagnolo gear sets, A TA crank set, and silk sew-ups with tubular rims.

    Twice I took my family down the Oregon Coast on bicycles for a week long ride. We took sleeping bags and stayed at the hiker/biker campgrounds.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2009
  17. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

    Wow, even I agree that CR got this one wrong.

    The Cadet 3 spanks the competition, especially the Champion of all things! :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2009
  18. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Bothell, Washington
    Consumer Reports in the August 2009 issue picks the Gerber Dual Flush as their top choice for dual flush toilets.

    However, we no longer sell the Gerber with WDI Dual Flush combination.
    We have had to replace more than 40% of the tanks in the first year of production due to failure of the actuator mechanism.

    They are a piece of junk.

    Shame on CR for not doing your homework.

    This dual flush tank has been on the market for a year now.
    It's a design that should have never left the factory.
    If Consumer Reports had any feeling for the consumer, they would have given this model a "Don't buy" rating.

    If you buy a Gerber Ultraflush, don't get the dual flush.
    The 1.1 Flushmate or the 1.6 Flushmate would be a better choice then the Dual 1.1/1.6 made in China that is failing too often. When 40% fail in the first year, that is ridiculous

    Not recommended
    WDI Technology
    Gerber DF-21-318
    Gerber DF-21-312
    Gerber DF-21-302
    Mansfield 148-119
  19. Alleycatz

    Alleycatz New Member

    consumer reports

    I also agree the report is shallow, but I also must say the new American Standard Champion 4 out performs every toilet on the market. This comes from a guy with two Toto toilets in my own house. I have been dealing with A/S for 24 years, not an employee, on the distribution side. Nobody knows the heartache of the old Champion more than myself. I replaced hundreds and hundreds of the old flush towers. I knew the day I first saw the tower it was trouble. I have not received a call on the new Champion 4, with a lifetime warranty, since it's release. The tank is a bit hard to install, but if you have two hands and 10 fingers it's not too difficult.
  20. Reader Review

    Reader Review Comments by readers

    Not too difficult with a deep socket, after all, the tanks is not the heavy part.
    The bowl is deadly heavy for a homeowner though.
    The flush is basically like all of the newer toilets that use a 3" or larger flush valve. Nothing stands out there.

    When I talk to other plumbers at the supply house and ask what they are installing, the answer is anything but American Standard.
    For a plumber, time is still a commodity that we prize.
    Running around exchanging bowls or tanks isn't going to make them happy.

    The first Champion had a 10 year warranty, but that didn't cover labor.
    And nobody had the parts on the shelf.
    It was a call to he factory for the parts.
    If you have to hire a plumber, you're still out the labor cost.
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