Consumer Reports Recommended toilet, Gerber DF-21-318 a big Flop!

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Terry, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,116
    Location:
    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
    EcoFlush
    WDI Technology
    Gerber DF-21-318
    Gerber DF-21-312
    Gerber DF-21-302
    Mansfield 148-119
    Mansfield EcoFlush
    Vortens Vienna 3113-3436
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2010
  2. Reader Review

    Reader Review Comments by readers

    [​IMG]
    Pictures of the WDI EcoFlush tanks that are going bad.

    [​IMG]
    WDI Technology EcoFlush
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2009
  3. Reader Review

    Reader Review Comments by readers

    Cascade Water gives the Gerber DF-21-318 an "F"

    I just talked to Mike at Cascade Water about consumer complaints on toilets.

    The toilet with the most complaints is the Gerber Ultraflush DF-21-318 dual flush.

    That coincides with my experience too.

    Consumer Reports gives the Gerber DF-21-318 it's highest grade, and the rest of us think that it's junk.

    The folks reporting to Cascade Water and the folks reporting to Love Plumbing & Remodel realize that the pressure tank has problems.
    The Gerber dual flush by WDI is not lasting.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2009
  4. DIYourselfer

    DIYourselfer New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    New York
    I just installed the Mansfield 148-119 a few weeks ago. I thought it had the flushmate technology. I wish I had seen this earlier.

    What is the warranty on this and is mansfield responsible for the warranty? Does a part have to be replaced or does the whole pressure tank have to be replaced?

    Thanks in advance,

    Joe
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,116
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I've been replacing the entire tank.
  6. DIYourselfer

    DIYourselfer New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    New York

    Do you replace it with a Flushmate unit? I see a full replacement kit from Flushmate runs about $130. I would see no reason to put back the same crappy unit, even if it is warrantied.
  7. G60

    G60 New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    DC
    Consumer reports is good for some things but they have gone way WAY overboard on the "green."

    People should be concerned with the was e of clean water and they should be informed and make behavioral and purchase decisions with the health of the planet as a factor.

    But I recently studied their clothes washing machine recommendations vs what I could garner from asking friends and neighbors and reading of actual experiences with given models and I am convinced that rather than just taking the green aspects of of an appliance or fixture into account and giving it a specific grade in that column, they are giving the green aspects a huge weight in general ratings.

    So with front loading washers, two big aspects that result in the most returns and dissatisfaction, a) smells from mold or mildew, and b) vibration, are now catching consumer reports by surprise as major issues, not to mention that some of the highest rated machines do not clean or rinse that well, or even have decent records on reliability and repair costs.!

    I am no expert on toilets but I bet the same thing is happening.
  8. WDI-Gerber

    WDI-Gerber PR Rep

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Chicago
    Corrections to Information on Dual Flushes

    Though we respect your opinion, we have a few corrections to the information regarding Gerber's Dual Flush toilets and the WDI flushmometer tank. The comments below come directly from WDI with some input from Gerber Plumbing Fixtures.

    The web site lists WDI’s Eco-Flush B8100 Dual Flush pressure assist system as “Not Recommended” in conjunction with the Gerber Dual Flush toilet due to complaints about the Flush Mechanism breaking. Gerber’s Ultra Dual Flush toilet is a product within a product. WDI has made adjustments to that system and provides a review of these changes below which includes modifications made to the actuator mechanism to correct this problem.

    We welcome you to re-evaluate this product. Please let us know where we can send a sample so you can make your own assessment. If you deem appropriate, we would appreciate your updating your website to include the most current product information.

    Brief background:

    The Eco-Flush system was created 6-years ago by focusing on making the unit easier to flush and increasing the overall performance of the toilet. Additionally, test results show the Eco-Flush to be quieter than pressure-assist units by other manufacturers.

    Eco-Flush incorporates a “feather touch” activation system which requires very little force to operate and is fully ADA compliant. Unfortunately, the original flush actuator mechanism was designed for traditional use, not “foot flushing” and other rigorous flushing techniques sometimes used in commercial applications. As soon as this issue was brought to our attention we immediately reinforced our Flush Activation System and have had very good results ever since.

    Current:

    We understand that there are still units in the marketplace with our original Flush Activation System, but our Technical Support Team is on hand to send out replacement parts that are easily installed by the business owner or homeowner. If you or any customers ever have any questions or concerns regarding Eco-Flush, they can contact our Technical Support Team directly at 800-391-9821. This phone number is also printed on a label that is affixed to every Eco-Flush unit so we are always just a phone call away. Our experienced team is available Monday – Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm PST and is able to trouble shoot problems over the phone and then provide any necessary parts. ECO-Flush proudly stands behind our 10-year warranty and we have tens of thousands of satisfied customers.

    The Eco-Flush Dual Flush system is the first and only Dual Flush Pressure Assist System available in the world. It is designed to flush 4 liters of water for liquid waste and 6 liters of water for solid waste by simply moving the flush lever in the “down” or “up” position. However, Eco-Flush also offers 1.1 GPF and 1.6 GPF models to fit a wide variety of pressure assisted toilets.

    At Eco-Flush we strive to produce the highest quality pressure assist systems available in the market. We constantly strive to improve our products and listen very closely to all issues that come from actual users. It is only by listening to your customers that you can truly become a better company.

    We would welcome the opportunity to discuss these issues with you in greater detail so that you once again gain the confidence to recommend the Eco-Flush Dual Flush system to your readers. We can be reached directly at 949-250-4576.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2009
  9. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,116
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I never sold or installed any of these for commercial applications.
    They were sold to home owners trying to be Green.

    I'm sure they weren't flushing toilets in their own home with their feet.
    Like you say, it takes very little finger pressure to make them flush.
    And I guess, very little can be too much.

    Since WDI is aware of the problem,
    Is there a recall on the old units?
    Have you pulled the bad stock and replaced them with the "better" parts?
    How would anyone know if they have an "improved" tank, or if they have the "bad" tank?
    Is it a model number change?

    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
  10. Reader Review

    Reader Review Comments by readers

    Hi Terry

    We bought a couple of the “Consumer reports” highly rated Gerber toilets from you. I do want to thank you for the prompt replacement tanks that failed 3 times during the first year. On your blog I saw that WDI bragged about better parts on newer models. Since we have one of the two that appears to on its way to malfunctioning again what parts are available to make them better as they fail ?? Any help is appreciated

    Bill
    Construction Manager

    Last edited: Dec 7, 2009
  11. hoodsmom

    hoodsmom New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    california
    We're have a problem with the handle on our dual-flush unit. EcoFlush sent us a flush valve control replacement part which we're going to replace as soon as my husband's got a weekday off (so we can call EcoFlush if we run into problems). Terry, in your experience does replacing the flush valve control do the trick?
  12. Reader Review

    Reader Review Comments by readers

    Terry,

    We have a problem with our toilets, and my online research led me to your plumbing forums. When I realized that you were right next door (we’re on Hollywood Hill in Woodinville), I thought I would reach out to you for advice on the problem and assistance in resolving it.

    In our house in Colorado, we put in Gerber Ultra Flush toilets, and we were consistently happy with them. When we moved back to Woodinville in 2008, we did some remodeling on the house that we bought. That work included placing Gerber Dual Flush toilets everywhere. We’re happy with the performance of these toilets, at least when they perform. But we’ve found (as apparently many others have also found) that sometimes the toilet just won’t flush. Lift or press the handle, and nothing happens. I have always eventually been able to get the toilet to flush, but I don’t actually know what I’m doing to get it to work. I just try a lot of different things, and eventually it flushes. And the problem is getting worse. The toilet in the master bath has been getting into this state several times a week lately. I worry that it’s about to quit permanently. Others around the house have (so far) only had occasional malfunctions. (Fortunately, not when guests are here.)

    My questions to you are: Can this situation be resolved without replacing the toilet? Or should we just switch to some other low-flow toilet? And if we’re replacing, do we have to replace the entire toilet, or can we just replace the back? That is, would it be easier to switch back to Ultra Flush than to switch to some other option? (By the way, two of the five toilets have Toto heated seats.) Finally, if we’re going to make changes, should we do all five toilets at once? Are the others eventually going to fail, like the one in the master bath?

    Thanks in advance,

    Chuck L
    Redmond WA
  13. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,116
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Chuck,
    I quit selling the dual flush tanks by WDI.
    You could switch them to the 1.6 gallon tanks with the Flushmate unit.
    Those have been working much better.
    The Flushmate tank is made in Detroit Michigan.
    The WDI dual flush is made in China.

    If you were replacing the entire toilet, then the Toto line has been working much better.

    If you can talk to people that sold you the toilets into swapping tanks, that would be you most cost effective way to go.
    Otherwise, I would look into the Toto Drake.
    Better performance then the Gerber line, for less money, and better looking porcelain.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
  14. Jake1157

    Jake1157 Plumber

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Hi Terry,

    I am a plumber here in Calgary. About four years ago, my wholesaler recommended the Mansfield EcoFlush toilet to me. The WC'c in my own home were not working well so I exchanged all of them for the EcoFlush units. Although I found them very noisy, scaring my youngest girl and always enticing comments from house guests, they simple were the best flushing toilet I had ever used. They never plugged and the self cleaning action was the best I had seen in a long time. I was ready to recommend them to my builders and then they started to act up. Like other posters on this site, I usually could get them going again but was never sure of what I did. Finally two of the four that I had bought would not work so the wholesaler gave me two new tanks. After installation, all four of them worked well until last week. Suddenly, another one of my toilets just wouldn't flush. I have all kinds of replacement parts so I took the whole thing apart and replaced everything. Once put back together, it was working good as new. Two days later, it craped out on me again. I haven't been able to get it going since.

    What bugs me the most is that I have no clue how to properly service the unit. I can take it apart and put it back together but I don't know what to fix or if how to determine what part is faulty. I've asked the wholesaler to have a representative contact me or send me a troubleshooting guide on the tank but have received no help. I also wrote to to WDI asking for advise and some help diagnosing and repairing the problem. Did not receive a response. Next up, call the 1-800 number. These toilets are not cheap and I have a lot invested in them. Roughly $400.00 a crack times 4. I would rather repair them than replace them.

    If you have any ideas on repairing the units, I'd like to hear them.
  15. Deb T

    Deb T New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Saskatchewan
    We have this toilet and it worked for about two months, then stopped flushing reliably. Called the company and they sent a new flush mechanism. Very prompt service. Because of the shape of our tank, it was not an easy task to replace this part. Would have to remove all of the insides to replace the flush mechanism. So, we tried just removing the two little caps on it and replacing the springs inside with the springs that came in the new unit. It worked! Flushed reliably again for about 3 months. Now, back to never knowing if it will flush. If we take off the caps, the toilet will flush while the cap is off, seemingly from some kind of relation to the spring action being released. My husband wants to just replace the toilet. I am going to try to find a source for the springs and see if replacing them regularly will solve the problem. Just guessing, I suppose, but for our unit the springs definitely seem to be a factor.
  16. MFfan310

    MFfan310 New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Indiana
    Oh boy, another toilet to avoid...

    Looks like American Standard is now using the WDI EcoFlush single-flush in their new-design 1.1 gpf pressure-flush Yorkville PA and Cadet PA models. (The 1.6 still uses a Sloan Flushmate, as does the currently not-redesigned Glenwall). I find this funny... WDI is owned by Gerber/Danze parent Globe Union Group (which is actually based in Taiwan, though a lot of their plants are in mainland China), and American Standard Brands is cross-subsidizing a competitor in the process. Though, to be fair, Crane Plumbing (another American Standard brand) has utilized WDI EcoFlush in their single and dual-flush pressure flush toilets for a while.

    Speaking of the EcoFlush, one found a leaky Gerber DF-28-380 at a well-known hotel in Vegas. Not exactly the best place for leaks.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2010
  17. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,116
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Costco 279602 dual flush and Foremost AIO-1000EW dual flush toilet

    It looks like Costco is now selling the EcoFlush too.
    Homeowners can't seem to keep the tanks working though.
    I quit selling any toilets with this WDI pressure assist tank.

    [​IMG]

    Here is the Costco toilet now being sold with this Lemon.

    [​IMG]
    Costco dual flush comes with a WDI EcoFlush pressure tank.
    Homeowners are still asking how to fix them six months later.

    .

    One more toilet to avoid.

    We no longer sell any toilet with the 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.

    If someone wants pressure assist, make sure it has a Flushmate inside.
    The WDI EcoFlush is not made by Flushmate.
    Last edited: May 7, 2010
  18. Reader Review

    Reader Review Comments by readers

    Costco #279598 All-In-One Dual Flush High Efficiency Toilet

    Support Drags This Down
    Pros: like the chair height feature., like the 2 flush options.
    Cons: poor documentation for installation., next to no information on the eco-flush mechanism., poor customer service., slow parts replacement

    Model Number: 279598

    "Hard to provide a really good review as the toilet broke down after one week and we're still waiting on a replacement part. I do like the chair height - it's easier for my wife to get seated and then up again. It can be tough with a bad back and a regular low toilet. We like the water saver concept - a lift of the handle does a 1.1 gallon flush for smaller jobs, and a push downward does the full 1.6 gallon flush. But this is where we've run into trouble. After less than a week, the toilet would no longer flush. We called the Foremost customer support number on the printed documentation, but they obviously had no idea what I was talking about. I guess they finally figured out that we had the 'Eco-flush' model and referred us to a different phone number for a company in CA - ( that runs on Pacific Standard Time - so don't call early from the east). My call went to an answering machine and I was instructed to leave information and they'd call back. No return call. So I called again and got to speak to a support person. Eddie gave me a couple of things to check, and I agreed to call him back. Guess what? Answering machine again. Left message - no call back. Called again - now on day 3 with no toilet in the master bath - and talked to support again. They decided to send a part; we were told they would Fedex it right out. Nothing the next day, nothing the day after, long Memorial day weekend, nothing the day after. Another call to support. Did you guess 'answering machine' again? Called again and was told that the part was sent via Fedex but must be 'super saver' Fedex. It's not due to us for 2 more days. We'll have been without a working toilet for nearly 2 weeks by the time this is done.
    Having said all that, we're still hopeful that we'll end up with a decent toilet, but my recommendation would be to buy from a local supplier that you can grab by the throat if things go wrong!"

    pgcorky
    Leesburg, VA

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2010
  19. Reader Review

    Reader Review Comments by readers

    Costco #279598 All-In-One Dual Flush High Efficiency Toilet

    Mechanism unreliable

    "I have used 2 of these in my house for 6 or 7 months now, and want to revise my rating of this item from 4 stars to 2.
    1 of the 2 toilets still works fine, but the other one's mechanism is getting tricky: more than half of the time it fails to do a clean flush. You just have to wait and do it once or twice more."

    MichelefromPA
    Philadelphia, PA

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2010
  20. Reader Review

    Reader Review Comments by readers

    Costco #279598 All-In-One Dual Flush High Efficiency Toilet

    Poorly designed, despite best intentions
    "We bought 2 of these toilets, both had flushing mechanism flaws. The toilets "ran," and we ultimately stopped using one of them because it's flush was so unreliable. Avoid this toilet until it's successfully redesigned."

    Anonymous
    Seattle, WA

    [​IMG]
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