Lawsuit or Recall of Am,Standard Champion toilets ?

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by bobkatbf, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. bobkatbf

    bobkatbf New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2012
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Your source for info is www.cpsc.gov

    I went there and seached toilets, found none. Searched American Standard and found some HVAC stuff, nothing in the plumbing arena.

    If you have followed various plumbing forums, you already know that there seemed to be a lot of earlier issues with the Champion, but the Champion 4 may have most of it resolved. The Cadet 3 is probably the best performance/value choice in the AmStd lineup, if you don't like pressure assisted toilets.
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,129
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    [​IMG]
    If you have the Champion with the flush tower, you may want to ask American Standard for the replacement flush valve.
    Don't forget a 1/2" deep socket to remove the tank nuts.

    http://www.americanstandardclassaction.com/

    [​IMG]
    Notice the factory chip out of the right side of the tank lid,
    It's been sanded and glazed over at the factory, and sold that way.
    I guess a broken lid is good enough to sell.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2008
  4. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,718
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Yeah, who's going to notice it in the back there? Put a doily on it or something.
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,129
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    To a plumber, it does make a difference. When I send a plumber out with a toilet, and it's broken at the factory, it's becomes a waste of time.
    This particular tank had been bought at a home center, but I were the one supplying it, it would mean a second trip to bring back a good one.
    I've also seen factory patch jobs in the tank that weeped water onto the floor, and I've also seen the comments about patch jobs on lower trapways that leaked.
    As an installing plumber, I don't think I should have to expect to carry two tanks, two bowls, to make sure I have one toilet to install.
    If I'm finding that they are putting "B" grade product in the boxes, I'm not going to be going out of my way to unload them for the manufacturer.
    It's my name and reputation on the block.
  6. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    After I experienced that twice I stopped buying Am. Std.

    Fool me once shame on you!
    Fool me twice shame on me!
    Fool me three times... I'd have to be a freakin masochist!
  7. bobkatbf

    bobkatbf New Member

    Messages:
    2
    We have the original Champion toilets that we bought in 2005.
  8. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    This site would only have information on product safety related recalls...
    Not nusances like the Chumpian defects
  9. plumbtired

    plumbtired New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Portland, OR metro
    Seconds R Us...@ HD, anyway

    Home Depot is known to carry seconds (haven't heard that about Lowes, though). I'd bet the pictured defective tank cover was a HD purchase!

    Per the Champion defects: American Standard is replacing the miserable piston-style flush valve with the flapper style, as shown in Terry's photo. It's a world of difference on how the Champion toilet performs...well worth the replacement's hassle of removing the tank, then re-seating it.

    Per the vendors selling the Champion (like Home Depot = HD): their sales people are absolutely ignorant of the problems of the Champion and the piston-style flush valve. I happened to be in HD a couple of weeks ago, looking for replacement parts for a faucet, when I overheard a frustrated customer telling an HD employee about his leaking toilet and not being able to find a replacement seal or flush valve (he was clutching two close-but-no-cigars replacements in his hands). I butted into the conversation and told the customer and HD employee that a phone call to American Standard would solve the issue. I informed both of them there was a free replacement flapper style flush valve being provided by American Standard... and I mentioned this forum, my source of the replacement flush valve information! I do wonder if the HD employee informed others in his department of this issue...fat chance!

    And, shame on American Standard for not recalling all those pesky piston-style valves, providing information to the vendors, like HD, about this issue.
    American business at its finest = beware, customer!
  10. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    That sounds like the biggest load of stuff that ever fell out from under a bulls tail!

    Big Box knows full well about the defective junk they sell! They see the returns! They deal with the angry customers! They are trained to be nice and tell the customer to call the manufacturers @ 1-800.... They have done their job Big Box is off the hook! The customer is in limbo with junk product in their home! And big box is still pushing piggies out the door!

    Ya should have seen the guy at Lowes when I asked him if the Zurn PEX fittings they were still selling were the ones covered under the Class Action Lawsuit! He couldn't get away from me fast enough!
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2008
  11. JHZR2

    JHZR2 New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    NJ
    Hello,

    I have a champion from around 2010. It doesn't have the piston, but does indeed leak so I hear the water coming to fill it back.

    Can anyone advise the best approach for the flap style champion to fix leaking? Are parts the same uncommon issue like the piston?

    Thanks to this site and the great review and info areas, we know what to ask for next time, which will be soon as we are redoing another bathroom...

    Thanks!
  12. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,898
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Korky makes a Champion 4 flush valve seal: http://korky.com/Flapper450BP.html Korky is the company that invented the flapper, makes one of the fill valves used on Toto toilets, and makes factory-OEM replacement parts for Toto fill valves and Fits Toto flappers, all manufactured here in the USA. A number of the pros on here recommend their fill valve and flapper for Toto toilets, and at least one highly-respected pro here says that he always uses a Korky flapper when replacing a flapper on a generic toilet.

    Check the instructions here:http://korky.com/PDF/450BP.pdf and see if it fits the system in your tank (i.e. compare tank number as shown in the instructions).

    Looks like a pretty simple fix (although not as simple as just replacing a flapper...)

    If you can't find it at your local hardware store (my local ACE carries it), HD has it in the stores (and only in the store) for $5.98 but uses part number 450CM (rather than 450BP). Same product, but likely packaged differently. (BP likely stands for "Blister Pack") You can use the HD online tool here to check if your local store has it: http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc...d=10053&langId=-1&keyword=korky&storeId=10051 (Click the "Pick Up In Store Button" and input your zip code to see the purported local stock level.)

    You can also get the original AS seal online. Part No. 7301111-0070A. If it were I, however, I would get the Korky product because experience tells me their stuff is going to be much-higher-quality than the AS product, which they just get someone to bang out at the cheapest possible price.

    PS I notice that one of the HD product reviews recommends that you leave the old seal in and put this one on top. I wouldn't do that. This seal should replace, not supplement, the original seal.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2014
  13. JHZR2

    JHZR2 New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    NJ
    Wow, wjcandee, thanks so very much for that info. Will pick up one of those to do the fix.

    Thanks very much!
  14. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,898
    Location:
    New York, NY
    My pleasure!! So that others may benefit, let us know how it works out!

    PS The Lowe's web site was offline when I looked last night. They have it as well, online and in-store, 450PK this time for the model number, and a little cheaper than HD. There were more product reviews on that site. The ones that installed the thing correctly all liked it. (One guy said he put aside an hour to fix the toilet, installed this kit, and wondered what to do with the other 55 minutes.) The ones that didn't put it in right, naturally, all said it leaked and that AS sucked.

    One review might be helpful to you. The guy said the trick was to get the "sandwich" nice and tight (as did one HD review which recommended that you tighten till you hear 2 clicks). He recommended cradling the bottom piece of the sandwich in one hand, putting the new seal in, making sure it was lined up evenly [duh], and then being sure to get the top nut nice and tight, after which the thing works great.

    And -- of course -- when you reinstall, make sure that your trip lever (flush handle) arm hasn't moved inadvertently and that you are still pulling straight up.

    Also, the Korky flush valve seal comes with a 5-year warranty, so if it starts leaking before then, provided you aren't using an in-tank bowl cleaner, they will send you a new one. They have really nice, helpful, American phone people to answer your call. (I called them last week when I misplaced a little metal clip for the refill hose on a toilet when installing one of their fill valves in place of the non-Korky valve that came with the toilet; they happily sent me another one and it was here in two days by first-class mail.)
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012
  15. maddog

    maddog Engineer

    Messages:
    129
    Location:
    near San Jose, CA.
    The original blue seal on the Champion flush valve developed blisters and began to leak in less than a year. I replaced it with the red one from Korky (bought it at Lowes) and it has been leak-free for about 2 years.

    100_2284 (Small).JPG
  16. JHZR2

    JHZR2 New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    NJ
    Well, work has been hectic and I've been traveling a lot. My home repairs amounted to the replacement of a through wall AC which took a lot of time. Finally I've replaced that gasket.

    My symptoms were intermittent leaking (hearing the toilet water fill cycle) and a hard time getting a good flush (have to push the handle hard and hold it hard, in order to get any good flow.

    So I went to HD to buy the seal. Of course my Champion 4 has a tank number different from any listed on the container, but the seal looked identical so I went with it.

    I'll say that the blue OE seal looked brand new and had no signs of wear, blisters, grooves, etc.

    The first step is to get the black nut out, which means disconnecting the chain from the handle (cotter pin and a connecting pin is all it takes), and then loosen it. There is a bump on the lid that creates a "locked" position for the wings on the nut. You need to overcome one of them to be able to really loosen it. Then it's easy.

    [​IMG]

    My old seal was ok, though it did feel a little harder than the new one.

    [​IMG]

    So I installed the new one:

    [​IMG]

    Then lubed up the o ring on the black nut so it turned easy. I used krytox grease.

    [​IMG]
  17. JHZR2

    JHZR2 New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    NJ
    Then put the flap on and tightened it with the black nut. The nut can be really hard to get real tight. Getting it to click a few tines, requires some good force, and one of the little tabs that iDisk in there broke off when I tightened it too much.

    [​IMG]

    So it flushes well, but I did reposition the chain and adjust its length a bit.

    [​IMG]

    But I noticed after a little while that the toilet was adding water every few seconds. So I removed the assembly, removed and reapplied the new seal, and tightened the nut a few more turns. In fact it took a lot more tightening, but I'm at max point. I think it is holding water, but time will tell if it is slowly leaking.

    So that's where I'm at. I assume I got the right part based upon similarity.

    Hope this helps!
  18. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,898
    Location:
    New York, NY
    You have the right seal. There's just one for the new-style Champion flush valve, which you have.

    Great photos! You have provided us a nice, clear, how-to guide for replacing the seal, which others will probably review quite a bit.

    Sounds like you're in business. One question: does the end of that black refill tube go very far down the overflow riser? I see the clip there, but I can't tell where the end of the tube is; you just want to make sure that the end of that tube is always above the water level in your toilet; otherwise, you can lose some of the tank volume to a siphon through that tube down the overflow riser, sometimes enough to cause the water control (fill valve) to turn on again. Some manufacturers actually daylight the end of the tube, with a little nozzle or clip attached, above the lip of the overflow riser to prevent that. AS still shoves it in the overflow riser, with that clip intended to make sure it doesn't go too far down, but if the tank level is raised high enough, you can get a siphon. Just a question, and an irrelevant one if the spontaneous running/refilling has stopped for good.

    Congratulations on a job well done!

    PS Love the little ducky (if that's what it is) in the bottom of the first photo.

    Keywords for thread: replace Champion 4 flush valve seal accelerator gasket leaking running flapper
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  19. JHZR2

    JHZR2 New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    NJ
    Hi!

    Yes it is a green rubber duck!

    Unfortunately my job is not as good as Id like, while the first few flushes it seems to seal and hold water, we woke up this AM to the toilet pulling water about once every five seconds for about a second.

    Your note of the black tube being too far down was a good one, and so I fixed it right away hoping that it was the culprit, but no luck.

    So if we sit at the toilet and listen, we continuously hear a slight trickle of water that is slipping by the seal somehow. I have taken the whole thing apart and put it back together twice now. No idea what the issue is. It just leaks.

    The red seal looks and feels great, Ive tightened the black nut down to the point where it cannot tighten down onto the rod any further. It almost feels like the flap doesnt go far enough down to have a real tight, good seal, though Im not really sure how to fix this, and besides the water loss, there isnt a real good way to verify that it is really the case. The times Ive stuck my hand down there, it sure feels tight underwater... But when I mess with it with no water in there, I feel like it doesnt sit far enough and tight enough down.

    Any suggestions? Im about to go back to the old blue seal, but that isnt a real solution. How annoying, this repair isnt overly complex.

    Thanks!
  20. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,718
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Well, you've got 3 possible paths to leak: 1) around the outer perimeter of the red seal, between the seal and the tank; 2) around the red seal - green thingy junction; 3) around the center black connector to the green thingy. Every other toilet I've ever seen has only 1 path, path (1), which is pretty well-proven technology. I can't for the life of me see why someone would introduce 2 additional leakage paths into a simple device like a flapper valve, but they did. Anyway, let's look at the other two paths.

    For (3), I see what looks like an o-ring on the black connector piece. O-rings are usually intended to be the sealing part of a connection where they're employed, so I'm wondering if tightening the daylights out of the black connector is hurting more than helping, maybe deforming the green thingy so that the O-ring can't seal properly. I'd try just tightening it finger-tight, if that's practical -- I haven't seen one of these, so don't know how the O-ring actualy makes its seal, or what you're actually tightening when you turn the wing nut.

    For (2), How is the seal made between the red seal and the green thingy? It looks like the green thingy is on top, there's a black thingy underneath, and those two things make a sandwich with the red seal. The black center connector in the center just holds them all together. If that's so, you shouldn't need much force to hold that sandwich together -- the seal is really made by the head of water pressing the green thingy onto the red seal, and the red seal onto the tank. A little shifting around of the sandwich layers might enhance the seal, again suggesting a loose fit of the center connector might be better.

    For (1), as I mentioned above, the basic flapper seal is pretty well-proven technology. However, in my Totos, the flapper is one-piece, and it just kind of falls into place, and water pressure makes the seal.

    Welcome to research.
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