My Toto clogged! Would a Pressure Assist be better?

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by toopooped, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. toopooped

    toopooped New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I bought a Toto Drake less than two weeks ago, and proudly boasted to my wife how we'd never have to use the plunger again. I was really impressed with the flush. Unfortunately... it happened tonight under very normal circumstances and after reading the board carefully there are a handful of reports that these will clog. Will a pressure assist toilet do better?

    I'm sure you all think a huge BM must have clogged it, but not true. A very normal amount of solid waste and toilet paper was flushed. The solid waste was removed, but the toilet paper was not and clogged. My wife tried to plunge, which doesn't work well even with a "master plunger" due to the odd parallellogram shape of the Toto outlet. I then flushed two more times to fill the bowl to capacity and then it got moving. I wonder if other owners are too proud to admit that theirs clog on occasion as well. It's admittedly a great forceful flush and looks better than any gravity competition, but I still need better. My wife feels that the old 3.5gal toilet would have handled this fine.

    I need a toilet that will virtually never clog unless someone really flushes something foreign. This toilet is going to go into a commercial situation where 300 diffferent people use it 100 times per week and there's noone on staff to handle this sort of thing so it costs +$100 per occurence to get it professionally unclogged. We want to switch to save on water, but we will not switch if it causes more clogs. We absolutely cannot have a toilet that clogs more than the 3.5 - 5 gal toilets that they are replacing. If the consensus is that's impossible then we simply will live with the water costs.

    I don't want to go with pressure assist because of the noise, but I'd rather hear some complaints about noise than pay $1200 per year to get a toilet unplugged once a month. (Yes, I know it may cost $100 every 5 years to replace the pressure cartridge - that's a fair tradeoff) I've been told by several plumbers that a pressure assist won't do better than a Toto. I can't believe that when I look at a Flushmate in commercial bathrooms. That pressure flush is much more forceful than even a Toto. If someone actually has numerical data on the litres/sec vs time of a Toto and Flushmate I'd love to hear it. The peak force of the flush has got to be twice as great. I'm not a plumber but remember the physics formula p=mv? Momentum = mass x velocity. It must matter.

    Does anyone have a pressure assist toilet in their home or business and seen it clog under normal (non-foreign object) circumstances? How frequently does it happen, and how does that compare to older 3.5/5 gal toilets? I need an ADA height toilet, and I think a Mansfield Quantum / Ecoquantum is the only pressure assist choice. I've searched the board and I don't see any negative comments about these units except that all pressure assist are noisy.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2008
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,776
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    One thing to consider is the paper.

    I hope you aren't using Charmin Ultra 2-Ply .

    Here is the toilet paper poll.

    In the church I go to, we replaced five gallon American Standard toilets that plugged all the time.

    The Toto Drake and Ultramax have worked much better than the toilets they replaced. That was a total of twelve toilets in that church.

    Are you telling me you've never seen a plugged toilet in a commercial bathroom that has pressure assist?
    I see them all the time.
    You just need to get out more.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2006
  3. Cal

    Cal New Member

    Messages:
    228
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Try the new Gerber Ultra . Flushs THE MOST grams of solid waste , pressure assist but not loud . It's the BEST ! (sorry Terry)

    Gerber's new line is fantastic and VERY resonable.Also,it will NOT be sold at retailers,only supply houses .

    Cal
  4. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    No toilet is clog proof

    With that said if you want the toilet that is least likely to clog it is the Caroma Dual Flush Caravell 270. It has a 4" trap way.

    They are the best non power flush toilet in my NSHO.

    The thing that some people don't like is they have a small water spot leading to staining sometimes.

    I have sold lots of these and have followed up on them. I have 1 report of 1 clog in the past 3 years. They laughed about it because they couldn't figure how it happened.

    I sold 7 to a church and in 2 years they have never had to plunge 1 toilet.

    Caroma will supply a free flush valve if it ever goes bad and if the toilet is installed right it will never leak from the wax ring on to the floor.

    Power flush toilets will work great but are loud and require more expensive parts when repair time rolls around.

    Click here to view Caroma product information and installation

    [​IMG]
    The Caroma Sydney comfort height round 270 bowl
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2009
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,776
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Well..........."best" is a term that everyone uses.
    I thought American Standard trademarked the term "best"

    For commercial use, most codes require elongated bowls.
    The Caroma does have an elongated ADA bowl in the 270 series.
    The toilets do flush well.

    The Gerber Ultraflush works well. I've installed some for customers.
    For one commercial customer, they wound up removing the Gerber though when it quit working and replaced it with a Toto Drake. The cartridge in the Gerber had seized and couldn't be removed.
    I talked to them two weeks ago. No problems now with the Drakes.

    There are any number of toilets and brands that do work well enough for commercial use.
    If you look at the MaP testing, there is a lot to choose from.

    Toopooped has not been able to use toilets that rate out at 725 grams or 900 grams.

    I consider anything over 500 grams to be very good.
    It may be that Toopooped is the tester you guys are looking for to acid test your products.

    [​IMG]
    Gerber 21-302 with the Flushmate 1.6 gallon tank with 1-7/8" trapway
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2009
  6. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Terry, best in my NSHO (Not So Humble Opinion).

    Just my opinion.

    I missed the part about commercial use but know many companys that have installed them even though they weren't elongated. They love the fact that they don't clog which equals not spending $$$$.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2006
  7. Cal

    Cal New Member

    Messages:
    228
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    I don't know if any of this is fair if toopooped is "The Tester Guy",,,,,

    NOTHING can compete with the tester guy, it's a clog every time!
  8. toopooped

    toopooped New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks for all the replies.

    Toilet Paper - nope, Costco brand, not too fluffy.

    Commercial toilets plugging - you're right, I don't inspect too many of them. That's why I write to this bulletin board :) Most of the commercial toilets I see are the flush-o-meter type, so I can't really compare it with the new FlushMate toilets. I also don't know what clogs those toilets -- I don't expect a kid tossing a ton of toilet paper or paper towels to make it through without a clog. I was hoping a business owner who upgraded a 3.5 / 5 gal toilet to a pressure assist could have given a fair comparison given the same usage patterns. The church installation is a great data point. I wish I could talk to their custodian.

    Caroma toilets - I also hadn't considered them because we're specifically replacing an ADA elongated toilet. They also seem to have midline MAP scores but cost a lot more. I've been shying away from the dual-flush because we can't "train" everyone to use them properly.
  9. toopooped

    toopooped New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Oh, regarding MAP scores and being the "tester guy"? I love MAP scores. I'm a numbers kind of guy and it's like having the 0-60 time for cars. However, do you find that the 0-60 time is all you need to choose your car?

    What I love about this board is that you get the full real-world report. In particular, the MAP score has a laboratory test condition which can't duplicate the real thing. I gave my 100% honest accurate report, so please don't deride my report or request for a better option. Why would I lie? Many post here imply that you can throw away your plunger forever. Toto's can and do clog and I think every owner admits it when pressed. I never said it was a bad toilet, in fact it may be the best 1.6gpf gravity. I never said I "couldn't use it", I simply reported the fact that it did clog in real world usage. Given that it happened in the first two weeks, it seems likely to happen more than once in a year. People come to this board to find out what to expect in real world usage.

    In particular, the MAP test has a non-real world aspect. do you really wait 10sec after dropping the tissue before flushing? That seemed particularly strange. Everyone knows that toilet paper floats for several seconds before becoming wet and it's easier to flush when it's part of the liquid rather than riding on top. MAP scores should be computed based on flushing after 3 seconds and you'd see different results. My report indicated that the Toto did flush the waste but clogged on the paper. Given the MAP methodology this is perfectly explainable. Also remember that MAP testing is not done over hundreds of flushes by various people over weeks of testing.

    The Gerber sounds like a very good bet if the noise isn't too bad for the area. Unfortunately there's only one way to find out. Thanks for pointing that one out. My MAP chart didn't show it as ADA elongated, but I see that there is such a model.

    No further input on the Mansfield Quantum?
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,776
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    small phone found in bowl.

    Jamie went to a job that we had installed, Three Toto Drake toilets,
    Two were clogged.

    They had worked fine for a while, and then two quit working.
    Jamie took out the closet auger, and tried snaking the bowls.
    The Auger would not go through either.

    He wound up pulling the bowls and using the auger from the bottom side, so he could push the objects back up the top.

    One bowl had a small wireless phone
    The other bowl had a large toothbrush.

    If you have a bowl that quits working, think what else you may be missing.

    Would a pressure assist be better?
    No.
    The pressure assist trapways have tighter bends, and have smaller outlets.
    They won't flush phones and toothbrushes either.

    If you want to flush phones, bars of soap, kids toys, you should really use the waste pail.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 14, 2008
  11. Peanut9199

    Peanut9199 Customer Service Manager Plumbing Wholesale

    Messages:
    875
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I've had one problem with a Drake and it turned out to be a roll of Teflon tape.
    Which i can understand you accidently hit it off the rim when installing the toilet.
    I can understand toothbrushes if you have children in the house and they don't want to get into trouble by Mom or Dad, but how do you loose a Cell Phone down a toilet and not realize it?

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2008
  12. bg

    bg New Member

    Messages:
    30
    Sorry to hear you're having probs with the Drake.
    I have dropped some doozie's and am happy to say
    the Drake I have had now for 8 months takes them
    to their proper resting place. Not once has it clogged
    and I DO put it to the test. Best darn collector I've
    ever had the pleasure to sit upon.
  13. faucetman886

    faucetman886 DIY Junior Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    near Atlanta
    As much as I hate to admit it, I agree with Terry

    I know one of the largest TOTO dealers in the south and he also sells several other brands, and he reports that the Drake is the far superior solution to the commercial or residential clog situation bit care does have to be taken with any toilet as to what your family or employees flush and the very best idea Terry puts forward is the grade of toilet paper. You even mentioned that after the solid wast was cleared on thast first clog, the paper is what remained. There sre some brands that you can see begin to desolve as soon as they get wet while others form a glog in record time.
    The Drake is the way to go
  14. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    A Cell phone droped in a toilet can be difficult to hear through....
  15. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I have retieved cellphones that were flushed along with the other objects mentioned..:D
    I would also wonder if the clogging toilet was installed using a wax ring that had a black plastic horn. frequentyly these have clearance problems between smaller flanges and the outlet horn of the toilet. This causes the horn to pinch closed restricting the flow of waste. My experience with Toto Drakes is they don't clog and usually the problem lies elsewhere as in a improper installation or a clogged line below them.
  16. Neotonic

    Neotonic New Member

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    Southern California or Russia
    But wouldnt it shut off?
    Water + Electronics = Bad

    My Cellphone went through the washing machine and died :|
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