No clogs? Toto Drake Sanigloss?

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by matryoshka, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. matryoshka

    matryoshka New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    We're putting in new toilets in two bathrooms. I was going to put both stories here, but I think I'll split the posts as the questions are fairly different...

    In the downstairs (tiny) washroom I want to replace an American Standard that clogs *constantly*. Now, I do have to admit that I have a sweet little daughter that produces movements that probably are 1000g. or more. So I need something in there that is a flushing champion. Also, I have to wipe down the bowl after pretty much every BM with that thing, and I had been hoping for something I wouldn't have to do that with. I also wanted to go with elongated comfort/ADA height to replace the lower, round bowl.

    I had pretty much decided on the Toto Drake, based on some rave reviews. Even with the elongated bowl, it isn't much longer than the round bowl that's in there. But then some people said that it did clog for them, and when it did, it was harder to plunge. And then there were people saying they had to use the toilet brush for the same reason I do. I heard about the American Standard Champion, but I'm don't think it will fit - it's another 2" longer than the Drake, and about 4" longer than my current toilet. So is the Drake still my best bet? How hard is the thing to plunge? Is there another choice out there that will fit my space and flushing requirements?

    And if I do get the Drake, to get the Sanigloss or not? I do have trouble with hard water stains. The elongated bowl ADA height of course does not come in Sanigloss. Should I give up and go with the lower height with Sanigloss, or get the ADA height without??

    ETA: And how's that Sanigloss to clean? I know it's supposed to keep it cleaner in general, but I think I have to use a special brush? If I'm constantly having to scrub out skid marks, will the gentler brush work? And where do I have to buy those special brushes?
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2013
  2. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    Sounds like the Drake II, CST454CEFG, has everything you want: "ADA" (with the seat, called Universal Height or Comfort Height), the Double Cyclone flush for a little better bowl wash, Sanagloss to resist staining, etc. It's a good value if you want the Sanagloss and Comfort Height. Plus it will qualify for a Watersense rebate if your area offers them!

    It also has a great flush, moving a lot of material. I don't think the Totos are any harder to plunge than any other toilet. Maybe it's that it takes so much to clog them, that you have more to plunge out if you do?
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    All modern toilets plunge the same.
    Brand doesn't matter.

    Some old bowls from the 70's were washdown, not siphon jet.

    The Drake II like mentioned above comes with Sanagloss and a tall bowl. Very popular with my customers.
    Some of the new bowls can be cleared by pouring a bucket of water into the bowl. It's that easy.
  4. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    Oh, and two other things.

    First, Sanagloss doesn't have that much in the way of restrictions on how to clean it -- basically avoid harsh chemicals, avoid gritty cleaners like Comet, and use a soft plastic-bristle brush like most people use anyway.

    Here are the actual, official Sanagloss cleaning instructions from Toto: http://www.totousa.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=xjdfCWKpi6A=&tabid=83

    See...no big deal.

    Second, the reason we generally avoid the Champion is that American Standard in our opinion has many more quality-control issues than does Toto, so your chance of getting a defective casting is higher, it uses some non-standard parts that are more-challenging to fix or replace than just putting in a new flapper, for example, it's balkier, and it doesn't flush any better than the Toto.
  5. matryoshka

    matryoshka New Member

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    7
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I was looking at the Drake II. I don't like the style quite as much, but my bigger concern is the different flushing system. I'm just not convinced that the "double cyclone" will flush down what I need it to. (I'm really not kidding about the 1000g thing). Isn't the Double Cyclone just plain old gravity with a different entryway for the water? No siphon? I found this review of a Double Cyclone Toto that leaves me a bit cold:

    I can't see how that will work for what my toilet has to deal with...
  6. matryoshka

    matryoshka New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Okay, so I can still use the regular plastic toilet brush? Well, that's a relief. Does it really reduce hard-water stains? Or do they still build up and then I can't use anything gritty to get rid of them (honestly, though, even the gritty stuff barely touches the hard water stains on the current toilet... I've kind of given up and just brush it for grime and live with the staining...)
  7. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    In my view, the review you read is totally, competely wrong. In any constellation of reviews, there are going to be outliers, because that's the way the world works. SOMEBODY is going to be dissatisfied. What I can tell you is that the description of how the toilet works is inaccurate. What he claims that the "toto rep" (who?!) "confirmed" is wrong, or he misunderstood it.

    I have a double-cyclone. You can see on this video (made by someone else) how it works. No, it doesn't use a lot of water. That's the point. What it does do is use the water effectively. It does indeed have a siphon jet at the bottom that gets the waste out, and it swirls the water around the bowl better than the ones with the rim holes. Given that the whole world is moving to 1.28gpf, from 3.5 or more several years ago, you invariably won't have the same bowl wash -- the trick is to have the best bowl wash with what you can use. Gone, obviously, are the days when you drop the "material" into a swimming pool of water, which contains all of it, and then wash the bowl with another swimming pool of water.



    The funny thing is that the seemingly-dinky flush of the double-cyclone actually gets out more material and clogs less often than the 5-gallon monster it replaced. Because by good design it uses the water effectively.

    I saw on another site a review that actually made me pretty misty. It was from a retired guy who had always hated the toilet in his house but didn't want to spend the money to replace it. His wife asked him what he wanted for his birthday and she was surprised when he told her a Toto toilet. She bought him this toilet. He raves about it, says it's one of the best gifts he has ever received and how much he loves his wife for buying it for him. Amazing.

    Good luck!!
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2014
  8. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    If you are in the 1% with medical issues, large unflushable waste, sometimes because of being on medication, then you may need a 3" trapway like the Caroma, or something with a Sloan Flushmate. Kohler Highline with pressure assist.

    If what you are flushing is normal, MaP test with 3/4" by 4" media, then there are plenty of bowls that will work for you, including the Kohler and American Standard products.
    With hard water you will have to stay on top of it. I use a liquid cleaner every so often in the bowl and a nylon bristol brush.
    Sanagloss is a nice smooth finish that helps with that.
  9. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    Oh, and don't miss this video of whether the Drake II can flush 24 golf balls:

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2014
  10. matryoshka

    matryoshka New Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Massachusetts
    TMI alert: I think the girl does have a medical issue, which we are trying to address. The dimensions are not even near what that MaP test is testing. At least double those dimensions (in both directions), perhaps more. Ew. Do you think the G-Max would have any hope of working on that better than the Double Cyclone?

    I'm off to look at those other products you mention. Any you'd particularly recommend for my tiny washroom?
  11. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    Good luck. I am very, very confident that you would be more than pleased with the Drake II, and that your kid would likely have a very hard time clogging it, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

    I will say, though, that when people have clogging problems they instinctively want the biggest, nastiest, loudest, most-dramatic flush. That's intuitive. The reality, which is that the Toto gravity toilet will satisfy almost everyone, is counter-intuitive but true. Look at all the reviews of the Drake II on that big retail site and you will see why it's usually the number-one-selling toilet of any kind on that site.

    Why not get your Toto for the one room that she doesn't normally use, and see if your child clogs that, THEN make your decision about the other?

    That anyone would buy an American Standard toilet with their horrible quality control is amazing to me. I am surprised to see Terry recommend them except in the case (like the Glenwall wall-mount pressure assist) where they are the only game in town.
  12. matryoshka

    matryoshka New Member

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    Location:
    Massachusetts
    That is actually a really good idea! Although the Promenade for the upstairs would have a G-Max flush, not the Double Cyclone. Does one work better than the other, or are they just comparable? Now I just have to decide if I have enough clearance for the elongated Promenade upstairs...


    Gah, I hate my American Standard. It clogs at least 3x as much as the Kohler Portrait I've got (which I'm hearing isn't supposed to be that great either, but it's so much better than my American Standard!) I keep hearing the AS Champion Pro being recommended, but I have a hard time buying anything from AS after this thing - although the Champion won't fit there anyway, so moot point.
  13. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    I am delighted that you liked my idea!!!

    The Double-Cyclone should be equivalent to the G-Max in terms of raw flushing ability. The real difference is the bowl wash: rimless swirl of water instead of rim-hole spread of water. Most of the water in both cases is tasked to siphon the waste from the bowl by a jet of water (underwater) in the bottom of the bowl.

    As I mentioned, the elongated Promenade should extend 29" from the wall to its furthest point, assuming it's mounted on an exactly-12"-rough-in. You indicate that your Portrait extends 30", so you're actually going to save an inch with the elongated Promenade.

    In Mass., you may be eligible for a Watersense rebate if you get the 1.28 version rather than the 1.6gpf version (the "E" instead of the "S" in the model number). Check here: http://www.epa.gov/WaterSense/rebate_finder_saving_money_water.html If not, it's up to you whether you go with the 1.6 version. Most people say the difference isn't noticeable.

    The Champion has a flush that approaches the Toto, and so people who haven't had a Toto naturally like it. At first. If it isn't defective when it arrives. But when it comes time to changing parts that wear out, most people find the Toto system (a simple flapper) easier to fix themselves. Most people also find the Toto much easier to install the tank on, because of the way they designed the Champion tank bolt arrangement (they are way up there surrounded by porcelain and you need their special tool to get up there and reach them; many plumbers also throw away the Champion tank bolt system because it doesn't reliably prevent leaks, and replace it with a standard set of tank bolts). There are also some other reported issues like leaks down the line or when people are trying to install the tank, but I'm not sure that's super-common.
  14. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Location:
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    The difference in the Toto toilets that use 1.6g verses 1.28g is mostly more carefully calibrating the refill and balance between the tank and the bowl. On pretty much any tank type toilet out there, the only strict control on the refill is the shutoff valve in the tank. The bowl still needs to be filled to its maximum design if you want the next flush to work. Many designs essentially balance the flow between the tank and bowl so that once the tank is full, the bowl has been full, and that extra water just runs down the drain. When Toto went from the 1.6 to the 1.28, they very carefully balanced the flow to both places so that the bowl JUST got filled when the tank got filled, this saved the excess water that did nothing to the flush, but just went down the drain. They flush nearly identically as that extra water no longer goes down the drain after the flush during the refill process. The change to dual cyclone came to address part of the complaint (this is true for pretty much all low-flow toilets) that they no longer had as good a bowl rinse as the old toilets (some of the real old ones used as much as 8g!). Well, that amount is not reasonable today as mankind is using more and more fresh water that has a limited supply. If you can't get the medical issues under control, the Caroma line may be your best bet, at least from a clogging situation. You may still have streaking issues, but the entire trapway is significantly larger in diameter, so those long, hard logs, can make it around and down the drain. As Terry indicates, though, typically, less than 1% of the population need have this issue.
  15. GoKohlerGo

    GoKohlerGo Brand New Plumber

    Messages:
    67
    Location:
    Michigan
    I gotta agree with you on that one. The Drake II will be a great choice.
  16. matryoshka

    matryoshka New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Okay, one more question... I think I read that with the G-Max flush, if you hold the lever down longer, it will add more water if it's needed for, um, extra flushing. Is that true, and if so, does the Double Cyclone also work that way?
  17. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    Location:
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    Yes. And yes. You can also substitute the flapper that's in there with an adjustable one that would let you, if necessary, put more water into the flush cycle. If that becomes necessary, Toto will deny it but come back here and we will tell you what to do.

    Generally, though, adding water to the cycle doesn't do that much in terms of waste removal, as I discovered trying to hold the handle down with my stupid Portrait toilet. It just ran more water in behind the clogged waste and filled the bowl. The key is to have a properly-sized and properly-designed trapway, which Toto does.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2013
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