Penguin Toilets W/ Overflow Protections

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by molo, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. spta97

    spta97 Member

    Messages:
    74
    Location:
    New York
    Toilets with Overflow Protection?

    I was at Lowes browsing and saw this toilet:

    http://www.lowes.com/pd_164841-19225-524_0__?productId=3306704&Ntt=penguin+toilet&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl__0__s%3FNtt%3Dpenguin%2Btoilet&facetInfo=#BVRRWidgetID

    I thought the overflow protection was a great idea. Any opinions on this? The online reviews seem to be great.

    They had this and what looked like a Fluidmaster next to it with a dual flush (up and down for #1 / #2) that had the same overflow but I didn't catch the model.

    Just curious what people thought (and I searched so my apologies if I missed a post covering this already).
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,262
    Location:
    New England
    There's no guarantee it would prevent overflow...it will only (potentially) work if the toilet's trap is plugged...not if the drain line is clogged.

    Also, no low-flow toilet will overflow the bowl unless you keep flushing it over again. If it didn't go down the first time, it's unlikely to go down when you flush again while the bowl is not overfilled.
  3. spta97

    spta97 Member

    Messages:
    74
    Location:
    New York
    Good points though I don't really see a down side to it?

    I have to admit I overflowed toilets in the past because I thought "this one will clear it!". I do beleive they were not low flow though.
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,262
    Location:
    New England
    Way back when, a toilet might use 7-8 gallons, and the bowl is no where near big enough. Then, they dropped them to 3.5, and those might overflow, then they dropped all the new ones to 1.6g or less and those will not overflow a bowl as long as you started out 'normal'. House brands tend to sometimes be good, and some are bad but built to a price. Pegasus may or may not be a decent toilet, regardless of the overflow protection.
  5. spta97

    spta97 Member

    Messages:
    74
    Location:
    New York
    Reviews on the site seem good so may be worth some additional investigation. Thanks to the mod for combinding this thread. I didn't think about the mess that overflow could cause. Hmmm.

    As posted in another thread I have clogged the drake on several occasions. I have never been able to clog my pressure assist but not sure if I feel like spending that much for a basement toilet. I also worry about it losing pressure after long periods of non use. Just keeping an eye out for alternatives and this seemed like an ingenious idea.
  6. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,384
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    If you have clogged a Drake several times, there is something you are not telling us. I suspect you, or someone in your family, is flushing No Nos such a sanitary pads, heavy paper, or other large items not intended to be flushed. A clogging a Drake even once is a very unusual event. Many of us Drake owners don't even own a plunger anymore.
  7. spta97

    spta97 Member

    Messages:
    74
    Location:
    New York
    I can assure you that is not the case. The issue with the drake is its inability to deal with large amounts of paper and a relatively small bowl design.

    Although both elongated, the inside of the drake bowl is considerably smaller than that of my Kohler power assist. This causes a bottle neck at the bottom and, if you have too much paper, bam you get a clog.

    Also, the toilet seems to count on one stream of water to get everything down whereas my poweflush almost does the flush in two stages. It is all one flush but the water pattern starts to remove content to clear the exit hole then more comes to get the remaining.

    I have had my power assist for two years and never, ever clogged it. The drake on the other hand used to clog pretty regularly until I learned its limits. Also, since the flush is just gravity fed the bowl does not rinse clean often so I have to flush again - so much for water savings.

    I am no expert so I can only go by my limited experience but having used both the drake and power assisted (wellworth?) there is zero contest when it comes to bulk flushing or bowl cleaning performance.
  8. rfp

    rfp New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Georgia
    I have been researching odorless and overflow-less toilets for several years. Is this the first one (overflow) that made it to market or have there been others?
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,262
    Location:
    New England
    Overflowing an old, high-flow toilet was a fact of life. Since the advent of low-flow/flush toilets, it's a solution looking for a problem. Pretty much none of the toilets sold today will overflow if the outlet is blocked UNLESS you flush multiple times. An older toilet that used maybe 5-8 gallons, could overflow the bowl on the first flush. So, with only a little bit of thinking, if the bowl is clogged, do NOT flush it again thinking that will help. You have to either wait for the bowl to slowly empty, or if nothing's moving, plunge it as is. Simple common sense. Thus, at least in my opinion, this 'feature' is only a marketing issue. And, it only would help if the clog was IN the toilet, and then, it would have to be above the 'overflow' outlet, or, if the clog is in the pipes, NEITHER path would have a way to drain, and thus be useless. And, if stuff floated into that overflow while things were clogged, it could get clogged itself, and never work again. that overflow path's outlet has to be ABOVE the internal trap of the toilet (or have another trap built into it), or it will let sewer gasses in, so that pretty much means if the toilet's clogged, that path is, too.

    A good toilet, for 99% of the people out there, and you'll never have a clog. People that use enough paper to clog a toilet either need to be retrained, or educated. They may be better served by a bidet seat. That's one reason why codes require a sink in a bathroom!
  10. dihewidd

    dihewidd New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Ashland, Oregon
    Penguin Overflow Proof Toilet vs. Toto

    At our hotels, we began installing Toto toilets per your recommendation on your blog and we love them.

    We have one tough location that we are about to replace the existing American Standard in with a Toto ADA compliant 3" flush valve elongated model, which is our preferred. In this public restroom, guests often clog it and then flush repeatedly, causing the bowl to overflow into the shop on the next floor down.

    Toto doesn't offer overflow protection that we know of, though they are very hard to clog which is an overflow protection in itself.

    Do you have experience with Penguin's model 524? It's ADA compliant, 3" flush, glazed trap, elongated with overflow protection (three holes at top of bowl with separate drain). It's $169 compared to Toto's $275.

    Thank you for your reply!
  11. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,934
    Location:
    New York, NY
    I think you answered your own question. The best protection against overflows is a toilet that doesn't clog often.

    Not only that, but if it's a 1.28 gallon-per-flush Drake, when/if it does clog it is going to take a whole lot of flushes to overflow it. Because of the refill time, that means a guest is standing over the thing for a long time while it refills and they try to flush again. Most would just abandon it after the second flush, which wouldn't overflow it. Also, a solid second flush might clear the Drake.

    I'd go with the Drake, and put up a little sign that says, "If toilet clogs, call Maintenance at X1234 and we will respond promptly." You are not likely to get many calls. If you do, then Plan B is to add a little sign that suggests that folks: "Hold flush handle down an extra second if flushing larger volumes of solids." or something equally-tasteful. We all know that an extra second of water in the Drake will clear even a small mountain of Charmin Ultra.

    If you didn't know the above, then you should buy and install a Drake in your home or hotel office bathroom so that you gain a better appreciation of what you are dealing with: a toilet where the technology-development money has been invested in the design of the long-lasting china, so that it can use very simple, readily-available, internal parts. Ten years from now, try finding a replacement part for some of the more exotic "canister flushes", "cylinder flushes", "pressure assist flushes" etc. The ridiculous American Standard Galleria one-piece lowboy in my city apartment bathroom has almost-totally-custom parts (although some parts made for a similarly-dumb Kohler may be adapted to it). Accordingly, IF I can find a part online, like a ballcock or fill valve, it's going to cost me $150. So instead I would have to pay a plumber to rebuild the existing parts, which will cost a comparable amount. In contrast, twenty years from now, approved generic substitutes for those simple Drake parts will still be available around the corner, even if one lives in Oshkosh. That's the genius of the thinking going on at Toto.

    As to the price difference, because you are a regular reader of this forum you know that you're going to get what you pay for. Once you get below the price for Totos, you're going to be talking about more "disposable" products.

    Finally, if price is really that critical to you, as a hotel, you can probably negotiate a better price on the Drake with a local supply house than you are quoting. If your own employees are installing the toilet and you just want the toilet, you can find the CST744EL or CST744SL. Just do a little research. If you are having a plumber install it, then you do the right thing and buy it from him, because we all realize you are getting a little better price on the install because the plumber is rightfully-making a little profit on the unit, and also will usually give you a two-year warranty on his work, which is part of what you are paying him for.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2012
  12. molo

    molo Member

    Messages:
    848
    Location:
    cold new york

    What model Kohler is this?
  13. thoppjr

    thoppjr New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Florida
    Quick overview of penguin toilet

    I realize that this thread is nearly dead, but I wanted to provide some insight on the penguin model 524 toilet since this is the first link shown on Google. For background, I own a Toto Dalton toilet (comfort height/ADA) and it has worked beautifully for the past few years without incident. We decided to remodel our master bathroom this past year and since the current toilet was still in "working" condition (an older Briggs toilet) we decided at the time not to update it to save some costs. Well, not even a year after the remodel was done and I've had enough of the Briggs toilet not flushing my morning backlog, so I set out to buy a Toto Drake. While researching other toilets (why? just to see what else was out there), I stumbled upon the Penguin toilet (524) at Lowes.com with very good reviews. Like others I don't really trust all too many reviews especially those that say the overflow protection already worked. I don't want to even get to that point. I looked up on the map-testing site to see that it performed well at >=1000g. That's good, but long term performance is still a concern. Well, I decided to buy the penguin toilet just to see what it was all about and if I didn't like it I would return it before installing it.

    First, to be clear, the first toilet I picked up was completed smashed. Apparently the ones Lowes gets are made in china, not sure if they all are, but I would be willing to bet they are. The second one I picked up was intact, so I took it home for further inspection. It says it has a fully glazed trap, which for the most part it does. I would say it had 97% coverage. The exit had some missed area where there was no glazing, however the rest of the trapway was fully glazed. I could not tell if the overflow way was also glazed, but from what I could see, it did not look like it, but again it was hard to determine. I would lean toward the overflow not being glazed, especially since only water is supposed to go down that anyway.

    It has the same type of Fluidmaster filler that the Totos have, and a 3" flapper. I've noticed, after install (yes I installed it), that the flusher is a little more difficult to flush than my Toto. I have given it a few good test runs since installing and each one performs on par with the Toto. Larger loads require a second longer hold on the flusher just like my Toto. It is supposed to be a 1.28 gallon flush rather than the 1.6, so that may lead into me wanting to hold it down longer for the bigger loads. I will say that this filler is QUIET. My wife had this requirement for this toilet as the old Briggs had a nasty squeaking filler. The toilet has a similar design to the Toto in that the water rushes out where the load lays, pushing most solids down the trapway quickly. The S-bend, as others have stated, does look to be a bit too sharp of a curve, but seems to work fine for now. I would imagine if you start flushing longer items (we've had a toilet roll holder in the one we replaced with the Toto) it may get stuck - but I don't plan on having any of these types of items flush down the toilet (keep others out of my master bath!). I think for the price, it is not a bad deal - it also comes with its own seat (plastic run of the mill seat). Although I will keep this toilet, I can't help but to continue to recommend the Toto brand, even at this price point. Why not go with something that has a bit more quality control? The Toto I have was immaculate in the glazing and installation. The penguin install was a bit difficult getting the tank tight using the supplied wingnuts, but nothing overly complicated.

    That about sums it up for me, I may come back to this dead thread to provide a longer term insight if any problems occur, but hopefully not! I hope this helps all of you clicking on that first link on Google!
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 4, 2013
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