Replacing a 2001 Cadet Pressure Assisted toilet?

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by netmouse, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. netmouse

    netmouse New Member

    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    NJ
    How secure do you really feel about using the repair kit?

    I bought my Cadet Pressure Assisted toilet in 2001 so it is old - who knows if it is on the verge of rupturing. Seems a risk of keeping this toilet, that the seem cracks enough to leak even with the metal band that is not 100% tight. Pricing the Champion 4X at Home Depot, it is $218, and two plumber quotes to install is about $190 (New Jersey). One plumber suggested just replacing the tank, but that leaves me with a "normal" toilet that is prone to clog (my other bathroom has a standard Cadet bought also in 2001. Since I have to pay a plumber and buy parts anyway, I'm thinking just go with the new Champion and not worry about clogging (or the stability and quality of a fixed Flushmate toilet).

    Your thoughts?
  2. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,853
    Location:
    New York, NY
    For the same price as the uneven-quality Champion at HD (the price you quoted), you can have a Toto Drake these days. That's clearly the more reliable choice. And a great flush, with easily-obtainable, quality American-made replacement parts. Drakes are made in a couple of places, but many are made in the US. Ironically, the "American Standard" Champion 4 is hecho en Mexico.

    And just so you know, I understand that American Standard is a mighty American brand, that used to be the standard for quality. I still have one AS toilet in the house (that's used maybe once a month) that was made in 1926. Three as-yet-unreplaced AS toilets are still going strong, with great (albeit water-hog) flushes and stellar looks from almost 60 years ago. We just rebuilt two AS shower faucets from the mid-1950s because they still look great and now work great again...so smooth.

    But it appears not to be the company it once was, like Westinghouse. Westinghouse, the company established by one of the greatest industrial inventors and designers, George Westinghouse, inventor of the modern automatic elevator, the railroad air brake, a bunch of lighting and electronic stuff, and much more. It, too, stood for innovation and quality. Now it's a brand slapped on mediocre flat-screen TVs made in other countries.

    Terry has opened my eyes to how horrible AS's quality control is, and user after user, reviewer after reviewer, say over and over that they received a defective product. A defectively-molded or glazed product that would have been obvious to any quality inspector, but AS sold it anyway. Because apparently they count on you not to return it. Why take the risk? Why not buy something made by people who take pride in producing a quality product? (Indeed, Toto makes some of its stuff in Vietnam, in Mexico and elsewhere. But it makes a lot of its stuff for the US market in...wait for it...the US! But the QUALITY of the stuff from Mexico made by Toto is just excellent. Because they manage the process right.)

    And one final thing. Don't be confused by all this 4" marketing hype. The hole in the china is 3". The 4" claim comes from the size of the mouth of the valve, but it's a 3" hole, just like Toto is a 3" hole. I could claim a 10" flush valve. The Toilevangelist(tm) 10! Snappy! But it would still only have a 3" flush hole.

    Okay, sermon from the Toilevangelist(tm) is over. But I just hope that you will seriously consider spending your money for a quality product from a US-based company that actually makes stuff here. And if you need to know where you can go to find it, PM me and I will point you to a local dealer.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,011
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    You can't install a gravity tank on a pressure assist bowl. If the tank goes, the bowl also goes.

    There are plenty of gravity toilets out there to choose from though. Do think the Champion is a top pick?
    No.........I don't. There are easier to install toilets out there, with less problems and ones that take up less space in a bathroom. If you're two guys from Consumer Reports flushing nice clean sponges in a giant warehouse, it may look good. Most homes are a bit smaller then that. I would keep researching.
  4. netmouse

    netmouse New Member

    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    NJ
    I called my local plumber/plumbing store. He installs Gerber avalanche at $100 more for the toilet cost than the big box's Champion. He is negative about the Champion, and he sounded genuine, but I wondered if this was because of the competition from the big box store. But searching the internet I also see complaints with the Champion, so now I wonder if the great "new" price of the Champion at HD is due to the complaints and they are reducing the price trying to move sales. I think the price by my plumbing store for the Gerber is a good price for that unit. Searches find this model on the internet at a cheaper cost, but they add on about $100 for handling, so there is no advantage to buying the toilet over the internet.

    My concern about the Gerber is that the trapway is only 2". It puzzles me that they did not take the extra step to make this a bit larger like competitors. I'd think a little 1/4" or 1/2" would really help - no one flushes a bunch of individual little golf balls, what kind of test is that? Their 3" flush valve seems the biggest out there (given what is written above).

    So I'm stuck between the Gerber (what my guy sells) or keeping the Flushmate with the repair kit. I just received the kit and the metal u-band seems thick and sturdy, along with the pressure value for the water supply. Then, it just seems a bandaid, but maybe not as Flushmate is still selling with this updated pressure technology. If the vessel cracks, the u-band would keep the tank from shattering and there is drainage for excess water. A new Gerber toilet would cost $318 plus labor at estimated about $190 (NJ - and the HD price to install is posted on the wall at $189 - when did plumbing get so costly? I can't imagine replacing a toilet takes even an hour). So half a $1000 is a lot of money to spend. Meantime, I am getting good exercise walking up stairs more often, not aerobic but flexes the knees.
  5. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,853
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Did you not read the extensive post above? You don't even mention the obvious choice in replacement toilet.

    Do your research. Get the Drake. You can find it in a lot of places, both locally and that other method you mentioned without the extra charges you mentioned. And your plumber will put in whatever toilet you want.

    Ask him: TOTO DRAKE. CST744S or CST744E. If you need to hondle a little, you can, using the information you have acquired by shopping around to do so. You can get it and he can put it in, or he can get it and put it in. Or you can get SOMEONE ELSE to put it in.

    Look, you can get whatever toilet you want, of course. But if you read all of the reviews on TerryLove.com of the Drake as compared to the others you mentioned, I think you'll be persuaded.

    PS THE PLUMBER IS "NEGATIVE ABOUT THE CHAMPION" BECAUSE, like the founder of this site, HE KNOWS IT'S GARBAGE. More specifically, it has appalling quality control, so you're more likely than most to get a defective one, which, if he was providing, would require him to uninstall and take back, it has non-standard, finicky, moving parts, and it's a little loud. It's not competition from the big box stores. Nobody knowledgeable who posts on here thinks twice about what the big box stores are offering. If you want to buy a disposable toilet that you'll be replacing soon, or you don't care about quality, then go there. You're not getting a bargain there over your local plumber, you are getting what you pay for.

    Here is how you can find galleries and plumbing supply places that sell Toto in New Jersey. Input zip code. Hit enter. http://www.totousa.com/Default.aspx?tabid=185 Good luck!

    PPS You can always put in the flushmate replacement and see how you like it. Others have suggested that because of the changes that they made ostensibly to make it safer, it fills more slowly and may not be as flushy. But if you put it in and it works and you're not afraid of it, then you're golden.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  6. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,350
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    IMHO, pressure assist toilets are a gimmick to try to make an inferior designed toilet flush like a good unit. They are loud, shred paper so that it doesn't completely flush, and just in general are a monster. As pointed out repeatedly above, the Toto Drake will out perform the AS, the Gerber, and any other brand you want to name. And, it won't be obsolete in 10 years. May need a new flapper or other cheap repair parts available anywhere, but will still be giving great service. Well, actually my opinion is not so humble LOL
  7. netmouse

    netmouse New Member

    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    NJ
    Whew.........
  8. netmouse

    netmouse New Member

    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    NJ
  9. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,853
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Yep. You're not going to pay list price. Do the search, and see what you think. Didn't realize you wanted ADA height. That'll add a twenty or two.

    But start here. This web site has had literally hundreds of thousands of views, and tens of thousands of contributions. It's a great resource.

    Start by clicking on "Sale on Toilets" or "Toilet Reviews" above, and see what Terry is selling them for and what he's charging to install them. That alone is a valuable piece of information: what is a reputable, first-class plumber charging? And research from there.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  10. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,350
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Terry Love sells Elongated Toto Drake toilets for $250 plus seat. Now, Terry does charge less than many small dealers, and he does not ship toilets, but if you actually were quoted $500 for a Toto Drake, the dealer is a crook. As far as CS Reports is concerned, the toilets they have recommended in the past have all bombed. Now, you are of course free to buy any builder grade toilet you want, and take or leave our recommendations.
  11. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,853
    Location:
    New York, NY
    The poster was saying that CR loves the Drake, which it does now. As do all its member-reviewers. I think the poster was just put off by the high list prices that Toto quotes on its site. Terry actually sells the Drake for less than even $250 if you click on Sale on Toilets. ADA height adds a little more, too.

    Bottom line, Netmouse: with a little research, you can have the best within the price range that you were hoping to pay.

    OTOH, if you wanted to see how you like the new flushmate, that's an option. But if you're spending your hard-earned money, if you can have the best at the price you could have something else, then the best is a good value.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  12. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,022
    Location:
    New England
    If you pay anywhere near list price for a Toto, you didn't shop around much!
  13. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,350
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Toilets are a bit of a shipping problem. All too often they arrive damaged. Now, you can reject the shipment and send it back for a replacement, but this is a time consuming process. That's why Terry doesn't ship them anymore. So, if you do order one on line, before you accept delivery, open the boxes and inspect everything very carefully.
  14. netmouse

    netmouse New Member

    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    NJ
    Your advice to inspect before accepting is very good advice. My Swanstone sink arrived without issue, fortunately, as it was just "left" on my porch without acceptance.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2012
  15. netmouse

    netmouse New Member

    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    NJ
    I know, we all remember the YouTube video of the sad delivery of a computer monitor, thrown over the wall even though the home owner writes he was home at the time with the front door wide open.



    I still laugh, only it is even sadder because when this video went viral, so many similar videos popped up. What's wrong with those guys?!?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2014
  16. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,853
    Location:
    New York, NY
    The merchant you mention is apparently the highest-volume Toto distributer in the US. That doesn't necessarily mean anything, but you are correct that they seem to especially promote Toto, even though they sell quite a number of brands.

    Interesting to see how competitive a local plumber can be on price, because if you compare Terry's current prices, they are right in the ballpark, particularly when you know that if he installs or delivers it, it will be perfect. So, if you call around to the dealers you can identify from the web site, and ask them if they are willing to furnish and install a (model no.) X toilet for Y$, you'll get a sense of what they are willing to do. Sometimes, there's a value to a businessperson to doing a transaction that's quick and no-hassle. I have cash, I know exactly what model I want, and I will pay you the moment you put it in, which can be today if you want. Sometimes, that transaction can help with cash flow, etc. So it really is worth asking.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
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