Toto Aquia - Small Water Surface Area

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by lks, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. lks

    lks New Member

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    [​IMG]

    Looking for anyone who has had experience using this toilet.

    I like that this toilet has dual flush capacity, attractive styling, a reasonable price and good flushing capacity.

    However, I am concerned that it seems to have a very small water surface area. I have read that toilets with a low water surface area can require very frequent cleaning and have odor problems.

    The application will be in a residential highrise apartment building to replace 1960's era 1.6 gpf toilets.

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated

    Lawrence
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2006
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    The Aquia, like most dual flush toilets, has a small but deep enough water spot.
    Bowl wash is from the rim, and covers the bowl quite well.
    The trapway is 2-5/8"

    The flush is fairly quiet and quick.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2006
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    FWIW, I doubt the toilets from the 1960's were 1.6 gallon...
  4. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

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    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    I had all the same fears--I read all the same stuff you did. I've had mine about 3 months now. You will not have the problems you are reading about
    with a TOTO AQUIA. You can PM me for further details if you wish.

    The bowl is actually "funnel shaped"
  5. lks

    lks New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Sorry for the typo

    The existing toilets are of cause 3.5 gpf not 1.6 gpf as originally posted.

    Lawrence.

    P.S Thanks for the replies
  6. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2009
  7. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

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    Location:
    Southern California
    It actually orients your lower torso more forward Steve.
    It's not entirely easy to explain. It IS an adjustment.....not
    a difficult adjustment.
    The first sensation is "this is too small for me". It's not. As Terry says make sure your boot is in the saddle (or something like that).

    Bottom line: The modified seat is partially responsible for why no smearing occurs even with a much smaller water spot.

    I will speculate this however: A truly obese person may not take well to the TOTO AQUIA adjustment in it's present incarnation imo. I could be wrong about that...but I doubt it. The Aquia seat keeps your aim true. :D

    Do NOT buy this toilet without the seat it generally comes with.

    Read why the TOTO AQUIA won the silver award from the 2006 architectural design journal here:
    http://tinyurl.com/l8lql

    It's the first toilet that will engage a lot of people to try dual flush and we all win when that happens.

    BTW my water bill is at an all time Low & seasonal low after installation since I've lived in this home. Which is also easier on my new septic tank too. Another win-win.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2006
  8. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

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    Thanks for the clarification. I sit corrected... ;)
  9. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

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    Sure. More important to not lose sight of the end result of this concept:

    "By installing the elegant Aquia, an average family of four could save up to 7,000 gallons of water each year beyond that already saved by a standard 1.6 gpf toilet."
    Design Journal Magazine



    Very few (well designed-affordable) appliances can make the claim of an immediate dramatic positive environmental impact.

    And as I have mentioned a couple months back--I spoke with an executive at TOTO and they are so sure about this low flush concept that they will release another low GPF Drake in the near future. (if it's not out already)
    Which was unnamed at that time BTW.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2006
  10. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

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    Omaha, NE

    Oh, the puns are flying now...
  11. inquirer22

    inquirer22 New Member

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    We are pretty close to installing the Aquia I bought a few months ago. This now has me concerned. I bought the seat from Home Depot. Are you saying that you must buy a Toto seat if you don't want a lot of smearing???

    I didn't buy Toto because I didn't care for plastic seats that you could break if you stood on to change a light bulb. I didn't buy their brown wooden seat because (if I remember correctly) it cost as much as the toilet.
  12. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    A Toto seat is much more shaped than many other brands...it kind of forces you to sit in a specific place. It's not that you can't sit there with other brands, it's that you might find yourself comfortable in other than that sweet spot. The soft-close feature is neat. They do have several series - the commercial grade ones are more substantial. Get a ladder or step-stool when changing the bulb!
  13. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

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    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    The soft close seat comes with the toilet.
    I do not have the answer to that question---good luck finding someone who does. I AM saying that smearing does not occur as some fear--and the seat is an integral part of the design that makes that possible.

    I would not stand on that TOTO soft close seat toilet seat. You could possibly screw up the internal mechanism that allows the "soft close".
    It's not a simple hinge.


    Look.......this is new technology/engineering. Minor adjustments in your old habits are required. (very minor) IE-sitting forward and erect.

    With any NEW technology--if you don't have the temperment to make small changes in behaviour----then don't experiment with newer technology imo.
    It's not for everyone.
  14. inquirer22

    inquirer22 New Member

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    The seat didn't come with the toilet. It was a seperate purchase that I opted not to buy -- I simply wasn't impressed.

    So again my question is, will smearing be a problem without a Toto seat?
  15. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

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    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    How could anyone possibly answer that question inquirer? You can ask Terry.....but I believe most people buy the item which is sold with the TOTO seat designed for the Aquia.

    You might want to rethink this and consider Plan "B'. Lots of great toilets that are stylish.
    Look at the TOTO Pacifica.

    I would not stand on that toilet to change bulbs. It has a small footprint.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2006
  16. inquirer22

    inquirer22 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Actually that isn't the case. I called back to the store where I bought the toilet and talked to the sales lady. She doesn't just work there, she is the niece of the owner. (She remembered me because I was the second person to ever buy an Aquia in her store. I may very well be the second person in the Kansas City area to have bought one given that the other Toto stores didn't carry them yet.) Anyway, she has sold many of the Aquia since I purchased mine, and she said there are plenty of people who have installed the Aquia without the Toto seats. Several like myself didn't like the plastic seats. Likewise though the hardwood Toto seats are very beautiful, many found them too expensive. She herself didn't like the seats so she got herself a different seat. She told me not to worry about it...

    The toilet was finally installed last night. I am now a Toto CONVERT!...

    The Home Depot seat works just fine. We have had 4 people in the house use it, and I haven't seen any smearing. We did have to use the bolts that came with the HD seat instead of the nice black plastic rubber divices that came with the toilet because the hinges with the HD seat required that we do so. The light bulb isn't out. Nevertheless, I tried standing on the toilet; I could stand on it without any problem what so ever.

    It is also great that the Aquia is a bit taller than the standard height 14.5". Some others didn't want an ADA toilet height 16.5", so the Aquia 15.25" is a perfect compromise between the tall and short people who will use it.

    The toilet works great so far! The water line may be small, but it comes up enough during the flush for #1 and even higher for #2. I still want to do some better TP tests, bit haven't needed to do so yet. I would say that I wished they had done a bit more if a "lip" on the tank. When you set the lid, you get the feeling that it could easily fall off. Maybe it is our imagination, but it feels that way.

    We did make some mistakes on the install because we didn't read all of the directions in advance. The tank should have been bolted down to the base before we pushed it in place as it is difficult to hold the bottom part from moving when you tighten the bolts from the top. We did get it done, but it would have been so much easier to have done it first. If you bold the tank in before installing it, you can easily reach the bottom part from the back of the toilet.

    In summary:

    PROS:
    1) Dual flush is great. In fact the 0.9 gallon can be used for small soilds too.

    2) The toilet is pretty quiet.

    3) It is faster than the old toilet at clearing out and filling up the tank.

    4) The streamline shape of the bowel will make it hard to be unaware if/when the outside of the bowel needs cleaning. The old toilet curved and made it hard to see and clean.

    5) The toilet is BEAUTIFUL. I never thought I could look at a toilet with admiration, but I can with this one. Its shape kind of reminds me of a beautiful new boat that could easily race through water with its streamline shape.

    CONS:
    1) It would be nicer to have a lip on the tank or the lid so that you don't have the sense that you could bump the toilet and cause the lid to fall off and break.

    2) It isn't easy to install. The old toilet had two bolts to install. The Aquia has those two bolts plus two bolts in the back all for the grey plastic drain portion of the toilet. Then you have four more so that you can seat the toilet in place.

    3) Limited selection of toilet seats IF you wish to buy a Toto seat. It would have been nice to have something between the plastic seats and the eligant (but expensive) hardwood seats.

    4) I suppose it could be improved by having an ADA version for those that must have it. I'm fine without it.

    5) Perhaps it would have been a bit more stylish if it were a one piece. I'm fine without it, but I wanted to balance the pros and cons and I was desperate to find another CON for the Aquia! Really only the first two are important CON's for our usage.

    Unknown:
    I have yet to do a good TP test. So that is to be determined.

    ----------------------------------------------------


    I do have a couple of questions:

    1) What can be done with my old vintage 3+ gallon toilet? It isn't so much that I want to get rich off this, but at the same time I do believe in not making trash: reduce, reuse, recycle. Unfortunately, others in my household don't want it as an outdoor planter.

    2) The one critism I have of the new toilet installation (not the toilet itself) is that the new tile under it looks bad. We have a pattern of marble with small ceramic tiles around each one. The marble cracked every time we tried to use the wet saw we bought, so it has little pieces of marble. I would like to take the Aquia back out and have it professionally cut so that it isn't so piecemealed together. We already had to remove the Aquia from its grey base 3 (maybe 4 ) times because of things such as the thinset not being dry. (We had to use an additive to spead it up.) We are afraid that we might break something on the grey drain or perhaps wear out the rubber seal on the end of the grey drain. So my questions here are:

    a) Can the toilet be removed 6 or so times without wearing out the rubber seal on the grey plastic drain part.

    b) IF the worse case scenerio happened and the grey drain broke or the rubber wore out, is buying one real expensive?
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2006
  17. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    Congrats..

    Hey...good for you,
    I am very happy it all worked out inquirer-and thanks for posting about the no smearing problems with your (non-TOTO) seat. People need to know this and that dispells some mystery and concerns surrounding this toilet.

    People are crazy about the style after they have installed it. I show off this thing to everyone who comes over to visit. People think you're nuts--raving about a toilet--but it's the nicest appliance in the home.

    Yea. It can be a bitch to install. But after that:
    Consider, Style,Innovation,Function,efficiency & skirt is easier to clean, there is nothing like it on the market today.
    No more cleaning those nooks and cranys of bolts/covers.

    Additionally, I'm estimating my water savings at around 25-30%.
    My annualized water savings will be about $150.00. (conservative)

    I am actually redesigning my bathroom style to compliment the Aquia.
    It's that cool as you know.

    The majority of American Aquia owners have had the unit less than 6 months, and consequently our collective experience level is very limited. All we really know is it was successful in Thailand for 6 years.
    For me...the only other TOTO feature I wish it had is the Sanigloss finish.

    You are a much more capable DIY than myself and Terry is the expert here on Aquia and no doubt will answer the technical things you wondering about. I will however pass on this tip because you are installing it multiple times.
    Lubricate the "O" Ring on gray thang with a little liquid soap so it slips on with ease.

    IMO the only reason this toilet isn't a huge best seller for TOTO yet AFAIK is simple. I believe that some plumbers and showroom sales are not promoting it. Obviously they would rather not promote something that
    they think will bite them in the ass after the sale.
    Expensive/unusual install and unfounded fear of smearing.

    ...and you are right on the money about the .9 flush option--it works just fine
    for "small loads" too :D
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2006
  18. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    Smearing - live with it

    I've got an older American Standard PA toilet which will flush anything, has a nice glossy bowl, but is subject to smearing from some low-quality (or high-quality, depending on your point of view) poop. At work, we use high-pressure washdown fixtures, and have the same problem, so toilet brushes are stationed in every stall, with signs politely requesting that people clean up after themselves, if necessary.

    Bottom line: Smearing is an inherent side effect of the disposal process; the only totally smear-resistant facility I've ever seen , and a 0 gpf facility at that, is the outhouse.
  19. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    Central Florida
    Aquia - how far down to the water?

    I do have an annoying problem with the American Standard PA that the Aquia looks like it might solve. I won't go into details, but there's an old two-punchline joke ... "Man, that water sure is cold. Yeah, and deep, too." ... that is appropriate to my situation. How far below the seat is the Aquia's waterline?
  20. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

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    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    Agreed. No magic bullet. Just FYI TOTO has a line of toilets featuring a state of the art Sanigloss finish that addresses that issue. It's Nano technology I believe.
    Additionally, a number of us here experimented with and use the Clorox with Teflon toilet cleaner with positive results also.
    Most agree....finally a cleaning product that actually works
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2006
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