Toto Drake toilet product review

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Reader Review, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,734
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Waste plumbing is part of the "DWV" (Drain, Waste, Vent) system -- the pipes responsible for carrying all the sewage and greywater out of the house. If the toilets were installed incorrectly, it's easy to believe they would be prone to clogging. Unlikely all the toilets would be incorrectly installed, and not caught in the plumbing inspection, but I'd bet on that before I'd bet on 6 toilets -- especially the Drakes -- clogging, unless there's an operator error involved.
  2. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    One more vote for it not being the toilets. I replaced 3 toilets in my house with 2 different Toto models, and can say these things really do not clog - virtually never.
  3. Reader Review

    Reader Review Comments by readers

    We have new toilets!!

    WE HAVE NEW TOILETS!!

    I know you are feeling the envy kick in right about now, but don’t be a ‘hater’. Turns out the Buchan family builders did not install the highest quality commodes in Trossachs way back when. Never fear...I did plenty of toilet-research (which, by the way was a really crappy job.....hahaha, toilet humor). If you find that you are using your plunger more than you what is humanly possible, you either need a colonoscopy, or some new TOTO Drake toilets – maybe ADA height with the elongated, ‘soft close’ seat?

    Anyways, if that time ever comes, please feel free to give a call, and I can share what I have learned on this journey. Plus, if you are super sweet to me...i might even invite you over for a ‘visit’ —provided you don’t hold down the handle too long...as you wont need to with these fancy new flushers.

    If you are ever in need of an fantastic plumber, please call Terry and his son James – they have amazing customer service, well priced, and such a decent company – highly rated by the BBB, too!

    Terry Love Plumbing
    12108 NE 163rd St
    Bothell WA 98011
    425-806-5683 bothell
    877-808-5683 toll free
    www.terryloveplumbing.com

    Thanks for sharing in our exciting news. Got to ‘run’.....(hahahaha- more toilet humor!)

    :)
    Pamela
  4. mamapajama

    mamapajama New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Illinois
    Hi, I'm new here... got a question about what to expect from the Toto Drake installation we have scheduled 2 days from now... made the decision from reading the reviews on this thread.

    We are replacing a Gerber from 1994 that is repeatedly stopping up for our 17 year old son. Plumber has been handling the clogs, but suggested we replace the toilet if it continues, which it has.

    The son is not using too much paper, the sewer line is not clogged. He is not a tall or large person... is a healthy active boy with good digestion and a healthy weight. He has tried various things to "break up" the solid waste before flushing, flushes repeatedly (after full tank refills) during the process, all to no avail. He says that the diameter of the waste is large (maybe as large as his ankle?), and he can't see how ANY toilet will handle that. When I look at the videos of the MaP tests, the solid test material is not large in diameter. So I wonder if he is right, that no toilet will easily handle this issue.

    Any thoughts from those of you who have used the Toto Drake about whether or not we will solve our problem?
    If not, what else should we consider?
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,289
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    If you are talking ankle size, then maybe something like the Caroma dual flush or the Koher Wellworth Pressure Assist.
    Sounds like a medical issue, and he's in the less then 1%
    Kind of rare, but it happens.
    Last edited: May 2, 2011
  6. mamapajama

    mamapajama New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Illinois
    ok... reporting after the first day with the new Toto Drake toilet. Had to have the new toilet immediately, and no Caroma or other alternative available locally, plus the reviews on those others were just not as good overall... So we went with the Toto Drake standard height, round bowl, with a Bemis wood seat, professionally installed. [​IMG]

    Said son, after first significant test run, "Man, that is one effective toilet!" with major amounts of relief in his voice. :D

    Hope the results are sustained repeatedly! And a big thank you to Terry and all of you on this thread for the excellent advice and info. May I not have a need for it in the near to middle future at least! :)
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2011
  7. Marty King

    Marty King New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    FL and PA
    Hello again, my first comment got lost somewhere, so here goes. I have been a faithful follower of Terry Love's site ever since my problem with clogging toilets first began with the water saving toilets. It took me at least 5 years to finally convince my husband to get me a Toto Drake. He had been constantly having to plunge so many times after I'd been in the bathroom. Of course he never has this problem.

    We have 4 bathrooms between two houses with Kohler, American Standard, etc and one ancient toilet that was in the bathroom originally when we bought this house 5 years ago that uses lots of water but still works and doesn't clog. Last weekend he installed the Toto, (he's very experienced with all things house related, by the way) and since he was out of town working all week, I had the Toto all to myself. I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS. After only 4 days of use I clogged the brand new TOTO toilet. I am so disappointed and confused. After plunging and trying a wire coat hanger, I was carrying a bucket of hot water to pour in the bowl when I slipped on wet tiles and fell, injuring my rib cage area against the door frame. Now, today, I am in bed in pain. Can't move my right side, take a deep breath, let alone walk without pain. The Toto is still clogged, the bathroom is a mess and my husband is due to walk in the door in a few hours with no clue what awaits him. I don't expect any help or answers, I give up!!! Thanks for letting me tell my story. I had to tell someone.
  8. PatnCarolina

    PatnCarolina New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    NC
    Very Unhappy with Toto Drake

    I've had a Toto Drake CST744EL ADA Height 5 days and am very unhappy with it...The rear of the bowl is so convex that it does not get clean when solid waste is flushed; in fact, at times the force of the water from the front of the bowl toward the waste matter is so strong it pushes the waste up against the interior rear of the bowl above the water level and leaves marks that I have to clean after each use. The flush itself is very forceful and requires only one flush, but the "filth" left on the interior of the bowl makes me dread using the toilet. It's a constant irritation knowing it can't be returned to the store, and I have to live with this dissatisfaction. The 22 yr. old American Standard toilet that was replaced never had a problem keeping the interior of the bowl clean when flushing.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2011
  9. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,289
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I would like to see a picture of that. I know that the Caruso washes down from the front of the bowl, that's a "washdown bowl. The Drake mainly uses the siphon jet to flush with, and the water doesn't slam into the back.
    Did they sell you the wrong toilet?
    A picture would be nice so I can see which bowl you have.
    I think they sold you something else.
    Last edited: May 29, 2011
  10. mawelsh

    mawelsh New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Dublin, OH
    One flush!

    So on Easter Sunday, with a housefull of guests, I went from peacefully sitting down to brunch to kneeling in a guest's toilet water, plunging and cursing the existence of my 26year old builder's special Briggs toilet. I vowed it would soon see the inside of a refuse truck.

    After being unwhelmed by the choices at the local big box stores, I found this forum and decided on the Toto Drake elogated in cotton white. I ordered from an online vendor.

    FedEx Ground then proceeded to destroy my Toto and delayed the Briggs' death for another week. Well...the tank, lid and soft-close seat was okay, but the bowl was crushed. The company I dealt with cross-shipped a fresh bowl and picked up the junk.

    The Toto went right in...my father-in-law helped and it was really a breeze. Probably 25 minutes from setting down the toolbag to the first flush.

    The new potty has been excellent. Before I had to do my business, then the paperwork and requiring two 3.5 gallon flushes. The Toto Drake does it all in a single flush.
  11. jdon88

    jdon88 New Member

    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    Pottstown PA
    Its been almost a year since I installed a CST744EL and am still happy with it. Never clogged, always cleared with 1 flush. Only thing I don't like is some skidmarks. Next time I'll probably get the sanagloss and maybe 1.6 vs 1.28.
  12. didididi

    didididi New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Everett, WA
    mamapajama, Good to hear it is working and you have given me hope! We are looking at the Drake. Also, get your son some Miralax! We were in the same situation and it is amazing. You can use it all the time and will help tremendously.
  13. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,289
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    If someone is going for the rebate, like the $100 dollar rebate for Everett, then I recommend the 1.28
    If you need more rinse, you can hold the handle down, and force a bit more water out. For all of the other flushes, you do wind up saving water.
    This month, with the $100 rebate in Everett, the Drake round front winds up being $99.99 [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
  14. goodmdo1

    goodmdo1 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    nc
    ok so it looks like the toto drake is a solid unit to replace my old eljer unit with. when I start shopping for it I see Drake and Drake II - What is the difference between these two? I browsed this site and others and cannot get any info on this.


    also, how woudl I go about seeing if my locale (zip 27282) has any rebate program for replacing 1991 era big water use units?

    thanks
  15. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,262
    Location:
    New England
    The Drake comes in numerous flavors. The original Drake, the Eco-Drake, and now the Drake II. Then, there are round-front, elongated, comfort height, ADA, and normal glazing or their special SanaGlos finish. So, lots of choices. They all work well. The newest design is the Drake II with dual cyclone bowl wash. Instead of numerous holes under the rim to wash the bowl, there's two bigger ones, angled so that the bowl wash swirls around from the top. The original Drake used 1.6g. The Eco-Drake and the Drake II use 1.28g to flush. They all work well. Not all versions are available in all colors or with Sanagloss.

    If I was going to buy a new one, I'd probably go with a Drake II, Sanagloss, in either ADA or comfort height. But, the other ones work quite well, too. My mother has two of the Drakes, one in comfort height, one normal (would have bought them both that way, but didn't realize at the time how much nicer the higher one would be).
  16. jefferson17

    jefferson17 New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Bristol, PA
    Ok so I'm an engineer by trade and always do my research. THANK YOU, Terry for your great site and forum. If we were in your area, we would have bought from you, rather than another Internet source (which will go nameless but we were happy with their pricing and speed of shipping).

    We remodeled our master bath recently. As part of this we certainly needed a new toilet as the old one, while functional, was maroon (yeah ... bad I know). In large part we chose the Drake because of this site. I considered the Drake II for the sanigloss finish but it seemed like it was only available in the higher format and my girlfriend is short so this just wouldn't have been as comfortable for her.

    The remodeled master bath has amazing gorgous natural stone travertine tiles on the floor and throughout the shower.The last thing we wanted was a toilet that was overly bright, so that the tiles took center stage. So we went with Toto's Colonial White, rather than Cotton White. It's perfect. It is still white just not glaringly so. Other people have written that Colonial White was like a "white with a touch of grey added in". And we feel this is accurate and also useful as we went with a light grey for the walls. Bear in mind the Toilet doesn't look "light grey" - it's just a nice muted white and doesn't scream, "Hey Look at ME ... I'm a Toilet".

    We decided to go with the Drake rather than Drake II, because it has a high gram capacity and I wanted the best possible gravity system available for this remodel. The bathroom is very unique as it is a LONG horizontal run from the sewer main. Also the only venting that I was able to add was a 3" run from a Y just under the toilet to a nearby air admittance valve. The home is historic so it would be near impossible or quite expensive to add a proper outside vent. So the best I was about to do was add that air admittance valve and hope for the best. The old toilet seemed to work well enough with NO venting (unless one counts a crack in the old cast iron pipe as venting ...). Ok so at least the new one would have SOME kinda venting ... :)

    Also the piping itself is unique. It first goes one way down the length of the bathroom, about 6', then curves around 180 degrees to run about 15' back to a 90 where it FINALLY goes out and connects to the horizontal main to the outside. I redid all the lines under the master bath from scratch, replacing ancient cast iron with 4" PVC (yeah I know I could use 3" but I wanted overkill). I also used a mix of 22.5 and 45 couplings to minimize the turns so the water slug would have the smoothest possible path, and double-checked the slight drop in level all the way through. Anyway, with all these considerations, I wanted a monster toilet that could handle it's normal job and really blast that water slug down that twisty curvy exit path.

    We have now had the Drake for a month of regular use and are VERY pleased with it. There is a slight gurgling at the end of the flush. I expected that to be from the less-than-optimal venting that i could provide. Apparently, this seems to be somewhat common to this unit? The majority of the time, we just use the "quick flush" instead of the "full flush option", even when pushing out a deuce, and ... WAM! Everything disappears faster than we would really believe. I have to admit that I have flushed it a few times just for the fun of it. I'm super impressed by the speed and force of the flush.

    A Plunger? We still own it but can't imagine ever needing it again, at least not in that bathroom. We have used the brush a bit here and there but not too much really.

    A few years ago I had to replace a toilet upstairs in one of my rental units. At the time, it seemed like a good idea to try out the American Standard Cadet 3, based on the info at one of the big box stores. I didn't do my usual thorough research for that one but it just didn't seem overly necessary since that toilet is a mere 3 feet from the main vertical sewer stack that emtpies directly down into the horizontal main 2 floors below. This vertical pipe is also fully vented to the roof just above that unit.

    Ok! So now I can compare the performance of a Drake, with a HUGE horizontal run and vented merely by an air admittance valve - to a Cadet 3 with a TINY run and MASSIVELY vented. My gosh, there is just no comparison. The flush of the Drake is VASTLY more forceful and quick. Last night I examined part of the horizontal main where I added a cleanout valve. And ... it's all nice and clean. As I had hoped and tried my best to plan for, all the water slugs have actually made it all the way from the Drake down some 25' of piping that doesn't even include the final 15-20' ... all the way to the sewer main. Sweet!

    Today, I just placed an order for our second Drake, same color and model for our main floor bathroom. The toilet in that bathroom is TERRIBLE, always has been, and isn't vented AT ALL. It has trouble just trying to flush water. Well we got lucky and a house guest this past weekend tripped and cracked that toilet - how AWESOME. So, now we HAD TO replace it instead of merely wanting to. Eventually, we'll rip that bathroom out entirely and move it to the rear of the house (and install venting) but soon enough we'll be able to know how well the Drake performs with no venting whatsoever in the current main bath.

    Again - Terry - thanks very much. I wish that I could have given you the business.
  17. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,262
    Location:
    New England
    A toilet will work just fine without a vent. Other items on the same run might have their traps sucked dry without one on them, though. The gurgle at the end of the flush is the toilet breaking the suction, and the flush ending. It is maybe a little more pronounced on a Toto than some, but the same effect as in most. My tub does this all the time while it drains when the level gets lower...it flows so well that it also sucks some air down. While you can fudge the toilets to potentially use less water, there is really only one flush mode on most toilets...push the handle down all the way and let go. Glad you like your new toilet...they do make a quality product.
  18. mns

    mns New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    VA
    Toto Drake elongated toilet

    After some research, I narrowed down to a Toto Drake elongated toilet for all the bathrooms in our new home; we haven't purchased them yet so I wanted to post and see if anyone has any feedback on them. Also, I would like a health faucet along with one of the toilets... any ideas?
  19. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,262
    Location:
    New England
    The Drake comes in numerous configurations. I put a couple of Drakes in my Mother's house, and she really likes them. Since I did that, they've come out with the Drake II, which has a new flush system. The Eco Drakes seem to work as well as the original ones, so consider that. SanaGloss does make them easier to clean, and they stay cleaner longer, too.
  20. Reader Review

    Reader Review Comments by readers

    Hi Terry.

    This is Michael S. over in Kirkland. You installed some toilets for us way back in 2006 and they're still working spectacularly well.

    I'm wondering what your opinions are on tankless water heaters for situations like ours, and if this is something where you could help us choose a quality model and possibly install it - like you did years ago with those Toto toilets? (Man those have been great!)

    Thanks much.
    -Mike
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