Toto Drake toilet product review

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

  1. Wallijonn

    Wallijonn Member

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    147
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    Arizona
    I thought the same thing, that since water was dripping from the right bolt thread that that was where the leak was. When I looked at the tank to bowl gasket, on the back, I could see water puddled between the tank and bowl porcelain. The Korky tank to bowl gasket kit, #481BP fixed that. The 481BP gasket is red instead of black, is firmer and slightly thicker. I was not able to tighten down the tank bolts to where the tank made contact at all three points. There is now a small gap at all three points. I just tightened the tank bolts until the tank no longer rocked back and forth, to where it felt solid and substantial.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    The most common source of tank leaking with a new toilet is incorrect assembly of the parts. If you have a metal washer inside the tank under the head of the bolt, it is very likely to leak. The correct assembly here is very important, and an extra 10-seconds of attention can make a huge difference. First, before inserting the bolt, take some fine sandpaper and smooth down the porcelain around the hole...only takes a few swipes back and forth. THen, with a new washer under the head, drop it down the hole. Take a washer and nut and then tighten the bolt to the tank. This will make a waterproof seal, independent of how tight you get the tank to the bowl. THen, place the tank on the bowl with the spud washer around the tank's outlet (some of them have a notch in them...make sure it is fully seated properly), and with a second set of washers and nuts, attach the tank to the bowl. If you only use one set of nuts and washers, you do not have any primary seal. If you put a washer underneath the head of the bolt, it will almost always leak, maybe not immediately, but eventually.
  3. Wallijonn

    Wallijonn Member

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    147
    Location:
    Arizona
    Check. The bolt head is usually wide enough that a metal washer isn't needed.

    Huh? I thought you just said not to use a washer under the bolt head? Oh, you mean the "rubber washer". Check. I call that a "gasket". :D

    The "spud washer" is the big rubber/foam washer. Got it.

    When I install the other Drake I might see if the tip for coating the spud washer with Plumber's 100% Pure Silicone will prevent a leak. That time around I will have a Channel Lock wrench at the ready to make sure the plastic flange nut is tight. I just can't see why the factory wouldn't use a torque wrench tool to accurately tighten the flange nut each and every time. Or I might just go ahead and replace the spud washer with the one in the #481BP kit from the "get-go".
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014
  4. Wallijonn

    Wallijonn Member

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    147
    Location:
    Arizona
    Hope you never get arthritis in the knees. Or when you get older you don't need a walker, or cane, to get around. Or a bad back. If you had any of those you would probably appreciate an ADA height toilet more.

    Since your feet just touch the floor, try a plastic toilet seat since they typically run about 1/2" thick instead of the 1" of wood.
  5. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    There's also an issue with the water level; it's lower (from the seat) than in the "normal" toilets. This is very noticeable for some of us, particularly when half awake, sitting down in the middle of the night.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    22,152
    Location:
    New England
    One thing to consider is that an ADA height toilet is still lower than most kitchen/dining room chairs.
  7. Wallijonn

    Wallijonn Member

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    147
    Location:
    Arizona
    I don't understand. I figure if one "plops" that the increased distance will minimize any upward water splash. You want to know what drove me crazy? When the lid was down or when the seat was up. I'd forget to put the seat down and I'd feel as if I were falling when I went to sit while half awake. Or the wife would put the lid down and when I went to sit I'd feel the cold of the lid. Like many guys I would leave the seat up. It drove the wife crazy. Ah, marriage...
  8. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    Plopping isn't the only problem, but as you probably know, the water can splash up higher than the poop plopped down. I haven't done any extreme high-altitude plopping to see if there is a limit, but that's certainly true for every toilet I've ever sat on. I've never experienced it in a porta-potty (thank Zeus), though, so there may be a limit.

    The other problem is the hangy-down-to-the-water problem, which is of course unrelated to plopping, and much more of a surprise at 2AM. At least you can compensate for that by squatting or standing, but the latter is risky in the dark, and the former is too much exercise at 2AM, when you want to stay as close to asleep as possible.
  9. Wallijonn

    Wallijonn Member

    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    Arizona
    I installed the CST744E 1.28gpf Drake this weekend. Finding a wooden elongated seat that fits flush is my next order of business. At 14+5/8" I find the toilet a little too low, much more preferring my ADA Drake 1.6gpf. The Kohler plastic seat is 3/4" thick while the Bemis was 1+1/6" thick. That would have bought the seat height to 15+11/16, a little shy of the 16.0" I think would be ideal.

    The 1.28gpf seems to the job. But the shorter Drake doesn't have the same "feel" when it comes to doing a quick handle jiggle to flush half a tank. It seems as if I have to be very careful not to give it a full flush, a full lever depression, the same as when I was using the Briggs. Too short a stroke and it doesn't flush at all. (One thing I learned was if the 1.6gpf didn't half flush I had to wait a couple of seconds before trying again. The one time I didn't wait it spit water up and out of the bowl.) Even at work I try to "cheat" the flush so that I only use as much water as is only absolutely necessary to flush urine. To me, not being able to do a half flush means that I will actually be using more water than when using my 1.6gpf Drake.
  10. Wallijonn

    Wallijonn Member

    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    Arizona
    I installed the CST744E 1.28gpf Drake this weekend. Finding a wooden elongated seat that fits flush is my next order of business. At 14+5/8" I find the toilet a little too low, much more preferring my ADA Drake 1.6gpf. The Kohler plastic seat is 3/4" thick while the Bemis was 1+1/16" thick. That would have bought the seat height to 15+11/16, a little shy of the 16.0" I think would be ideal.

    The 1.28gpf seems to the job, as far as flushing solids go. It has a wider water spot than on the 1.6gpf Drake, almost diamond or square shaped. But the shorter Drake doesn't have the same "feel" when it comes to doing a quick handle jiggle to flush half a tank. It seems as if I have to be very careful not to give it a full flush, that the handle only seems able to do a full lever depression, the same as when I was using the Briggs. Too short a stroke and it doesn't flush at all. (One thing I learned was if the 1.6gpf didn't half flush I had to wait a couple of seconds before trying again. The one time I didn't wait it spit water up and out of the bowl.) Even at work I try to "cheat" the flush so that I only use as much water as is only absolutely necessary to flush urine. To me, not being able to do a half flush on the 1.28gpf Drake means that I will actually be using more water than when using my 1.6gpf Drake.

    [edit]
    I re-used the old flange bolts because they were 3/8" brass while most new flange bolts seem to be 1/4". The old ones also had some plastic covers that held the bolts in position. Nice. I wonder why they are no longer supplied on newer flange bolt kits.

    This time around I used plumber's silicon [grease] on the tank to bowl gasket, to preclude the leak experienced with the 1.6gpf Drake. [edit]

    I also had to add some concrete around the flange as there was a big gap, and the previous owner added mortar but it raised the left side of the bowl. (I had to break it off, concrete it, then used a wet sponge to level it out.) I used a flanged wax seal and it didn't "squish" like it did on my other Drake. Makes me wonder if I shouldn't have gone with an extra thick wax seal. I'll have to keep a close on it. No sewer gas smell, yet, but I worry about any possible leaks as there is still an empty space/gap between the PVC piping and the concrete slab; I don't want to create a sink hole.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014
  11. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Bothell, Washington
    A push and release on the tank lever lets out the metered flush. This is how it's meant to be used.
    With the S tank, thats 1.60
    With the E tank, that's 1.28

    Holding the handle down, drops the entire tank, which may be about 3 gallons. You can do that, but you surely don't need to.

    Before flushing any bowl, you should wait until the bowl has refilled. Siphon depends on a full bowl before you start the flush.

    We never resort to Silcone for any part on the tank or tank to bowl. We install hundreds and hundreds with "clean" parts.
    And our customers do too.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2014
  12. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    I don't get all the posts regarding messing with how one flushes a toilet. It's simple on the Drake. Push the dang thing swiftly but not violently to the full length of its travel and immediately let go. That will ensure that the flapper gets fully-open and then will promptly slam shut after dispensing the right amount of water. It's possible to "misfire" the flush if you don't push it all the way, but once it's there you let go right away.

    That's what I did in this video, and it shows properly how it should work. Note that the flush handle has been returned to rest well before the flapper starts to close, even though the flapper shuts quickly:

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2014
  13. Wallijonn

    Wallijonn Member

    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    Arizona
    I'm the guy who had a leak at the tank bowl seal. After three tries I gave up and bough the Korky 481BP which immediately fixed it the very first time. I didn't want to play games with the second Drake and my local Ace Hardware and HD did not have any 481BPs in stock. Since it's plumber's 100% silicone I know that it will not harden. Well, at least the stuff I bought. I hope that it doesn't attack rubber like Vaseline does. And if it does I'll just pick up a 4811BP kit for under $10.

    Sure. But the fact that one can do it on the Drake, it is a benefit. My water bill went down. That's all I know.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2014
  14. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    2,432
    Location:
    IL
    You had said "plumber's silicon glue" when you meant "plumber's silicon grease". The grease is not a problem, even though it was not required, and it will not attack rubber as Vaseline would.
  15. Wallijonn

    Wallijonn Member

    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    Arizona
    I must have had catastrophic cranial fibrillations, sorry.

    Update on the 14+5/8" CST744e: I find that urine splashes to bowl rim more easily occur with the shorter height Drake versus the ADA height CST744SL. The water just seems to splash higher.

    The "jiggling" of the flush lever now seems to be working right. The fist time I flushed it seemed to flush more than 1/2 the over flow tube's length; now it seems to flush about half. (Not hard to see since there always seem to be small air bubbles attached to the outer circumference of the overflow tube.)

    I decided to go with the Toto SS154-01 seat since the spec sheet lists the seat height as 1+1/8", which should bring the height up to 15+6/8".

    Still no leaks whatsoever. I guess the plumber's silicon grease did do the job. I just don't trust the black tank to bowl seal that comes with the Drake toilets, and the red seal is thicker than the black, so it may present problems to others. Plumber's silicone grease is known not to attack rubber, usually being used to grease o-rings. I use it to coat fixture threads to prevent mineral build-up.
  16. Wallijonn

    Wallijonn Member

    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    Arizona
    Update:

    SS154 is in. Both the top and bottom soft close, just as Terry said. Even fully tightened the bolts will allow some seat side to side play. I would have preferred a completely smooth top, but I will learn to live with the scallops. The seat surface is concave. I will have to get used to that too, but I don't find it objectionable.

    Having now installed both the 744EL (shortey) and the 744SL (talley), the ADA height Drake definitely looks sleeker, like a sleek race car. I know it's just an illusion, that when seen at different angles (say, sideways instead of straight on & down) they seem different, but the 744EL just looks smaller, shorter, slimmer, and part of that illusion is the toilet seat, with the Kohler seat making the 744SL look sleeker. The Kohler seat has about the same overhang as the SS154, about 1/8".

    No, it is not an illusion. When measured from the top of the tank to the floor the 744EL is about 3" shorter (it's actually 2" shorter.) The SS154 seat just makes the shorter toilet seem chunkier, it sticks up much higher than the Kohler seat. I guess there's no pleasing me...

    If others are considering either it may help to take into account the cabinet heights already in the bathrooms.

    My two bathrooms:
    744EL - 29" High
    Cabinet - 31" High

    744SL - 31" High
    Cabinet 31" high

    Next up for me is to find a taller vanity cabinet for the master bathroom since I find myself bending over too much, too often. My friend had mistakenly installed a kitchen cabinet in his bathroom, and I loved it. I would have no problem installing a kitchen cabinet in the bathroom since it would mean that I could install a hand-held side spray for shampooing and wetting one's head (we tend to over heat in our AZ heat and dosing our heads under a faucet helps cool us down); a taller faucet would help when rinsing my mouth with my hand palm. A full master bathroom renovation is not on the schedule at the present time, maybe I'll do it in a few years...
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
  17. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    1,898
    Location:
    New York, NY
    A very interesting report! Congratulations for finishing it!
  18. Wallijonn

    Wallijonn Member

    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    Arizona
    WJcandee,

    You and Terry are absolutely right. When I first got the Drake I would hold down the handle for about two seconds. Now I just go all the way down and release. I guess I had to break the bad habit I formed when trying to flush the 3.5g Briggs, where it took two flushes to fully clear the bowl (and I would hold the handle all the way down to make sure that every last drop of water flushed the bowl.) At work I find myself not wanting to flush the Eljer all the way down (it has a really long handle trip distance), even after the maintenance guy has it set for about 0.8g (5"x6" water spot) I feel that too much water is going down the drain. I figure the siphonic Drake does the same thing (but the bowl flush time is a lot longer on the Eljer - making it seem that a lot of water is being flushed), and I now find that my fears have been allayed, I have found that the 1.28g Drake is just as efficient as the 1.6g Drake (I feared that 1.6g would be most efficient and the 1.28g wouldn't be good enough (because my friend's Kohler 1.28g flush was bad.) Yep, I'm convinced on all accounts - siphonic flush, lower water usage and smaller water spot. I had my doubts, but when Terry says that a 1.0gpf is good enough - it most probably is - so long as it's a Toto. I won't trust anything else. Knowing what I know now I would have no hesitation installing a 1.0g Drake.

    Thank you, Terry, for your most excellent site and for providing a great service to the D.I.Y. community.
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