American Standard Champion 4 toilet review and pictures

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Reader Review, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. Reader Review

    Reader Review Comments by readers

    Jan 2, 2006
    Emails and phone calls sent in by readers
    removed my water guzzling 1989 American Standard 2 piece low profile toilet 2 months ago. Old toilet serviced me well up until the last few years. Had some clogging problems, cleaning issues but just couldn't handle the water consumption anymore. I spent approx. 3 months researching everything available in new and improved. Did not want to spend over $750.00. Did not want to have issues with installation, leaking or cleaning problems. I purchased a Champion 4 Right Height Elongated One Piece Toilet. I felt their demo video on their web site was a little over done, I was wrong. This toilet is more than what I expected and I expected alot. The one piece was very easy to install as I did it myself with a little assistance from my son. We are a family of 4 and have not had even the slightest problem at this point. It wipes clean instantly with little effort. I have adjusted the factory 6 litre consumption back to 5 litre and flushes perfectly. I actually had it flushing on 3 litres. Four inch flush valve is second to none. I could not find any weak areas in the internal components and any required future service would appear to be quite simple. I payed $580.00 plus tax Canadian from Home Hardware in Nova Scotia. Money well spent. Wish this toilet was available years ago. F. Feetham Monday, January 28 2008


    Added picture

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2014
  2. diprivanrn

    diprivanrn New Member

    Apr 12, 2008
    Champion 4 toilet

    Has anyone out there had any bad experiences with the new champion 4 toilet. I am curious if the redesign on the flush tower had helped out the design in general. The physics sound pretty good, but the proof is in the pudding. The old toilet was a bomb.... how about the new one? did the design change redeem itself. I know that there are some out there with sour experiences from the last one.

    I am designing a house right now and I have been reading about different toilets and looking at the designs. I was initially going to go with the champion 4 toilet, but got to reading and I then decided that either the toto drake or the cadet 3 might be the way to go. I was going to the plumbing supplier soon to look at the designs a little better. I was wondering if I should give the champion 4 another chance or just pass it by for either the drake or the cadet.

    Any input?

    Would like to hear of recent Champion 4


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  4. Tomw

    Tomw DIY Homeowner

    Feb 11, 2009
    I installed a Champion 4 toilet in my house about 6 months ago.

    When I set the toilet on the wax ring, I didn't notice it being particularly difficult, but I am not familiar with many other toilets and their relative weights. I had installed Kohler Wellworth lite 3.5 gal flush toilets about 15 years ago, and it was not much harder. My guess is that the Champion weighs more because of the 2 3/8" trapway - a good tradeoff in my opinion.

    I had read about the recessed screws in the tank and someone posted to use a 1/2" deep socket. I tried this when installing the tank and it was simple and easy. I followed the directions to center the tank on the bowl and tighten the screws evenly and had absolutely no problems. The gasket that goes on it is incredibly thick and compresses a lot. I can see how it would be very difficult with the chintzy wrench they supply with the toilet.

    I have been using the toilet for the last 6 months without a single clog. It has incredible flushing power and it amazes me every time I flush because is uses so little water and yet has so much force. In fact, I have lowered the water level on the Champion as low as it will go to conserve water. The toilet is also very quiet - the whole flush is over in a couple of seconds and the refilling of the tank is pretty quiet.

    The toilet wash function works very good - it is a very shot duration intense whirlpool of water that effectively cleans the bowl. The everclean anti microbial surface probably helps in this regard also - water still beads on the surface after 6 months with no cleaning.

    I installed AS Cadet 3s in my other two bathrooms. They are the one-piece, ADA height, 1.28 gallon, watersense, elongated version. They also have exceeded my expectations. I would rate the Champion as the better of the two models in raw power, but the Cadets have never clogged either. My water bill has been almost halved.

    I have had no problems with the quality or reliability of any of my AS toilets (so far). If I have a flapper problem with the Cadet 3, I will take 5 minutes and replace it, but I honestly don't believe that it will be necessary.

    The flush tower on the Champion 4 has been redesigned, and I am not expecting any problems with it either. It has a 10 year warranty that covers all parts of the toilet including the internal parts.

    I installed a Toto S300 washlet seat on the Champion (it would not fit on the Cadet 3 one-piece toilets that I have.) In order to install this seat, the holes for the seat have to be exactly the right dimension or it will not install. It installed perfectly on my Cadet 3 and Champion toilets. I had to remove it from the Cadet 3 because the base of the seat just barely contacts the bevel in the ceramic that goes up to the tank.

    All in all, I am absolutely thrilled with the performance, price and quality of the 4 American Standard toilets that I have installed, but the Champion 4 is my favorite by a small margin.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2009
  5. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Dec 15, 2007
    Service Plumber
    Thing is Tom they had to go with a 10 year guarantee after the performance of the champion 1, 2, & 3....

    When You build junk you have to sweeten the pot...
  6. jenniferdilts

    jenniferdilts New Member

    May 14, 2009
    niagara region
    The champion 4 flush valves have been changed since all of those posts. American standard reconized that there was an issue and the fixed the the flushing system on those toilets. I have this toilet for 2 years and never have had any trouble with it. hope this info helps;)
  7. dave in WI

    dave in WI New Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    I installed a Champion 4 (purchased from Home Depot) in October of 2007. I absolutely love it. It just will not clog. I may be jinxing myself, but we have had no problems with the flush valve.

    It is a big heavy piece of porcelain, but as a homeowner how many times do you install a toilet (Hopefully just once unless you do it wrong!).

    I have no problem recommending one. We will probably be replacing the the other toilets in our house with these.
  8. csaxon

    csaxon New Member

    May 15, 2009
    I just picked up my second champion 4. They have been excellent and trouble free. I checked the blue seal on the first one and it's blister free. I've only seen one comment on a blistered seal so it's a possible fluke. The reviews on the updated champion 4 are excellent and I would recommend it.
  9. whou69

    whou69 New Member

    Jun 9, 2009
    My contractor installed one AS champion 4 toilet for a renovation job,I bought this unit at Lowe's. It had stop working with less than one month of usage. The incoming valve just stop working now, no matter how I tweak it, there's no water flow. Any idea ?

    I am not sure whether I can return it, since I've threw away all the packaging. I also don't understand the mechnism, the outlet valve is set at 3-4 inches height, I guess for low flow purpose, that means bottom 30% water will never be used, does it make sense to anyone here ?

    Sorry for the naive question, I am new home owner.
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Bothell, Washington
  11. whou69

    whou69 New Member

    Jun 9, 2009
    Thanks for the reply, but the supply line does have water flow; I will try the fluidmaster trick then.

    But a quarter tank of staled water still bothering me. It must be a design flaw, and I failed to see the point of it. Also we cann't get used to the short spurt of flushing, always thought it does not run well. Wish I had kept that old toilet.
  12. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    If you are referring to the fact the tank doesn't empty during a flush, that is completely normal, and expected. They use the height of the water in the tank, just like a water tower that may supply your home, to provide that extra 'oomph' to what does get dumped into the bowl. For a low-flow toilet to work well, it usually tries to dump nearly all of the required water at once. If you design it right, that only takes a very short time. None of this fill the bowl, then think about draining from the old water hogs.
  13. whou69

    whou69 New Member

    Jun 9, 2009
    I see... I guess it will take us awhile to get used to it...

    At last, I figured out the toilet problem, it was due to a gadget called "floodsafe" connector, which supposed to shut itself off due to water pressure but somehow switch off for whatever reason; hmm... for whatever its worth, people do make technical advance on this century old technology.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2009
  14. elgato

    elgato Member

    Jan 20, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    So what are the known issues with the latest revision of the Champion 4? The HD guy said that they had nothing but problems with the older ones. However, he recommended Kohler which seems to be far worse.
  15. maddog

    maddog Engineer

    Aug 1, 2006
    Software Engineer
    near San Jose, CA.
    The red seal is for the original Champion (white) flush tower. The seal for the new Champion 4 flush valve is blue. I had to call up for a new blue seal after about a year as it did blister and started to leak. I haven't seen these new blue seals at HD and Lowes yet, and a local plumbing supply house did not have them either. You can buy them here if you don't want to wait for AS to send you one under warantee.

    Attached Files:

  16. mastas

    mastas New Member

    Apr 20, 2007

    I **WISH** I googled champion4 toilet before I decided to buy this piece of crap. I've replaced a bunch of toilets, most of them being with the cheapos costing around a $100, and they are still going strong after years. I bought this model back in March of this year. No more than 4 months later, I started hearing the toilet cycle constantly. I didn't have time to mess with it all summer until now.

    What I can't believe is this problem still prevails in 2009.
  17. t-rex

    t-rex New Member

    Oct 13, 2009
    Champion 4 toilets

    I just purchsed 2 of these from Lowe's to replace some terrible Gerber's that were clogging just about every day. The new Champion 4 design seems to work very well and I couldn't be more pleased, but it's only been two weeks. The plunger has been moved to the garage storage room.

    As far as the install, I didn't think it was bad at all. I have installed maybe 4 or 5 toilets before, and I didn't think these were any more difficult than normal. Took about an hour to remove and replace each one. If you don't own a socket set, you should probably question if you should be replacing your own toilet anyway. I can't imagine that a good plumber would have difficulty with these.

    As far as looks, it is way better than the Toto Drakes I had installed in my previous home. They were too small in my opinion and looked like something you might install in a child's bathroom. The tank looked so dinky against the wall and set away from the wall about 3-4 inches. This basically negated any advantage you might think you get with a smaller footprint because the edge of the bowl was still about the same distance from the wall as a "normal" size toilet like the Champion 4. The Champion 4 has a nice, full size tank that fits right up next to the wall with a 12" rough-in.

    Because I have owned both, I can also say that they flush of the Champion 4 is superior to that of the Drake. Don't get me wrong, the Drake was excellent, this one is just better. It's like the bottom just drops out of the toilet and everything is gone. Seems to have excellent bowl wash as well.

    Maintenance will be the determining factor and only time will tell on that. If I just have to replace a couple of seals every 2-3 years like i would have to replace the flapper on the Drake, I will be very happy with my purchase. Oh, and did I mention that the Champion 4 is about $100 cheaper than the Drake and has a 10 year warranty?

    I just thought someone might be looking for an updated opinion on these new toilets since a lot of the same people seem to be bashing the old design that was obviously flawed.
  18. DIY Duder

    DIY Duder New Member

    Nov 20, 2009
    American Standard Champion 4

    This is my toilet purches/review/install etc story.
    I never installed a toilet before, and the bathroom I did the install was not working for a few years. It was on the second floor and the last toilet had sprung a leak while the door was closed and we didn't see the leak until it was in the garage. So a lot of work now. I needed to fix the problem before I could paint and fix the spots in the walls that were saturated.

    When I started shopping for a toilet I just wanted to get something that was cheep, would work well, and be efficient (I'm replacing an old 3.5gpf American standard that's 45 years old) because I have a tight budget. After much consideration I went with the Champion 4. Now here were my reasons incase your thinking the same thing.

    This site was not that helpful to me. Neither was Consumer Reports (who gave this toilet the highest rating). Unfortunately if you look on this site you'll get one thing from the "master plumbers" and that's "Toto drake", or some other $400 toilet that's way out of many peoples price range. Not only that but it has to be my scam radar that goes off when I see those prices. It leaves me asking "It's a toilet! How can you screw up a piece of ceramic?" And then read the reviews and they don't always help. My brother had a Mansfield alto, had it 3 years, and never had a problem. According to Terry "I replace more of them then any other toilet" How is it failing for all these people terry mentions and works fine for the only two I have experience with? Not to mention, I've even herd complaints about the Drake on this very thread! So you don't have to go far for criticism.

    Now, on with the champion 4. All that other stuff will come full circle. Got it home from HD and took it out of the box. Everything looked to be correct except I couldn't understand what the plastic insert marked "do not remove" was for? Long story short, don't take it out when you install your tank. lol Now most of the criticism I've herd about the champion line is for the flush valve and is on the older model, but on the new model its about a wobbly tank. And I couldn't agree more! That's BS! It's ceramic, make it right! Not that hard. So I put the foam/rubber gasket on that goes between the bowl and tank. Now anyone that's done this with this toilet will know it's too thick! When I called AS, the girl (I wonder if she's ever installed one) told me to keep the insert in, and about the tank she said "You can't ever have china on china. If you tighten it then it can crack. We've had many customers call worried that they will crack the bowl, but just tighten it down till it touches the ribs on the back and stop." I told her "I can't get it that close. It's already super tight and I feel like it's going to crack now!" She didn't have anything more to say. Now I've read someone on this site that busted one just tightening like she said. So it still wobbled and was already super tight and not touching the bowl. I'm not a perfectionist but WTF? It's totally obvious that gasket is way to thick. The operation of the toilet was good other then the wobble but it still pissed me off and I was still concerned about how tight the tank was already. I felt the pressure being applied to the tank by the gasket could still possibly bust the tank at some time in the future and I didn't feel safe with it. If your not home and that tank cracks and your on the top floor like me, BIG TROUBLE, like what I described before.

    Now I would not recommend this AT ALL! TO ANYONE! lol But since I had already set the bowl I wasn't sure if I wanted to take it back, if they would give me a hard time about a return, I actually took the gasket downstairs to my woodworking shop and used my router with a flat horizontal bit used for make for grooves cabinets and shaved off 3/32" from the inside of the gasket where the large nut presses on the tank. (I provided a picture. You can see the tiny spot where there is a lower level towards the corner.) I wouldn't just cut it, I think it needs to be machined smooth. If your crazy enough to do that, which I don't recommend, remember you have to go so so so slow when cutting. Its rubber and the metal will want to grip it and shred it, if you loose it....... sorry. Wait weeks for a new one. That's why I don't recommend it (not to mention the safety risks). What I would recommend is, don't buy this toilet. I trusted American Standard because we've had them in this house for almost half a century and had almost no problems with them. When I put the gasket back on, Bingo! Went down nice and snug and had proper tight feel in the nuts, wobbles gone. (BTW I put plastic washers behind the metal nuts AS wants you to crank against the china, they were the plastic flange washers used to hold up the bolts when you seat the bowl.) I don't have anything against AS, but I don't understand why they would manufacture something that is so obviously too thick?
    As for now, it works great! Strong flushes, no leaks, easy to clean... Works Great! I’ll post up in a couple months and tell you all if anything arises. American Standard, everyone doesn't have a workshop in their basement! Please fix that!

    I also posted a YouTube video for all of you to check out so you can get a visual on what I'm talking about.


    Attached Files:

  19. KidHorn

    KidHorn New Member

    Nov 23, 2009
    I just installed a Champion 4 and had the same experience. I only tightened as much as was required to close the front gap. The tank leans forward a little, but as long as it works. I didn't install the toilet seat first, but it wasn't that difficult.

    So far, no leaks and nothing but awesome flushes. It's only been a couple of days though.
  20. Elton Noway

    Elton Noway Member

    Nov 29, 2009
    computer sales
    North Carolina
    No Complaints... Yet...

    On the flip side "I Did" Google the Champion 4. I was shopping for a new toilet in conjunction with gutting a bathroom for a total makeover. My first stop was the Consumer Reports magazine where I discovered in August of this year they rated the Champion 4 as the Number One Top Rated toilet! Imagine my surprise when I Googled it and found so many negative comments, i.e., piece of crap, junk, inferior product, constantly needing repair, tank leaks, tank wobbles, wish I could get my money back, extremely loud (wakes up my deaf cat)... etc., etc.

    So... what did I do? I purchased one anyway! Why? Here's the deal.

    As the story goes... when a person receives poor service at a restaurant or some other establishment they may tell as many as 10 people. However, when they receive good service they tell very few people about it. I decided all the negative comments on the Champion 4 complaints were from people with bad experiences and that the people that who liked the toilet or have had no problems would have had no reason to write a review. I also noticed a lot of complaints in these threads were on the Champion 3 and/or did not specify which Champion model they were complaining about. Also many of these threads are several years old, or are recent threads complaining about a Champion that was installed a year or two ago. I wanted information on 2009 Champion 4! I found this thread saying the toilet was purchased in March 2009! Hmmm... but I began to wonder it may have been purchased in March 2009... but when was it made? (more on this later)

    Granted... I'll be the first to admit the Champion 4 has had its share of serious problems. Had I purchased one of the earlier models I'd be very upset. The poor design of the original flush tower, faulty seals, poor quality control during manufacturing (cracks, chips, poor glazing etc) the "reported", near impossible task of bolting the tank to the bowl due to a poorly designed tank seal... and the class action lawsuit were all red flags.

    I should point out I am not a professional plumber. If I were I probably wouldn't install this toilet due to its history and to minimize the potential for dealing with unhappy customers. I am... a Handyman! I have completely gutted and flipped 14 houses (long before it was the thing to do) I do it all, plumbing, electrical, framing, cabinets, sheetrock, roofing etc. I've installed "dozens" of toilets. It's not rocket science but to the novice it can be a daunting task.

    I wondered about this as well! Shouldn't the known problems have been resolved by now? So... armed with all my knowledge of the myriad of problems and/or defects I went to my local home improvement store. (Several of them in fact) Why several stores? Because my first course of action was to determine the date of manufacturer! If AS fixed the problems associated with earlier designs I wanted to make sure I got a new 2009 model. My first stop, a local Home Depot. The first box I checked had a AS sticker identifying the Date of Manufacture as May 2007! Holy crap! If I purchased that toilet it would make no difference that its was now almost 2010... I'd probably join the ranks of people posting complaints. Any design changes or improvements to the QC process implemented by American Standard after May 2007 would be missing from this model. They also had two in stock from June 2008. (none from 2009) The reason for mentioning this is... just because a person purchases a toilet in 2009 doesn't mean its the newest design with all the bugs worked out. NET: I ended up going to both Lowes and Home Depot before I hit the jackpot at the second Home Depot. I found a Champion 4 with a date of manufacture Oct 20 2009! It was less than one month old from the time I purchased it!

    Upon getting it home I removed the tank and bowl. I first examined the bowl to verify the date of manufacturer. The box said Oct 25 2009... the underside of the bowl (left side just forward of the hole where the tank bolts to the bowl) you will find the date of manufacture. Date stamped Oct 20 2009. Close enough for me! (the 5 day difference would be the lag between the casting date and the ship date from the plant). I then closely inspected for any chips, cracks, or factory repairs that some people claim to have found. I found none! I then used my hand running my fingertips over every square inch of ceramic glazing. Other member have reported weak or missing glaze from portions of the toilet. This would be a disaster if the glaze was missing from anywhere inside the bowl. I then covered my hand with a thin piece of cloth and again rubbed over all the surfaces feeling for snags, ruff/dry spots... (FYI: Many years ago I ran a ceramics shop. Made thousands of slip castings, had several kilns, did tons of glazing and firings so I know what to look for. I was very pleased with how the greenware (pre-fired clay) had been cleaned and smoothed before firing. I only found one small speck (a grain of dirt or sand) trapped under the glaze up near the top of the rim inside the bowl. It was smooth so it won't trap particles. Not a problem.

    I then inspected the flush valve: 1) To ensure it had the new grey tower design... and 2) to ensure it had the new "Blue" seal. I saw no signs of blistering or bubbles on the seal (although that problem seems to be reported after the toilet has been in service for a while) I will watch closely and report back with an update if I detect any type of seal failure.

    Okay... everything checked out so I preceded with the installation. To be truthful I didn't find the installation to be any more difficult or troublesome than any other toilet I've installed. Yes, you need a deep socket to attach the tank to the bowl but one was included with the toilet so I don't understand all the whining about having to use a deep socket.

    My next dreaded obstacle was the HUGE tank to bowl o-ring seal everyone likes to complain about... and/or... the dreaded "Tank Wobble"). After reading numerous threads and complaints about the two it became obvious that one effects the other. Yes... the gasket is super thick. (I couldn't help but wonder why a thinner silicone gasket wouldn't be just as good) Anyway... if you don't tighten the tank until it contacts the bowl then the rubber gasket will allow the tank to wobble. (DUH!) I even read the earlier thread about modifying the gasket with a router. Although I own several routers I figure the seal was designed this way for a reason (although it escapes me) and I was going to use it as designed or bust the toilet trying! As mentioned by others, American Standard customer service says the only way to prevent the wobble and leaks is to tightened the tank so it contacts the bowl "front and back". Response: "Don't worry about the tank or bowl breaking, just tighten the bolts evenly until the tank and bowl surfaces touch, then stop."

    Believe it or not, using only my bare hand to grip the deep socket wrench included with the toilet... I was able to tighten the nuts enough to establish contact between the tank and the front of the bowl. However, the back of the tank was still about 3/8" away from making contact and I could no longer turn the wrench by hand. Using the hole in the deep socket I inserted a screwdriver for additional leverage. I alternated the tightening from left to right. I was determined to pull the tank down until it came in contact with the toilet bowl as instructed or until it busted into pieces. I can tell you it was getting very tight so I stopped to put on some safety glasses. I felt I was tightening the bolts beyond where I would have normally stopping in fear of breaking the toilet. But... a couple more turns on each nut and Bingo, I had tank to bowl contact, front and back!

    Let me tell you (regardless of what you may have read in other threads)... if you tighten until the tank touches the bowl front and back there is NO TANK WOBBLE... NONE! (It feels as solid as some one piece toilets I've installed) That said, I don't care for convex curve of the tank. It encroaches the upper back when sitting, forcing you to sit straight up.

    Based on all the bad stuff I've read about this toilet I crossed my fingers as I turned on the water. Nothing. The tank filled and the water shut off crisply and completely. No leaking valve. No refilling. No leaks. No flooded floors! Tank filled I held my breath as I flushed my Champion 4 for the first time. I was waiting for the "Deafening Ear Splitting Klunk" I've read so much about. I had my phone by my side in the event my neighbors called to find out what the loud bang was. Yes... I was expecting the worse. I pushed the handle and whoosh, phoomp. That's it? Are you kidding me! I don't know what other people are hearing with their Champion 4's but mine is one quiet toilet! The sound of the valve dropping closed is a soft muted "frump"... like someone dropping a pillow in the next room.

    The toilet has now been installed for 7 days. I've done my impersonation of Uncle Floyd and his 300 pounds slamming into the tank as he drops down to the seat. If it was going to break I wanted to break it now so I could claim it broke while I was tightening the bolts. Nothing broke.. and still no leaks.

    No defects in toilet or glazed ceramic finish
    No leaks of any kind.
    No Wobbly Tank
    No loud Klunk when flushing
    No problems
    I find it to be a great toilet and it does a super job flushing.

    That said... as mentioned earlier... I'll be sure to update this thread if problems of any kind develop. Believe me I can complain with the best of them.

    Attached Files:

  21. Robot

    Robot New Member

    Dec 1, 2009
    Northeast Ohio
    6 months- no complaints

    Same story here except I was afraid to torque down the tank all the way; I'm about 1/4" off in the back, but no wobble so I'll probably leave it alone.

    I look at web reviews the same way; most of them will be negative because people who don't have problems don't bother to comment. After I did my install, I found this site looking for answers about the tank gasket. I started wondering if I had made a bad choice and holding my breath waiting for problems to crop up. Anyway I'm 6 months in and so far I have no complaints about my Champion 4. It is infinitely better than the 40 year old fixture that it replaced.

    I have two more old fixtures in the house and am planning to replace them with Champion 4s as finances permit. I will make sure to check the date of manufacture at the store as I didn't realize that their stock could be several years old.
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