American Standard Repertoire - the Good and the Bad

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by v_phillips, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. v_phillips

    v_phillips New Member

    Mar 25, 2006
    Hi - I've been lurking around here from time to time while remodeling our bathrooms because you guys provide a great source of knowledgeable plumbing info. I've found a lot of answers and good advice by searching through the various forum sections. I also trust, after reading so many favorable comments about Toto, that these are very good toilets. If they were more readily available where I live, I might have looked more into buying one.

    But as it turned out, my wife especially likes the looks of American Standard's round-front Repertoire model, so that's what we got. Repertoire is the same as Antiquity except for the tank lid and (I think) fill valve. The Repertoire is an attractive toilet with nice decorative features, including a fancy backsplash on the tank lid. The base of the bowl is sculpted like an architectural feature rather than having just the plain, nondescript skirt of your average, boring potty.

    One thing I find particularly interesting is that there is no recess or depression leading to the bowl outlet. The bottom of the bowl just terminates rather abruptly in a round hole that opens into the forward base of the trapway. The hole is not on a level plane, but leans slightly toward the trapway. Waste naturally slides right through and assumes an effective launch position prior to flushing. There is a subtle channel around the rim of the hole that becomes gradually deeper toward one side. This causes the formation of a counterclockwise vortex that is further promoted by the counterclockwise flow of water that comes from under the rim. There is a jet under the forward edge of the outlet hole. It isn't visible, unless maybe you stick your head into the bowl, but you can find it by sticking a finger under the rim of the hole.

    The bowl has a 2-inch glazed trapway. The trapway is not one that forms a wide loop toward the back. It has tighter turns and one turn more than some of the big-loop types. I don't know for sure the practical difference between these two styles, but it seems to me in comparing what can be observed in flushing toilets and holding the handles down, that those with the tighter turns maintain a longer, stronger siphon action than those with the wide loops. The disadvantage may be a higher clogging probability.

    In any case, the Repertoire/Antiquity bowl's water jet, vortex, siphonic action, and 2-inch glazed trapway add up to a worthy flush. I've been using this toilet for two months and haven't clogged it yet - not even with yesterday's unusually bulky dump. There's no way the contractor-grade toilets we replaced or the Kohler in the other bathroom could have swallowed that one in a single gulp.

    I can't rate the performance of the original ballcock because I replaced it with a Fluidmaster fill valve before installing the toilet. The Fluidmaster works perfectly.

    It was very easy to assemble this toilet. The tank sits squarely and solidly on the bowl's mounting rails and tightens easily into place with the two bolts. I used only the detached socket part of a socket wrench to assist in hand tightening the nuts, stopping as soon as the tank made contact with the mounting rails. That was more than sufficient tension to prohibit any leaking.

    The above is the good. The bad is manufacturing quality control. What the American Standard engineers designed and what the factory puts out is not necessarily the same thing, at least not in the units that are discounted and sold in bulk to Lowe's.

    There were unacceptable problems with the first tank and bowl I bought. The bowl had a long row of glaze defects around the outside bottom edge of the rim. The factory had touched them up very sloppily with globs of yellowish glaze or some glaze-like substance that didn't match the color of the toilet.

    There was a severe deformation around the top of the tank. The top edge of the tank across the right end of the front side was shrunken down so much lower than the rest of the rim that the lid couldn't cover the gap. There was also a long, deep firing crack on the tank's bottom that went into one of the bolt holes. This would likely have caused a critical weakness. I couldn't believe that any manufacturer hoping to be reputable would sell something so defective. If this one passed inspection, what would a quality-control inspector NOT pass?

    Since the tank and bowl are sold separately, I returned the bowl. I didn't return the tank because I was afraid that Lowe's might sell it to somebody else. I decided to take a loss and do mankind a service by destroying it.

    When I returned the bowl, the guy at Lowe's was nice enough to let me open all three available boxes in an effort to find an acceptable exchange. The first of these had an ugly, irregular edge around the rear of the base. A closer look revealed that the waviness was superfluous clay that should have been trimmed off prior to firing. Now it's glazed carelessness. The second one had a deformed bowl outlet that was elliptical instead of round. That would be restrictive compared to a round hole and would inhibit the vortex that the engineering intended to achieve. The third bowl was perfect, but for two touched-up glaze bubbles on the rear of the base. That I can live with.

    I bought a replacement tank at the same time. This one was nicely made with no cosmetic or structural defects. The backsplash on the lid that came with it was warped, but I still had the one that had come with the first tank. That lid looked much better and fit with no wobble.

    In my opinion as an experienced toilet user, the Repertoire is well designed. The problem is that you have to sort through them to find one that is also well made. After so many years of making good toilets, It would be sad to see American Standard go down the toilet. I grew up using their products. I wish they were still able to offer consistent quality like they did years ago. Maybe they would be better off raising prices in order to ensure greater customer satisfaction. Putting out name-brand crap for less is not a good long-term marketing strategy.
  2. Janie_GT

    Janie_GT New Member

    Apr 8, 2006
    You didn't mention the wide water spot and thorough emptying and self cleaning. We have no particles left behind and no problem with streaking in this toilet. As for your bad, if you paid somewhere near a suggested retail price instead of the Lowe's price, maybe you wouldn't be replacing or returning what you got. We bought this model from a store that specializes in bathroom fixtures and did not see flaws like you described.
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    TSPORT New Member

    May 1, 2005
    Philly,PA suburbs
    I installed this toilet (AS Repertoire) about 5 years ago during a bathroom remodel (had to match the pedestal sink, you know!) Big mistake. I too had to return to the store once to swap the base for one with less glaring manufacturing defects. Yes, it looks nice and has that "period" look but the performance is crappy (pun intended) with solid waste. I would say we need the plunger once every week or two. Wish I found this site before then, would have made a different choice. Recently replaced a different toilet in the house w/ the Toto Drake Sanagloss. What a difference! Has some bowl streaking issues but what a flush! Quick & powerful. Live & learn (I'm a Toto covert now). :)
  5. v_phillips

    v_phillips New Member

    Mar 25, 2006
    TSPORT, there must have been a modification or two during the past five years to improve the handling of solid waste because the performance of ours (made 11NOV05) is excellent. It's a quick, decisive flush that zips away a hefty load with no hesitation at all. (It empties cleanly too, Janie.) Did yours have the unusual bowl outlet? Did it have a siphon jet?
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