Choice for New Toilet

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Martin M, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. Martin M

    Martin M New Member

    Feb 23, 2008
    I am planning to replace an old toilet, a Kohler model. I don't know the exact model, but I once saw a date imprinted on the inside or bottom of the tank, so I know it is circa 1935. I assume it is old enough that it may be a 7 gallon model. The inside bowl surface has been scraped by pumice stone in an attempt to clean it, so I think the toilet really needs replacing.
    Naturally, I would like a model with a good flush, so I have read the reviews here. I would like a Toto Vespin or perhaps an American Champion 4. There appear to be advantages and disadvantages to each. The Toto Vespin is the only Toto model available with the G-max flush and Sanagloss and a skirt.
    But it is only available in the elongated bowl. I am used to the round bowl, the space is small and I have read that round bowls flush better because the inside bowl is round (more symmetry).
    The Vespin has a 2-1/16 inch trapway, whereas the Drake has 2-1/8 inch. Seems a small difference, but then the Vespin's trapway is 1/16 inch improvement over a standard 2 inch trapway and 2-1/8 inch Toto models are 1/16 inch over the Vespin's trapway. By the way, Vespin brochures say 2-1/8inch but the online spec sheets say 2-1/16 inch.
    The Vespin has no ADA model; perhaps a 16 to 16.5 inch height would be easier to use. Toto ADA models almost never have Sanagloss available, however and I like the idea of this feature.
    The American Standard Champion 3 got a better rating than Toto Ultramax on Consumer Reports. Is this review controversial here? The Champion 4 has a 4-inch flush valve instead of the Toto's 3-inch valve or a standard 2-inch valve. Is a 4-inch valve an improvement? I know it has a piston and someone said that is noisier than flapper valves. Would that be a problem? The trapway is 2-3/8 inches. That sounds like an improvement over Toto's smaller trapways, no? American Standard's website says that they have an anti-microbial coating called Everclean. Is this the same as Toto's Sanagloss?
    Why do toilets today seldom come with a skirt? It just seems like common sense to me to use another 10 pounds of clay in making the bowl so I don't have to see or clean the exterior trapway. Sometimes I think I am going insane. I didn't even know you had to call it a skirt. I just thought they already knew 70 years ago how to make a toilet so it didn't look like its guts were falling out.
    Trapway, ADA, flush or piston valve, Sanagloss or Everclear, elongated or round, skirt or no? It seems hard to know what features are best and what works, even with the reviews on this site. Any advice or opinions would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2008
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    Some toilets with skirts are available today. Toto, for one, makes models like that, as does Kohler, but that brand is not held in high regard around here for perfomance and maintenance reasons.

    The Champion has a checkered past, many issues. The Champ 4 has resolved most of the issues. In my opinion, a better toilet for the money is the AS Cadet 3.

    My personal preference is pressure assisted toilets, but not everyone agrees with that. They are loud, and when repairs come around, parts are expensive.

    A good plumbing supplier would have catlogs to look at, if style selection is important. All the brands have websites as well.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2008
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  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    I have a Vespin. It has been installed about 5-years. It has never clogged, but a few times over the years, it has taken two flushes...maybe not even once a year some stray floaters just didn't quite make it out on the first flush. I think I may not have actually pressed the flush handle down all the way. But anyways, it works well. Our water tends to grow a few things, and I'd notice this if I was away for a week or so and come home. Prior to the new toilet, it took some effort to scrub things out. Now, if just a flush doesn't do it, a swish with the brush does. I'd vote for sanagloss.

    I did put in two Drakes at my mother's house. One is ADA height and the other is "normal". I wil say that once you get used to the ADA height, unless you are a little kid or a small adult, you'll probably prefer it. I'm not sure I'd make that a deal breaker one way or another, though.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2008
  5. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Dec 15, 2007
    Service Plumber
    Consumer Reports was one of the few lucky reciepients of a Champion that was not defective out of the box... They probably did not test it long enough for any of the typical flush valve leaks to appear either...

    Any product that has to endure 3 or, 4 redesigns after hitting the market probably should be off the market!
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