How good are Toto toilets? Are they really all that?

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Terry, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Bothell, Washington
    I received a message from specialist in Intellectual Property in the software industry about this very question.

    He seems to think that I'm making this stuff up.

    As a retail salesman, and an installer of product, I keep track of how many units I sell, and how many have been returned.
    I divide the number of returned items by the number of sold units.
    Pretty simple I think.

    Lets see how this goes.

    If I do a quick search over a short period of time I get:
    3,458 TOTO toilets sold
    4 returned for replacement.
    So if I divide 4 by 3,458 I get 0.1156%

    So that pretty close to 1/10 of one percent returns.
    Or 99.88 percent still out there in homes.

    Jakeru, would you care to comment?
    I understand that you have installed two toilets?
    Correct me if I'm wrong here.
    Of which you have had 100% problems with
    American Standard Cadet 3, should have had the bowl replaced, but you repaired it instead of returning it.
    Kohler Pressure Lite, needed the bowl replaced, but you ground the bowl rather then returning it.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
  2. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    I have had great luck with 3 out of 3 Totos I've installed in the last 3 years, based on info from this site.

    On the other hand, had frequent clogging with Wellworth toilets, and some significant repair costs with a Flushmate.

    I couldn't buy from Terry even though I wanted to, unless I wanted to drive halfway across the country with a UHaul to pick 'em up, so he clearly didn't benefit from my purchases.
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  4. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Dec 15, 2007
    Service Plumber
    I'll easily agree with everything Terry has to say about Toto!
    They are that good!:D

    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2010
  5. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Jan 6, 2010
    I think Toto is top of the line. Great toilets and I have them in my home.:)
  6. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Sep 1, 2004
    Yakima WA
    I have 2 in my home. Trouble free out of the box. Zero clogs. Yeah, they are that good.
  7. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

    Jul 24, 2007
    Robber, with some DIY on the side.
    Interested in Jakeru's reply to this. I did not realize anything was wrong with his bowl.
  8. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Bothell, Washington
    Some of the rinse holes in the bowl of his American Standard Cadet 3 were not punched out.
    If you look at his posts, he mentions that.
    I've never seen that happen on a Toto.

    If it had, I would have expected a new bowl for it.

    American Standard?
    I'm replacing 20% of the toilets.
    That means only 80% are in service.

    It's pretty hard to make money selling a product when 1 out of 5 need replacing.
    The labor to go back, and do a job twice?
    You've got to be kidding me.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2010
  9. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Bothell, Washington
    I thought what I was saying was simple.

    Let's make this real simple.

    I had to remove and replace 20% of the American Standard toilets I've been selling.
    That means two or three extra trips.

    I have had to remove and replace less then 1% fo the Toto products I'm selling.

    Look at this part, "Had to remove and replace" "Had to".

    Even my girlfriend laughed when she read it.
    She has a "for now" working American Standard Champion.
    The tank was replaced in the first few months because of a faulty flush tower in the tank, and America Standard didn't have parts at that time.

    She also has a Toto Aquia.
    For her, and she has both, she said that if she had to "pay" for a toilet, it would be hands down for a new Toto.

    I've had to return one tank out of the 263 Aquia toilets I've sold.
    So, what is the percentage of returns on 1/263?

    Live long and prosper.
  10. pkgman

    pkgman New Member

    Jan 10, 2010
    Des Plaines, IL
    Get the math right

    I've had a Toto for quite a few years. Never, never, never, had a problem. Now I'm looking for another one for the other bath room.
    Terry, this is a great fourm but...
    4/3458=0.0011567. You have to multiply the answer by 100 to get per cent. So it's 0.1156738% ;-)
  11. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

    Feb 6, 2005
    Sensitivity trainer.. plumber of mens souls
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    Installed TOTOS in public restrooms

    we did a nasty factory re-model this spring,

    the owner was a millionaiiire, and flew in
    on his leer jet to supervise the job...

    we had to change out 6 toilets and installed
    ^ TOTO handicapped one piece toielts to make
    this fellow happy....

    all ....ONE PIECE.... so my cost was about 600 each or more. price was no bject..

    We ended up getting the job becasue I did not mark up the toilets and a few other fellows must have literally gouged them on the bid.

    I basically threw them in at cost after the fact
    and the bid for the plumbing necesary....

    anyway, they went into public restrooms for office and warehouse persons, and we have
    never gone back yet for either a stopped up toilet or any other problems...

    I was sort of worried about putting the one piece toilets in this situation, but its been ok......

  12. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    Personally I suspect your claim about Toto being "99% perfect", because I suspect you may have a profit motive in trying to make the Toto look good.

    --A specialist in Intellectual Property.

    Why didn't I see this before?

    Terry, a sly dog if ever there was one, set up this web site, allowing DIY'ers to get FREE advice from professional plumbers, electricians, etc. just to lure in unsuspecting dupes like me. Then, he starts promoting Toto products, knowing that many of us will buy them, which in turn creates great personal wealth for him by --

    what route, exactly? Most of us don't live near enough to him to buy a Toto toilet from him, and he doesn't ship 'em across the country.

    Oh, now I get it - Terry is obviously getting kickbacks from Toto for every toilet he gets us to buy -

    - only, how exactly would Toto know that I was influenced by what I read on this site when I bought my 3 toilets in Omaha, Nebraska?

    Hmmm - I still don't see how Terry could be getting much personal gain from the countless hours he has spent putting up this FREE website, and moderating it.
  13. Jeremy Hillary Boob PhD

    Jeremy Hillary Boob PhD New Member

    Jan 10, 2010
    northern california
    I've got 2 of 'em and (as Tony the Tiger would say...) they're great. Every other toilet I ever had was nothing but trouble. In 2 years, not the slightest slightest problem, and I even installed them myself---nothing to it. A little pricey, but definitely worth it.
  14. Firemark

    Firemark New Member

    Aug 11, 2009
    Southern NJ
    Not so sure about this forum


    I used your site to make a purchase decision and resolve some install questions. I admit to already having a prejudice against the American Std brand after having bad luck with them previously. I ended up buying a couple of Aquia III's which are terriffic as well as a Drake from another supplier in my region of the country.

    The concern here is how fair is the forum in treating alternate opinions? Does everyone have to agree with you or your most frequent posters before you edit their responses or worse, have berating comments posted in reply?

    You and the collection of experts offer some very sound, helpful advice on solving problems. However, when an outsider such as myself see blatant editing and insulting comments posted in reply it lowers your credibility and eliminates any value the information posted on this site. Casual users will never know if they're getting a straight answer or one that's completely biased. It may be your business and your site, but it's just a toilet to the rest of us. We're looking for help, not to be proselytized on the virtues of Toto.

    It may be time to re-think your editing practice and come up with a published policy that treats all questions fairly and posters with respect.
  15. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Posts are rarely deleted. If it is edited, the software indicates that and by whom. I delete very few messages, and generally restrict that to spam or vulgar and almost never edit a response. If I do edit it, it is to add something, not delete. At least as far as I know, the only one who may have a financial gain from this is Terry himself...none of the moderators or other contributors get and renumeration. In their own area, some posters push their products, but there are often enough counter-offers to give a fairly round, balanced response. I've been very pleased with the four Toto toilets I purchased, and they do work much better than what they replaced. In my travels, I tend to see airport remodels that seem to be switching to Toto stuff...they must feel it is worth it, too.
  16. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Bothell, Washington
    It would be nice if people would post their "one" comment on the review.

    One and done.

    Jakeru and Ian Gills spam the review over and over again.
    With Ian, he views it as entertainment.
    He makes me laugh.
    It is kind of like entertainment.
    He may wind up with his own blog here.

    Jakeru didn't make me laugh.
    He was just plain inaccurate and with an attitude.
    When I pointed out that his two toilets had 100% "remove and replace" issues, and that I had less then 1% on the Toto, he kept insisting that I must be lying. Lying or too dumb to know better I guess.
    I thought that was disrespectful.
    And kind of mean.

    Do homeowners think that plumbers can't punch numbers on a calculator?

    Many of the times when the plumbers are reacting, it's when good advice has been given, and the homeowner acts as if we just "didn't get it"

    We get it.

    In the Jakeru case, it was merely book keeping records.
    The numbers don't lie.
    I pull my records, do a product search, and Bingo, there's my report.

    Many of the plumbers posting here have their own business, and they know how efficient things need to be to pay their light bills.
    I would say math is one of their better subjects.

    Jakeru removed his own posts after that.
    I woke up Sunday morning and they were gone.

    Two years ago, I pulled an American Standard Champion from a West Seattle home, and installed a Toto Ultramax, I offered the Champion to my neighbor across the street, knowing that he already had one.
    His question to me was,

    "Is there something wrong with this one?"

    His Champion had already started having problems.

    I wound up giving him a nice one-piece Kohler that I had pulled out instead.
    I knew that one had been working fine.
    It had been replaced with a Toto Sanagloss Ultramax, but the homeowner said that the Kohler had been working pretty good most of the time.
    So the neighbor wound up with a $400 toilet.

    And Firemark,
    I just reread some of your posts.
    You know how to bring it too.
    If we all get more polite, are you going to get with the program too?

    It's not rocket science.

    Or is it?

    Firemarks cool video on the Aquia
    I hadn't seen that before.
    And it has the SS204 seat on it.

    Drake 800 grams by Veritech Video
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2010
  17. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

    Aug 23, 2009
    Defects happen but good manufacturing practices and QC checks should catch most of them. If there is a defective one in a lot, I'll get it... And indeed this happened with one of my three Totos. I had one tank that was slightly askew. I noticed while trying to align it within a gnat's looked different depending on which side of the toilet I was comparing. The problem became apparent when I put the matched lid (I didn't mix it with the others.) There was 1/8" or so gap on the corner and some tank twist was apparent; I also noted the tank walls were closer together on one side than the other. Functionally the toilet and tank were fine and I used it for several days before swapping the tank at the supply house. This was a substantial cosmetic defect and the tank lid wobble was unacceptable to me. I doubt 80% of homeowners/installers even would have noticed it.

    Haven't needed a plunger so far...I'm waiting for a year plunger free to declare victory.
  18. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Bothell, Washington
    I think when you first posted about the tank, that the suppliers had agreed with you that it was a returnable defect.
    Those are the things I count.
    That would be a good example.

    A year without a plug?
    You could have grand kids come over for a visit and flush army men down the toilet, you're just tempting fate aren't you.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2010
  19. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

    Aug 23, 2009
    Yep, it was considered returnable and went back with no hassle (no fees.)

    I thought I should mention it in this thread as I have a great deal of praise for the Totos, and I want it clear that I won't hide anything just because I like the product (the implication of the person you quoted that some of us might put on our blinders.)

    Consumer bias/perspective is imporant when comparing defect data too, but there is an effect that runs counter to what one might expect. About two decades ago (if memory serves) there was an interesting effect noticed in some "initial quality" surveys of a car that was made on the same assembly line for the U.S. market. Roughly half the cars received Geo badges and the other Toyota. The buyers of Toyota badged version reported far more defects than the domestic badged version. What differed? The expectations of the buyer.

    Another factor in toilets that is harder to account for when one is not getting things unopened directly from the distributor is shipping damage and/or part swapping and resealing the boxes. Distributors are likely to handle these things properly...can't say the same for big box stores or traditional shippers.
  20. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Bothell, Washington
    Nobody like picking up boxes from the big box that have been opened before.
    I remember installing a toilet that was customer supplied,
    Can't even remember the brand anymore.
    It worried me that it had been opened. I installed the tank, and water was weeping from a lower corner of the tank. There was no visible defect or crack. It was just porous.
    I went to return it, expecting someone to mark the box, or tank.
    The guy in the isle said someone would mark it latter.
    How latter?
    Or was he just going to restock and resell the tank, because he couldn't see the defect with his naked eye?

    A few months ago, we were to install a Big Box faucet, and it was missing parts. The homeowner wanted us to drive to big box and wait in line for new parts for the faucet that he had supplied.
    Yeah, like that was going to happen.
    I did mention that Jakeru wouldn't mind running down to big box for him.
    We kept on working on other things, while the homeowner returned his faucet.

    I prefer that faucets at my supply houses. Less chance of people picking the parts out.
  21. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

    Aug 23, 2009
    If grandkids show up I'll have a lot of 'splainin' to do with the spouse...and my kids would be very surprised...but not as surprised as I would be. :eek: I've had a line clogged by a paratrooper, and a rubber ducky.

    I've been trying to decide what value to put on the improved domestic tranquility and reduced labor/yuck factor from not plunging toilets and cleaning up afterwards. At $20/episode the payout would be longish, but at $50/episode that and the water/sewer savings would be a fast payout. I think one of us was snaking/plunging about 4 times/year and we had some rules about extra flushes to avoid clogs. If I could have put a $20 in the jar everytime it happened so that it didn't, I would have. Not sure about $50 though...except when company was involved.
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