toto drake tank differences

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by ttoottoo, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. ttoottoo

    ttoottoo New Member

    Jun 6, 2013

    I purchased a Toto Drake a month ago and I really liked everything about it. So I purchased three more identical Drakes from the same place.
    When I unpacked them, I realized the tanks were different.

    1st tank
    1. Has a Korky fill valve (blue Gmax)
    2. Doesn't have a notch in the back right corner of the tank
    3. The lid fits perfectly when placed on top (very thin gap and stays in place)
    4. Don't know where it was manufactured

    2nd, 3rd, and 4th tanks
    1. Has what I think is called a Voreto or TSU18A fill valve (blue Gmax with white screw adjustment on top)
    2. Has a notch in the back right corner of the toilet
    3. The lid fits horribly (larger gap, larger overlap, always sits crooked)
    4. Says it was manufactured in USA

    Anyway, I would like to return the last three and have them send me three more that are just like the first one.
    Does anybody know why these are different and if one is better than the other? Is one older? Of all the issues, it is really the fit of the lid that bothers me the most.
    When I say lid, I'm talking about the tank lid, not the toiled seat. Does anybody know where the first tank was manufactured? Maybe I could just have them look
    at the boxes and say send me the one made in ??? and not the one made in USA (unfortunately).

    Any insight into the differences and how I might get the one I like better is appreciated. Also even with the poor lid fit, if you think the last three are better, I wouldn't mind hearing why.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2013
  2. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Apr 27, 2012
    New York, NY
    I myself have two Drakes that I bought within days of each other. One came with the not-notched Korky-valve tank, and the other had a notched tank that came with the Voreto valve.

    The one with the Korky is probably older. I say this because the newer tanks have the notch in the back. A lot of people thought it was for ventilation. Nope. It's there because Toto makes a bidet seat with an auto flusher that fits on the Drake. You run the wires for the auto-flusher through the notch in the tank.

    You are correct that the one that isn't the Korky is a Voreto valve. It's made in China to a Toto patented design. Toto likes it because it basically has one thing you can clean/fix/adjust when it starts to go sideways, and that is the little screen in the bottom of the tube that you can pull out with a tweezers and clean. The water level adjustment is more idiot-proof than the Korky; apparently some civilians are freaked that they have to turn the valve (OMG!!) to set the water level. They're used to a screw, Toto gave them a screw. When it starts acting up, you just rip it out, rather than trying to service it (something that is very easy and inexpensive to do with the Korky, but you actually have to do stuff to it).

    I'm not a fan of the Voreto valve. It chirps on shutoff, shuts off with more of a hammer-inducing thunk, etc. Most people, I'm sure, don't notice it either way. I ripped the Voreto out of my one Drake that came with it and replaced it with a Korky 528T like you have in your older tank. I then ripped the Voreto out of my Carlyle II and replaced it with a Korky 528MP (which would also work in your Drake; it has an adjustable refill percentage; the Drake gets 40%, the Carlyle II gets 30-something). All (seven) toilets in the house now have one form or another of the 528, and I'm entirely content with that.

    Interestingly, Toto now no longer stocks any of the OEM valves to sell as replacements. Instead, they stock a single fill valve, the TSU99A.X, which is made by Korky in the US and is basically a Korky 528MP with some bells and whistles that let you precisely-calibrate it to factory specs for every one of their toilets (water level and refill percentage). This is something that you can also do with a 528MP, and that's what we recommend here that you do, but Toto wanted to sell something that you could for sure set to provide exactly the water usage they say any particular model of Toto toilet has. Kudos to them, but you can just save the $8 differential and buy the 528MP at Lowe's unless you want to have the water usage accurate to thimblefuls.

    So it's not like Toto doesn't like Korky -- far from it. Indeed, the Aquia still comes exclusively, I think, with a custom-made green-capped 528. But they do sell a lot of their toilets for the US market with the Voreto valve.

    Anyway, I have both versions of the Drake tank. The toilets perform the same, especially after I replaced the Voreto valve. Although the tank lid on one can be moved around more than the other, neither is going to fall off. I really don't notice it because I don't move the tank lid. I just set it so it looks good and it sits there, quietly, being a lid.

    I'm not sure that you can get the retailer to differentiate among ST743 tanks sufficiently to get what you want, unless they have some internal info on build dates or factories (more likely build dates, because the US tanks from that period would likely have the same trim) that would produce the tank that you want, which is probably sitting way in the back of the warehouse somewhere. You also might call Toto customer service or send them an email and see if someone nice would actually do the research that could tell you what build dates or other indicia the retailer should be looking for. or 888-295-8134. Nice folks in Georgia.

    Really the only advantage of the new tank is that if you get the fever and want the bidet seat that opens itself when you approach and flushes itself automatically, it will go right on your Drakes. I myself wouldn't rule out the possibility that I might take that plunge one day.

    I would just put 'em in and fall in love with them, but there's no harm in trying if it's really important to you.

    Good luck, and let us know how it turns out.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2013
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  4. ttoottoo

    ttoottoo New Member

    Jun 6, 2013
    Wow, so much more feedback than I expected. Thanks for all of the info, it is useful on several levels. Product knowledge, first hand user experience and such. That's exactly what I was looking for. Looking forward to any other opinions and responses!!! I don't usually post on forums, but I appreciate it when others do, because it helps me figure out my problem. This time, I couldn't find enough on this topic, and this seemed like the prefect place to ask my questions. So far so good!
  5. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Apr 27, 2012
    New York, NY
    Happy to help! And its always fun for us when you let us know how you make out. Goes in the knowledge base, and makes us feel good.
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