Toto Ultramax product review, comments & pictures

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Reader Review, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. rdm1301

    rdm1301 New Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Location:
    DC
    MS854114SG-01 Fill Valve Problem

    Hi Terry,

    I just installed a Toto MS854114SG-01 Ultramax Elongated One Piece Toilet with Sanagloss. Installation seemed fine but I noticed something odd when I flushed. The toilet flushes quite well but I noticed that water is streaming out of the top of the g-max fill valve (underneath the cap.) Is this normal?

    Thanks for your help!

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2010
  2. janluv999

    janluv999 New Member

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    Jun 3, 2010
    Location:
    Flagstaff, Arizona
    Toto UltraMax on Tile--need additional holes to attach?

    Can the Ultramax be installed on tile with the standard 2 bolt or will I have to have additional holes drilled into the tile?
     
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Plumber
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    Bothell, Washington
    The Ultramax is a quick and simple install using the standard flange and two closet bolts.
    Everthing is pre adjusted from the factory.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2010
  4. kdmeyer

    kdmeyer New Member

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    Jul 5, 2010
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Toto Ultramax 10-year review

    Installed my Ultramax ten years ago, thanks to advice from Terry's website. Overall it has been good, not great. I should mention we are a family of three, we do not abuse the fixtures, I am under 190 lbs, another family member is 120 lbs, third is about 75 lbs.
    The good:
    --"Does the job" as Terry says. That is the most important feature. Reasonably quiet. Attractive appearance with the low-profile one-piece styling.
    The bad:
    --Just about all the moving parts have failed and required replacement:
    --Soft-close seat: bumpers broke within a couple years. Rather than buy the expensive Toto replacement that was just as cheaply made, I bought a Kohler soft-close seat that fit pretty well and has had no problems.
    --Fill valve failed after about two years. Purchased the correct Toto replacement part, expensive, it failed after about two more years. Worst of all--when they failed, they leaked water onto the floor, just enough not to notice until we saw water dripping into the basement. Replaced with generic hardware store valve, no problems since.
    --Yesterday the trip lever failed. During a party with many guests. "Hey, the toilet won't flush." Inspection revealed that a concealed piece of the pot metal casting had worn completely through, so it would no longer engage the brass lift bar. Fortunately I was able to jury rig a fix with a wire tie, which will hold until a new trip lever arrives from the Internet plumbing supply. Had noticed the trip lever action had been sloppy in recent months.
    --I also ordered a new flapper. The flapper on this toilet has long been too quick to close, requiring user to hold down lever for 5 seconds or so to ensure a complete flush. It's possible that behavior was an early symptom of the trip lever wear.

    This is a product with good fundamental design and disappointing quality. The parts that failed were cheaply executed--inadequate materials. The main one-piece casting has held up well and still looks good.

    I have been around long enough, lived with enough toilets, to say I've never seen so many problems like this. On the other hand, with many of those others, a plunger was a permanent accessory stored next to the toilet. I have needed to plunge this one maybe half-a-dozen times in ten years. And it just about always needs only one flush.

    If I were going to spend $500 today on a new toilet, I would look at the current alternatives before buying another Toto, although would still consider Toto.

    With that said, I am grateful to Terry for his site, I learned a lot here. Without Terry's site I probably would have bought a low-flow system with poor performance, which cannot be fixed no matter how good the ancillary hardware might be.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2010
  5. Kimster

    Kimster Member

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    Jul 9, 2010
    Location:
    Manitoba
    I was considering the Carolina, but the Ultramax seems like a better toilet. From my understanding, and forgive me for not reading all 7 pages of posts, the difference between the Ultimate and the Ultramax is the flushing system where the Ultramax contains 9 litres of water but uses 6 on the flush and the Ultimate fills with 6 litres and uses all 6 for the flush. This is what the guy at the store told me. He said that he didn't have any of the Ultramax in but could convert an Ultimate to an Utramax by switching out the guts in the tank. Is this correct or should I totall steer clear of this reseller?
     
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
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    New England
    As far as I know, none of the low-flow toilets use all the water in the tank...they all have more in there which helps give it a bit more oomph (sort of like a water tower). The only way to get a toilet to use all the water in the tank these days is to either hold the handle down, or substitute incorrect parts, and then, at least with a good toilet, you're wasting water. G-Max has been Toto's best flushing system. Their newest one is the dual-cyclone flush used on some of the newest low-flow HET toilets. Any of them that use the 3" flush valve have the ability to dump all of the water quickly, which is what pushes things out of the bowl.
     
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    The Ultimate and the Ultramax use the same porcelain.
    The Ultramax was supposed to be their "HOTEL" version of the Ultimate. Toto figured the Ultimate worked plenty well enough for home use. I personally had one installed for two years, and it got heavy use with big crowds on weekends. It went two years before I needed a plunger, and then I didn't even know where to fine one.
    The Ultramax maintains a higher water level in the bowl, with the fill valve set higher and the higher overflow tube.
    Since the water leaves the tank quicker, TOTO used the red flapper with the hole in the lower portion to speed up the drop. It's rated at 1.6 gallons.
    The Ultimate, with the lower water level, needed the slower closing blue flapper that was plugged on the bottom, and because the water was slower to leave the tank, it still uses 1.6 gallons.
    If they only have the Ultimate, I wouldn't worry about it, they work fine. And if you think you really need more water, just hold the handle down a pause more.
    The Ultimate is a little quieter, since the water flows through slower. If the Ultramax had never come out, I would be selling plenty of Ultimates. But like anything in marketing, you can never be too quick, too large, or too new. Even if the old dog has been herding the sheep just fine the whole time.
     
  8. Kimster

    Kimster Member

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    Thanks for the info. I would think, then, if I get the Ultimate and I'm not happy with the flush or whatever, I can change out the fill valve, overflow tube and flapper myself and it becomes an Ultramax. I was thinking more about condensation on the tank. If the cold water mixes with room temp water in the tank -- less likely to sweat. And the more water left over in the tank after the flush, the less likely it will happen.
     
  9. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Both tanks have water left over in the tank.
    I don't think condensation has ever been an issue.

    All toilets since 1992 use only a portion of the water in the tank.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2010
  10. Kimster

    Kimster Member

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    OK, that's great, thank you.
     
  11. Reader Review

    Reader Review Comments by readers

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
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    Emails and phone calls sent in by readers
    Hi Terry,
    I bought a Toto UltraMax at your suggestion. Love it.
    Now about to put in another toilet. The current toilet has a handle on the front. The Toto UltraMax wont work because the toilet must fit into a not wide space. The Toto UltraMax has the handle on the side and it would be hard to reach.
    I would like to stick with Toto and I saw the Toto Clayton on your website which has a handle on the front. It should fit and the handle would be easy to reach. Have you had any experience with the Toto Clayton? Hopefully, it behaves the same as the Toto UltraMax.
    Thanks in advance.
    Donald S

    Wish I lived in Seattle so I could come and see you guys. Thanks again.
    Donald
     
  12. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
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    New England
    Sounds like you don't have the minimum mandated space for the toilet (15" from the centerline). This could give you grief with the building inspectors. Some places require a permit to install a new toilet, some don't, and many ignore that fact. Some of the Totos can be ordered with the tank guts reversed...i.e., the handle on the right. This is true for at least some of them sold as ADA complient toilets where the handle is required to be on the door side of the stall (i.e., not stuck next to the wall).
     
  13. blackhawkfan

    blackhawkfan New Member

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    Sep 7, 2010
    Location:
    Boston MA
    I am in the market for a new, water-saving toilet. From this site it seems like the UltraMax is the way to go. I see on Toto's website that they have an UltraMax II with double cyclone flushing and 1.28 gpf. Does anyone have experience with this new system and the 1.28 gpf capacity? Does it clean the bowl and resist clogging? We have septic and three young kids so I am trying to use the least amount of water possible for savings and wear and tear while minimizing clogging, as kids can do.

    Thank you.
     
  14. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
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    Use the search function...you'll get lots of hits. While I can't comment on other brands, the Totos at 1.28g work as well as their 1.6g, older versions. The double cyclone makes eventual cleaning easier since there's no rim to hide crud, and it does wash the bowl. Just keep in mind that no low-flow toilet washes as well as the old ones that could use as much as 8g. Sanagloss also helps, as it is much smoother and things don't stick as well, which makes them wash off easier.
     
  15. NightowlDC

    NightowlDC New Member

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    Sep 15, 2010
    Location:
    D.C.
    Will the Ultramax fit my space?

    I'm ready to buy the Ultramax to replace my current toilet, but after looking at the spec sheet, I'm worried it might not fit. My current toilet has a 12'' rough in, but it also sits four inches from the wall. According to the spec sheet for the Ultramax, it is supposed to sit less than an inch from the wall, which I can't do because I have cut-off valves on the floor between the wall and the toilet--see picture below. Will the Ultramax still fit? If not, can someone recommend a comparable toilet that will fit? Thank you!
     

    Attached Files:

  16. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
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    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    The rough-in is determined by measuring from the finished wall (not th ebaseboard unless it is very high) to the center of the toilet flange, which is normally also the bolts that hold the toilet to it. The important thing about the shutoff is how far offset from the centerline of the toilet is it. The space at the back of the toilet to the wall on the drawings is related to a standard rough-in. If the rough-in is not standard, then you either get a different toilet to match it, it won't fit, or you have a bigger space behind it than designed. Some (not all) toilets are available with 10, 12, or 14" rough-ins.
     
  17. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Neither the Drake or the Ultramax will work if you have the shutoff behind the bowl and the wall like that.
    You will need to look at some small footprint bowls.
    The TOTO Aquia may work for that.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. kli

    kli New Member

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    Sep 18, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego
    Hi - What great information! Thank you Terry. Terry's information over the years convinced us to purchase the Toto Ultramax. They are two years old now and one has developed a squeak on refilling. The annoying squeak lasts from a second to about 10 seconds. It doesn't appear to leak from the seal. I see the new fill valve is TSU18A. Do you think I need to replace it? Thanks in advance.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2010
  19. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Bothell, Washington
    I would first make sure that the shutoff at the wall is open all the way.
    If that is open, and it squeaks for that long, you may need replacement.
     
  20. NightowlDC

    NightowlDC New Member

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    Sep 15, 2010
    Location:
    D.C.
    Thank you very much for the advice; you saved me from buying toilet I'd have to return. The Aquia looks great (does it matter which version?), but the spec sheet for it doesn't seem to list the space between the wall and the back of toilet. Would it leave me with 3-4'' of open floor space? The valve above appears to be on the centerline of the toilet, so I'd need some open space there in the back of the Aquia. From the wall to the bolts on my current toilet is 12''.
     
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