Toto vc. American Standard Champion 4 versus Kohler

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by JeffZX, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. JeffZX

    JeffZX New Member

    Mar 18, 2008
    I see where this forum is favored toward Toto, but I have the following concerns and/or questions:

    Consumer Reports only rated the Toto Carlyle as average for solid waste disposal, behind the American Standard, Koehler, Eljer, and Gerber models (it also rated below them in total score). The Toto also seems to have less of a bowl cleaning capability. On Koehler’s web site, it claims that the Kohler toilets have a sustained swirling water motion helps keep the bowl clean, and the Champion 4 toilets make similar claims. Further, my main concern is preventing problems with the flapper and other inner parts which have happened all too often with my current toilet; the Champion 4 claims that it is virtually maintenance free because it has no more rubber flappers that can corrode and more handle jiggling! (Do toilets with flappers need, by nature, periodic adjusting and replacing?) I have read here that the Champion has a history of leaks, but if the Champion 4 has fixed that problem, might that be the way to go with all its extra features; e.g., everclean surface; 4" accelerator flush valve, and great CR rating?

    Reports by magazines
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2008
  2. statjunk

    statjunk DIY Senior Member

    Jun 28, 2007
    I can't speak to all those but I can tell you I purchased 3 Kohler Cimmerons and they can't clean the bowl for $hit. Pun intended.

    Nice looking very comfortable toilet that doesn't clean itself.

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  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Am STD had so many problems with their flushing system, they stopped making now uses a flapper (from what I've heard). SO much for it being superior...advertising hype.

    I have a Carlyle, I've not had to brush away skid marks in several years. Nor has it been clogged where a plunger was necessary. Real world tests trump contrived ones.

    TOTO MS874114SG Carlyle
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2009
  5. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Dec 15, 2007
    Service Plumber
    The Am. Std. Chumpian Toilet left this taste in my mouth long before they got to the Chumpian 4. I predict we are not even close to the end of the redesigns for that line. Quite simply they taste like a ...


    Kohler on the other hand makes a fine looking quality product but they need to get rid of some engineers and stop reinventing the wheel for every product they make. With 136 fill valves, 261 flush valves, & 69 flappers to pick from they should be able to make any toilet work work without designing yet another new wheel. They make so many different parts that even they won't have them all in stock ready to ship. Nevermind a poor local Kohler distributor trying to keep inventory at an acceptable level. Many of these parts are proprietary and generic replacements either won't work well or, cannot even fit. Yup, order the parts from Kohler and wait 3 weeks is tough if you have a 1 bath house! If you go to buy any kohler toilet look in the tank and see what is in there. Then run down to your local hardware store and see if you can replace everything in the tank with what they have on their shelves. If you can't you just one day might find ordering one of Kohlers better mouse traps like this one and waiting a month for it to arrive.


    I have seen parts for inside a toilet tank list as high as $275! Quite simply if I was a shareholder in Kohler the best news I could ever hear is an announcement of, "Ladies and gentlemen Rube Goldberg has left the building!"

    I'll go with the Toto! Somethings don't show in test ratings!
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Bothell, Washington
    I was wondering the same thing.
    I sell pretty much everything on CR's report.
    In fact, I have personally used most of them in my home at some point.
    Many of the products on the top portion of their list do work well.
    I and others have always felt that pressure assist toilets perform well.
    The Flushmate equipped tanks are similar in performance with the 3" flush valve of the Toto Ultramax and other G-Max Toto's.

    What are the qualifications for the two CR writers?
    Are they plumbers?
    What have they been trained in?
    Have they gone to school to learn about household products?
    Can they recognize bad product design the way plumbers can?
    How many hours have they spent working with plumbing in homes?
    Do they have a way of obtaining feedback from the field on this, or are they just guessing how things will be.

    One thing that gets noted by everyone that lives in a home or an apartment, is the sound levels or startle factor of plumbing in a home.
    What seems like a good idea in a warehouse, but not be so nice at 2:00AM in the Master bedroom.

    I have some customers that like the industrial sound of a flush.
    Not everybody feels that way though.
    Not everyone likes the sound curve on some annoying toilets.
    Some do, and some don't.
    I call it the Tim Allen, "Home Improvement" syndrome.
    "More Power! Arhgg! Arhgg!"
    When you consider that maybe half of the population sits down while flushing, it becomes a real issue.
    Maybe in a large warehouse and with two guys flipping levers, it's not a big deal.
    But many use their toilet in the quiet confines of their own home and like the privacy and predictability of the G-Max noise curve. You will note that on their page, they list the Toto Carlyle toilet as very good at waste removal while they list the Ultramax as only "fair"
    Both of these models are almost identical in form and function.
    What happened to their testing methods?
    How can such "similar products" that get the G-Max rating test out so differently on their tests?
    It's hard to accept that
    the highest rated model by plumbers and consumers is only "fair" while the companion model rates a "very good"?
    On one of CR's reports, they listed the CR rated Kohler Wellworth ahead.
    I remove those all the time and replace them with homeowner rated Toto's.

    Homeowners and plumbers feel that the G-Max Toto toilets with the 3" flush valve are the best. The report I've provided is based on
    homeowner and plumber feedback.

    I get emails and phone calls from around the country, 24/7
    We sell thousands of toilets a year and install and remove various brands.
    Let's make that clear,
    We sell American Standard, Caroma, Duravit, Eljer, Gerber, Kohler, St. Thomas Creations, Toto, Western and others.
    We make referrals around the country for products that we can't personally sell and receive feedback on those as well.
    Most of our business is repeat,
    That means, homeowners are essentially writing the report.
    Not two men, employed by CR, that have "never" tested a toilet with toilet paper or human waste.
    Not the two men that have never taken consumer input on performance, cleaning, or longevity.
    Some of their " CR favorites" now have "consumer class action suits", or have been "pulled" from the market.
    Where is their apology for that?

    It's hard to argue with what people truly like.

    Or maybe, this is just some unfinished business between them and I?
    Read the link below for more on that.

    Terry Love's review on toilets
    By the way, you can search this forum and find that we are already getting complaints on the new and improved American Standard Flappers.

    Consumers Reports doesn't report on quality control either.
    A nice picture of an American Standard bowl.
    Would you want this in your home?
    Plumbers and homeowners shouldn't have to inspect and open every box before they bring them home.
    That should be done by a factory inspector.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2008
  7. JeffZX

    JeffZX New Member

    Mar 18, 2008
    I appreciate everyone's responses. Is their a difference among brands as to the effectiveness of their flapper (or other) systems? Every toilet I have ever owned has had occassional or frequent problems in this area. Or are such problems just inherent with toilets regardless of brand or cost? It would be great not to have to worry about jigging the handle or having leaks because parts did not fit well, etc. I have little room to opeate between my sink counter and the toilet and even minor repairs are a pain. So extra money on a toilet that would be maintenance free would be worth it to me. Also a toilet that would be easy to clean, or as much self cleaning as possible, would also be appreciated (avoidance of stains). Thanks.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2008
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Toto's SanaGloss does make cleaning easier and less frequent than my previous toilets. There are some other manufacturers that have similar premium finishes. Duravit is one.

    The flapper valves, being made of rubber (or synthetic) will die eventually - it depends on the local water, mostly on how much chlorine is in the water. I've not had problems with my Totos regarding having to jiggle the handle, but the flappers need to be replaced maybe at 3 year intervals because they get soft and sort of collapse into the opening, messing with the seal.

    The fill valves seem pretty reliable unless you have a lot of sand or sediment. From a PM basis, it's not much to replace the only wear part on the valve in a Toto as when you replace the flapper. Some of the pressure assist mechanisms might last longer, but will likely cost as much or more in the long-term since the parts are more expensive. Personally, I don't like the noise.

    Flappers for the Toto can be found at Lowes Hardware under the Korky brand.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2009
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