Archived Q&A and Reviews
Need another Toilet in Our Small House
We have a 2B/1 Bath and would like to add one more toilet to our house. We have a rogue toilet in the basement that was there when we bought the house and functions but would need replacing as the easiest solution. Other alternatives we thought of were converting the closet in either of the bedrooms to a single toilet. Since they are abutting the wall for the bathroom we thought this could be doable. Does anyone have recommendations of a plumber who could envision these options and advise us on the best solutions? Thanks.
I don't have a recommendation for who but I strongly suggest you find one of the Japanese style toilets that has a sink on the top. Its a small sink with a facet, instead of a flat top over the tank. The water from the hand washing becomes the next flush. That way you can have a sink in the same tiny space that holds the toilet. practical
Replace my 22yo toilet with what?
My 22-year old porcelain toilet has a crack in it near the base, but it doesn't leak (yet). A plumber for my condo association told me it could break at any time. He said his company would charge $600 to replace toilet. I saw the crack but it looks minor. Should I be concerned? Should I replace toilet? What are the best kinds of toilets to use? My toilet is a gravity flush toilet and sometimes I have issues with minor overflows, but plumber told me a pressure assist toilet would be much better. He said if it was his bathroom, he would get the Kohler toilet that can flush dry dog food down it. I'm not sure what to do and would appreciate hearing from any honest plumbers or those who had bathroom remodels. confused about plumbing
We remodeled our bathrooms and used TOTO toilets. They work the best for low flow (1.6 gallon) toilets according to the reviews I read. They have proven to be very reliable and don't clog unless you put too much paper down them. That's what I'd recommend. I don't see why you need a pressure assist toilet. They are noisy. Here is an article that discusses them: http://plumbing.about.com/od/toilet/ss/PAtoilet_2.htm --Good Luck
Need to replace toilets - one piece or two?
I need to replace 2 toilets in my house and of course when I went to buy them, there are endless options that are confusing to say the least. I think I want a one-piece but don't really know the pros and cons of one-pice versus two-piece and what brand to get and where to get the best price. Any information would be appreciated. Thank you
We just replaced our toilet and I first looked at showrooms to get a feel for what we wanted and got advice from the salesperson who told us what lines/brands to stay away from. Once we narrowed down our choices, I looked online at websites like HomeClick, Quality Bath, and Amazon for the best price. Most of them had free shipping and they shipped to our house without a problem. There might be some functional pros/cons that I'm unaware of but we went with a one-piece toilet because it is easier to clean. Some also have a full skirt which also helps. The one con I found is the one-piece toilets are generally more expensive. We ended up buying a Toto one-piece. Also, if you go to www.terrylove.com, he has reviews and recommendations for toilets. It was very helpful. Lori
Toto is the best, and they make a one-piece that is so easy to clean. Plus, they're water efficient. Love Toto
Wall Mounted Low Flow Toilets
We're doing a bathroom remodel and are considering putting in a wall mounted toilet. We've had problems on and off with our standard toilets needing to be plunged fairly regularly, so we're concerned that the new low flow 1.28 standard toilets that are now required won't do the job. Our home was build in 1926, and don't want to re-do the plumbing out to the street. We hope that the wall mounted units will work better, as well as take up less space. But since the 'works' are inside the wall, worry that if something goes wrong with the toilet, that it would be a huge pain to fix. If you've had either good or bad experiences with a wall mounted, low flow toilet, I'd appreciate your input. HB
We are very pleased with our Toto dual flush wall-mounted toilet, which we installed to save water and space (despite the very high cost, it was worth it because of the considerable space savings for an otherwise cramped room). Yes, the 'works' are in the wall, but it sounds like your issue is drainage, not supply -- and regardless of the wall mounting the drainage would be solved by snaking the line, removing the toilet, or addressing issues external to the house, not opening up the wall to reach the tank. By the way, you say you don't want to 're-do the plumbing out to the street', but that is actually an excellent way to solve drainage problems, and it also really helps our local wastewater treatment plants by reducing inflow of groundwater into cracked sewage lines. So, please reconsider your stance on that issue, or at least get an inspection -- count it as a necessary part of your bathroom remodel. Almost every old house in the east bay needs this work done. Mary
We have them and like them very much -- easy to clean the floor underneath.
In an older home -- be sure your wall's stud thickness is adequate to house the Geberit works -- I believe 2x6 is the minimum required and some walls are 2x4. Flushasaurus
Installing a wall hung toilet is a time consuming and expensive project. Most toilet hangers require at least a 2X6 stud wall and some require even more wall space. The waste, vent and usually the water have to be relocated also.
I would look at the new Toto (no, I don't own any Toto stock), but I have installed a number of them and find their finish and overall operation superior to any other HET toilets on the market.
One other thing to consider is how much water stays in the bowl and how well the flush washes down the sides of the unit. I think Toto does very well on both counts. Bill
Expensive toilet has been a nightmare
Bought one of the most expensive Toto toilets, about 7-8 years ago, and it has been a nightmare, at best. We bought it from the plumbing showroom at Ashby Lumber, and I now believe that they sold me their most expensive toilet, not necessarily the most reliable, well-functioning toilet. So, if anyone has a recommendation for both toilet brand and model and, more importantly, a plumbing supply place with integrity, I would so appreciate it. The toilet we bought was a Toto toilet with a low tank, not one of the more vertical tanks. Thank you. Anon
I am a licensed plumber. I love Toto toilets. Well,... actually, mostly I love the 1.28 gallon ones. I'm not sure what model you have there? Sounds like you have a low profile toilet which requires a large supply line to work. It may be designed to partly use the city water pressure? You can always ask the manufacturer. Central Builders in S.F. is the best dang plumbing supply house in the whole bay area, maybe even the state? Locally, Eastern Supply on Shattuck has Toto eco flush (Drake model). Robert
Sorry you didn't have a better experience---I got a Toto toilet about 5 years ago that was a low flush toilet and got a rebate of some sort for going low flush so the toilet ended up costing about $100 (maybe up to $250 initially?) I am very happy with it. I got it at Sincere Hardware in downtown Oakland. anon
I'm replacing my toilet. There are so many out there. Do you have one that flushes well and is easy to keep clean? Is it worth buying a Toto toilet? Linda
We are extremely happy with our two Toto toilets. They have NEVER clogged, and they use much less water than our old toilet (which frequently clogged). Toto fan
We just replaced both of our toilets in the spring. Interestingly, we had our hearts set on Totos, thinking they were just the best thing since sliced bread. But after much research, we heard they weren't as good as we'd thought--a need for double flushing was a big complaint. We ended up with the American Standard Champion 4, from Lowe's. We LOVE these toilets. They are taller than our old toilets, which took some getting used to, but we did. They flush EVERYTHING. The website has fun videos to watch--they flush a bucket of golfballs, among other things. We have 3 kids, 11 & under, and have not used our plungers since buying these toilets. LOVE THEM. heidi
We have Toto toilets, and I think they are worth the price. Ours are just regular toilets, not the fancy heated-seat and dry-your-butt kind.
What I love:
-- Quiet close lids. My kids were always just dropping the old heavy lids and waking me up with a start in the mornings or middle of the night.
-- Toilet stays very clean. They have some special surface in the toilet bowl that keeps them clean. (We still clean them, but it doesn't get dirty very easily at all.)
-- Some kind of design that guards against big jobs clogging the toilet.
They also have some ADA heights if you want higher toilets. (We did b/c we're tall folks and we thought if we still had them when we were elderly, we'd like the higher toilets.) Weirdly Opinionated about Toilets
In February I posted a message asking for feedback about low-flow toilets. Now that EBMUD has begun water rationing, does anyone have more feedback to share? What brand/model did you buy? Are you happy with it? Does it work well for the ''big'' jobs? Is it reliable? Where are good places to shop? Anything else we should keep in mind?
We visited 3 places (Ashby Lumber, Home Depot, EXPO Design Center) and I was surprised that they very few of the WaterSense-certified toilets that EBMUD gives rebates for. We're seriously thinking of buying only one toilet and trying it for a couple of weeks before buying one for our second bathroom. Thanks very much for any info.
Last June we replaced our three, 50-year old toilets with Toto brand high efficiency toilets and couldn't be happier with their performance. I bought them from Ashby Lumber, I think the model name was ''Drake.'' Our water bill is now HALF of what it used to be, and that is without adjusting the irrigation schedule for our large yard. Significant savings. We are a family of 3 who are mostly not home during the day. I highly recommend Toto. Its' Easy to use Less Water!
I never thought I could get so excited about a toilet! We bought a Toto brand Eco-Drake toilet from Rubenstein plumbing at 28th and San Pablo in Oakland. The toilet is on the EBMUD rebate list, as are many of their toilets. Apparently the Toto toilets have a superior flushing system. Our plumber explained it to me, but I've forgotten what he said. But I can tell you that it's amazing!!! My husband and I have been joking that we want to invite all our friends over to try out our new toilet. It uses SO little water you can't believe it's going to flush anything down, but it can, and does, flush everything (even the biggest jobs) quickly and easily. You don't have to stand there wondering if things are going to end up all over the floor...it's really impressive, and QUICK! We've had other low- flow toilets in the past that still used 1.6 gallons and didn't work well-- this uses about a gallon or maybe .9 gallons. We paid $225 for it-- it was (still is) on sale from about $320. The rebate was $150-- such a great deal. We were so thrilled, we went and got a SECOND one 2 weeks after the 1st one for our basement 1/2 bath. They have other Toto toilets in other price ranges, and also other brands of toilets besides Toto. But several plumbers told us the Toto ones are have the best flushing system. You could probably find Toto toilets someplace besides Rubensteins, but not at Home Depot or OSH, etc. Oh, if you don't already know what you need/want, you'll have to figure out about the rough-in-- the Toto toilets come only in a 12 inch rough-in, something to do with the distance between the hole in the floor and the wall-- we actually needed a 14 inch rough-in toilet for the toilet to fit snugly against the back wall. But to get a 14 inch rough-in toilet, we would have had to have gone with American Standard. We went with Toto instead, and we have a small gap between the back of the toilet tank and the wall. We really don't care about that, but it offended our plumber's aesthetic sensibility! Happy flushing!!
I think you mean High Efficiency Toilets, (HETs). Toto makes two such toilets that qualify for the EBMUD rebates. We have installed a number of these and have had good reviews from clients. I intalled an Aquia in my home and plan to install another soon.
The Toto Aquia and the Eco Drake both seem to be excellent toilets. The Aquia is a dual flush unit that is as beautiful as it is resource efficient. The Eco-Drake looks good too.
A site that rates such HET toilets is http://www.easycarts.net/ecarts/terrylove/Toto_Toilets.html#CST414M
Please note that EBMUD has declared a draught emergency and the Cal. Dept. of Water Resources expects another dry winter (SF Chronicle, 9.5.08). george
We remodeled three bathrooms and after some research put Toto toilets in each one. They are low flow (1.3 or 1.6 gal per flush.. I forget which), and Toto has some proprietary design that really moves everything through. It flushes with power like an old-fashioned toilet, but it uses very little water. They have a variety of designs, ADA heights, etc. I have not been disappointed in the four years we've had these toilets.
Got our duplex 2 1/2 years ago, put 4 Toto Duomax toilets in, 2 in each unit. Never any problems with them, work great on big jobs and little. I have even flushed those flushable diapers down them for months without issue. There is very little water in there, so you need to flush fast if there is an odor factor. If you have children, it's hard to baby-proof the lids, but for older kids you can spend a bit more and get a great slam-proof lid. - Saving Water
We got a Toto toilet four years ago on the recommendation of the plumber that was replacing the pipes in our bathroom. Toto is made in Japan, where apparently they have perfected the low-flow toilet. We could not be happier! It is a huge water saver but it is not one of those water saver toilets that you have to flush twice. The model we have is called the Drake. When we had to replace another toilet in our house a year ago we bought another Drake. The main thing I like about it is the great flush and the low water use. But there are other things I like too: 1) the style fits in well with our Craftsman house 2) it is ADA compliant which means it sits up higher and is more comfortable to sit on! 3) it has a slow-close seat which is great in a house of lid-slamming boys. The original one we bought came with a fancy porcelain flush handle which had to be replaced after a year. I had no trouble finding the replacement parts online and ordering them and installing them myself. We have never had any other trouble whatsoever with the toilets and I would never buy any other kind of toilet besides a Toto. G.
We just purchased the Kohler two-button flush ''Persuade''- like it alot! It was much cheaper than the similar Toto model and qualifies for the EBMUD rebate. They do carry them at Home Depot Expo, but were out of stock when we needed to get it. Our contractor got ours for us at Moran Plumbing on 40th at Webster (don't know if they only sell to contractors) who had it in stock- he said that Kohler also has a couple of other dual flush models that Moran carries as well. Good luck! kris
Hi, we don't have these yet, but are just about to buy some. From on-line research and the fact that a friend just bought one of these, we're getting the Toto Eco Drake. It has a powerful flush, and she likes it very much. heidi
I was the poster of this question, and had previously posted it in February. We recently bought the Toto Eco Drake EDA and have found it to be all we wanted. It does have the drawback one earlier responder mentioned: the low water line (and presumably low water use) means that the sides of the bowl don't get as clean when flushing, but we live with it. We still had another toilet to replace and were going to wait for more input from this forum before replacing it, but were so happy with the new Toto that we JUST ordered another one. This model has another feature which isn't publicized: you can do a half flush and use even less water. Thanks to everyone who gave their input.
I just bought an EcoDrake EL ADA low-flow toilet by Toto, from Ashby Lumber, and am quite happy with it. The ADA (American w Disabilities Act) compliant model is better rated than a regular EcoDrake EL model--the extra height evidently helps clean the bowl. Ashby Lumber doesn't have the ADA model in stock, but got mine within 24 hours. Another detail--they don't have the ADA model on the floor, but their public toilet is the ADA model, so you can check it out for yourself! It's more expensive, but I think worth it. And it does qualify for the EBMUD rebate, so that helps. summergal
Like several previous posters, we are the happy owners of Toto toilets, 2 Eco-Drakes and 1 Aquia II (a dual flusher), all three of which qualified for the EBMUD rebate at $150 each. We shopped around quite a bit, and found the best prices at Sincere Hardware Supply at 276 11th St. in Oakland. The cost of the Eco-Drake was only $209 - with a $150 rebate! We didn't like the Toto seats, so purchased soft-close Beamer seats at Rubensteins. By the way, there is an amazing toilet advice forum sponsored by a Seattle plumber that has lots of useful information. http://www.terrylove.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=3 JG
Just one more follow-up as the original poster:
When I originally posted my inquiry, another member mentioned the Terry Love website. We found it very helpful also.
One respondent mentioned that they didn't like the Toto seat and went with a different one. We bought a Toto soft-close seat for our first Eco Drake and I didn't like it either. For our second Eco Drake, I bought a Kohler soft-close seat. It's not that different from the Toto, but I think I get more support without having to sit further back than I'd like.
Someone mentioned the Toto EDA toilet in the Ashby Lumber restrooms. We tried that out also, and I admit we weren't impressed. The issue is that the Toto doesn't make a lot of noise and splash water like the power flush toilets do, so it's easy to underestimate its power. After our Eco Drake was installed, my husband flushed it with his hand over the outlet, as recommended in the Terry Love website. That convinced him (as well as our experience with it at home). Another confounding issue: the restroom toilet has a standard seat. Somehow the Toto soft-close seat we bought made me feel I was sitting higher than on the standard seat. The EDA height was already a stretch for me. (I'm 5'4''.)
Thanks again to everyone who responded. Francesca
Does anyone know what is ballpark for a toilet installation? I want to replace my old water-guzzler with a HET. Installation should be pretty straight ahead. Thanks! Sandi
Nothing. It's easy to do yourself. There are resources online and the guys at Ashby Lumber can talk you through it. We just installed 3 new toilets and it took maybe 1.5 hrs to do them all. DIY Fan
We're going to be buying and installing low-flow toilets in our home. We're interested in a model that is highly rated for flushing solid waste. Any recommendations? Does anyone have experience with toilets that have a power-flush button? Are they worth the extra cost? Thanks very much!
We just purchased a Toto Aqua toilet. It works well and we are quite happy with it. It is one of the models that qualifies for the $150 EBMUD rebate as well. kim
We installed a Toto ultra low flow toilet, and it works great. Two years, never have had to plunge it. Just a regular gravity toilet, no power flush or anything. Much better than the Kohlers we have, which are TERRIBLE -- constantly having to plung those. dr
We just did a ton of homework on low-flow toilets for our new bathroom...the final contenders after reading online reviews and talking to the plumber (who said he gets a lot of service calls on the dual-flush toilets) were the Toto Acquia (dual flush 0.9/1.6 gal), Toto Drake (1.6 gal) and Kohler Cimmaron Eco version (1.28 gal). We ended up going with the Drake, partly because we have friends with 2 young kids who love their Drake and partly because it was the only one of the three that people didn't complain about heavily in the online reviews -- there's a lot of complaint on the low-flows about 1) the waterspot not being big enough, so you get, um, smears on the bowl and have to brush all the time, and 2) clogs and generally not handling solid waste well. That said, I used a Cimmaron in a restaurant bathroom the other day and the flush was pretty powerful. Check out the Owner Comments for various models at http://www.terrylove.com/crtoilet.htm and other places online, although take it with a grain of salt because people do tend to complain a lot about everything. We're only a couple weeks into it, but so far we like the Drake. I Know Waaay Too Much About Toilets Now
check out Kohler; they make a WaterSence compliant toilet that has a 1.1 gpf(gallons per flush) rating (very low, 1.6 gpf is tthe typical code compliant rate), has pressure assist for waste disposal, and is ADA compliant meanig that it is more comfortable for the grandparents and us as we get older. (Kohler also makes lower hieght versions if this style doesn't work). Home Depot sells this for around $300, and some water districts offer rebates to offset the cost. (Marin Water gives $250 rebate making this a $50 toilet!!). Hope this useful. Good luck Jason
I am having a bathroom remodeled. I am considering to have a dual flush toilet. I wonder if anyone has experience with them and specially with the Toto Aquia dual flush toilet. I have seen some environment friendly toilets that you actually need to flush twice in order to properly work. I wonder if the flushing system of the Toto dual flush works well (specially the stronger flush) or if anyone has experience with other brand/model. Thank you in advance. Daniela
We've had a Caroma toilet that was wonderful. We now have a Toto dual flush/bidet combination that is good too. Caroma always comes out tops in reviews of toilets for the plumbing trade.... Believe it or not, they test toilets by the amount of tofu that will flush. Caroma has the largest discharge hole [where the water goes out when you flush] and has an excellent non-repair record. silverpenny
Check out this URL. http://www.terrylove.com/crtoilet.htm Very good overview of low-flow and dual flush toilets. We installed one in a bathroom remodel, but I can not remember which one it is. The 'liquid' flush (0.8 gal/flush) works fine for all liquid and sometimes small solid deposits. The regular flush (1.6 gal/flush) works fine for most others. Occasionally we need to flush twice. Check out the EBMUD website for possible rebates, too. We received $125 rebate ~ 2 years ago. Liz
Steve Ferguson of Mr. Rooter Plumbing (510-843-6378) would be a good person to talk with about the Toto. He has been in the plumbing business for many years and knows the evolution of low water usage toilets well. I believe he recommends Toto toilets, but he could offer good advice on the subject. Julie
We recently put in the Toto Aquia toilet that you're considering. We're happy with it and think that it does flush very well. We would have preferred a flush lever instead of a button, but that's not a big deal. The ''water spot'' is small and so sometimes solids may miss a bit and you may need to use the ol' toilet brush. I like that it has a half flush for pee. The only time i've had to flush twice is if i failed to depress the flush button the whole way - you can't just lightly touch the flush button. The only other downside was that it was a bit more difficult to install - if you buy one, google for additional installation instructions - they were helpful for our plumber. Enjoy the water savings and the $150 rebate! dan
I can't specifically address the newer dual flush toilets, but our Toto Drake, installed about 6 years ago, works perfectly. Although it is not officially a dual flush, the folks at Ashby lumber explained that a quick push of the handle dosn't use the full 1.6 gal of water, and is sufficient for fluids, while a firm push will result in a ''full flush'' for solids. This is not mentioned in the manual, but if you watch the flush with the top off the tank, you will see it is true. We have never had a clog, never had to flush twice (at least I haven't...), and only very rarely have any residue left in the bowl (not enough to warrant another flush, and it disappears the next time it's used). One of these days, we'll replace the water-wasting toilet in our older bathroom, and we plan to get the same model. R.K.