CHOICE membership

Toilet Suites


#1

Yes, I’m looking for the low down on getting a good buy in a replacement toilet suite.

Why ask?

Well, it’s one of those items that taking for a test drive might not be possible. And what one person feels good on might not be the same for another?

It’s also an item that once it has been installed may be difficult to get warranty on. Every one flushes different? That’s the pedestal cistern performance I’m referring to.

Suites vary in cost between a few hundred up to over $1,000. Or more for a proper full service Toto with electric powered seat!

I suspect that the Wels rating is not reliable verses flushing performance. The water volume change might be accurate, but how do you measure the effectiveness? The ability to avoid a second flush. Some toilets flush right first time. Some often need a second flush, defeating the water saving?


#2

Apparently we have different worries in life than Americans :wink:

There are numerous US sites that have reviewed toilets, including Choice’s sister (big brother?) Consumer Reports, but little here I could find for our market except a glib overview suggesting (against common sense) they are mostly a much of a muchness

and anecdotal reviews on productreview.com.au that suggests some of them are pretty ordinary.


#3

While it may not be possible to open up to full throttle, it is still possible to test the comfort of the seat by sitting on it. Many new toilets are compact to make them look sexier and to take up less room, but this makes the seating position a little more crampt for those who may be carrying a wide load.

Always sit to ensure that there is sufficient room for both comfort and also enough gap at the posterior for hand movements.

Also check the load limits to ensure any heavy loads don’t end up cracking the clay,

Water saving is best for yellows as these don’t need high volumes to make them disappear, maybe look at higher full flush volumes to ensure second flush does not result in double flushing.


#4

Yes, a dry run is possible in store where they have a wide range to test. Yet to find a store with a range set up for a more thorough test. Any way who would have the time to try them all out? The old Caroma was built for comfort and a good read ahead of style. It might be the ‘gold’ standard? Some of the newer models appear to require a fashion statement rear to match. I’m long out of fashion!

it’s simple plain good advice to try before you buy, as far as is practicable.

Perhaps if there is sufficient interest the diverse range of Choice lab staff could do a few internal surveys to determine a range of suitable test loads and identify a range of relevant test conditions.

As noted previously

A good buying guide backed up with a calibrated flush test might be all that is required. Which models do the job with a single full flush at the nominated water volume setting for all samples 8/9 out of 10 flushes. It’s the ones that repeatedly refuse to single flush some or more of the test samples that need weeding out. Some cisterns seem to let go with a hugh gusto and no result, while a modern rimless bowl takes its time and who knows?

As to durability, reliability or quality of manufacture, these are difficult to assess objectively without great effort. Common sense says a good suite should last decades with only minor attention. I know of many that have made 30, and some newer ones that did not make 5 (cistern water leaks and fill/flush mechanisms)?

If you follow the guides in any expensive home fashion magazine, then may be their advice is correct. All bathrooms and kitchens date and we should be doing a full replacement every five years to ensure our properties do not date and retain their million dollar values. (Not likely for this home!) I get to read these while waiting to see my GP. It’s great to know the practice staff are up with all the latest trends professionally and at home. :rofl:

p.s. @TheBBG, thanks for the link to the big sister.


#5

We bought cheap slim fit low water usage Chinese toilet suites with soft close seats from Bunnings about three years ago to replace the existing ones. Still working perfectly.

They were so much cheaper than the others that we could replace the whole thing and still be a-head!

Even toilet suites are becoming disposable commodities.


#6

I think that there are a number of factors on which toilets can be rated, and it would be very useful to have a rating system.
One thing that that I’ve become aware of recently is the noise level of the flush. I have one toilet that flushes so loudly that it wakes anyone sleeping in the bedrooms nearby. The other one, where noise is less of a problem because situated off the laundry and further from the bedrooms, is much quieter. I’ve been wondering about what the main factors affecting the noise are? Tried turning down the refill tap (to reduce the inflow of water), but that just changed the noise but didn’t really reduce it.


#7

I’m no expert, but I believe it has to do with the design & state of repair of the toilet cistern water inlet valve.

Repairing or replacing the offender might mollify the nearby sleepers. Replacements are available including third party generics.


#8

Thank you! Some of those links look very helpful and I’ll do some testing when I have time. I do know that it’s unlikely to be the two bits I’ve replaced since I’ve lived here, but I’ll systematically try the other suggestions.


#9

Good point, having standard/readily available consumables such as valves, seals and washers is also important because if they aren’t readily available, it may be a costly exercise to repair.

Many common brands use the same flushing mechanism across models over many generations of the same model…making finding parts very easy as they are often widely available from most plumbing retailers.