87 of 91 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Our house is 17 years old, and came with some of the earliest (and cheapest) versions of water-saving toilets. Performance was abysmal. We first tried the original Kohler Wellworth, which offered only marginal improvement. Next we installed an earlier-model Toto Drake (1.6 gpf), with a 3 inch flapper valve, which has provided excellent service with few clogs, although a little noisy. Installation was straightforward, and the parts have held up over time. The bowl stays fairly clean, but could be somewhat better (4.5 stars?). Then we installed two Kohler Cimarron "Force Five" toilets. The tank mounting system for these Kohlers is a little different, and eliminates two possible points for leakage as gaskets age. These also have a 3 inch flapper, and have performed well. They seem slightly less noisy. These also stay reasonably clean. For a more complete flush, we've had to hold the handle down for a few seconds on all of these models -- the Wellworth for as long as 7 seconds (it has the older 2 inch valve). I replaced the flapper on one of the Cimarrons with a "Korky" brand model that is adjustable (the vent hole in the side of the bulbous portion can be made smaller or closed completely), and performance was somewhat improved because a somewhat greater amount of water passes through before the valve closes.
The Toto Drake II was purchased to replace the Wellworth, in our guest half bath, due to its mediocre performance (Here, Aunt Irene, take this plunger with you -- "); it has the same internal tank configuration, but uses only 1.28 gallons per flush. In addition, the traditional toilet bowl rim with a series of tiny holes has been reengineered. The bowl is now rinsed by a double vortex of water provided by two horizonal outlets at the back of the rim. Although this is early days, it seems to work VERY well. I have seen a few reviews expressing concern about the amount of tightening the mounting bolts require to seat the tank on the bowl, but personally did not find it to be an issue. "Stubby" wrenches or a socket set work quite well. Just alternate sides frequently.
In terms of performance, a quick push on the handle provides a briefer flush that uses less water, but seems sufficient for liquids. Holding the handle for a two-count essentially empties the tank and provides a more powerful flush. "Dual-flush" toilets seem to offer little benefit in this situation, unless you're in a truly water-starved area. The noise level is acceptable, seeming slightly less than the others. At two seventy-five from an on-line source, including shipping, this was similar in price to the two Cimarrons and about a hundred forty-five cheaper than the original Toto, locally purchased. It was exceptionally well packed in double boxes filled with foam, and arrived in less than 3 days. The ceramic portions were marked "Made in USA," but third-party websites note that this product can come from multiple sources. Toto's "Ultramax" line is listed as all made in USA.
UPDATE: We have had it about a year now, and have installed a second one, replacing one of the Cimarrons (which was defective). Couldn't be happier with them!
51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I researched and researched and finally decided on the Toto Drake II and am oh-so-happy with my choice. Mind dump on my research and my personal opinion follows:
The bottom line:
Performance and efficiency on the Toto Drake II are excellent in every regard. I read reviews that did not come to this conclusion, but this toilet is so good they're hard to believe. Ordering online from Amazon was quick & trouble-free - got the toilet in 4 days (and that included Thanksgiving!).
CST = gravity (not power assisted) flush
454 = model #
C = double cyclone (two outlets create swirling water - no "old-fashioned" rim holes to clog or get dirty)
E = e-max (3" flush valve and 2 1/8" trapway with additional siphon power at the trap - stuff disappears!)
F = universal height (ADA - in this case about 17 1/4" seat height)
G = sana gloss (ceramic glaze - must not use harsh/scratching cleaners. Bonus? You won't need to!)
* flushes EVERYTHING, and quickly (one can only wonder why all toilets don't - isn't this their only purpose?)
* refills quickly (even with our old and narrowing galvanized plumbing, after all, it's only a little more than a gallon)
* aesthetically attractive shape, if such can be said about a toilet
* cleans completely about 99/100 times...I've had to clean it once for slight streaking
* has variable flushing ability - if you hold down the handle longer you can get more of the swirling flush (not that I can say it has ever really needed to be held longer - even the quickest flush takes everything away)
* I have not used the plunger once
* I have not had to flush more than once even a single time
Worries from my research that proved unfounded:
* noise - it's not super quiet, and there is a 'glug glug glug' sound at the 'finale', but it is not disturbingly loud and doesn't wake my teen daughter in the next room if it is flushed late at night. I guess this can vary based on your plumbing
* seat height - some said the seat height cut off circulation in their legs when they sat for a while. Our family is 5'4" tall and taller and none of us have had any problems with the toilet height, indeed at 5'9" I find it 'just right'
* leaking from the tank connection- our 2-piece Toto was installed by a plumber and it does not leak
* color - 'colonial white' is the perfect white for my older home. Quite white-but not too white-and not at all dingy or off-colored or yellowed as I had feared - picking colors from a computer screen is scary!
* shipping - some people, but not most, have had problems at some of the sites I visited while doing my research, but our toilet was well padded inside the boxes (2) and the boxes were in perfect shape when they arrived on the ups truck - our toilet was in perfect condition
* you can see those big double cyclone holes and the altered rim that makes them work so well, which is maybe not that great of a "look"
* doesn't come with a seat (we reused our existing seat as our old toilet was also elongated)
* pricey, but never was the axiom more true - you DO get what you pay for
* there's a thing called a MaP rating for flushing ability (not rinsing power) ranging from 0 to 1000 (1000 grams, that is, or 2.2 lbs.), the Toto Drake II gets an 800 (I've read anything over 500 is good - and people, please eat your fiber! 2.2 pounds?!?)
* this is an elongated toilet, exact specs can be found on the toto website
* handle is polished chrome and on the left (right is available)
* one year mfg warranty
* 12" rough in - the distance from the wall to the bolts
* WaterSense - just means uses 20 percent less water than the current federal standard, Toto Drake II meets the standard and uses 1.28 gal/flush - there is a new Drake II using only 1 gal/flush
The Toto Drake II replaces an American Standard that was in our currently 43 year old house we bought 2 years ago. That toilet had to be flushed multiple times (sometimes 6 or 7 times), took forever to refill, and needed plunging almost daily and at a minimum several times a week. Only 2 people used it regularly. I realize that every brand of toilet (excepting Toto?) has a range of products and ours may have been quite old (but it was an elongated toilet, so certainly not original), but I think the best use for American Standard toilets is media for growing reefs at the bottom of the ocean. I will never purchase an American Standard toilet regardless of what consumer reports says. I complained about that toilet constantly for 2 years whilst battling more urgent life problems (finishing my thesis, etc...). Life is so very good right now...thesis completed and a Toto Drake II in my hall bathroom. Life is sweet!
This is a great toilet that I can heartily recommend. When we get to the remodeling we plan to get 2 more Totos and now I won't fret about getting them online.
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I ordered this toilet with a bit of apprehension due to several 1 star reviews. I'm glad I disregarded the bad reviews and went for it! The toilet was ordered on a Monday night and with amazon prime sort of arrived on Wednesday. Well the tank arrived and UPS broke the bowl so it never arrived. I immediately called Amazon and 5 minutes later was being shipped a new one Fed Ex with 1 day shipping but told it would arrive next Tues. Well it arrived on Friday two days later in perfect condition. Amazon emailed a return label to ship the first tank back. No hassle. Good for you Amazon, I remain a loyal customer.
Now for the toilet review. I absolutely love it. Let me start with the fact I'm a 55 year old woman with a little bit of home repair ability. This toilet to me no longer than 30 minutes, by myself to install. Why people pay several hundred dollars for a plumber is beyond me.
I unpackaged the tank and bowl in my kitchen and by myself carried the unwrapped pieces to the bathroom and assembled them in the commode area. Ok that took 15 minutes. I used an old bathroom rug to set the toilet on to assemble since it was being installed onto a new tile floor. I tilted the toilet up and placed the wax less Ferco seal set under the base of the bowl, place the two bolts on the floor mount (not supplied) with the toilet and using the rug slide the toilet onto the mount. Prior to setting the toilet I used a bit of Primus lube gel on the base of the rubber Fernco seal to ensure seated properly. Primus is made for seals so it won't deteriorate the rubber seal. I set the toilet and you can hear it pop right into place. The flooring of course was not completely level so it took another 2 minutes to shim it level with some heavy duty rubber matting I had left over from mounting an air compressor to my concrete garage floor.
I hooked up the water line, turned on the valve and done! Toilet filled, no leakes and flushed like a dream.
I didn't experience any water spray on the seat as previously reported by another reviewer. Another review reported the toilet too high, I'm 5'8" and found the height to be just fine and very comfortable.
I'm so pleased with the way this experience went I'm ready to order another for the other bathroom.
Thanks Toto and thank you Amazon for making this a pleasurable experience!
43 of 50 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Over the years I've had good experience with Amazon. I've always been a pretty big fan. I decided to take a chance and (against my better judgement) purchased two Drake toilets online. Here's the problem--according to my plumber, it's not unusual for these toilets to be shipped with a cracked p-trap (not noticeable from the outside). I paid approximately $300 to get the both toilets installed and after two days found that one toilet was defective. Unfortunately, the boxes had been hauled away. Now what???? Amazon suggested I uninstall the defective toilet and box it up ($$) and send it back to them for a refund---ugggghhhhh. Amazon is great for small items, unfortunately they should not be in the business of selling building supplies. I had to learn the hard way and I'm out several hundred dollars. I hope others don't make the same mistake. They did offer to get me a partial refund---not much though.
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I purchased two of these toilets for our do it yourself bath remodeling projects(Drake II elongated, 1.28g, cyclone flush, sani-gloss, in sedona beige) from this merchant. There was a quality control glitch at first. One toilet package was marked "Drake II," the other, "Gwyneth." I understand this is just a name change and, except for some molding in the back of the tank, they appeared identical. One toilet seemed in perfect shape. For the other, however,the tank lid did not fit the tank opening correctly. The lid overlapped the sides a little and just did not sit properly. Called the merchant and they were very willing to help in every way they could. There was some dealing back and forth between the merchant and Toto to figure out what caused the problem. The merchant sent a new tank free of charge but it did not fit the lid either. In the end, the merchant sent an entire new tank and lid free of charge and voila, the fit was perfect. Although this took a little extra time, we did receive the replacements very quickly and the dealer was very pleasant and helpful. The toilets have been installed and used for several months now and there have been no problems whatsoever. I don't even know where the plunger is now. It is hard to imagine that so little water (1.28gal) could flush and clean so well. I'm assumning it is the "cyclone" flush mechanism, but, in any event, there has been no clogging. A perfect, quiet, fast, easy flush every time. Gave four stars only because of the quality control issue at first. Otherwise, an easy five stars.