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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!
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
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
Please note that EBMUD has declared a draught emergency and the
Cal. Dept. of Water Resources expects another dry winter (SF
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
- 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.
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
Hi, we don't have these yet, but are just about to buy some. From on-line
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
one of the models that qualifies for the $150 EBMUD rebate as well.
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
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.
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
Thank you in advance.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
this page was last updated: Oct 18, 2008
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