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February 20, 2007

It's ok to be a TOTO potty mouth

Last weekend (while under the influence of broken water pipes) the question was raised, "Why don't we replace that old toilet at the same time"? Mission creep had begun...

I've been doing lots of research on green products, but admittedly I'm not up on commodes, especially low water ones. California is already drying up and if resources get really tight, having a low water toilet might become a Condo selling point.

Since I HATE shopping as much as my husband, I headed for the keyboard and typed in COMPARE low water toilets. Up came Terry Love's toilet review site.

Totomaxie2 I was impressed as you can be about toilets. Terry is the master and commander of commodes. Not only did he give great reviews from his professional, plumber point of view, but also encouraged "users" of such to comment on them. They did. Learning how people value their toilets and why was something on the side of scary.

In the past, I'd go to the store, pick something aesthetically functional and go home. The operation system was pretty much the same from one to the next. Not so on a low water version. The old ones had 3.5 gallons of water per flush, these only use 1.6 gallons - BIG difference on details I won't describe.

Terry was in love with the Ultra Max Toto. He also provided installation papers on every style. Seeing it in such detail took away more apprehension. You want to make sure, once it's in, it's not one of those items you change. Good advice, good reviews, good technical info... that was good enough for me. Now, where can I get one TODAY. (Plumbing doesn't wait) I went next to the main Toto site and found that although I never heard of Toto, it's as standard in Japan as American Standard is here. Plunking in my zip code gave me two store options within 20 miles. DONE.

Terry's up in Seattle and we needed something fast otherwise I would have ordered from him. But since I didn't and he set me on the right path, I'll tell others and be a potty mouth on his behalf. Terry now has one more permanent, searchable place advertising his services and products.

What have we learned here, besides where to buy low water toilets? That I'm a typing profile (or pyschographic) of the new, green buyer.

- Need, not want, drove the buying action.
- Terms, not pictures, drove me to his site.
- Professional advice, not a slick sales person provided the first level of selection.
- Personal advice from real uses, cemented the decision.
- Charts filled out missing information, eliminating the fear factor as to how these new gizmos worked compared to the old ones.
- I was cost aware, but it wasn't a determining factor.
- Justification... When we sell the condo, a low water toilet will become a selling point more so than a new paint job.

#1 thing... I did all the searching/shopping for it. My husband didn't care.


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I too, did my research on the internet and found Terry Love's commode advice site. I now am the satisfied owner of three Toto ultra max commodes. My home is twenty-eight years old and all three commodes needed to be replaced. I highly recommend this product and have suggested to everyone within earshot to check out Terry Love's site! What a contribution he is to anyone seeking to purchase a new commode.
A grateful Toto owner, Rosalie

There are websites that seem to have "unbiased" information re Toto, but they are actually just Toto dealers looking to sell Toto products. These dealers will even edit your review on their forums if you aren't saying what they want consumers to hear.

I had my office bathroom remodeled and unfortunately overpaid for the Toto brand. Much to my chagrin, the inside of the $55 toilet seat is completely covered with a sticker ADVERTISING Toto's washlets. They even have the audacity to print: "installer do not remove this sticker" on the bottom.

This sticker seems to be impossible to peel off. When I complained to Toto, I was given an insulting response to the effect of "it should come off." I've since purchased a replacement ($10) toilet seat because I wouldn't want my clients to see this obnoxious sticker when they use the bathroom.

BEWARE AVERAGE PRODUCT AT ASTRONOMICAL PRICES: I also now have a Toto toilet and sink. Because there are so few dealers for Toto, I had to order sight unseen. Even though I paid 3X more than average for them, they are average looking, and the toilet blocks just as much as my old one.

BEWARE TOTO LOGO ON PEDESTAL SINKS: Needless to say, they also have their name imprinted on both the toilet and sink. This is VERY prominent on the pedestal sink; right next to the faucet. Had I known this, I would have much preferred one from a Big Box store. I could have purchased such a sink for about $125 at Home Depot instead of paying $450 for a porcelain advertisement.

Axon, you're absolutely right. The interesting tidbit that I found out is that TOTO is sold only through people like Mr. Love. So you cannot go to Home Depot and pick one up. This is the reason why certain plumbing industry people will only try to sell you a TOTO. They get a big mark-up because it is TOTO's only way they sell in the US. Why would they tell you to buy kohler when you could just go to HD or Lowes and get one?

OMG that is brilliant! I love your work! Guess I am not as up-to-date as your regular subscribers! I swear I have fallen in love with your blog... Incredible writing! You're an amazingly talented person, keep up the individuality :)


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