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OT--"Mexican" American Standard garbage

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Feb 12, 2020
American Standard plumbing fixtures used to be decent quality stuff. As I have several rental properties, I own and maintain a lot of toilets. When a replacement is necessary, I usually avoid the cheapest brands and have bought American Standard products in the past. I think I am done with them. The toilets are are made in Mexico and the quality is terrible.

A few months ago I needed a new toilet for a basement bath in my personal home. This was because I could not fully clear a clog. After an hour with a toilet auger I pulled the old one. When I broke the trap open I found that the maid had lost a removable toilet cleaning pad that lodged in the trap. It would let water through, but not paper. My wife had those handles with the removable cleaning pads in every bathroom so I made her toss them all out.

To replace that toilet, I bought an American Standard "Champion" model toilet from HD. Luckily, before I installed it I looked at the bottom and noticed some casting flash in the bottom drain hole. I thought it an anomaly and put a grinding stone in my drill to clean it up as I knew it would catch TP. I thought that defect was just a one in a thousand thing.

Yesterday I noticed another toilet in the house was leaking due to a bad wax ring so I decided just to replace the toilet. It was a 64 year old unit that used a lot of water and since I am on septic, less water per flush is a good idea.

I decided to get another American Standard Champion. After I dropped the new one on the wax ring and started tightening the bolts, I noticed two 1/8" high nub defects sticking up inside the bowl. After cursing for a minute or so I pulled it and went back to HD for a replacement. Not wanting to get stung again, I opened a box at the store to inspect before buying. That one had an even larger defect (about the size of a dime) on the flat near the bolt holes. I opened a second box and it was not perfect, but ok, so I took it home. After setting this second toilet on a new wax ring I noticed it would not sit flat and was easy to rock. I pulled it, flipped it over and put a straight edge on the bottom. The center supports around the drain hole were too high by almost 1/8". I had not returned to first toilet (with the two nub defects inside the bowl) so I checked it's bottom with the straight edge and it was fine. Not wanting to try my luck with a third one I got out a concrete grind stone and after a half hour had the second flat and usable. These American Standard toilets are all marked "Made in Mexico." I think they should change their name to Mexican Standard as the quality can no longer be considered American.
 

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Possible, but I doubt it. If so they are foolishly destroying a name brand. Usually when offering a cheaper product, companies will some how mark the product with a different name and use the term, "by" with their main name. They way you know it is the real thing.
 
Yeah, but if you buy an American Standard it should be good no matter where you buy it. Any maker has his name on the line....they shoudn't sell junk to the big box stores. And....I'm getting really tired of the concept that if you want quality, you have to bend over and pay top dollar from some specialty plumbing house.

I bought a Toto toilet some years back...it's been good but I have never owned any make of toilet that could keep from having that water line ring around the bowl. My theory is if you cleaned it every day it would not get that ring. I plan to never actually test that theory.

The one thing I think helps with flushing is to only buy a toilet with the 3" trap size.
 
One of my daughters wanted to replace two 1960s-vintage toilets with ones that used less water. She checked reviews, and bought two of Home Depot's least expensive Glacier Bay ones, which coincidentally happened to be on sale for about $US 70 or thereabouts.

She then asked me to show her how to install a toilet.

I said ok, but figured it would be an exercise in "Band-Aid engineering".

To my astonishment, the porcelain parts were defect free, the flush valve was a name brand, the water hose was covered with a braided-plastic-filament sheath, and the plastic seat was decent.

I didn't use the supplied wax ring gasket, but instead used a two-piece reusable face seal ($US 20, IIRC) that would allow removing and reinstalling the toilet without replacing the gasket.

It's 2+ years now, and both toilets have performed well. I'm surprised, and she's still happy with her new toilets..
 
Big Box store can demand a different quality grade to claim they sell for a lower price. You could check out American Standard at a plumbing store. Likewise name brand power tools at Big Box stores may not be of the same quality as the same name brand power tools sold by industrial dealers. Today "quality control" means that no one gets too much.
 
I understand that American Standard fixtures have been made in Mexico for many years, so it's nothing new.
Likely what is new is that the quality control has gone way down. Maybe a new factory, maybe they just speeded up the line, maybe they just changed the criteria for rejects.
 
Just to be "that guy", Mexico is in America, as are Canada, Guatemala, Nicaragua etc. The United States is just one of many countries that are in America, both North and South.
Mexico is in America, but it is not called America.
 
Yeah, but if you buy an American Standard it should be good no matter where you buy it. Any maker has his name on the line....they shoudn't sell junk to the big box stores.
Don't buy Goodyear tires at Walmart then. I learned this one the hard way. Saw the brand name. Figured that was good enough. Pure trash, over and over. Lots of other products that way too. They make a custom version, at a price point, for a specific buyer.
 
I, too, manage a few different kitchens and bathrooms. Beyond black pipe ells, I never buy plumbing fixtures, or appliances, or power tools, at HD or similar box stores. There is no question they carry cheaply and lower quality of brand names products. I buy plumbing fixtures from a big plumbing supply wholesaler, and dont have problems. Same with appliances, and power tools- specific companies that specialize in just those products. HD carries made in china metabo and bosch, CPO carries the euro manufactured “same thing”.
 
Mexico is in America, but it is not called America.
To channel Doozer and my mom, "only by trailer trash that never learned any better. And people who spell 'lose' with two o's".

United States != America unless you live in a double-wide up on blocks.

Also kids are what happens when two goats get together on a dark night, not human beings. We hope, anyhow.

Come on in, Dooz ! the water's fine :D
 
Possible, but I doubt it. If so they are foolishly destroying a name brand. Usually when offering a cheaper product, companies will some how mark the product with a different name and use the term, "by" with their main name. They way you know it is the real thing.
Unfortunately it's absolutely possible, and being that you bought it from who you did, I'd safely wager that is the case.

I found out the hard way two years ago when I learned that my top of the line AO Smith water heater is not actually a real AO Smith water heater, I bought from a big box store believing I had made a good decision in buying the best offered for my situation.

The guts of these things are different. Found this out from an AO Smith dealer who wouldn't warrant parts because the big box store parts are so cheap, they have a special warranty direct with the big box store.

As mentioned, this is unfortunately very common. Power tools, fixtures, appliances, probably food, etc.

If you are going after a certain manufacturer, try to buy directly from an authorized local dealer.
 
I got a "professional" Rheem water heater from Home Depot that was nothing but headaches, got another "commercial" version at a plumbing contractor supply and it's been great five years later.

Agreed tho, it's getting harder and harder to find quality chit.
 
The higher end one-piece American Standard products are now made in China. Quality does look pretty good, however, as I bought one recently. Only issue is flimsy packaging, so open up and make sure unit is not broken before leaving the store.
 
"less water per flush is a good idea."
Yes it is...but how many flushes does it take to clear a modern low water use toilet?
"a poorly designed low-flow toilet might require multiple flushes to empty"
As always...your mileage may vary.....
 








 
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