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For the Media


The Truth About Toilets

Research Reveals What Really Goes On Behind the Bathroom Door

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (December 9, 2003) – Dysfunctional toilets—we can’t live with ‘em; we can’t live without ‘em. Even without typical troubles such as clogs, overflows, plunging, handle jiggling, broken flappers, wasted water and expensive repairs, we spend at least three years of our lives using toilets(A). Think of it: three years of time, right down the drain.

According to research conducted by American Standard, the world’s largest manufacturer of kitchen and bath products, approximately one in three people experience regular problems with their toilets, while one in ten claim that their toilet’s flapper and chain needs to be tinkered with frequently in order to work properly. And ever since 1.6 gallons per flush became law, nearly one in ten people say they often have to flush more than once to do the job.2

Through its effort to get to the bottom of America’s frustration with toilets, American Standard gained revealing insights into what goes on behind the bathroom door. In the end, so to speak, after examining everything from the flushing of weird objects to the potty preferences of Hollywood stars, the findings further demonstrated the need for American Standard to completely redesign flushing technology.

Goldfish, false teeth and socks

What do goldfish, false teeth and socks have in common? They are just a sampling of items that Americans have witnessed being flushed (or attempted to flush) down their toilets. And that’s just the beginning, according to American Standard research.

More than 50 percent of those surveyed said they have at some point witnessed at least one flushing attempt using hamsters, mice, toy cars, rubber ducks, action figures or Barbie® dolls. Frivolous flushers also have tried to dispose of underwear, bras, tee shirts, and even shoes in their toilets. Worse yet, toothbrushes, jewelry, diapers and entire rolls of toilet paper have been dropped into toilets, too.

The Champion™ of flushing

Armed with these flushing factoids and a complete understanding of consumers’ toilet troubles, American Standard invested significantly to design, re-engineer and test an entirely new system for flushing toilets. The result is America’s Best™ Flushing System, featured for the first time in the new, aptly named Champion™ toilet.

“We’ve completely redesigned the inside of the toilet to make flushing virtually maintenance- free,” says Gary Uhl, director of design for American Standard. “This is the best thing to happen to toilets since indoor plumbing.”

Instead of using the typical toilet tank’s floating ball-and-chain system, the Champion has a proprietary Flush Tower™ that unleashes the power of water while using no more than 1.6 gallons in under a second. A tight silicone rubber seal functions in place of a corrodible rubber flapper, while an extra-large flush valve allows more water to enter the bowl quietly yet faster and more powerfully. An extra-large trapway ensures there are no chokepoints to worry about, so there’s more volume per flush and virtually no clogging, overflow or fix-it hassle.

The Champion lived up to its name when subjected to rigorous testing. For example, in independent tests conducted by SBS U.S. Testing, 41 rubber tubes were sent down the drain in one fast and furious flush. Another flush eliminated 31 synthetic sponges, and a third made 16 cloth napkins disappear. American Standard’s own tests removed up to 29 golf balls in one flush.

Toilet “test drives”

American Standard ultimately took the Champion to the nation’s seat(s) of power, providing celebrities with the opportunity to “test drive” the toilet’s performance. Famous flushers include Ty Pennington of TLC’s “Trading Spaces;” fitness expert Kathy Kaehler of NBC-TV’s “Today” show; and Emmy Award winning actress and comedienne Vicki Lawrence of “The Carol Burnett Show” and ”Mama’s Family.” While all test drivers expressed awe at the toilet’s superior performance, Lawrence’s reaction best characterized the test drive: “Forget the White House; this is the real seat of power— it’s one small step for man, one giant flush for mankind. Going potty was never so much fun.”

To see a visual demonstration of America’s Best Flushing System, visit. The Champion toilet is available at wholesale locations and at retailers. Suggested list price is approximately $400. Other toilet models featuring America’s Best Flushing System will be available in 2004. For more information about America’s Best Flushing System, the Champion toilet or local availability, please call (800) 899-2614.

(A)World Toilet Organization
(B)Research conducted on behalf of American Standard by Caravan® Orc International, 2003


Flushing attempts: the good, the bad and the ugly

» Fifty-one percent of toilet users say they have at some point witnessed at least one flushing attempt using the following items: goldfish, false teeth, socks, panties or underwear, bras, shirts and tee shirts, shoes, mice, hamsters, toy cars, action figures, Barbie® dolls, toothbrushes, pacifiers or whole rolls of toilet paper.
» Approximately one in three people experience regular problems with their toilets.
» One in ten people say the toilet’s flapper and chain needs to be tinkered with frequently
in order to work.
» Nearly one in 10 people say they often have to flush more than once to get the job done.
(Research conducted on behalf of American Standard by Caravan® Orc International, 2003)
» In independent testing, the Champion toilet featuring America’s Best Flushing System successfully flushed 41 rubber tubes in a single attempt, 31 synthetic sponges in another, and 16 cloth napkins in yet another. (Independent tests by SBS U.S. Testing)
» The Champion also removed up to 29 golf balls in a single flush. (American Standard)

Plumbing problems

» One in five homeowners say they feel their toilet does not clean properly, runs excess water, clogs easily and does not have enough water pressure.
» Half of all homeowners believe there are significant differences in household toilets and plan on informing themselves when shopping for one. (American Standard Consumer Brand Tracking Study, September 2003)

Toilet time

» An average person visits the toilet 2,500 times per year, about 6-8 times per day.
» People spend at least three years of their lives using the toilet.
» Women take three times as long to use the toilet as men.
(World Toilet Organization,

For more information:

Consumer Media Contact:
Lindsey Rose
Carmichael Lynch Spong
(612) 375-8516

Trade Media Contact:
Nora DePalma
Building Profits, Inc.

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