Glacier Bay Toilet Not So Great

The Good Flush Valve that works

The Good Flush Valve that works

As a follow-up to my blog series on upgrading to high efficiency toilets, I'd like to provide some feedback on my choice of Glacier Bay 1.28gpf toilets.  As you can read in my second post, I received a solid recommendation from the Home Depot employee on their store brand and have been pleased with the first three toilets I purchased.  However, by chance, one of the four toilets I received came from a different batch of the same model toilet and exposed several issues with recommending Glacier Bay.

When I removed the last toilet from its box, I noticed two things:

  1. The flush valve in the tank was completely different from the other toilets of the same brand and model.  The neck of the valve extended several inches above the bottom of the tank and the flapper was of a completely different design that was thinner and appeared lighter than the original design.
  2. The flush hole in the bowl was smaller and of a slightly different shape than the three other toilets.

Despite the differences, I proceeded to install the different designed toilet.  Within a week, the flapper would no longer seal and the toilet would continue to run without filling.  After careful examination of the flapper, I did not spot any foreign debris or damage to the seal.  I returned the toilet to the store for a replacement.

When returning the item, I went back to the plumbing section and proceeded to open boxes until I could find a tank with the previous flush valve design.  After opening two boxes with the defective design, I noticed that they all had the same purchase order number on the box.  After sifting through inventory, I found a box with a different p.o. number that was lower in the series.  After opening the box, I verified that the valve was of the original design that was working in my home.  I exchanged the toilet and headed home for the installation.

The Bad Flush Valve that doesn't work

The Bad Flush Valve that doesn't work

After pulling the components out of the box, I verified again that the flush valve and tank were identical to the three other toilets in the house.  After examining the bowl, I noticed that the flush hole was the smaller type from the newer design toilet!  At this point, it was clear to me that there is no consistency in the components shipped for the Glacier Bay toilets even though they use one model number.

I installed the hybrid toilet and will continue to test it hoping that it will function as well as the others.  Overall, I am satisfied with the original toilets installed.  However, I cannot recommend Glacier Bay toilets for the following reasons:

  1. There is no way for me to specify a recommended model number of a Glacier Bay toilet to make sure you are receiving the same toilet I am testing.
  2. Finding replacement components will be next to impossible since the valves vary depending on manufacturing run and is not specific to a model number

Based on these reasons, I would recommend that you do research on brand manufacturers for toilets and stick with a brand name that doesn't modify toilet design without changing the model number.  I should mention that my experience with Home Depot as a store was very good.  Other than the Glacier Bay recommendation by the salesperson, they were very helpful when the toilet malfunctioned and received the returned toilet without any questions.  It's possible that the salesperson's only experience with the toilet model was with the previous design and I may have just experienced a shift in toilet design. (but they should have changed the model number)

If you decide to take a chance at locating the specific Glacier Bay toilet I purchased, the model number is 331-725 and you can identify the good and bad flush valve designs in the pictures above.

Next week, I'll be publishing the final post in the toilet upgrade series on my experience with applying for my state water utility rebate.  Make sure to visit our Water Conservation forum in the Mapawatt Community and tell us about your experiences or thoughts on high efficiency toilet upgrades.

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I was so excited about installing a new toilet but unfortunately it was a glacier bay. There's a washer missing and the rubber gasket looks nothing like the picture. I called H.D. and all the manager did was refer me to their $99 pros to install it.
Wow sounds like an ordeal. Thanks for the useful blog. Between the blog and comments if sounds like the flapper-less Glacier Bay maybe the way to go.
I wish I would of read this before I put a Glacier Bay toilet in. It have been three weeks an my 6 year old son has clog it after he used it. I bought it because it said it was a 10 flush. I would give it maybe a two flush.
I hate the Glacier Bay toilet we had installed. It takes more than one flush, if you know what I mean? Also, the water will not stop flowing into the spill bucket. I adjusted the screw to lower the water level in the bucket. That didn't work. So after I had flushed the toilet about 3 or 4 times, it finally stopped. That only lasted a few days. Now it's constantly flowing and no matter what I do, it keeps flowing. I'm jurking that piece of junk out and buying another brand at Lowes. Used or not, Home Depot is getting the thing back.
I would advise anyone to carefully read reviews on toilets before buying a toilet. I purchased a Glacier Bay toilet and I am not a fan. We have to flush more than once for solids and also flush again to clean after the flushing because it does not get solid off the bowel. it is very disgusting to the the point my small children cry because when someone just flushes and leaves the restroom without making sure everything is gone you have solids stuck to the walls of the bowel and the waste is usally above the level of water. I replaced the inners with a fluid master to see if it would help with the flushing power but with the low level of water it did not help I personally would aprreciate a company selling a regular old toilet with a bowel full of water this cup of water crap is pointless when you are flushing 3 to 4 times everytime someone takes a poop in the potty. toilet is costing more on water than non conserving toilet. society needs to not always change eveyrhting this is wasting water and very disgusting to deal with
ckmapawatt's picture
Tonya, I couldn't agree more! Low-flow toilets are great, but only up to a point. They need to be thoroughly tested at the factory (maybe make every day spicy burrito day).
Hi Gregg, Sorry for the late reply. The lowest impact fix for you is to turn off the water, disconnect the water line and just remove the tank from the bowl. There are two wingnuts under the tank that loosen it from the bowl. You can buy a new tank with flush valve for this model toilet at Home Depot. Good Luck. I think I'm going to regret trying to save money by buying a store brand toilet. If I had it to do over, I would buy the American Standard Cadet 3 Right Height elongated bowl. This seems to be the best from several recommendations and from what I've read. Powell
I'm having two of the American Standard Cadet toilets installed in a beach condo later this month. They won't get much traffic but I'll report back on their function later this year. Powell
I have a few Glacier Bay toilets with the tipping bowl flush design. They work ok until you strip the flush handle on the outside and it won't stay on or flush. No big deal until you try to buy a new handle at Home Depot where you bought it. They do not stock a replacement handle like they do every other style. Now I have to try to find a place to buy a new handle replacement. No luck so far and Home depot was no help at all .
This happened to me. I called Glacier Bay and they sent me a free new handle. That helped. I also realized I could push the water bucket inside the tank towards the handle so it latches better. It flushes perfectly now.


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