American Standard Optum Vormax Two-Piece Right Height Elongated Toilet
Is This American Standard Optum Vormax Toilet A Jinx Toilet?
The world of toilets is a funny place to be in, especially when you are making a living out of toilet reviews. You get all shades of opinion, sometimes helpful, at times moronic to outright hateful.
Yes. And that will depend on where you bought your toilet and what the model is. When you purchase the right toilet at the wrong place, you’re cursed, regardless. The same toilet make and model can have very different user opinions. The nightmare begins when you have two reviews on each extreme and coming from 2 of the most trusted online shopping sites in the country.
If you need a classic case to make sense of why this is so, this American Standard Optum Vormax toilet review is it.
Two Almost Similar Vormax Toilets, Two Extreme Ratings
So which is the other VorMax model that is similar to this Optum Vormax toilet?
Answer: The Ultima Vormax Toilet.
Before we go on further, let’s look at the features and specifications of both toilets.
Optum & Ultima VorMax Toilet Features & Specifications
As you can see, the features of both toilets are similar. And the specifications are almost identical. Except for the height and length, which the difference is only a tiny fraction.
But the user ratings for the Optum and Ultima VorMax toilets are worlds apart. Now let’s focus on the Optum since it is what you are interested in.
Confusing Customer Reviews
At Amazon, the Optum VorMax toilet manages a 2.6 stars rating with only 12 customer reviews. Whereas over at Home Depot, it’s a bright 4.4 stars with 408 reviews.
Why is that even possible? Is Amazon shipping a different Optum VorMax toilet from Home Depot? Are Home Depot customers more gracious, or more tolerant?
Not at all. It has a lot to do with how they moderate customer reviews.
Amazon is pretty liberal when it comes to reviews. You can voice your frustration for just about anything, even it has nothing to do with the product performance or quality. But they are strict with authenticity with zero tolerance for fake reviews. You probably have heard about people getting sued by Amazon for posting (selling) fake reviews. That’s how serious they are when customer reviews are concerned.
But it’s not like you can easily game Home Depot’s review system, they are more particular about relevancy on product quality and performance. And they are heavily moderated to make sure the reviews are informative and helpful.
Then where is the problem?
More Confusing Customer Reviews
Since the Ultima VorMax toilet is in the picture, why not have a look at its review status. They are similar, remember? So if Optum is so poorly rated on Amazon and highly praised in Home Depot, surely the reviews shouldn’t be that far off. Right?
There are no reviews at Home Depot for Ultima VorMax, so go ahead and be the first to leave one. And Amazon has 28 reviews, all positives with a 4.7 stars rating. That’s very rare on Amazon to have zero negative reviews.
So what leaves you to decide? Almost nothing.
If you are trying to make sense of the customer reviews to base your decision on, be prepared for disappointment. There isn’t any consistency you can rely on to determine if the VorMax is a great toilet American Standard wants you to believe. And that makes you wonder if the Optum VorMax 4.4 stars review over at Home Depot is rigged.
But let’s not just depend on customer reviews to judge. Don’t you think it’s fair to look at the design as well? And from the toilet design, you should be able to draw some conclusion about its advantages and disadvantages.
Is This A Case Of Excellent Concept With A Flawed Design?
The design of the VorMax flush mainly revolves around the bowl and the way water exit the tank. To make a stronger water flow, it uses two flush valves with a flapper each. The idea is to get water to flow into the bowl at twice the speed. Hence, a powerful flush.
And each valve serves a different water channel in the bowl. One for rinsing the surface of the bowl, while the other is for pushing solid waste out through the trapway.
The water channel for rinsing has a large opening on one side of the bowl near the top towards the back. So when water gushes out, it spirals along the bowl surface from the top down to the bowl outlet. This help to remove any stains or sticky waste smears on the bowl surface.
And to make the rinsing even more efficient, the EverClean Surface coat on the bowl ensure nothing sticks. So you should get a clean bowl with every flush.
With this water channel design, it breaks away from the conventional bowl rim with small jet holes lined along it. So it’s rimless with a name, it’s called the CleanCurve Rim. The advantage is there are no hidden areas for bacteria and dirt, and cleaning is easy. And with the EverClean Surface, mildew, molds and bacteria are kept away. So like the ad says, “It keeps the toilet cleaner and stays clean longer.”
So far so good? But have you picked up any clues that spell disadvantage?
Though the contradicting reviews at Home Depot and Amazon are almost useless, you can still find some gold nuggets that will help you decide. What are they?
From an engineering perspective, more moving parts means higher risk of failing. And cost more to maintain.
The two flapper valves provide a powerful flush, but at the same time, it also means the chances of leaking is twice as high. If you need a replacement for the flapper assembly, you can’t get it anywhere except to call American Standard’s customer service. You got to cross your fingers and hope they have it in stock.
Previously, the most complaint with this Optum VorMax toilet is the flapper valve. And the problem of leaking almost nominated the negative reviews in both Amazon and Home Depot. However, American Standard seems to have made an improvement to the flush valve. Unfortunately, that don’t seem to change anything. There are still complaints about water running caused by the flappers.
Another potential problem with the flush valves is their proximity to each other. As each flapper has a float attached via a chain, it is possible for one float to interfere with proper opening and closing of the flapper. That can potentially lead to running issue and cause weak flushing.
While the concept of the dual flush valve to boost flushing power is good, AS needs to focus more on the flapper design to make it fail proof. Often the difficult part is the transition from concept to design. And depends on how well the design is planned out, it can make or break a great idea into either an excellent product or a disaster.
It’s a pity it didn’t leverage well on the momentum from the initial buzz when it first launched. The design flaws is probably the main stumbling block that leads to conflicting reviews. Otherwise, it would have been a great water saving toilet.
Until there are significant improvements made, this American Standard Optum VorMax toilet shall remain in this Negative Reviews section.
Sorry AS, we are not superstitious.
Do you like this American Standard Optum Vormax toilet but are undecided? Since the reviews are not helpful at all, you may be thinking of alternatives. Well, you are not alone.
Like most people, you probably like the vortex flush and the CleanCurve Rim. Of course, the 1.28 gpf is ideal for saving water and money in the long run. But is there an equal to this American Standard Optum VorMax toilet, or even better?
Yes, there are.
On the same price point, you may want to consider these (better) alternatives.
- TOTO CST454CEFG#01 Drake II 2-Piece Toilet with Elongated Bowl and Sanagloss,1.28 GPF
- TOTO MS604114CEFG#01 Ultramax II Elongated One Piece Toilet with Sanagloss, 1.28 GPF
Both of these TOTO toilets are using the Tornado flushing system, which is similar to VorMax. But instead of one jetted water ways for bowl rinsing, they have two. Extremely powerful at bowl rinsing and removing solid waste. And just like the VorMax, they are also rimless. And if you prefer a toilet that is really easy to clean, consider the one-piece TOTO Ultramax II. You will love it.