Day after day, flush after flush, hundreds of gallons of water flow through your toilet, gradually deteriorating the rubber seals, flushing mechanism, and even the porcelain bowl. Toilets are pretty durable products, so a repair is often enough to get things functioning properly. On the other hand, if your toilet is several decades old and exhibiting signs of extensive damage, a replacement may be best. Here are eight signals that you need a new toilet.
No one likes seeing a backed up or clogged toilet, but this is one of the most frequent issues a toilet can have. The random clog is to be expected, but if you have an older low-flow toilet, you might end up having to plunge it every couple of flushes. You may even have to flush more than once as a clog-prevention solution, resulting in higher water usage bills. Feel comfortable that modern low-flow toilets hardly ever suffer from random stoppages. The peace of mind of a dependable toilet could motivate you to replace it.
Cracks and Leaks
When you see water pooling around the toilet, don't wait to act. Failing to promptly address this situation could bring about mold growth, water-damaged subflooring and other structural damage. A leaky toilet is usually a simple DIY repair. It may involve tightening the tee bolts that attach the bowl to the floor or swapping out the wax ring beneath the toilet base. On the other hand, if the leak is caused by a cracked bowl or tank, you’ll need to replace the entire toilet.
High Water Bills
Low-flow toilets have been commonly used in homes since the early 90s, but your dated toilet could easily predate the Energy Policy Act of 1992. That policy is when the gallon-per-flush (gpf) maximum for residential toilets was decreased to 1.6 gpf. Doing so could substantially lower your water consumption inside your home by switching your old 3- to 5-gpf toilet with a modern low-flow model. The best high-efficiency, dual-flush toilets use an average of 1.28 gpf–1.6 gallons for the solid waste button and just 0.8 gallons to wash away liquid waste.
Even if your toilet is not very old, a wobbly base is a scenario that should be addressed quickly. If the condition stems from loose tee bolts or a compromised wax ring, you may be able to cure the problem without swapping out the toilet. Although, if the subfloor is decayed and bending beneath the toilet’s weight, this requires professional attention. After repairing the structural issues, it may perhaps be necessary to replace the toilet to avoid a recurrence.
Excessive Mineral Buildup
Toilets are at the mercy of hard water, which contains minerals that clog the inlet holes and siphon tubes over the years. If you stick with preventive maintenance, you may be able to keep mineral buildup under control. If you're a DIY kind of person, you can help your toilet clear away some existing deposits by carefully chipping away at them. But if the accumulation gets bad enough, your toilet may fail to flush effectively, making it more prone to clogs. When this happens, treat it as a sign to replace your toilet.
It’s usually worth repairing (not replacing) your toilet tank the first few times it leaks. After all, adjusting a stuck float or exchanging a worn-out flapper valve is quick and affordable. But if the leak constantly returns, there might be a larger underlying problem. This is just the excuse you need to replace your old, outdated toilet.
The appearance of your toilet (i.e., an outdated color or shape, or visible scratches) is another reason to consider replacing your toilet. Unpleasant aesthetics combined with leaks, frequent clogs or other problems certainly merit replacing your toilet.
Toilets are simple mechanisms that should function smoothly without much attention. If you're having to call the plumber repeatedly to take care of clogs, leaks and broken tank parts, it's time to make a switch. Put your dollars toward a new, reliable toilet, and you won’t have to worry about repairs for many years.
Schedule Toilet Repair or Replacement
It never hurts to try a toilet repair before traveling the route of a whole-new toilet. Our professionally trained plumbers at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning will inspect your bathroom fixture thoroughly and suggest the most cost-effective solution. Remember, replacing your old, worn-out toilet with a high-efficiency model helps lower your water bills for plenty of years to come. If you decide it's time to replace, our team can help you pick and install your new toilet for optimal performance going forward. For more information or to schedule a visit from a qualified plumber, please connect with a Service Experts office near you.