Day after day, flush after flush, countless gallons of water pass through your toilet, slowly eroding the rubber seals, flushing mechanism, and even the porcelain bowl. Toilets have a long life span, so a repair is usually enough to get things back up and running. However, if your toilet is several decades old and exhibiting signs of extensive damage, replacing it with a modern bowl may be the best option. Here are eight signs that you need a new toilet.
No one likes having to plunge a dirty toilet, but this is one of the most prevalent predicaments 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 learned to flush twice as a clog-prevention routine, which eliminates any savings you should have realized on your monthly water bill. Feel comfortable that new low-flow toilets seldom suffer from random stoppages. The promise of a reliable toilet could be enough to prompt you to replace it.
Cracks and Leaks
When you see water pooling around the toilet, take action quickly. Ignoring this situation could lead to mold growth, decayed subflooring and other structural damage. A leaky toilet is among the easiest and cheapest to fix. It may be as simple as tightening the tee bolts that fasten the product to the floor or replacing the wax ring underneath the toilet base. But, if the leak is caused by a cracked bowl or tank, the entire toilet will need to be replaced.
High Water Use
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 legislation is when the gallon-per-flush (gpf) maximum for residential toilets was decreased to 1.6 gpf. Therefore, you could significantly lower your water bills by exchanging 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 get rid of liquid waste.
Even if your toilet is not very old, a wobbly base is problematic. If the issue stems from loose tee bolts or a damaged wax ring, you may be able to cure the problem without switching the toilet. Although, if the subfloor is rotten and moving beneath the toilet’s weight, this requires professional attention. After repairing the structural damage, it may be necessary to replace the toilet to avoid a recurrence.
Abnormal Mineral Buildup
Hard water is tough on a toilet because it contains minerals that clog the inlet holes and siphon tubes after some time. If you keep up with preventive maintenance, you can likely 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 not flush effectively, making it more susceptible to clogs. When this happens, treat it as a sign to replace your toilet.
Simple leaks are usually best addressed with a repair, rather than buying a new toilet. After all, adjusting a stuck float or swapping out a worn-out flapper valve is easy and low-cost. But if the leak always comes back, there might be a more serious underlying problem. This is just the excuse you need to replace your old, outdated toilet.
Scratches, hairline cracks or simply an outdated color could encourage you to replace your toilet. Unpleasant aesthetics combined with leaks, frequent clogs or other problems certainly warrant replacing your toilet.
Toilets are simple mechanisms that should operate smoothly without much attention. If you're having to call the plumber repeatedly to take care of clogs, leaks and broken tank parts, it might be time to stop throwing away good money. Put your dollars toward a new, reliable toilet, and you shouldn't have to fret about repairs for many years.
Schedule Toilet Repair or Replacement
It doesn't hurt to try a toilet repair before traveling the route of a whole-new toilet. The professionally trained plumbers at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning will look over your bathroom fixture thoroughly and suggest the most cost-effective option. Remember, replacing your old, worn-out toilet with a high-efficiency model helps reduce your water bills for many years to come. If you choose to replace, our team can help you pick and install your new toilet for optimal performance going forward. For more information or to arrange a visit from a qualified plumber, please contact a Service Experts office near you.