Day after day, flush after flush, hundreds of gallons of water pass through your toilet, eventually deteriorating the rubber seals, flushing mechanism, and even the toilet bowl itself. Toilets have a long life span, so a repair is often enough to get things fixed and working properly again. On the other hand, if your toilet is a few decades old and displaying signs of noticeable damage, a replacement may be best. Here are eight signs that you need a new toilet.
No one likes seeing a backed up or clogged toilet, but this is one of the most prevalent problems a toilet can have. The periodic clog is to be expected, but if you have an older low-flow toilet, you might end up having to plunge it more than once a week. You may even have learned to flush twice as a clog-prevention solution, negating the water-saving benefits of these early models. Be assured knowing that contemporary low-flow toilets rarely suffer from random stoppages. The assurance of a quality toilet could convince you to replace it.
Cracks and Leaks
If you observe any water pooling around the toilet, act fast. Neglecting this situation could result in mold growth, rotten subflooring and other structural damage. A leaky toilet is among the easiest and cheapest to fix. It may involve tightening the tee bolts that fasten the bowl to the floor or replacing the wax ring under the toilet base. However, if the leak is caused by a cracked bowl or tank, you’ll need to replace the entire toilet.
High Water Usage
Low-flow toilets have been utilized in new home construction or as a replacement product since the early 90s, but your aging 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. If so, you could substantially lower your water bills by replacing your old 3- to 5-gpf toilet with a new 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 a scenario that should be addressed quickly. If the condition stems from loose tee bolts or a damaged wax ring, you may be able to fix the problem without switching the toilet. However, if the subfloor is decayed and shifting beneath the toilet’s weight, this requires professional attention. After repairing the structural problems, it may be necessary to replace the toilet to prevent a recurrence.
Significant Mineral Buildup
Toilets are at the mercy of hard water, which contains minerals that clog the inlet holes and siphon tubes over time. If you keep up 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 buildup 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.
Minor leaks are not uncommon with any toilet and can be addressed easily with a repair. Obviously, adjusting a stuck float or swapping out a worn-out flapper valve is simple and inexpensive. But if the leak continuously comes back, there might be a bigger underlying problem. This may be the logical time 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 basic mechanisms that should function smoothly without concern. If you're having to call the plumber routinely to take care of clogs, leaks and worn tank parts, it will be more cost effective to make a change. Put your hard-earned cash 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 attempt a toilet repair before spending money on a whole-new toilet. Our professionally trained plumbers at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning will inspect your bathroom fixture thoroughly and propose the most cost-effective option. Keep in mind, replacing your old, worn-out toilet with a high-efficiency model helps lower your water bills for many years to come. If you decide it's time to replace, our team can help you decide on and install your new toilet for ideal performance going forward. For more information or to arrange a visit from a qualified plumber, please connect with a Service Experts office near you.