Day after day, flush after flush, countless gallons of water flow 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 usually enough to get things back up and running. On the other hand, if your toilet is a couple of decades old and showing signs of significant damage, a replacement may be best. Here are eight signals that you need a new toilet.
No one likes having to plunge a dirty toilet, but this is one of the most frequent problems a toilet can have. The occasional clog is to be expected, but if you have an older low-flow toilet, you might have to plunge it every couple of flushes. You may even have learned to flush twice as a clog-prevention technique, negating the water-saving benefits of these early models. Rest assured that new low-flow toilets seldom suffer from random stoppages. The peace of mind of a reliable toilet could convince you to replace it.
Cracks and Leaks
When you see water pooling around the toilet, take action quickly. Neglecting this issue could lead to mold growth, decayed subflooring and other structural damage. A leaky toilet is often relatively easy to fix. It may be as simple as tightening the tee bolts that attach the fixture to the floor or changing the wax ring beneath the toilet base. On the other hand, if the leak is due to a cracked bowl or tank, the only option is to replace the toilet.
High Water Use
Low-flow toilets have been commonly used in homes 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) cap for residential toilets was lowered to 1.6 gpf. Therefore, you could significantly lower your water bills by replacing your old 3- to 5-gpf toilet with updated 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 remedy the problem without changing the toilet. But bear in mind, if the subfloor is rotten and shifting beneath the toilet’s weight, this should have professional attention. After repairing the structural problems, it may perhaps be necessary to replace the toilet to prevent 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 stick with preventive maintenance, you should 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 mineral deposit density gets bad enough, your toilet may fail to flush effectively, making it more prone to clogs. When this happens, consider it a sign to replace your toilet.
Simple leaks are usually best addressed with a repair, rather than buying a new toilet. Obviously, adjusting a stuck float or swapping out a worn-out flapper valve is easy and affordable. But if the leak continuously returns, there might be a larger underlying problem. This might be the most sensible time to replace your old, outdated toilet.
Among the top reasons people replace their toilets is that the bowl no longer looks nice; it may have scratches or the color is outdated. Unpleasant aesthetics combined with leaks, frequent clogs or other problems certainly justify replacing your toilet.
Toilets are basic mechanisms that should perform smoothly without worry. If you end up calling the plumber repeatedly to fix clogs, leaks and worn tank parts, it might be time to stop throwing away good money. Put your money toward a new, reliable toilet, and you will not have to fret about repairs for several years.
Schedule Toilet Repair or Replacement
It doesn't hurt to try a toilet repair before spending money on a whole-new toilet. The professionally trained plumbers at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning will inspect your bathroom fixture thoroughly and recommend the most cost-effective solution. Don't forget, replacing your old, worn-out toilet with a high-efficiency model helps reduce your water bills for many 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 contact a Service Experts office near you.