Day after day, flush after flush, hundreds of gallons of water pass through your toilet, gradually wearing out the rubber seals, flushing mechanism, and even the porcelain bowl. Toilets are pretty durable products, so a repair is normally enough to get things functioning properly. However, if your toilet is a few decades old and exhibiting signs of extensive damage, it might be best to just replace it with a new one. Here are eight signs that you need a new toilet.
No one likes dealing with a plumbing clog, but this is one of the most common 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 to flush multiple times as a clog-prevention method, negating the water-saving benefits of these early models. Be assured knowing that contemporary low-flow toilets rarely suffer from random stoppages. The promise of a quality toilet could be enough to prompt you to replace it.
Cracks and Leaks
If you observe any water pooling around the toilet, take action quickly. Ignoring this issue could bring about mold growth, rotten 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 attach the bowl to the floor or replacing the wax ring underneath the toilet base. But, if the leak is a result of a cracked bowl or tank, the entire toilet will need to be replaced.
High Water Usage
Low-flow toilets have been a mainstay 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) cap for residential toilets was reduced to 1.6 gpf. Doing so could significantly 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 remove liquid waste.
Even if your toilet is not very old, a wobbly base is a scenario that should be addressed quickly. If the issue stems from loose tee bolts or a compromised wax ring, you may be able to take care of the problem without switching the toilet. But bear in mind, if the subfloor is affected and bending beneath the toilet’s weight, this should have professional attention. After repairing the structural problems, it may be necessary to replace the toilet to avoid a recurrence.
Increased Mineral Buildup
Hard water is tough on a toilet because it contains minerals that clog the inlet holes and siphon tubes as time goes by. If you stay current with preventive maintenance, you can likely keep mineral buildup under control. It’s also possible to clear some existing deposits by carefully chipping away at them. But if the buildup gets bad enough, your toilet may not flush effectively, making it more susceptible 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. In the end, adjusting a stuck float or replacing a worn-out flapper valve is simple and inexpensive. But if the leak always comes back, 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 warrant replacing your toilet.
Toilets are simple mechanisms that should perform smoothly without worry. If you end up calling the plumber repeatedly to fix clogs, leaks and damaged tank parts, it's time to make a switch. Put your dollars 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 attempt a toilet repair before investing in a whole-new toilet. Our professionally trained plumbers at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning will look over your bathroom fixture thoroughly and suggest the most cost-effective approach. Remember, replacing your old, worn-out toilet with a high-efficiency model helps lower your water bills for numerous 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 arrange a visit from a qualified plumber, please call a Service Experts office near you.