Day after day, flush after flush, endless gallons of water pass through your toilet, slowly wearing out the rubber seals, flushing mechanism, and even the porcelain bowl. Toilets are usually solid and long-lasting items, so a repair is normally enough to get things functioning properly. On the other hand, if your toilet is a few decades old and displaying signs of serious 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 seeing a backed up or clogged toilet, but this is one of the most frequent issues a toilet can have. The occasional 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, resulting in higher water usage bills. Be assured knowing that new low-flow toilets rarely suffer from random stoppages. The assurance of a dependable toilet could convince you to replace it.
Cracks and Leaks
If you observe any water pooling around the toilet, take action quickly. Failing to promptly address this issue could result in mold growth, rotten subflooring and other structural damage. A leaky toilet is often relatively easy to fix. It may involve tightening the tee bolts that attach the product to the floor or changing 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 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) limit for residential toilets was decreased to 1.6 gpf. Doing so could notably lower your water usage (and thus save money each month on your utility 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 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 defective wax ring, you may be able to remedy the problem without swapping out the toilet. But bear in mind, if the subfloor is decayed and moving beneath the toilet’s weight, this should have professional attention. After repairing the structural damage, it might 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 over time. If you keep up 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 accumulation gets bad enough, your toilet may fail to flush effectively, making it more susceptible to clogs. When this happens, that's 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 quick and inexpensive. But if the leak constantly comes back, there might be a larger underlying problem. This might be the most sensible 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 justify replacing your toilet.
Toilets are basic mechanisms that should run smoothly without worry. If you're having to call the plumber regularly to fix clogs, leaks and broken tank parts, it might be time to stop throwing away good money. Put your hard-earned cash toward a new, reliable toilet, and you will not have to stress about repairs for several years.
Schedule Toilet Repair or Replacement
It can't hurt to attempt 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 option. Keep in mind, replacing your old, worn-out toilet with a high-efficiency model helps lower your water bills for plenty of years to come. If you opt for a replacement, our team can help you decide on and install your new toilet for optimal performance going forward. For more information or to schedule a visit from a qualified plumber, please call a Service Experts office near you.