Day after day, flush after flush, endless gallons of water flow through your toilet, eventually wearing out the rubber seals, flushing mechanism, and even the porcelain bowl. Toilets have a long life span, so a repair is often enough to get things fixed and working properly again. Nevertheless, if your toilet is several decades old and displaying signs of significant 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 prevalent problems a toilet can have. The occasional clog is to be expected, but if you have an older low-flow toilet, you may need to plunge it multiple times per month. You may even have learned to flush twice as a clog-prevention solution, which eliminates any savings you should have realized on your monthly water bill. Rest assured that modern low-flow toilets rarely suffer from random stoppages. The promise of a reliable toilet could convince you to replace it.
Cracks and Leaks
When you see water pooling around the toilet, don't wait to act. Ignoring this issue could cause mold growth, water-damaged subflooring and other structural damage. A leaky toilet is often relatively easy to fix. It may just require tightening the tee bolts that attach the fixture to the floor or changing the wax ring under the toilet base. But, if the leak is due to a cracked bowl or tank, you’ll need to replace the entire toilet.
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) maximum for residential toilets was lowered to 1.6 gpf. If so, you could substantially 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 remove 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. Although, if the subfloor is impacted and shifting beneath the toilet’s weight, this requires professional attention. After repairing the structural issues, it may be necessary to replace the toilet to stop a recurrence.
Significant 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 keep up with preventive maintenance, you can likely keep mineral buildup under control. You can also get rid of some existing deposits by carefully chipping away at them. But if the mineral deposit density gets bad enough, your toilet may no longer flush effectively, making it more vulnerable 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. After all, adjusting a stuck float or swapping out a worn-out flapper valve is quick and affordable. But if the leak constantly 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 perform smoothly without worry. If you end up calling the plumber regularly to deal with clogs, leaks and damaged tank parts, it will be more cost effective to make a change. Put your money toward a new, reliable toilet, and you won’t have to stress about repairs for many years.
Schedule Toilet Repair or Replacement
It never hurts to attempt a toilet repair before traveling the route of a whole-new toilet. Our well- trained plumbers at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning will examine your bathroom fixture thoroughly and recommend the most cost-effective approach. Don't forget, replacing your old, worn-out toilet with a high-efficiency model helps lower your water bills for plenty of years to come. If you choose to replace, our team can help you select and install your new toilet for ideal performance going forward. For more information or to arrange a visit from a qualified plumber, please call a Service Experts office near you.