Day after day, flush after flush, countless gallons of water pass through your toilet, gradually wearing out the rubber seals, flushing mechanism, and even the toilet bowl itself. Toilets are usually solid and long-lasting items, so a repair is usually enough to get things back up and running. On the other hand, if your toilet is a few decades old and showing signs of extensive damage, a replacement may be best. Here are eight hints that you need a new toilet.
No one likes dealing with a plumbing clog, 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 might have to plunge it more than once a week. You may even have to flush multiple times as a clog-prevention solution, negating the water-saving benefits of these early models. Feel comfortable that modern low-flow toilets hardly ever suffer from random stoppages. The assurance of a dependable toilet could be enough to prompt you to replace it.
Cracks and Leaks
If you notice water pooling around the toilet, don't wait to act. Ignoring this issue could lead to mold growth, decayed 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 changing the wax ring underneath the toilet base. On the other hand, if the leak is caused by a cracked bowl or tank, the only option is to replace the toilet.
High Water Use
Low-flow toilets have been utilized in new home construction or as a replacement product since the early 90s, but your old toilet could easily predate the Energy Policy Act of 1992. This is when the gallon-per-flush (gpf) limit for residential toilets was reduced to 1.6 gpf. If so, you could significantly lower your water bills by exchanging 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 problematic. 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. However, if the subfloor is rotten and shifting beneath the toilet’s weight, this requires professional attention. After repairing the structural damage, it might 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 over the years. If you stay current 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 accumulation gets bad enough, your toilet may no longer flush effectively, making it more vulnerable to clogs. When this happens, consider it 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 inexpensive. But if the leak constantly returns, there might be a bigger underlying problem. This is just the excuse you need to replace your old, outdated toilet.
Scratches, hairline cracks or simply an outdated color could encourage you to replace 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 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 dollars toward a new, reliable toilet, and you won’t have to fret about repairs for many years.
Schedule Toilet Repair or Replacement
It doesn't hurt to try a toilet repair before investing in a whole-new toilet. Our professionally trained plumbers at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning will examine 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 reduce your water bills for many years to come. If you opt for a replacement, our team can help you select 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.