Day after day, flush after flush, countless gallons of water pass through your toilet, slowly eroding 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. Nevertheless, if your toilet is a few decades old and showing 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 having to plunge a dirty toilet, but this is one of the most prevalent predicaments a toilet can have. The periodic 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 more than once as a clog-prevention solution, negating the water-saving benefits of these early models. Be assured knowing 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
When you see water pooling around the toilet, don't wait to act. Neglecting this issue could cause mold growth, water-damaged 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 swapping out the wax ring underneath the toilet base. However, if the leak is due to a cracked bowl or tank, you’ll need to replace the entire toilet.
High Water Use
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 legislation is when the gallon-per-flush (gpf) cap for residential toilets was decreased to 1.6 gpf. If so, you could significantly lower your water consumption inside your home 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 get rid of 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. Although, if the subfloor is rotten and shifting beneath the toilet’s weight, this requires professional attention. After repairing the structural issues, it may perhaps 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 over the years. If you stick 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 accumulation gets bad enough, your toilet may no longer flush effectively, making it more vulnerable to clogs. When this happens, that's a sign to replace your toilet.
Minor leaks are not uncommon with any toilet and can be addressed easily with a repair. Obviously, adjusting a stuck float or swapping out a worn-out flapper valve is easy and inexpensive. But if the leak always comes back, there might be a larger 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 warrant replacing your toilet.
Toilets are basic mechanisms that should operate smoothly without concern. If you find yourself calling the plumber repeatedly to deal with 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 worry about repairs for many years.
Schedule Toilet Repair or Replacement
It never hurts to try a toilet repair before traveling the route of a whole-new toilet. The professionally trained plumbers at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning will look over your bathroom fixture thoroughly and propose the most cost-effective option. Remember, 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 pick and install your new toilet for ideal performance going forward. For more information or to schedule a visit from a qualified plumber, please connect with a Service Experts office near you.