Day after day, flush after flush, endless gallons of water flow through your toilet, eventually deteriorating the rubber seals, flushing mechanism, and even the porcelain bowl. Toilets have a long life span, so a repair is usually enough to get things functioning properly. However, if your toilet is a few decades old and displaying signs of noticeable damage, a replacement may be best. Here are eight hints 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 multiple times per month. You may even have to flush multiple times as a clog-prevention technique, negating the water-saving benefits of these early models. Feel comfortable that new low-flow toilets rarely suffer from random stoppages. The peace of mind of a reliable toilet could be enough to prompt you to replace it.
Cracks and Leaks
When you see water pooling around the toilet, act fast. Neglecting this situation could lead to mold growth, water-damaged subflooring and other structural damage. A leaky toilet is usually a simple DIY repair. It may be as simple as tightening the tee bolts that attach the bowl to the floor or changing the wax ring beneath 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 Consumption
Low-flow toilets have been commonly used in homes 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 lowered to 1.6 gpf. Therefore, you could significantly lower your water usage (and thus save money each month on your utility bills) by replacing 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 problem. If the issue stems from loose tee bolts or a damaged wax ring, you may be able to remedy the problem without replacing the toilet. Although, if the subfloor is rotten and shifting beneath the toilet’s weight, this should have professional attention. After repairing the structural problems, it may perhaps be necessary to replace the toilet to prevent a recurrence.
Significant Mineral Buildup
Hard water is tough on a toilet because it contains minerals that clog the inlet holes and siphon tubes after some time. 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 fail to 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. Obviously, adjusting a stuck float or exchanging a worn-out flapper valve is quick and affordable. But if the leak always comes back, there might be a bigger underlying problem. This might be the most sensible time 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 warrant replacing your toilet.
Toilets are simple mechanisms that should function smoothly without concern. If you're having to call the plumber routinely to take care of 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 shouldn't have to fret 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 professionally trained plumbers at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning will examine your bathroom fixture thoroughly and propose the most cost-effective solution. Don't forget, replacing your old, worn-out toilet with a high-efficiency model helps lower your water bills for numerous 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 arrange a visit from a qualified plumber, please contact a Service Experts office near you.