Day after day, flush after flush, countless gallons of water run through your toilet, gradually deteriorating the rubber seals, flushing mechanism, and even the porcelain bowl. Toilets have a long life span, so a repair is typically enough to get things back up and running. However, if your toilet is several decades old and showing signs of noticeable damage, it might be best to just replace it with a new one. Here are eight hints that you need a new toilet.
No one likes seeing a backed up or clogged toilet, but this is one of the most common 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 learned to flush twice as a clog-prevention method, negating the water-saving benefits of these early models. Feel comfortable that new low-flow toilets hardly ever suffer from random stoppages. The peace of mind of a dependable toilet could be enough to prompt you to replace it.
Cracks and Leaks
When you see water pooling around the toilet, take action quickly. Failing to promptly address this problem could result in mold growth, water-damaged 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 fasten the bowl to the floor or changing the wax ring beneath the toilet base. However, if the leak is due to a cracked bowl or tank, the only option is to replace the toilet.
High Water Usage
Low-flow toilets have been commonly used in homes since the early 90s, but your aging toilet could easily predate the Energy Policy Act of 1992. That policy is when the gallon-per-flush (gpf) maximum for residential toilets was decreased to 1.6 gpf. Therefore, you could significantly lower your water bills by switching 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 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 condition stems from loose tee bolts or a defective wax ring, you may be able to cure the problem without switching the toilet. Although, if the subfloor is decayed and bending beneath the toilet’s weight, this requires professional attention. After repairing the structural issues, it may perhaps be necessary to replace the toilet to prevent a recurrence.
Abnormal Mineral Buildup
Hard water can create problems for your toilet, because the water contains minerals that clog the inlet holes and siphon tubes over time. If you stick with preventive maintenance, you can likely 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 buildup gets bad enough, your toilet may no longer flush effectively, making it more prone to clogs. When this happens, treat it as a sign to replace your toilet.
It’s usually worth repairing (not replacing) your toilet tank the first few times it leaks. After all, adjusting a stuck float or replacing a worn-out flapper valve is simple and inexpensive. But if the leak constantly returns, there might be a larger underlying problem. This is just the excuse you need 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 run smoothly without much attention. If you end up calling the plumber routinely 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 several years.
Schedule Toilet Repair or Replacement
It doesn't hurt to try a toilet repair before traveling the route of a whole-new toilet. The well- trained plumbers at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning will inspect your bathroom fixture thoroughly and propose the most cost-effective solution. Remember, replacing your old, worn-out toilet with a high-efficiency model helps reduce your water bills for plenty of 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 arrange a visit from a qualified plumber, please contact a Service Experts office near you.