Day after day, flush after flush, countless gallons of water run through your toilet, eventually eroding the rubber seals, flushing mechanism, and even the toilet bowl itself. Toilets have a long life span, so a repair is normally enough to get things back up and running. Nevertheless, if your toilet is several decades old and showing signs of serious damage, replacing it with a modern bowl may be the best option. Here are eight indicators that you need a new toilet.
No one likes having to plunge a dirty toilet, but this is one of the most common issues a toilet can have. The periodic clog is to be expected, but if you have an older low-flow toilet, you might end up having to plunge it multiple times per month. You may even have learned to flush twice as a clog-prevention method, which eliminates any savings you should have realized on your monthly water bill. Rest assured that new low-flow toilets hardly ever suffer from random stoppages. The promise 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. Failing to promptly address this problem could cause mold growth, rotten 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 bowl to the floor or replacing the wax ring under the toilet base. However, if the leak is because of a cracked bowl or tank, you’ll need to replace the entire toilet.
High Water Use
Low-flow toilets have been a mainstay since the early 90s, but your old toilet could easily predate the Energy Policy Act of 1992. That legislation is when the gallon-per-flush (gpf) limit for residential toilets was decreased to 1.6 gpf. If so, 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 wash away liquid waste.
Even if your toilet is not very old, a wobbly base is problematic. If the concern stems from loose tee bolts or a damaged wax ring, you may be able to fix the problem without changing the toilet. Although, if the subfloor is affected and moving beneath the toilet’s weight, this requires professional attention. After repairing the structural problems, it may be necessary to replace the toilet to prevent a recurrence.
Increased Mineral Buildup
Toilets are at the mercy of hard water, which contains minerals that clog the inlet holes and siphon tubes after some time. If you stay current with preventive maintenance, you should be able to keep mineral buildup under control. You can also get rid of 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 susceptible 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. After all, adjusting a stuck float or exchanging a worn-out flapper valve is easy and inexpensive. But if the leak continuously comes back, there might be a larger underlying problem. This may be the logical time to replace your old, outdated toilet.
Among the top reasons people replace their toilets is that the bowl no longer looks nice; it may have scratches or the color is outdated. Unpleasant aesthetics combined with leaks, frequent clogs or other problems certainly warrant replacing your toilet.
Toilets are straightforward mechanisms that should function smoothly without worry. If you're having to call the plumber repeatedly to take care of clogs, leaks and broken tank parts, it might be time to stop throwing away good money. 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 can't hurt to try a toilet repair before spending money on a whole-new toilet. Our well- trained plumbers at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning will inspect your bathroom fixture thoroughly and recommend the most cost-effective option. Don't forget, replacing your old, worn-out toilet with a high-efficiency model helps slash your water bills for numerous years to come. If you decide it's time to replace, our team can help you select and install your new toilet for excellent performance going forward. For more information or to schedule a visit from a qualified plumber, please connect with a Service Experts office near you.