Day after day, flush after flush, hundreds of gallons of water run through your toilet, eventually deteriorating the rubber seals, flushing mechanism, and even the porcelain bowl. Toilets are usually solid and long-lasting items, so a repair is typically enough to get things functioning properly. However, if your toilet is a few decades old and exhibiting signs of noticeable 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 dealing with a plumbing clog, but this is one of the most prevalent issues a toilet can have. The occasional clog is to be expected, but if you have an older low-flow toilet, you may need to plunge it every couple of flushes. You may even have learned to flush twice as a clog-prevention technique, resulting in higher water usage bills. Be assured knowing that new low-flow toilets hardly ever suffer from random stoppages. The promise of a reliable 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 situation could bring about mold growth, decayed subflooring and other structural damage. A leaky toilet is usually a simple DIY repair. It may just require tightening the tee bolts that fasten the bowl to the floor or replacing the wax ring under the toilet base. But, if the leak is a result of a cracked bowl or tank, the only option is to replace the 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 reduced to 1.6 gpf. If so, you could substantially lower your water usage (and thus save money each month on your utility bills) by exchanging 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 remove liquid waste.
Even if your toilet is not very old, a wobbly base is a problem. If the condition stems from loose tee bolts or a compromised wax ring, you may be able to cure the problem without swapping out the toilet. But, if the subfloor is rotten and bending beneath the toilet’s weight, this should have professional attention. After repairing the structural problems, it may be necessary to replace the toilet to stop a recurrence.
Increased Mineral Buildup
Hard water can create problems for your toilet, because the water 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 mineral deposit density gets bad enough, your toilet may not flush effectively, making it more prone to clogs. When this happens, treat it as a sign to replace your toilet.
Simple leaks are usually best addressed with a repair, rather than buying a new toilet. In the end, adjusting a stuck float or replacing a worn-out flapper valve is quick 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.
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 simple mechanisms that should operate smoothly without concern. If you're having to call the plumber repeatedly to fix clogs, leaks and broken tank parts, it will be more cost effective to make a change. Put your hard-earned cash toward a new, reliable toilet, and you won’t have to be concerned 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 professionally trained plumbers at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning will examine your bathroom fixture thoroughly and suggest 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 opt for a replacement, our team can help you select and install your new toilet for ideal performance going forward. For more information or to schedule a visit from a qualified plumber, please call a Service Experts office near you.