Although most people don’t spend a lot of time talking or even thinking about their toilet, it becomes top of mind for everyone in the house if it stops working. So, what warning signs should you be looking for before the toilet actually dies? We’ve compiled a list of the top reasons to replace your toilet. These should provide you with some solid hints for when it’s time to replace the throne.
- Age – While most of us think our toilet will last forever, the fact of the matter is, they generally have a life expectance of around 25 years. Some however will last up to 50 years or longer! There may be some reasons to hang on to that older, well-functioning toilet though. Prior to the Energy Policy Act of 1992, toilets used 3.5 to 5 gallons of water per flush. The Act of 1992 however, required that toilets installed after 1994 must have a flush volume of 1.6 gallons per flush. While using less water can help save you money on your water bill and is great for water conservation, it does have a downside. For people on a septic system or in an older home with older plumbing systems, the increased amount of water per flush can help clear the lines better and send waste all the way to the septic system rather than leaving it part way. This can reduce the number of clogs in your plumbing system. However, most people use city water and sewer and therefore should consider replacing the older inefficient toilet.
- Shape of Bowl- Although this may be more of a cosmetic choice, a Round toilet bowl takes up less space in the bathroom so if space is an issue, consider a Round bowl. Oblong shaped bowls, however, provide better seating and therefore are considered more comfortable. Oblong bowls have also been shown to reduce odors and are considered easier to clean.
- Cracked Porcelain – When you hear the words cracked tank, you may think this would be easy to spot and something you would of course know about if your tank is cracked. This may not be the case though as cracks can be in hidden spots. These cracks may remain a hairline crack for quite some time but when they completely break, water can go everywhere, leading to significant damage. When a crack is found, it’s often necessary to replace the bowl, tank or entire toilet.
- Leaking – Checking for leaks can be as simple as looking at your water bill. This is usually the first place people notice they have a leaking toilet because their water bill is suddenly higher than normal. A careful inspection around the base of the toilet may then uncover damp wood or small amounts of water on the tile. Sometimes this can be resolved with a simple tightening of the base screws, but it may require the toilet to be replace entirely.
- Constant Flush – If your toilet runs on and on after it is flushed or you constantly jiggle the handle or lift the lid to get it to stop, it’s time to consider either replacing the guts in the tank or replacing the toilet. Consider the age of the toilet when making the repair or replace decision.
- Scratched Porcelain – While not as serious as the cracked porcelain, scratched porcelain can be a hiding place for germs and the dirt and grime build up can be difficult to clean. Save yourself some time and energy by replacing that heavily scratched toilet with a shiny new one.
- Frequent Clogs and Constant Repairs – There’s a reason most people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about their toilet. They should work for many years without constant need for attention. If you find your toilet requires a plunger a couple of times a week and you don’t have small children flushing foreign objects, then you have a problem. The same holds true if most weekends are spent replacing or adjusting toilet parts. It may be time to bite the bullet and replace the toilet and enjoy your weekends again.
- Mineral Deposit Build Up – Although the unsightly mineral stains can be cleaned from the toilet bowl with some effort, it is important to realize that these mineral deposits are also building up in other areas. The minerals in the hard water can also collect in the inlet holes and syphon tube and keep water from flowing effectively. This makes the toilet inefficient and could prevent water flow all together. Be aware when you are cleaning the bowl of these mineral deposits you may want to check the water flow too.
- Wobbling – Your toilet should be a stationary object. It should never shift or wobble when you are seated on it. If it does, first check the bolts at the base of the toilet to see if they need to be tightened. If not, it is highly recommended that you call a professional plumber to evaluate the situation. They may be able to repair the problem rather than replacing the toilet but either way, a wobbly toilet can cause significant damage to your home by causing water leaks or because the floor has already rotted beneath it.
- Doesn’t Flush – The ultimate toilet problem that indicates replacement may be necessary. Check for other obvious issues first, like a broken chain in the tank, but if none are apparent, it’s time to call in the professionals. Often the problem can become more severe when the homeowner begins poking around thinking it’s just a clog.
If you have concerns with your toilet and would like a professional opinion or repair, contact All Star Plumbing and Restoration. We will get to the root of the issue and let you know if your toilet needs repaired or replaced.