How to Determine It's Time to Replace Your Toilet.

Day after day, flush after flush, hundreds of gallons of water flow through your toilet, eventually deteriorating the rubber seals, flushing mechanism, and even the actual bowl itself. Toilets are usually solid and long-lasting items, so a repair is normally enough to get things fixed and working properly again. Nevertheless, if your toilet is a few decades old and displaying signs of extensive damage, replacing it with a modern bowl may be the best option. Here are eight signals that you need a new toilet.

Continuous Clogging.

No one likes dealing with a plumbing clog, but this is one of the most frequent problems 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 every couple of flushes. You may even have learned to flush twice as a clog-prevention routine, negating the water-saving benefits of these early models. Rest assured that new low-flow toilets seldom suffer from random stoppages. The peace of mind of a quality toilet could motivate you to replace it.

Cracks and Leaks

When you see water pooling around the toilet, act fast. Failing to promptly address this issue could result in 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 attach the fixture to the floor or replacing the wax ring beneath 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 Usage

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 reduced to 1.6 gpf. Doing so could notably lower your water usage (and thus save money each month on your utility bills) by switching 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.

Wobbly Base

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 take care of the problem without replacing the toilet. But, if the subfloor is decayed and shifting beneath the toilet’s weight, this needs professional attention. After repairing the structural damage, it may be necessary to replace the toilet to prevent a recurrence.

Increased Mineral Buildup

Hard water is tough on a toilet because it 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. 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 fail to flush effectively, making it more prone to clogs. When this happens, treat it as a sign to replace your toilet.

Leaky Tank

Minor leaks are not uncommon with any toilet and can be addressed easily with a repair. In the end, adjusting a stuck float or replacing a worn-out flapper valve is easy and inexpensive. But if the leak constantly returns, there might be a bigger underlying problem. This may be the logical time to replace your old, outdated toilet.

Poor Aesthetics

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.

Numerous Repairs

Toilets are simple mechanisms that should run smoothly without much attention. If you find yourself calling the plumber routinely to fix clogs, leaks and worn tank parts, it might be time to stop throwing away good money. Put your dollars toward a new, reliable toilet, and you shouldn't have to worry about repairs for several years.

Schedule Toilet Repair or Replacement

It doesn't hurt to attempt a toilet repair before spending money on a whole-new toilet. The professionally trained plumbers at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning will inspect your bathroom fixture thoroughly and recommend the most cost-effective approach. Don't forget, replacing your old, worn-out toilet with a high-efficiency model helps reduce your water bills for plenty of years to come. If you choose to replace, 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 connect with a Service Experts office near you.

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