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10 Clear Indications That It’s Time for a New Toilet

Toilets are among the most frequently used plumbing fixtures in the household. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average person flushes the toilet at least five times per day. For a family of four, this translates into nearly 150 flushes per week. While toilets are durable, these fixtures have finite lifespans like any other hardware. But how do you know when a toilet has reached the end of its run?

1. Constant Clogging

Frequent clogs signify that it is time to replace your toilet. While the occasional use of a plunger is normal, constant obstructions can mean that the toilet is no longer operating efficiently. Toilets tend to clog more frequently with age, and clogging can even result from heavy deterioration further down the pipeline. Although a trained professional may be able to use a plumber’s snake to remove clogs or corrosion in some instances, it’s often more practical to replace the toilet and eliminate the inconvenience of recurring clogs.

2. Fissures or Cracks

Fissures or cracks mean that you should update your toilet promptly. No matter the location, the presence of cracks can eventually lead to plumbing emergencies and property damage. For example, a fissure or crack near the trap means the toilet bowl will always remain empty. This can result in excess water usage and can increase the risks of pipe leaks in the wall behind the unit.

Cracks at the bottom of the toilet bowl can lead to moisture damage and may enable toxins and sewer gases to seep into the bathroom and home. Finally, cracks near the base of the toilet can result in extensive damage to flooring. There is always the risk that a fissure can suddenly worsen and cause indoor flooding. It’s much simpler to replace a cracked toilet instead of letting the problem escalate into a structural issue that costs thousands to repair.

3. Unsteady Seating

Your toilet should never tilt or wobble when you sit down. Not only does this feel uncomfortable, but it can also signify that the hardware has fallen into disrepair. Reach out to a plumber to assess the issue if your toilet feels unsteady. The plumber can determine whether the issue requires adjusting screws and bolts or if the fixture itself needs to be replaced. Unfortunately, an unsteady toilet can mean, in some instances, that wooden floorboards beneath the fixture have begun to rot from moisture damage. In this case, you would need to repair flooring damage before installing a new toilet.

4. Excessive Leaking

Constant leaks also indicate that it’s time to replace the toilet. Common locations of leaks include the space between the tank and the bowl or anywhere near the base of the fixture. Even if you don’t notice small leaks at first, you may see signs of leaks in other parts of the home. For example, a leaking toilet in an upstairs bathroom can damage the ceiling of the room directly beneath it. Dripping toilets can also result in the growth of mold or mildew. These biological contaminants are unsightly and also pose a health hazard to all home occupants. Install a brand-new toilet to eliminate seeping water that can lead to much more serious problems in the home.

5. Constantly Running Toilet

Few bathroom noises are more annoying than the constantly running toilet. There are several possible causes when a toilet seems unable to stop refilling. For example, a running toilet can result from problems as simple as defects with the fill valve, flapper, or float. In these cases, a simple repair can get your toilet back in working order. But if you still hear running water even after ruling out the basic components, it’s possible that the plumbing connections or other deep internal parts are failing. In this case, it makes more sense to upgrade the fixture than waste water in the long run.

6. Non-Flushing Hardware

The purpose of the toilet is to flush away waste and keep your home sanitary and hygienic. If various system components stop working so that your fixture fails to flush altogether, you run the risk of exposing your household to harmful bacteria. A plumber may be able to troubleshoot the problem, but the most viable solution is to replace the device.

7. Higher Water Bills

If your water bill has begun to skyrocket with no other apparent change in usage, an outdated toilet may be to blame. In the past, manufacturers frequently produced toilets that consumed around 3.5 gallons of water per flush. As these units age, they become less efficient and can begin using over 5.0 gallons of water per flush.

This excess usage can raise utility bills and have a negative impact on environmental resources. In fact, many of the latest toilet models do not exceed a rating of 1.28 gallons per flush. The Environmental Protection Agency has also launched a WaterSense program that labels toilets that help conserve water. A local plumber can help you select the right WaterSense-compliant fixture that does not consume more than 1.28 gallons with each use.

8. Mineral Buildup

Mineral buildup occurs in homes with hard water. This type of water contains high levels of sediment and mineral carbonates that accumulate along the pipes of your toilet. Over time, this buildup can result in obstructions and reduced water efficiency. You may find yourself needing to flush several times to clear waste or use plungers and augers more frequently than desired. Mineral buildup can also corrode metal components within the toilet tank. Although a plumber may be able to remove some of the mineral buildup, the most severe cases require fixture replacement. You can then add a water softener to prevent the accumulation of buildup in the future.

9. Frequent Repair Calls

If you find yourself calling for assistance with your toilet every week, it is often much more expedient to replace the fixture itself. While your local plumbing company may have fair pricing and maintenance plans, needing to contact your plumber four to five times a month can add up in terms of both time and money. As a cost-effective alternative, consider upgrading the toilet so that you have time to focus on other areas of the home that require maintenance or upkeep.

10. Excessive Age

While the exterior hardware of a toilet may last decades, a very old toilet is rather limited in terms of efficiency and features. In the past few years, advanced technology has given new toilets wider capabilities in saving water and reducing utility costs. For example, homeowners can now buy pressure-assistant toilets that use less water and more compressed air to flush contents out of the bowl. There are also gravity-assisted toilets that use natural mass instead of extra water to remove waste. There are also bidet toilets for improved hygiene and comfort-height toilets for easier accessibility.

Contact Us Today

Toilets offer telltale signs once they have reached the end of their life expectancies. Once it’s time to replace your plumbing fixture, the experts are here to help. Lightfoot Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical, LLC offers toilet installation services for homes in Weatherford, TX and surrounding areas. We can help you upgrade to the most efficient model and can even answer questions about water usage or septic repairs.

Our plumbers can help with everything from bathroom remodeling to toilet services. In addition to toilet installation, we work with all other faucets and fixtures from the shower to the sink. We conduct leak detection, drain cleaning, and can help with water heaters or gas lines. No matter the issue, we are here for you. Contact Lightfoot Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical, LLC today for all your plumbing needs.

Meet the Author
Gary Lightfoot

With over 30 years of experience in the industry, Gary Lightfoot took over his family business and continues to run it with the values and standards set 35 years ago

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