If you’re like a lot of people, the toilet in your home may have received very little thought since you moved in. After all, you’re probably more focused on the water pressure in the home, the temperature of the water, and whether or not your kitchen and bathroom drains are draining properly.
Then, one day you notice that your toilet just isn’t acting right. Perhaps it’s leaking, perhaps it’s wobbling, or it’s not flushing and you have to take off the lid and rig the hardware so the bowl will fill back up with water and STOP without flooding your bathroom floor.
Or, perhaps you have one of those avocado-colored models from the 1960s or 1970s and you’re worried about how much water is being wasted with each flush.
In the average household, a toilet can flush gallons and gallons of water each day, which puts stress on the copper pipes, the porcelain bowl, and the rubber seals. While toilets can last a very long time, the components inside the tank will need to be replaced periodically. Even still, sometimes a simple replacement of an older or damaged model is worth the cost of regular repairs.
Signs that it may be time for a replacement:
- Your toilet is outdated. If the toilet is the original model from when the house was built in the 1950s, 1960s, or 1970s, it’s time for a replacement. Due to age, these toilets are prone to leaks and cracks, but they also use far more water than the modern toilets.
- The modern, post-1994 residential toilets use no more than 1.6 gallons per a flush, while the earlier models use 3.4 gallons of water per a flush. If you have a pre-1994 toilet, your water bill will be substantially more than it should be, especially if you have a large household.
- If your toilet is wobbling or rocking at the base, it could be a loose mounting bolts, a rotten subfloor, or a worn out wax ring. If the cause of the problem can be easily repaired or replaced, then it may be cost effective to keep your toilet. But, if the subfloor is damaged and it needs to be professionally repaired, you may be better off with a new toilet that weighs less to prevent future subfloor damage.
- If your toilet is old and chipped or cracked, or if it’s a newer model but it sustained damage as a result of poor installation or repair, you should consider a replacement. Cracks can lead to water leaks, which reduce the toilet’s efficiency and can cause mold and floor damage.
If your toilet is having issues, it’s best to hire a licensed plumber to determine if a repair or full replacement is in order. If you try to install a new toilet yourself, a botched installation can lead to leaks and rotting of the subfloor – and nobody wants that!