Reasons You May Need to Replace Your Toilet
Knowing the signs of a deteriorating toilet now will help save you from extensive water damage later. Determining when to replace versus when to repair can be difficult, so here are some simple ways to spot if a new toilet is in your near future:
It Needs Costly Repairs
It may go without saying, but if the cost of repairs is even approaching the cost of a new toilet, then it's time to replace it. There are many exterior toilet parts that can be replaced inexpensively - the flapper, handle, fill valve, etc. - but when the repairs need to be done internally, it's likely time to reconsider. For example, wax seals and gaskets can cost hundreds of dollars to repair, which is essentially the cost of a brand-new toilet.
It Has Cracks
In many cases, replacement is the only option for porcelain cracks. The severity of the situation depends on the location of the crack itself. If the crack is located above water, you should keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't expand any further. Hairline cracks above the waterline that are smaller than one-sixteenth of an inch can be filled, but anything larger means the toilet must be replaced. If large amounts of hairline cracks are appearing in this area, then you may need to see if there is another underlying problem. However, any crack that appears under the water line will be much more difficult to repair, and will eventually need to be "fixed" by replacing the toilet.
It is Constantly Clogged
If you find yourself plunging your toilet multiple times a week, then it may be time for a replacement. The flushing power of a toilet weakens as it ages, eventually lacking the force to keep water flowing outward. First-generation water-saving toilets were built in the mid 1990s, and they lacked the proper pressure components. If you have a toilet that was built during this time, you may want to replace it now before it becomes a bigger problem in the future.
It is Wobbly
Nothing good can come of a rocking toilet. A wobbly toilet can mean a variety of things, many of which indicate serious issues. In the best-case scenario, your toilet may have a loose screw at the base that needs to be tightened. However, in most cases, a wobbly toilet is a sign that there is water damage under the flooring. There may be an active leak from a broken floor wax seal that caused water to slowly rot the bottom out. It's important to call a plumber right away if you notice this so they can help you safely dispose of the old toilet and install the new one without damaging the floor any further.
Replacing an expensive household item is never ideal, but a new toilet can end up saving you money in the long-run. Today's toilet models use two less gallons of water per flush than their older counterparts, which is good for your wallet and the environment.