You rely on your toilet daily but probably don't think much about it until something goes wrong. Like other major appliances in your home, your toilet will wear down in efficiency over time. So if you’re wondering, “do toilets go bad?” the answer is yes. But how do you know when that time has come? We have some tips to determine when to replace a toilet and how to prepare for it.
5 Signs Your Toilet Needs to Be Replaced
Knowing when to replace toilets in your home is essential for maintaining your and your family’s overall comfort, reducing water waste, and even following local regulations. If it’s been some time since your last toilet replacement, watch out for these common signs your toilet needs replacing:
- Water puddles. If you frequently see a puddle of water around your toilet, this could indicate that you have cracks in your tank. Even if the toilet appears to be working properly - flushing well, not clogged, not running - but there is water around the bottom, it could mean there are cracks in the bowl. Both will require a professional inspection and likely require toilet repair or replacement services.
- Old age. Regardless of whether your toilet is working properly, if you have had the same one for decades, you should consider replacing it. Older toilets are often less efficient than newer ones, which could drive up your water bill. Advancements in the past few years have resulted in toilets using significantly less water. Current federal law requires residential toilets (flush tank type) manufactured and sold in the U.S. after Jan. 1, 1994, to use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush, and some newer toilets use even less. If your toilet has not been replaced since 1994, it may be time for a new one.
- A wobbly base. A toilet that wobbles or rocks is not normal. If your toilet is unsteady, call a plumber immediately to evaluate the problem. While it could be a simple matter of tightening some bolts or replacing the flange, it could also mean that the floor underneath is damaged or rotting, and you’ll need to have it professionally repaired.
- Frequent repairs. If you’ve had to call a plumber several times in the past few years to have your toilet repaired, there’s likely something defective or outdated, and it may be better to purchase a new one. It will likely save you money in the long run.
- Outdated style (round bowl). While there’s nothing drastically wrong with your round bowl, replacing it with an elongated model is worth considering. These types of bowls tend to be more comfortable than round ones because they allow for more seating room. An elongated bowl also stays cleaner and allows fewer odors to escape. Round bowls do have a slightly smaller footprint, but if you have enough room, consider making the switch to an elongated bowl.
How Often Should a Toilet Be Replaced?
A well-maintained toilet can last up to 50 years. However, as mentioned previously, toilets near or beyond the 50-year mark today are vastly outdated regarding modern manufacturing standards. Consider inspecting your toilet for signs of outdated features or old age at the 10-15 year mark. We recommend having a local plumber inspect your toilet and help you determine the best fit for your needs.
What To Know When Replacing a Toilet
Before you go ahead and schedule your toilet replacement services, consider these various stylistic and functional features when selecting your new toilet:
- Bowl shape. Knowing whether to select a round vs. elongated shaped bowl is important when it comes to the comfort of the space it’s installed in. If you have an already cramped bathroom, installing an elongated bowl toilet will likely make the room feel even more cramped.
- Height. Consider those in your household and what might be ideal for their comfort. A higher toilet may be better for those who are taller, older, or have back pain.
- Flush features. Some newer, more efficient toilets have various flush features that conserve water. A dual-flush feature is designed with two levers or buttons: one for a lighter flush and one for a standard full flush. Additionally, you might want to consider a touchless flush feature to reduce the spread of germs.
- Toilet tank type. The main two types of toilet tanks are one-piece and two-piece. The difference is that the former has a tank and bowl integrated into one unit, and the latter has a separate bowl and tank. A two-piece is the standard, more affordable option, but a one-piece can help reduce the risk of leaks.
- Maintenance. Adding any additional special features or customization to your toilet may cost you more cleaning, maintenance, or repairs in the future. Consult with a professional plumber about what might be the best option and what maintenance considerations you’ll need to prepare for.
- Cost. Selecting a more efficient model, special features, or even additional installments like a bidet, heating, or smart settings will certainly increase the overall cost. Before selecting your preferred toilet, consult with your plumber about the best fit for your needs and overall budget.
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Retire Your Toilet with Professional Replacement
Whether your toilet is outdated or just no longer the right fit for your needs, the experts at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing can help. We’ll inspect your home and help you determine the perfect replacement toilet for your needs, budget, and longer-term maintenance. Call us at 1-877-BEN-1776 or request an appointment online.