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Is it Time to Replace Your Toilet?

A toilet is an essential piece of equipment in your home. It is used multiple times a day yet rarely thought about until it breaks down. Like any other major appliance in your home, it will eventually need to be replaced. The average life expectancy can vary depending on several factors, but a basic ceramic toilet can last as long as 50 years. So when is it time to look for a replacement?

We’ve made a list of some warning signs:

  • Frequent Repairs – If you have had your toilet repaired more than once over the course of a year, it might be time to look into getting a new one. Minor repairs such as a worn flapper or fill valve seal are basic maintenance issues, but when they begin to happen at a frequent rate it could be more cost effective to buy a new model.
  • Recurring Clogs – You might be able to fix a clog yourself with a plunger and a little elbow grease, but it shouldn’t be a recurring problem. Certain items should not be flushed (pretty much anything but toilet paper and the obvious waste products), so if the culprit is nothing more than regular usage, a new toilet might be your best option.
  • Leaks – Toilet leaks are often invisible to the naked eye and only discovered after the surrounding floor begins to show signs of discoloration or softening. These leaks can cause mildew and extensive structural damage. A crack in the tank or bowl is easier to see – and a sure sign that a new toilet is needed. Either scenario should be first investigated by a plumbing professional.
  • The Base “Wobbles” – If your toilet is unstable, all it might require is the tightening of a few bolts. A toilet that has been in a home for a number of years is bound to experience a bit of wear and tear. But an unstable toilet might also indicate that the floor underneath is rotted or damaged. If tightening the bolts doesn’t address the problem, a professional should be called.
  • Constant Running – A constantly running toilet might indicate a worn or damaged flapper (among other causes). This problem should be addressed quickly before it begins to affect your utility bill. However, constant running might also be a signifier of something even more problematic.
  • Water Efficiency – Older toilets use a lot more water to flush than newer models. Toilets that were built before 1980 use about 7 gallons per flush, while modern designs only use 1.6 gallons. Replacing your old toilet could significantly reduce your water bill – and your carbon footprint.
  • Uncommon Parts – When older toilets (at least 20 years) break down, their parts are sometimes harder to locate. The handle, the flapper and fill valve get more complicated to replace the older the model. If the parts on your toilet are becoming harder to replace and are continuously causing problems, it might be cheaper to invest in something new.
  • Comfort – A round bowl is more difficult sit on than the newer elongated designs. The more ergonomic shape allows for more sitting room and is much easier clean. While your old toilet might be running fine, the comfort and cleaning factors are definitely aspects to consider.

If you are experiencing any of these highlighted problems with your current toilet, a plumbing professional can help you figure out the next steps. A new toilet will run anywhere from $100 to $500 – with high end designs going well into the thousands. So if you’re facing extensive repairs, it might make more sense financially to buy a new one.

Call us today at (713) 364-0226 and let’s discuss your options!

Read this for some ideas on choosing the right toilet for your home.