When a toilet is not functioning properly, appears to be damaged or is running constantly, it can be difficult deciding when it’s time to invest in a new fixture or repair the current one. Sometimes we take these particular fixtures for granted, forgetting how often a toilet is used and that it has become a necessary part of our daily lives.
While it’s not the most expensive fixture, replacing a toilet can be time-consuming and frustrating. However, frequent repairs can add up, and through technological advances, new toilets actually can save money and water consumption.
There are several signs that it’s time to replace your toilet, and unless you’re exceptionally handy, you should call in a professional to take care of the work. Here are a few reasons for a total replacement:
- If you have an older toilet (pre-1994), installing a new toilet will reduce water usage by nearly two gallons per flush. Today’s models are much more efficient.
- If your current model is clogging often or is leaking, it may be time for a new one. Plunging should be uncommon, and if it’s happening frequently, you have a more serious issue.
- Toilets shouldn’t require constant repairs. If you’re experiencing constant issues, then it’s probably time for a replacement. Rebuilding a new toilet can mean replacing several items like the handle, the flapper and the fill valve. While these repairs can be done easily, each of these items can add up to the cost of a new toilet.
- Scratches or cracks may be causing leaks. Stains from hard water may be tougher to clean, especially if there are scratches along with the stains. In areas with hard water, mineral deposits can cause a buildup and keep a toilet from running efficiently.
- Constant running of a toilet or the sound of hissing or trickling usually means there are worn parts, hairline cracks or small leaks. In each of these cases, a new fixture may be your best option. Hairline cracks turn into bigger cracks over time and cause leaks that can eventually ruin a floor. Inspect your tank and your bowl for cracks and scratches. Leaks from cracks and scratches also can cause mold and mildew to grow in your bathroom.
- Does the toilet move around or wobble when in use? This sometimes can indicate a bigger problem and require a professional.
- Maybe your old commode is a color that really doesn’t blend in well with your bathroom. It might be time for a bathroom remodel, and a new toilet improves the look, cosmetically.
If you have an older toilet, it might be best to preemptively replace it with a new low-flush toilet. New low-flush toilets can save money on your monthly water bill because they run more efficiently. Installing a new toilet can reduce septic and sewer waste flow, as well.
Dual-flush toilets are catching on quickly in the “green” plumbing world. American Standard offers a model equipped with two settings that can save nearly 20 percent less water. Automation is the latest technology when it comes to toilets. There are toilets on the market now that feature touchless flushing, heated seats and even cleansing sprays.