Toilets are probably one of the single most used plumbing fixture in your home so when you have a problem with it, it certainly does not go unnoticed. Many times when problems occur it’s easily fixed and life goes on. But how do you know when it’s time to start thinking about replacing it? Luckily, our expert plumbers have a few helpful tips to know when it’s time to replace or not.
- It clogs once a week or more. Every toilet clogs once and awhile, but how often is too often? How often a toilet clogs depends on the strength of its flush, the cleanliness of its drain pipes, and what it’s trying to flush. If your toilet clogs more than once a month it may be due to mineral deposits building up around the top of the drain or possibly even the drain itself.
Mineral deposits get caught on the sides and harden. Over time, the deposits accumulate until they form a bottleneck making is harder for water and waste to pass through causing backups and slow moving drains. As the toilet starts to age or develops a weak flush, the minerals begin to happen more frequently because the toilet no long has the power to blast the minerals away. We always suggest having your drain lines cleared by a professional first, if your drain line is free yet your toilet continues to clog or flush/drain slowly, it’s probably time for a new one.
- The tank and/or bowl is cracked or leaking. Toilets and some bathtubs are made of porcelain because it’s waterproof, sanitary, and pretty durable. Unfortunately, like most things in life, porcelain is not perfect and can crack rather easily. Even the smallest of cracks or fractures grow because they compromise the resistance of the entire structure leading to leaks.
We suggest looking for cracks or leaks when you clean your toilet. Feel around the base of the toilet, around the waterline coming for the wall to toilet, as well as the tank both inside and out. Some cracks or fractures can be fixed if caught early on before they start actively leaking. If you see or notice any areas of concern that seems to be leaking water call in a professional. Toilets can do so much water damage that it ruin the flooring and even crash through the bathroom floor. Once that happens you’ll have a real mess on your hands.
- Your water bill keeps getting higher. While a high water bill make not be a smoking gun, it is still worth your attention. There are loads of non toilet related issues that can cause high water bills, but often, the toilet is the culprit.
As toilets grow older, they have to work harder to do what they are designed to do. The harder they have to work the more water they are going to use. Additionally, older toilets do often have problems with flappers in the back of the tank leading to water escaping making them refill often. If you think that may be the problem, add food coloring to the toilet tank and watch for any coloration to leak out into the bowl. If you see any at all, the flapper may be your problem and is an easy enough fix. If you don’t find any active leaks but are still concerned about your water bill you should consider looking into newer low-flow model toilets. You’ll be pleasantly surprised in the amount of savings you’ll see on your water bill along with the same effectiveness of you’re old toilets.
- Wobbly or shifting toilets. It’s a pretty big sign that your toilet is in trouble if it shifts or wobbles when you sit on it. Toilets should be extremely secure with absolutely no movement of sift of any kind. Toilets that are not correctly and securely seated can leak, damage plumbing, and even compromise the integrity of your home.
While a loose toilet may not necessary mean replacement, it is a serious issue and should be addressed immediately. It’s probably a good idea to check the bolts at the base to ensure they are secured and tightened down, if they are loose at all, tighten them up and hopefully you have solved the problem. If you are still suffering from a loose toilet be sure to call in a professional sooner rather than later. If caught and addressed quickly sometimes the toilet can be repaired instead of replaced.
General speaking, toilets are pretty simple to operate and repair. Just about any part can be removed and replaced fairly easily and quickly. That being said, damaged toilets can truly do some serious, extensive, expensive, and, well, stink damage to your home. If you have any worries or concerns about your toilet be sure to have it accessed by a professional soon.
Our team of profession and reliable plumbing technicians can handle any type of toilet repair or replacement. We are able to offer several options to help you choose a toilet that falls within your family’s budget and needs. Call or email us today to schedule your consultation.