As long as your toilet is working properly, you probably do not think about it much. However, even the most reliable toilet eventually reaches the end of its lifespan. How long does a toilet actually last? There are a few things to consider when deciding whether you should get a new toilet.
Your Toilet Is Too Old
The first thing you should do when considering replacing your toilet is to look at the age. Most plumbers agree that an average toilet can last around 50 years. However, this is only when the toilet is well maintained and gently used. If it was improperly installed or frequently misused, it may not last as long.
If you are not sure when your toilet was installed, you can look at it carefully to check the date. Inside the tank, there should be a date stamped near the top of the tank. This will be the date the toilet was manufactured. If you cannot find this date, you can take down the model number, call the manufacturer, and ask them.
Keep in mind that not all toilets make it to 50 years old. Even if your toilet is younger, it may be time to go ahead and replace it. There are several reasons you may want to consider replacing your toilet even before it reaches the 50-year mark. In addition to breaking down, toilets that are around 30 years old or so may simply be too outdated to work in a modern home.
Your Toilet Uses Too Much Water
Sometimes, whether or not you should replace your toilet is a matter of efficiency. Older toilets tend to use quite a bit more water. Most toilets made before the 80s used up to seven gallons of water per flush. This means that your water bill may be extremely high if you have an older toilet in your home. Older toilets use so much water that there are actually laws in place requiring people to replace non-energy-efficient toilets built before 1994.
Switching to a modern toilet can save you a lot of water. Newer toilets only use around one to two gallons of water a flush. This results in about 2700 gallons of water saved per year. In addition to resulting in a lower water bill, saving water is also more sustainable. If you want an eco-friendly home, you need one that will not be wasting water constantly.
Your Toilet is Visually Damaged
As one of the main appliances in a bathroom, a dingy toilet can make the whole room look gross. Though visual damage does not always keep a toilet from working properly, it can still be a valid reason to replace the toilet. When the porcelain surface of a toilet gets scratched or scuffed, there is no easy fix. At that point, all you can do to restore your bathroom’s appearance is to replace the toilet.
In addition to looking unsightly, scratches make the toilet harder to clean. This can make it more likely for your toilet to harbor odor-causing bacteria. Hard water and other stains are more likely to collect on the interior of the toilet, no matter how often you clean it. Ultimately, it may be worth replacing your toilet due to a scratched surface even if it technically still works alright.
Your Toilet No Longer Works for Your Needs
Sometimes, a toilet is still technically in good shape, but it just might not be right for you. For example, if your bathroom is on the smaller side, you may want to replace your oversized toilet with a more compact model. It may also be necessary to replace your toilet if you need one sized to accommodate any special needs. Older bowls are often small and rounded, while modern, elongated bowls can be more comfortable. If you appreciate smart home technology, there are also all sorts of new, high-tech toilets with impressive features.
Many people hold off on replacing this sort of toilet because they think it is wasteful to replace a perfectly good toilet. However, the reality is that you spend a lot of time in the bathroom each day. It is worth it to get a toilet that works for your home. And of course, there is a resale market for toilets, so you can even recoup some of your costs if you are replacing a newer toilet.
Your Toilet Clogs All the Time
If you find yourself regularly reaching for the plunger, it is probably a sign that something is going wrong in your toilet. Many older low-flush toilets struggle to move waste products properly. This can lead to slow-moving flushes that are more likely to back up and cause a clog. You can try to prevent clogs by flushing nothing but waste and toilet paper, but if you are still getting clogs, it might time to get a new toilet.
The most common reason for frequent clogs is an older, low-flush toilet that does not meet modern standards. However, frequent clogs can also be a sign that something else is wrong with the toilet. Sometimes, a lot of minor issues can add up to keep your toilet from smoothly moving water. If you are getting clogs on a weekly or monthly basis, it is a good idea to get your toilet checked out. A plumber can identify issues or recommend a better toilet model for your needs.
Your Toilet Needs a Major Repair
And, of course, the final reason it might be time to replace your toilet is when it needs major repairs. There are many toilet problems that a skilled plumber can fix. However, at a certain point, the cost of repairs may be more than the cost to just get a new one. Keep in mind that even if it costs slightly less to fix the toilet, an older toilet might break again soon. The general rule of thumb is that you should replace the toilet if the cost of repairs is more than half the cost of getting a new toilet.
Sometimes, the issue is one big problem. Problems like a crack in your toilet bowl can be a major hassle, so they are almost never fixed. For big problems like this, you are better off just replacing your toilet altogether. You may also want to replace it if you need a lot of little repairs at once. Toilets are very complicated mechanisms. If you need several smaller components, like the handle, fill valve, and flapper, all redone at once, you might be better off just replacing the toilet.
If you think your toilet may need replacing soon, talk to Bardi, Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing. Our expert technicians help Atlanta residents find the right toilet for their homes. We also assist with a variety of other heating, air conditioning, and plumbing. Our team of highly trained technicians provides quality workmanship at competitive prices. Call us today to get help with your next installation, repair, or maintenance.