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Residential Plumbing - Bathroom Remodeling

How do I know when the toilet has to go?

The toilet is one of the most frequently used fixtures in any home. As with any regularly-used item, it’s bound to break sooner or later. The handle, the flapper, the fill valve…are just a few of the components that can easily break with regular use.

When we’re running plumbing service calls, we often hear this question:

When should something be fixed, and when should it be replaced?

Good question!

When the costs of repair are close to the costs of replacement, opt for replacement.

This is especially true of old models that may not be as water efficient as new ones. If you’re are experiencing a series of toilet “issues” all at once, or in close proximity to one another, it’s time to calculate the cost of repairing the toilet with the cost of replacing the toilet.

Recurring problems

In the same vein as the tip above, if you have repeated problems with a clogged toilet or a toilet that won’t flush, it’s time to consider a new one. We recommend that you contact a plumber before heading off to the hardware store. There may be a serious underlying problem that is causing repeated clogs and backups. The last thing you want is to install a new toilet only to find the real issue is related to blocked pipes or drainage issues.

Also consider signing up for an annual plumbing inspection if your toilet and plumbing are causing recurring problems. An annual plumbing inspection can first uncover plumbing problems and then prevent plumbing problems (this helps keep your maintenance costs down and prevents disasters).

Cracks in the bowl

This is no laughing matter. A small hair line crack can spell big trouble sooner rather than later. A small crack can turn into a raging flood of water. And usually this happens at the worst possible time. Inspect your toilet and if you see even the smallest hairline crack, call your local plumber immediately.

Go Green and Reduce Monthly Costs

If your toilet is old, you should seriously consider replacing it. Older models are not eco-friendly and tend to be water hogs. Low-flush toilets save water and can reduce your water bill. A water-saving toilet uses as little as 2 gallons, compared to the 3- and 5-gallon toilets of yesteryear.

Of course, some homeowners replace their toilets when they remodel their bathrooms. That’s an option as well. You may also want to consider a replacement when / if the surface within the bowl has become too scratched to clean thoroughly, thus becoming a hygiene issue.

Is replacing the toilet a DIY project? Sure, it can be. But we’ve seen our share of toilet installation disasters….drips at the supply tube and seeping wax rings can cause damage not immediately noticed. Hedge your bets and call your local plumber for assistance before you decide to replace your toilet on your own. Better safe than sorry!