It’s usually pretty easy to look at some of the items we have in our home and see an expiration date. We all know when food should get thrown out, when sunscreen bottles have gone old, and we can tell from just a quick glance at our toothbrushes if they need to be replaced. But what about toilets? The average lifespan isn’t quite general knowledge yet, and there’s no expiration date printed on it either! So, how can you know if you need a new toilet?
We’ve found some of the key signs that indicate you need to replace your toilet, before it causes you too much trouble:
While repairs should always come before replacements, there comes a point in a toilet’s lifespan where repairs are taking up more time, money, and stress than should be necessary. If you’re having constant problems that repairs don’t seem to be fixing, it’s a clear sign that a new toilet is needed.
These cracks may look small at first, and they can also be pretty hard to spot. Unfortunately, even a small unchecked crack can lead to a large amount of leaking and water loss if the damage worsens. This isn’t only a hassle to clean- it’s also raising your water bill!
Although some stability issues can be fixed by replacing individual parts or simply checking that the installation was completed correctly, a toilet that is constantly unstable is a good reason to look into arranging a full replacement.
A clear sign of an aging toilet is how it runs on a day-to-day basis. If it’s struggling to flush and frequently clogging up or overflowing, it may be causing more trouble than its worth. Major overflows can damage your bathroom flooring, and if it’s bad enough, even other parts of your home.
An external leak is easy to spot, you’ll see water on the outside of your toilet and probably on the floor of your bathroom. If your toilet isn’t filling up properly, or you hear a hissing or dripping sound, chances are you have a leak in the tank itself. While this problem can usually be repaired, it means your toilet might be in need of a replacement, especially if you’re experiencing any other issues.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development puts the average toilet lifespan at around fifty years. While that is certainly a long time, good maintenance is going to make your toilet actually last that long. Here are some pointers to help you keep your toilet in top shape:
Toilet maintenance includes the replacement of some key mechanisms. While the toilet structure itself can last a very long time, most of the working pieces have a shorter lifespan. Several plumbing concerns such as low flush power or running water can be fixed by repairing or replacing the flapper, the valve inside your toilet’s tank that regulates water flow into the bowl. Running smoothly, flappers will need to be replaced roughly every five years, but if it’s breaking or working incorrectly, it should be replaced as soon as possible. If your toilet isn’t flushing properly, this would be the first place to look.
Toilets are designed only with human waste and toilet paper in mind. Trying to flush items that don’t belong to either of these categories will only end up clogging and damaging your toilet in the long run, leading to a higher chance of needed repair. By only flushing recommended waste, you can help avoid clogs.
Although some leaks may surprise us, occasionally checking your toilet’s main structure and tank for cracks or water buildup can help you catch a problem early.
If your toilet or your toilet seat doesn’t seem very stable, tighten the screws holding it in place. A continued problem is better looked at by a professional, but you can prevent unnecessary wear and tear with a couple of turns from your screwdriver.
Cleaning your toilet is an easy step towards making it last longer, but a deep clean of the tank every few months can work wonders. Cut off your water supply before starting, and empty out the water in the tank. From here, you can scrub and keep an eye on any working parts that might be needing a repair.
If it’s the right time for a new toilet, consider low flow plumbing. Not only will it help cut down your water bill, it’ll help the environment, too. For all of your plumbing and toilet installation needs, call us at Art Plumbing, AC & Electric in the greater South Florida area.
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