Toilets are not a glamorous part of a home, but they are essential to maintaining a healthy household. Like any other plumbing fixture, they can experience a wide variety of problems over the years before they eventually reach a point where they will require replacement.
Why It’s Important to Replace a Failing Toilet as Soon as Possible
A Failing toilet creates several significant problems for your home, family, and bank account. The longer your failing fixture goes without replacement, the worse the problems become.
A failing toilet likely has flushing problems and leaks, making it inefficient at conserving water. Even tiny leaks can add up to a lot of wasted water. In addition, a toilet that you purchased years ago probably uses much more water than modern models. Most low-flow toilets use 1.6 gallons per flush, while older versions use up to 7 gallons per flush. Toilets tend to have a long lifespan when cared for properly and may work well even when outdated. However, many homeowners may not realize that they may be responsible for higher than necessary water bills.
Toilets that are not functioning correctly often develop moisture problems due to leaks. Continuous issues with leaks, even if they are small, can cause mold to build up in and around the toilet. Mold creates a significant health risk for anyone living in your home. Prolonged mold exposure increases the risk of illness and may aggravate the symptoms of anyone in your household who has allergies or respiratory issues.
In addition to mold issues, the moisture problems created by failing toilets also cause significant water damage to the bathroom floor and walls. Water damage quickly becomes severe, and it’s costly to repair. Some instances of water damage, especially in flooring, may even cause structural issues, making it unsafe to use your bathroom.
Indications Your Toilet May Be Failing
There are several major signs that your toilet may be starting to fail. Catching these signs as soon as possible will allow you to replace your toilet before costly and hazardous problems arise.
1. Constant Repairs
Nearly everything requires repairs at some point in time, especially when they have mechanical parts and plumbing. It’s very common for toilets to need a repair now and then, but if you find yourself regularly struggling to keep your commode in proper working order, it’s best to consider replacing it.
Not only does replacing a troublesome toilet save you the headache of dealing with constant repairs, but it also saves you a lot of money on professional plumber bills, parts, and any damage to your bathroom that the toilet may cause. At a certain point, the amount of money you pour into repairs for your toilet vastly outweighs the cost of buying and installing a replacement fixture.
2. Frequent Clogging
Occasional toilet clogs are to be expected and are just a minor inconvenience that can be easily cleared with a plunger. However, if your toilet is frequently clogged or you have to plunge it multiple times to clear a blockage, it could indicate that your fixture has serious issues. This problem suggests that the toilet has a worn-out flapper, flush valve, or fill valve, components that are vital in effectively clearing lines when you flush.
Flushing materials down the toilet besides toilet paper and human waste can create dents in the drainpipe and the trap, causing debris to get caught up in the pipes more often. Minerals from hard water also build up in the trap and drainpipe, making the passageway narrow and more easily clogged. A professional plumber will be able to fully evaluate the extent of the clogging problem within your toilet and provide you with replacement options if necessary.
3. Constantly Running
If your toilet is constantly running, it is important to address the issue promptly to avoid wasting water and money. There are several reasons why a toilet would constantly run, with the most common being failing parts. For example, when the flapper or fill valve is damaged, it may cause water to flow into the toilet continuously.
Another part that could be failing is the overflow tube. This tube redirects water to the bowl of the toilet when the tank reaches capacity. If the seal at the bottom of the tube or the tube itself develops a leak, water will constantly drain into the bowl, causing water to keep flowing into the tank to replenish it.
While some instances of constant running can be fixed with simple repairs, others are far more serious. If the issue persists or becomes a recurring problem, contacting a professional plumber to replace the toilet may be necessary.
4. Poor or No Flushing Power
Low flushing power or an inability to flush at all are very concerning issues. Poor or no flushing power has several possible causes, such as:
- Clogged siphon jet
- Clogged rim jets
- Worn-out flapper
- Low levels of water in the tank
- Blocked valves
It’s important to note that this issue differs from a common clog, which prevents water in the bowl from draining correctly. In those circumstances, the flushing mechanism is working properly, but the drain is obstructed. In cases of poor or no flushing power, the water pressure is low, or the flushing system itself is malfunctioning.
Low flushing capability is a significant problem that will quickly cause severe clogging if the toilet continues to be used. In addition, while low flushing power is better than nothing, it will force you to waste a lot of water on repeated flushes to ensure waste goes down. If you experience poor or no flushing power in your toilet, it’s best to contact a professional plumber immediately to diagnose the problem and discuss repair or replacement options.
The most concerning sign that your toilet is in immediate need of replacement is cracks in the bowl, base, or tank. Even if the cracks are small, they can quickly turn into much larger ones that may cause severe leaks and damage to your floor. Cracks can be caused by impact damage, improper installation, wear and tear, or extreme changes in temperature. Fractures in the tank can also be caused by household members leaning against it while sitting in the bathroom. Minor cracks and chips in purely aesthetic places like the tank lid can be effectively repaired. For any other instances of cracking, it’s crucial to call a professional plumber to replace your toilet as soon as possible.
Contact the Professionals
If you suspect your toilet needs replacement soon or repairs, you can count on our experienced plumbing technicians at Plumbing & Cooling Nerds. We have served the residents of Bonita Springs, FL since 2007. We install, repair, and maintain heating and cooling systems. As plumbing experts, we also provide hydro jetting, water filtration, and waterline repiping services. To learn more about any of the services we provide, contact Plumbing & Cooling Nerds today.