How to Tell It’s Time for a New Toilet

What? Do toilets wear out? Well, no, not actually. The bowl and the tank are built to last for ages. The parts inside the tank, the flush handle, the seat, the lid and the bolts that hold the toilet to the ground and the seal around the base of the toilet may need toilet repair or replacement. But if you’ve visited the restrooms in vintage restaurants and public buildings you may have seen toilets that are older than you are. With that said, there are still very good reasons you may need a new toilet. Here’s how to tell.

Your Bathroom Toilet is a Problem When Flushing

Chronic or excessive clogging may not be about sewer line issues. Older toilets with narrower drains may not be up for the heavy use of a larger family. Experiencing bathroom toilet flushing problems after having the lines snaked out and any flushing mechanism parts repaired may signal the need for a new toilet.

Your Toilet is Cracked

Most toilets are made from porcelain which is mainly clay that has been fired in a kiln and glazed. It is a hard substance but, like many rigid compositions, it has a narrow tolerance for flex or lateral stress.

  • Over time stress fractures and hairline cracks may develop that are not visible on the surface. Although it may seem otherwise, household toilets are used and abused far more often than any public restroom facility.
  • A cracked toilet can cause major water damage in a home and it can occur suddenly and without warning. Tank cracks that are more than 1/16-inch wide should be repaired. Replacing that toilet is your best, safest and overall most cost-effective solution.
  • If you try to repair larger cracks in your toilet tank or bowl you are not fixing the problem for long or preventing an eventual catastrophic break that could cause an injury, along with massive water damage far in excess of the cost of replacing the toilet.
  • Cracks in the bowl of any size means replacement, not repair. The bowl supports the entire weight of the tank and bowl and all the water being held as well as the weight of anyone using it.

Ben Franklin Plumbing is an industry leader in not only bathroom toilet plumbing but also in advanced design trends and high-tech appliances. We can show you toilets in your price range that are so expertly designed and styled they practically upgrade the entire bathroom on their own.

Your Toilet is Leaking Internally

Internal leaks can bring about considerable increases in your water bill – enough to make buying and installing a new toilet a smart choice for overall savings. Yes, many internal leaks can be fixed by replacing one or more flushing mechanism parts but as time goes on, the availability of quality parts that fit your toilet model become increasingly generic and often rely on cheap parts that may not last a full year.

  • If you add ten drops of food coloring or a dye tablet to the water in your tank and find that the bowl is now colored as well, after ten minutes of no flushing, you have a leak.
  • If your toilet cuts on and off by itself, running intermittently, water is leaking from the tank into the bowl. This may be only the “flapper seat” that needs replacement but as toilets age, the opening that the flapper seats into may be chipped or corroded. If this is the case, the tank should be replaced.
  • We recommend replacing the entire toilet fixture if the tank needs replacement.
    • Replacement tanks rarely match the older toilet in appearance.
    • You will likely need to replace the bowl anyway, later on, if for no other reason than it “ages” your bathroom design.
    • You may be buying into compatibility issues down the road.
    • Having to replace a toilet tank is a good time to look at upgrading the bathroom design and functionality with a new, high tech toilet.
    • Your toilet tank selection choices will be limited to the style you have and its age.
    • Having to rely on generic flush mechanisms in your new tank guarantees more frequent problems and replacement.

Your Toilet is Old and Can’t Keep Up with Water Efficiency Standards

A new toilet is a well-justified expense when your old one is running up your water bill. With long periods of drought more prevalent in California, water rates can rise steeply during peak seasons and really put a dent in your monthly budget. This is particularly true if your toilet cannot meet the Energy Policy Act of 1992 which stipulated that residential toilets can only use 1.6 gallons of water per flush.

Many older toilets cannot be adequately retrofitted to meet these requirements. Even the first generation of low flush toilets were really only tweaks to the old design when a new design was really needed. Manufacturers didn’t want to throw out their existing supply of toilets. Today, toilet manufacturers have made many significant changes such as larger trap-ways that minimize or prevent toilet-based clogs and larger flush valves for a more powerful rush of water into the bowl. This feature uses less water to achieve more efficient and complete flushing.

A new toilet is an expense, but its economy alone can improve your return on investment sooner than you may expect. Best of all, the new generation of low flush toilet models come in a wide range of elegant and modern shapes and sizes that update your bathroom design.

Summary of Benefits of Upgrading Your Toilet

  • Hassle-free operation. New toilets are designed to avoid the older design flaws that promoted clogging.
  • Easily replaceable internal parts that are simple, streamlined, and long-lasting.
  • Avoids the liability of toilets that are fracturing internally.
  • Greatly reduces the need for repairs.
  • Very water efficient. Can significantly lower your water bill.

Exciting new designs and styles that upgrade the look of a ho-hum bathroom and the boring old porcelain it replaces.