Toilets can last for 30 years or more, but that does not necessarily mean that if your toilet is younger than 30, there’s no reason to replace it. Having a new toilet installed is not overly expensive in comparison to other plumbing repairs, so if you’re having trouble with a toilet, it’s worthwhile to have the toilet replaced rather than continue suffering with it for years. Keep an eye out for these five signs you need a new toilet.
1. High Water Bills
In the average home, toilets account for about 30 percent of water use. If your water bills are too high and your toilet is on the older side, the best way to reduce your water consumption is by installing a new, low-flow toilet. Older toilets use as much as six gallons of water per flush, whereas new models are not permitted to use any more than 1.6 gallons per flush. The best models only use 1.28 gallons.
Replacing a toilet that uses four gallons per flush with one that uses 1.28 gallons per flush will save you about $20 per year on water. This may not sound like a huge savings, but it adds up over time.
2. Septic Overflows
If you have a septic system and an older toilet with a high flush volume, you may notice that your septic tank fills up and overflows quickly — especially if you have guests over and everyone uses the toilet.
Installing a low-flush toilet will reduce the chances of your septic tank overfilling. If you’re not currently able to flush after every use, you should be able to do so once you have a low-flow toilet. Replacing a toilet is a lot cheaper than upgrading to a larger septic tank.
3. Frequent Running
Does your toilet run and fill up even when you have not flushed it recently? There are many possible causes for this problem. Your plumber might just need to replace the flapper, which is a rubber piece that fits over the main fill pipe. However, if this does not work, there may be a crack in the pipe leading from the tank to the toilet bowl. Such cracks are tough to repair; it’s easier just to replace the toilet.
4. Water Around the Base
Again, there are several reasons why water may drip down around your toilet’s base. You might need a new wax seal, which is the slab of wax that sits between your toilet and the floor. In some cases, however, such leaks are caused by cracks in the tank or bowl — which are best remedied by replacing the toilet.
5. Frequent Clogs With No Other Explanation
Homeowners cause most toilet clogs by flushing things that they should not be flushed, such as feminine hygiene products or wet wipes. Your sewer vent might also be blocked, leading to a buildup of pressure that prevents effective flushing. If you’ve investigated these possibilities, but you still have frequent clogs, your toilet might be to blame.
Clogging problems are especially common in toilets made in the 1990s. These were the first generation of low-flush toilets, and they were designed in a way that made them difficult to flush. Rest assured that new low-flow toilets are built much better and won’t cause the same clogging problems. You can tell if you have a toilet from the 1990s by looking at the back of the toilet. It should have a stamped date.
If you’ve noticed some of the signs above or your current toilet is otherwise not serving your needs, contact the experts at Billy Bell Plumbing Inc. We offer toilet replacement service and more in the Gainsville, Georgia area.