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When is it the Right Time to Replace Your Toilet?

Everyone uses a toilet every day, but many people don’t consider replacing it unless it fails entirely. The humble toilet is one of the most critical parts of your plumbing system, and the good ones are built to last a long time. But, over time even the best models will succumb to the effects of age, and that’s when you need to start thinking about a replacement. In this article, we will examine when it may be the right time to get rid of your old toilet and get a new model. Hairline Cracks Over time, some toilets can develop hairline cracks in the bowl, tank and pedestal areas. At first, these cracks will be so thin that they will be hard to notice, but they could expand and develop into larger cracks. Eventually, the cracks will be large enough to allow leaks to occur. The toilet is always holding a considerable volume of water, so even a small leak can be a serious problem. A tiny leak can be hard to detect at first, so water damage could be caused for a while before the leak is discovered. So, if you do notice a leak, it could have been around for a while, and it should be fixed quickly to avoid further damage. A crack can be repaired by a certified plumbers sometimes, but if the crack is too severe or if it’s too hard to reach, a replacement is a better solution. Before you make any final decision consult your local plumber and they will be able to assess the toilets condition. A Moving Toilet Sometimes, you may notice that the toilet seems to move or even wobble when you sit down. In a best case scenario, the bolts that are used to secure the toilet base to the floor have become loose, and they can be easily tightened to stop the movement. Sadly, in many cases, the situation is far more complicated, and it can be very difficult to fix. The section of floor under the toilet may have become rotten over time due to an undetected water leak from the toilet above. This long term water damage can completely ruin floorboards, and they will need to be removed and replaced. If you want to test if the toilet is at fault, remove the toilet from its position and check the area the next day to see if any more damage has occurred. If the toilet is at fault, it’s a good idea to replace it and if it isn’t the real problem will need to be fixed before you can put the toilet back in its original position. This situation often provides the impetus for a complete bathroom remodel, and many people opt to get a new toilet anyway. Saving Water A great deal has changed since the modern flush toilet was invented and the most obvious improvement has been water efficiency for flushing. The last update to federal standards for flushing toilets was back in 1994. A decision was made to cap toilet flushing at 1.6 gallons for each flush, and if your toilet was made before 1994, you might be using too much water for flushing. The latest modern toilets use even less water than the 1.6 gallon cap from the ’90s. Some water efficient toilets are now capable of flushing with 1.28 gallons of water or even less. Another option is a dual flush toilet; this will give you a full flush capability for solid waste and a partial flush ability for liquid waste. If you’re interested in saving water by improving your water efficiency, it’s likely that you will need to upgrade to a newer toilet. A Simple Change A homeowner doesn’t have to wait for something to go wrong or to make an improvement in water efficiency to make a change to their bathroom. Sometimes, people change their toilet so that a new fresh design will fit in with their bathroom remodel. Perhaps they want a toilet that has a color matched finish, or maybe they want the latest futuristic designs and features. Comfort is also extremely important; no-one wants to spend any time on a toilet that’s uncomfortable to use. An older toilet can be lacking in this regard, but newer models can have an elongated bowl option that makes it easier to sit on. People that have difficulty in standing from a low down position or find that sitting too low hurts their knees may benefit from a toilet that’s set a little higher off the ground. Replacing a Toilet Once you’ve made the decision to change your toilet it can be a daunting process for those unused to plumbing. Even experienced DIY enthusiasts can make mistakes and whenever water is involved every project seems to get more complicated. Any major leak during the installation process may be noticed quickly and fixed before any damage can occur. But, if a pipe is nudged out of place or a minor mistake is made, the resulting water leak can be far less noticeable. Over time, these small leaks can cause a lot of water damage, and it may be very expensive to fix. As we mentioned earlier, this could even result in replacing a rotten bathroom floor. Using a Certified Plumber Many people, take on DIY projects to develop their skills, but they also want to save some money at the same time. If a toilet has to be replaced a second time and water damage needs repair, this will quickly negate any savings that were made initially. It’s often a far better idea to hire a certified plumber first and get the installation done right the first time. Most professional plumbers offer a no obligation quote on any work that you need, so it makes sense to shop around and see what your local plumber can do for you. You may discover that a professional toilet installation is well within your budget and you won’t need to worry about trying to complete the project yourself. By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solution.