Toilets are the hardest working pieces of plumbing in most households so it’s surprising that many homeowners go about as if they think their toilet will last forever whilst other fixtures like sinks and showers need regular updates. Whilst it’s true that toilets are incredibly hardy and rarely require more than a quick repair job, they do wear out. This week, we run through four signs that your toilet might need replacing.
Cracks in the tank or bowl
Water on the floor around your toilet can be a sign of a number of easily fixable things like worn bolts, wax rings, or washers, but it can also be indicative of more serious problems such as cracking, which warrant toilet replacement. Diagnosing which particular problem is causing water to leak onto your floor does require a bit of detective work but it’s relatively easy to do:
- If your toilet is not flushing properly and there is bad smelling water on the floor, you probably have a worn wax ring that needs to be replaced
- If your toilet is functioning normally but there is foul smelling water on the floor, it may indicate a cracked bowl and in this instance, the toilet will need to be replaced
If you are finding fresh water on the floor, it indicates that there is something wrong with the tank. The best way of pinpointing the source of the leak is to put dye in the tank and let it sit for a while. To determine if the leak is caused by a worn bolt or washer, look at the bolt holes under the tank, the dye will discolour them if the washer or bolt needs replacing. If there is a crack in the tank, the dye will highlight the crack as it seeps through and in this instance, the tank will need replacing.
From an ergonomic perspective, elongated bowls are a much better choice than the traditional round shape. Studies suggest that the elongated design provides more seating room, stays cleaner, and releases less odours.
If your toilet wobbles or rocks on it’s base, call a plumber immediately. Whilst it might be simply a sign of a degrading wax ring or loose mounting bolts which can easily be replaced or tightened, it can also be symptomatic of a damaged or rotten subfloor. If it turns out to be the latter, the subfloor will need to be professionally repaired and you will need to invest in new lighter weight toilets to ensure the problem does not reoccur.
A toilet that is in good working order shouldn’t need attention from a plumber more than once every few years if that, so if you’ve had to call a plumber out several times over this period, it’s probably deteriorated past a point of functionality and cost effectiveness. Investing in a new toilet is actually more economical in these cases, as it eliminated maintenance costs.