Most plumbing installations can either be repaired or replaced when they fail. You should know when it pays to patch up a plumbing system and when a replacement is necessary. For example, here are four signs that mean it's time to replace your toilet:
It Is Cracked
Older toilets tend to develop cracks, with the tank and bowl bearing the majority of the damage. A crack in the tank is easy to detect. You just use the dye test where you lace bright colored dye in the tank, let it sit for a few minutes and check for signs of leaks or water on the floor.
However, a crack on the bowl's surface may be more difficult to diagnose, especially if it is in the internal parts of the toilet such as the P-trap. A telltale sign is the presence of odorous water around the base. Call a professional plumber, like those at Bill Rhiner's Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, to remove the toilet for further analysis.
It Uses More Than Three Gallons of Water Per Flush
Toilet efficiency has risen steadily over the years. Older toilets could even use up to seven gallons of water per flush. Even if you aren't concerned with the environmental impact of this, you should be thinking about your utility bills. Upgrading to water-efficient toilets that use less than two gallons of water per flush would assuage both concerns.
It Requires Constant Repairs
Has your toilet been troubling you a lot? Maybe last month it was the flush handle that was broken, and this month you are dealing with an undiagnosed leak. Sure, most of these are things that you can repair. However, if you are dealing with a truly old toilet, then it may require unique parts that are not easy to find. In that case, replacing the toilet may make more financial sense.
It Doesn't Look As Good As It Used To
Even if there isn't a fundamental damage to your toilet, you might want to replace it if it doesn't look as good as it used to be. It's uncomfortable to keep using a distasteful toilet every day. For example, it might be that it is scratched and has deep-seated stains that you cannot seem to get rid of despite constant scrubbing. Or it may be that you have updated most of your bathroom installations, but has never touched the toilet.
Of course, the aesthetics considerations are a matter of personal choice. What you may consider to be a perfectly looking toilet may be distasteful to another person. However, when it comes to the operation of the toilet, you should always listen to your plumbing technician.