Can Toilets Go Bad? Signs And Causes

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Last Updated on January 4, 2023 by acechapman

You may wonder if your toilet is still in good condition if it has been there for a while or was included with your house at the time you bought it. Perhaps you have been experiencing problems with your toilet in the past and want to upgrade. Can toilets go bad? Let’s find out the signs and causes if it’s time to replace your toilet.

How can you tell if it’s time to replace it, or if it should be repaired?

A porcelain toilet can last approximately 50 years if it is properly maintained. A flapper and fill valve are two parts of the flush mechanism that should be replaced every five years. The toilet’s lifespan will be significantly reduced by poor maintenance, hard water, and physical damage to the porcelain bowl.

The decision is complicated because of many factors. This guide will help you recognize signs that your toilet is ending its useful life.

How long can a toilet last?

The lifespan of a toilet can vary greatly, depending on the type of toilet, the quality of the installation, and how well it is maintained. Some toilets can last for decades with proper care, while others may need to be replaced after just a few years.

Generally, a well-made, properly installed toilet can last for 20-30 years or more. However, it is not uncommon for toilets to start experiencing problems after just a few years of use.

Toilet life can be extended through proper maintenance, including regular cleaning and replacing worn or broken parts as needed. It is also important to have any toilet issues repaired as soon as they are identified to prevent further damage and costly repairs.

can toilets go bad

Can toilets wear out?

Yes, toilets can wear out over time. There are several components of a toilet that may wear out or break down, such as the flapper, the fill valve, the flush valve, and the gaskets and seals. When these components start to wear out, it can cause problems with the toilet, such as leaks, running water, or a weak flush.

Porcelain is a durable, non-porous material that is highly sanitary. The toilet’s finish layer will be eroded if the bacteria is not cleaned properly. This makes the toilet more susceptible to bacteria, and eventually, small cracks and stains will begin to form.

Because they are constantly used, the moving parts of a toilet are less durable. The quality and frequency of use of parts such as tank lever, flapper, and fill valve can affect their durability. The fill valve and the flapper can be replaced every five years as recommended.

What factors decrease the lifespan of a toilet?

Two main factors can affect the life expectancy of your toilet: how frequently it is used and the quality of the water in your area. The toilet tank will become clogged with mineral deposits over time, which can cause damage to the flush mechanism.

Although it can be difficult to control the frequency of your toilet use, you can take steps that will prevent hard water from damaging your toilet.

A water softener is not cheap but an effective solution. Drop-in tablets are easier for many people. However, drop-in tablets containing bleach can cause flush system damage.

It is a better option to protect your toilet from buildup than to clean it once in a while with citric acid.

Signs That Your Toilet Is Going Bad And May Need Replacement

If your toilet is clogged often, requires repairs frequently, doesn’t clean well anymore, or was bought before 1994, it’s time for a new one. A sign that it is time to replace your toilet is visible cracks in its porcelain.

You may need to tackle small repairs or a clog from time to time. Usually, you can handle most of them yourself. You may find yourself spending a lot of time and money fixing your toilet problems. Consider upgrading your commode if you see the following signs.

Constant clogs

can toilets go bad

You can usually clear a clogged toilet by yourself using an auger and a power plunger.

If you are experiencing constant clogs with your toilet, it may be a sign that it is time to replace it. Clogs can be caused by a variety of factors, such as too much toilet paper being used, foreign objects being flushed down the toilet, or a malfunctioning toilet.

An industrial endoscope can be used to look inside the pipes and see what’s happening. If there are no blockages or minerals buildup, it may be that your toilet is the problem. If you have tried troubleshooting the problem and are still experiencing frequent clogs, it may be time to consider replacing the toilet.

Upgrade to a power-assist toilet. The tank has an inner chamber that allows air pressure to push the water out like jets and clean your bowl in fractions of a second. A gravity toilet (aka a toilet that has standing water in it) has approximately 12 psi per flush. A power assist toilet has at most 30 psi. Although they can be noisy, the sound lasts only a few seconds. These toilets are also water efficient, using approximately 1.5 to 1.7 gallons per flush.

Weak flush

A weak flush can be caused by a variety of factors, such as a malfunctioning flush valve or a clogged or partially blocked drain.

Sometimes, toilets are not able to flush completely. You may need to flush the toilet twice or three times to get it moving. Sometimes, a partial blockage is the cause of the problem. Sometimes the kit inside the tank is damaged and parts won’t open completely or close properly.

You have probably done all you can to improve your toilet’s flush strength.

You should consider upgrading to a newer toilet in this situation. If you have hard water clogging your pipes, it may not be possible to get rid of it. You will need a new toilet. A hard water filter is also recommended to prevent minerals from building up.

Cracked toilet

If your toilet is cracked, it is generally recommended to replace it as soon as possible. A cracked toilet can cause leaks, which can lead to water damage and mold growth. It can also weaken the structure of the toilet, making it more likely to break or collapse. In some cases, it may be possible to repair a small crack in the toilet, but a large or deep crack will usually require the toilet to be replaced.

Difficult to keep the toilet clean

A dirty toilet can be caused by a variety of factors, such as hard water stains, mold growth, or a malfunctioning flushing system. Older toilets may have bacteria. Porous areas and scratches will attract bacteria and make it easier for them to grow. Maintaining a clean toilet will prove to be a constant battle. If you are having difficulty keeping your toilet clean, it may be a sign that it is time to replace it.

This can spread germs to other areas, which is not good. If you have a problem with bacteria that isn’t going away, it can be very unpleasant.

Toilets wasting water

Older toilets are notoriously inefficient with water consumption. Your toilet may have used a lot of water if it was constructed before 1994 when efficiency standards were established.

Toilets that are using more water than they should be a sign of a malfunctioning flushing system or a leak. Wasting water can also increase your water bill and contribute to water pollution.

Imagine if you have the toilet to be flushed a few times to get it moving. Now you are a water hog. A modern, low-flow toilet is what you need. You can also opt for a dual-flush toilet.

A dual-flush toilet can be found in almost every home around the globe. You can save water by using the lighter flush for number 1, and the stronger flush for number 2. It is considered a low-flow toilet in both cases.

Bottom line

Although it seems like a toilet will last forever, it is worth replacing it with a more modern one. It’s a good idea to regularly inspect and maintain your toilet to extend its lifespan and ensure that it is functioning properly.

If it’s still worth saving, you can always repair it yourself and call a plumber.

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