We’ve covered ways to stop your toilet from constantly running, ways to unclog it, and ways to prevent it from clogging in the first place – unfortunately, toilet’s aren’t immortal fixtures destined to stay with you for your whole life. Eventually we need to take a long, hard look at these pieces of porcelain perfection and accept the fact that their faults may be too great to overcome with a plunger and drain snake. Even if your toilet seems to be functioning adequately, here are some key warning signs to look out for:
- How Old Is Your Toilet? Even if your toilet appears to be fully functional, you may want to bring in a replacement to save money in the long term if it was installed in the early 1990’s or before. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced the Energy Policy Act of 1992 in part to cut down on excessive water use in homes across America. One of the regulations included in the Act limited residential toilets to only use 1.6 gallons per flush, compared to the 3 plus gallons of water toilets used per flush at the time. Even though government agents aren’t likely to burst through your bathroom door to forcibly remove your outdated toilet any time soon, you’ll notice a decrease in your monthly water bill once you update to more modern plumbing.
- Is It Leaking? Leaks anywhere in your home are at best unpleasant, and at worst they’re a sign of potential disaster. ‘Disaster’ and ‘toilet’ generally don’t mix all that well, so if you suspect that your toilet may have a leak, external or internal, you need to check it out immediately. An external leak is fairly simple to diagnose – is your toilet dripping? Yes? Then you have an external leak. To check for an internal leak, listen carefully for a hissing noise when your toilet isn’t being used. If you can hear one, simply take some food coloring and squirt enough to be noticeable into the water tank, then wait for about 10 minutes to check the bowl. If the coloring has made its way in, you have an internal leak.
- Do You Notice Any Cracks? Cracks are generally a pretty good sign that you’re about to be dealing with some leakage, if your toilet hasn’t started leaking already. As great as porcelain is, it’s unfortunately prone to damage as it gets older or takes a hard enough hit. Before you rush out to buy a new toilet, take note of where the cracks are forming – if they’re contained to the lid, you should be fine. However, if the cracks are forming on the bowl you need to stop using your toilet immediately and get a replacement. Check the area directly underneath the bowl to see if it’s damp or shows signs of water damage. If you notice the latter, you may want to call in a professional to check and see how extensive the water damage is.
- Does Your Toilet Keep Clogging? A clogged toilet every so often, while inconvenient, isn’t the end of the world. A clogged toilet happening on a regular basis may be a sign that mineral deposits have accumulated in the pipes. These buildups can snag almost anything you try to flush, and if they’re large enough to cause constant problems you may need to replace your toilet – at the very least, you need to call in a professional to take a look at the problem.
If you’re considering replacing your toilet, it may be in your wallet’s best interest to call in a professional to assess the situation and give you their recommendation what the cheapest option is, and bluefrog Plumbing + Drain is ready to help you with all of your plumbing needs. Find your closest bluefrog Plumbing + Drain location by entering your address on our online map, or give us a call at 888-794-0341 to learn more about our free home plumbing evaluations.