Cover photo for blog and video "Signs It's Time to Replace Your Toilet"

When Should You Replace Your Toilet?

While we don’t have a crystal ball that allows us to predict the future, we do have a lot of experience in recognizing the signs that it is time to replace your old toilet. Toilets have an average lifespan of 20-25 years here in Phoenix and, considering what they are put through, that’s not too bad. There are definitely some factors that can shorten the lifespan of a toilet, such as: the overall quality, how well the toilet has been maintained, and especially the water quality being supplied. You may not have thought about the water quality of your toilet, but the hardness level of water affects everything it touches, including: faucets, showers, water heaters, and dishwashers. How do you know when it is time to replace your toilet?

Here are some helpful things to look for!

  1. Plunging Your Toilet

    Regularly plunging your toilet isn’t a normal occurrence and is a good indicator that it’s time for a replacement. A good quality toilet with a great flush will not require any plunging. When I see a plunger next to a toilet, a red flag immediately pops up and references that the toilet isn’t operating correctly– some poor soul is having to plunge a dirty, broken toilet when they shouldn’t be. Additionally, over plunging your toilet can break the seal between the toilet and the flange; in some cases, this results in sewer odors and flooding if there is a stoppage in the mainline.

    Plunging your toilet is a key sign that it’s low-quality and we strongly recommend beginning your search for a substitute; there’s no fix to a cheap toilet other than replacing it. A low-quality toilet ends up costing you more in the long run than the savings were ever worth. The risk of flooding your home with sewage because of a cheap toilet backing up is a very real issue. These low-quality toilets also have a history of chronic stoppages, not all of which are easily cleared with a plunger, and require a plumbing technician to come to your home and run a cable. As the adage goes, “you get what you pay for” and if you’re going to have a 20+ year commitment with your toilet, trust me, spend the few extra dollars for a quality one and get rid of the cheap one ASAP.

  2. Flushing More Than Once

    Everything in your toilet should go down in one swoosh after pushing the toilet handle. If you find that your toilet isn’t sending everything away after your first flush, then it could be a sign that it is time to retire your commode and upgrade to a newer model. Having to flush your toilet multiple times is inconvenient– especially when unpleasant surprises are left for the people using the restroom after you– and wastes a lot of water. Toilets that require more than one flush to send solids and toilet paper down need to have the problem area targeted and fixed; sometimes, if the toilet is less than 50% of its expected lifespan, then it may just need to have the parts inside the tank replaced.

  3. Calcium Deposits Under the Rim of the Bowl

    Noticing hard water buildup, mineral buildup, or calcium deposits under the rim of your toilet is a sure sign to start thinking about your next toilet purchase. Your toilet is dependent upon good flow from the tank to the bowl to create a quality flush. Obstacles such as hard water buildup in your bowl can lead to further buildup to the ports that take the water from the tank to the bowl. These restricted ports, in return, create a restricted flush. The reduction in diameter of the ports from the hard water buildup reduces the volume getting to the bowl and causes chronic stoppages.

  4. Rising Water Levels Before Flushing

    Have you been witnessing the water level in your bowl rise before it goes down? Your toilet is dying and needs to go to the toilet cemetery– aka a landfill. The water level rising in the bowl is from the ports being clogged, as previously described. These ports being open are pivotal to a toilet flushing accurately and you’re sadly past the point of no return. Recognizing these conditions means replacing your toilet is an immediate, not casual, need– Personally, I would take care of this issue within the first 6 months of the problem being addressed.

Not sure how to choose the right toilet for your home and family’s needs? I have an in-depth blog to help you navigate the many options available to you. There’s a lot to consider before purchasing your next toilet, but remember that you’re going to have the toilet for decades, so make sure you know before you go.

Services in Phoenix & Beyond

When you’ve found yourself in need of plumbing services in the Phoenix, Glendale, Scottsdale, or Chandler area, you can trust Robins Plumbing to provide you with prompt and expert care, contact our team today! In addition to our toilet services, we also offer a variety of residential and commercial plumbing services, including: drain cleaning, water heater repair and replacement, sewer camera inspection and locating, backflow prevention, commercial and residential jetting, water treatments, and more. Visit our reviews online to see what others have to say about our local plumbing company!