Signs of a Bad Toilet

Signs of a Bad Toilet: When Should You Replace?

Toilets can indeed go bad over time due to wear and tear. On average, a toilet’s lifespan is 15 to 20 years. But, it varies on two fundamental factors, which are usage frequency and maintenance. According to the plumbers and manufacturers society, most of the toilets start showing signs of wear and tear after 10 to 15 years of use.  

Recognizing the signs of a bad toilet is essential to prevent potential problems. Some critical issues of a bad toilet include frequent clogs, constant running, cracks or leaks, weak flushing, and discolor orientation. 

Also, using a bad toilet can have various negative consequences, for instance, increased water bills, unsanitary conditions, damaged floors, water wastage, etc which elevates the risk of health hazards and financial loss. 

Therefore, knowing when to replace a toilet is crucial to maintaining a functional and efficient bathroom. If the toilet is aged over 20 years and requires frequent repairs due to water waste problems, then it must be replaced with a new one. 

Do Toilets Go Bad?

Yes, toilets can go bad after a certain period. The mechanical parts of the toilets stop working like before after a certain period. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the typical lifespan of a toilet is 15 to 20 years on average.

However, a toilet’s life expectancy can rise to 50 years, where some crucial factors influence the most.  

  • Quality of Construction: A well-made toilet, such as a non-porous porcelain layer-built toilet, will last longer than a ceramic layered toilet.
  • Frequency of Use: A toilet in a busy household will wear out sooner than a toilet in a single-family home.
  • Water Quality: Hard water can cause mineral buildup on the toilet’s internal parts, which can lead to leaks and other problems.
  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance, such as cleaning and lubricating the moving parts, can help to extend the life of your toilet.

What are The Signs of a Bad Toilet?

A bad toilet shows some confirmatory signs frequently, which requires taking immediate action. Otherwise, the problem can rise, damaging the bathroom floor, the entire toilet, and the pipeline underneath. 

1. Frequent Clogs

Clogging is one of those critical problems that can arise due to flushing non-flushable items, blockage in the trapways and sewer lines, etc. 

A study by the American Society of Sanitary Engineering found that the average household experiences a toilet clog every 2 to 3 years. Also, this problem becomes more severe if the toilet is aged over 20 years. A clogging problem can resurface every year in old toilets.  

Signs That Confirms Frequent Clogs

  • Flush won’t work efficiently and won’t clean the bowl at a time.
  • Water will back up after flushing rather than going down through the pipelines.
  • Flush will become slower and take more time than necessary.
  • A foul odor will start coming out of the toilet trap way. 

2. Leakage

Leakage can arrive on several parts of the toilet, such as the flapper valve, fill valve, toilet bowl, and leakage through pipelines. A leaked toilet will arise due to old rubber tubes, sharp objects to mediate cuts, or any heavy material flushed through the toilet bowl and pipelines. 

According to a study by the Environmental Protection Agency, toilet leaks account for about 20% of all indoor water leaks. This means that the average household with a toilet leak wastes about 90 gallons of water per day.

Signs That Confirms Leakage

  • Water leaks out through the toilet bowl while flushing.
  • Flushing difficulty due to worn-out flapper valve and fill valve.
  • Wet floor while using the toilet bowl and after flushing. 
  • Bad odor coming out due to inefficient flush. 

3. Running Water

A constant running of water happens due to faulty flapper and fill valve. A rubber gasket seal stays active for up to 10 to 15 years. After this period, the gasket loses its elasticity gradually and causes a constant running problem. 

Other than that, a high water level in the tank and a clog in the overflow tube can cause constant running of water problems as well. According to the National Association of Home Builders, 5% of homeowners experience a toilet running constantly at least once a year.

Signs That Confirms Constant Running

  • A flow of constant water continues through the toilet bowl.
  • Overflow of water from the toilet bowl can be visible. 
  • A Moist toilet seat is visible all the time.
  • The sound of flowing water can be heard. 

4. Cracked Toilet Parts

The toilet bowl and toilet tank are the two most common parts of the toilet that get cracked over time. It can happen due to poor quality of the build material or due to heavy pressure on the old toilet surface. 

A study by the National Association of Home Inspectors implied that 10% of homeowners have experienced a cracked toilet at old toilets aged over 20 years. Besides, any mechanical pressure while tightening the bolts or cleaning the toilet can form cracks in the toilet. 

Signs That Confirms Cracked Toilet Parts

  • Leaking of water is evident in the cracked toilet bowl surface. 
  • Sometimes, if the toilet pipeline gets any cracks, then the water supply will be interrupted. 
  • A leaked toilet tank will leak water and won’t clean the toilet at a flush. 

5. Sewage Odors

Sewage odors arrive when the sewer line gets broken, or the waste material starts depositing in the sewage line. Besides, the sewage odor can arrive due to faulty toilet seals or due to the vented stack problem.

The vented stack is the pipeline that releases the sewer gasses outside, but any mechanical leakage over the stack can form an odor. Also, a faulty toilet seal will allow the sewage odor to come out through the bowl.

Signs That Confirms Sewage Odors

  • A foul odor coming out of the toilet trapways. 
  • The flushing sound increases and takes more time to clear the water. 
  • Taking more than 2 to 3 flushes to stop the odor coming out from the toilet sewer line. 
  • If the clog appears, the flush won’t clear the water, and the toilet bowl will overflow. 

6. Corrosive Toilet

Over time, the toilet can get corrosive on the toilet bowl, tank, bolts, and fill valves. Corrosion arrives due to hard water accumulation on the toilet, where minerals deposit over the surface and damage the toilet. 

Corrosion is a common problem with the old toilets that can arrive over time. Most of the toilets become susceptible to corrosion over the age of 25 years. But, the corrosion can also arrive in the early stage of usage due to consistent hard water supply.

Signs That Confirms Corrosive Toilet

  • The bolts will become weak, and the surrounding area will become fragile. 
  • The toilet bowl will become discolored, and the porcelain or ceramic layer will be worn out. 
  • The tank won’t work and will leak water without pulling the flush handle. 

7. Old Toilet

According to the American Society of Sanitary Engineering (ASSE), a toilet must be considered for replacement after 20 to 25 years. Though the toilet life expectancy can rise due to proper maintenance and care, an old toilet can cause some critical problems. 

If the toilets show consistent flushing and clogging problems, then the better idea is to replace the toilet rather than repair it. 

Moreover, old toilets lack innovative features, comfort, and a modern look. Thus, replacing the old toilet with a new one is a hygienic idea as well. 

Signs That Confirms Old Toilet

  • If the toilet is aged over 20 years, it will start losing its shine and color. 
  • Most of the old toilets get frequent clogs and weak flush problems. 
  • Old toilets start growing molds, and the seat becomes uncomfortable. 
7 signs of a bad toilet

What are The Risks of Using Bad Toilets?

Using toilets that are in poor condition or improperly maintained can pose significant risks to both individuals and the environment.

Bad toilets can pose a serious risk to human health. They can be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and viruses, which can cause a variety of infections and diseases. Besides, the bad odor and physical discomfort are part of a bad toilet.

Infectious Diseases

Diarrhea, cholera, typhoid fever, hepatitis A, and dysentery are just a few of the many infectious diseases that can be spread through contact with fecal matter and water. Bad toilets can also be a source of parasitic infections, such as roundworms and hookworms, which can make the toilet experience miserable. 

Unpleasant Odors

A bad toilet will mediate foul odors from the toilet tank, trapway, and sewer lines. These odors can be caused by bacteria and viruses, as well as by the decomposition of urine and feces. In addition, an unpleasant odor can occur due to the inefficient cleaning process of a faulty flushing mechanism. 

Physical Discomfort

Bad toilets can also cause physical discomfort and hygiene issues. For example, dirty toilets can be a breeding ground for pests, such as cockroaches and flies. These pests can bite and spread disease. In addition, dirty toilets can be a source of allergies and other respiratory problems.

Water Wastage

Bad toilets, such as those that are not properly maintained or that leak, can waste a lot of water. This can be a serious problem in areas where water is scarce. A leaky toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water per day, which is enough to be considered unlawful, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

4 risks of using bad toilets

How Do You Know When to Replace a Toilet?

If the toilet is having frequent problems like clogs and leaks, then it is a good indicator to replace the toilet. Besides, a toilet remains in good shape for up to 40 to 50 years if the toilet is well-constructed and maintained. 

Age of the Toilet

Toilets, like any other household fixture, have a limited lifespan. On average, a toilet can last anywhere from 15 to 20 years, depending on the quality of materials and regular maintenance. If your toilet is approaching or has exceeded this age range, it’s a good indicator that you should consider replacing it.

Frequent Repairs

If the toilet requires frequent repairs, then it’s high time to change the toilet. Frequent issues like clogs, leaks, or flushing problems can be indicative of underlying structural or mechanical problems that are better resolved with a new toilet.

Cracks or Damage

Inspect the porcelain bowl and tank for cracks, chips, or visible damage. Cracks can lead to water leakage and structural instability. Even hairline cracks can worsen over time, so it’s advisable to replace the toilet if any damage is detected.

Persistent Leaks

A constantly running toilet or one that has a persistent leak around the base can waste a significant amount of water and increase your water bill. If you’ve tried repairing the issue without success, it’s time to consider a replacement to save on water costs.

Poor Flush Performance

Toilets that struggle to flush waste properly can be frustrating and inefficient. If your toilet constantly requires multiple flushes or doesn’t clear the bowl effectively, then it requires an upgrade to a more water-efficient and powerful model.

Thus, these are some of the valid reasons that suggest an urgent replacement of your toilet to avoid any further complications.

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