How to Know When It’s Time to Replace Your Old Toilet

Your toilet can keep running for up to 50 years without giving you an ounce of grief.

But that doesn’t mean it will.

However, since many homeowners don’t spend a lot of time shopping for toilets, they have no idea how to tell if they need a new one. We’ve put together this guide to help you learn when you should replace an old toilet.

So let’s get started!

It Takes More Than One Flush

When you flush your toilet, water flows from the tank into the bowl, creating a suctioning effect that sucks everything down the drain. A toilet that requires more than one flush isn’t allowing enough tank water to flow into the bowl.

And there are a few reasons this can happen.

The problem could be a hard water buildup. Hard water contains a high level of minerals, and these minerals can build up inside your toilet. This can restrict the flow of water from the back tank.

You might be able to chip away at the buildup if this happens to your toilet, but in most cases, it’s better to go ahead and buy a new one.

A low-flush toilet can also cause flushing problems.

Low-flush toilets use less water than normal toilets. Most of the time, these toilets are a great way to save both water and money. But poor-quality low-flush toilets don’t use enough water.

Because of this, you might have to flush the toilet twice to get everything down. This wastes more water than a normal toilet would use. So at this point, it’s a good idea to invest in a better toilet.

It Never Stops Running

If your toilet never stops running, don’t immediately go out and buy a new one.

There are several simple repairs that might be able to fix the problem. For example, you may just need a new rubber flapper or fill valve.

However, if you can’t get your toilet to stop running no matter what you try, there may be something else wrong. You can call a professional plumber to come take a look.

But often, this is a sign you should upgrade your toilet.

It Clogs All the Time

You shouldn’t have to plunge your toilet more than once a week. If you find yourself plunging every other day, something has gone wrong.

Again, this might be the fault of a poor-quality low-flush toilet. Since these toilets don’t use enough water, they can form clogs quickly and easily.

Even if the rest of your toilet works fine, it may be worth buying a new one to stop all the plunging. Not only is plunging every day annoying, but it can also waste more water.

It Always Needs a Repair

Toilets shouldn’t need constant repairs.

If you have to call a plumber every month or two to keep your toilet running, it’s probably time to invest in a new one. Even cheap repairs add up, and there’s a good chance you’ll end up saving money with a new toilet.

You should also consider buying a new toilet if your current toilet needs a lot of repairs all at once.

Again, these repairs add up, and it might not be worth the time and effort. Even if you have to spend a bit more on a new toilet, it’ll last you a lot longer than your patched-up old one.

It Has a Porcelain Crack

You should be close attention to any porcelain cracks in your toilet—even if it seems small. These cracks can give out at any time, turning your bathroom into a flood zone.

Porcelain cracks can also cause leaks, which can cost you a lot of money.

If you find a crack in the tank, you should replace your toilet right away. You might be able to keep using your toilet for a little while longer if a crack forms in the bowl, but don’t push your luck. It’s still a good idea to buy something new.

It Wobbles When You Sit

A wobbly toilet is a clear sign you should call a plumber.

If the toilet wobbles every time you sit down, the toilet might have a few loose screws. A plumber will be able to find them and tighten them without a problem.

However, a wobbly toilet could also mean water is leaking into the floor and rotting the wood. This is a much more serious problem. You’ll likely need a new toilet along with floor repairs.

It’s Not Efficient

We’ve listed a few of the negatives of low-flush toilets above, but it’s important to remember those negatives are only an issue if you have a bad low-flush toilet. Most low-flush toilets are more efficient than normal toilets, meaning they save you both water and money.

If you don’t have a low-flush toilet, it might be worth investing in one. While the upfront cost might high, it’ll make up for the price in savings.

Just don’t buy a cheap or low-quality low-flush toilet. You might run into problems if you do.

It’s Covered in Scratches

Surface scratches don’t just look ugly, they can make the cleaning process much more difficult. You might have to clean the toilet more and more often to keep it looking nice.

This usually happens to an old toilet. So if you’re having trouble keeping your toilet clean, it might be time to get a new one.

It’s Getting Old

Toilets can last a while, but you shouldn’t be using one that was built before 1994.


Toilets this old hold more than 1.6 gallons of water at a time. According to federal law, any toilet that hold more than 1.6 gallons of water must be replaced.

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Old Toilet

If you notice any of these warning signs, it might be time to replace your old toilet. But a toilet with a simple repair is probably worth saving.

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