When to Replace a Toilet: 7 Signs It's Time

when to call a Phoenix plumber to replace a toiletToilets made before 1980 use about five gallons of water in a single flush, sometimes more, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA also reports that toilets use the most water in our homes (about 30%). Wow! That’s plenty of water going down the drain (excuse the pun).

Next time you receive your water bill, check how much water you’re using. If you have a small family but your bill is excessive, your toilet might have leaks or it could be old. That’s when to replace a toilet.

Whichever the case, replacing old toilets could save you tons of water and money, as well as a host of bathroom blues.

When to Replace a Toilet

Just like other essential home appliances, your toilet will need replacing after many years of use. So, when should a toilet be replaced?

1. Your Toilet’s Old

If you’ve had the same toilet for more than a decade, maybe you should think about replacing it even if it’s working properly.

Older toilets usually aren’t as efficient as newer ones, so they could be increasing your water bills. In the last few years, advancements in toilet designs have produced toilets that use considerably less water.

Federal law now requires residential toilets made and sold in America after Jan. 1, 1994, to not use over 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Some newer toilets even use less than that.

If you’re wondering when to replace a toilet, if you haven’t replaced yours since 1994, it’s time.

When buying a newer, more efficient model, consider one that comes with dual-flush technology. This allows you to fully flush solid waste and partially flush liquid waste. This way, you can save water each time you flush.

2. Constant Clogging

Every toilet clogs occasionally. The frequency of clogging depends on the cleanliness of drain pipes, the strength of flush, and what’s being flushed.

If your bathroom clogs once a week or more than once per month, it’s probably due to the buildup of mineral deposits in the drain pipes or on top of the drain.

Mineral deposits stick on the sides of the drain pipe and solidify. Over time, the deposits build up until they create a bottleneck that stops waste and water from passing through the pipes.

These deposits occur more often when a toilet has a feeble flush or it’s old since the toilet isn’t able to get the minerals off the drain pipe.

To ensure your toilet is the issue before replacing it, you can have the drain pipes cleaned by a professional. If they’re clean and your toilet still clogs, you should replace it with a new one.

3. Your Toilet Uses Excess Water

If your toilet is not low-flush, saving water can be a good reason to replace it. You can substantially drive down your annual water bill with a new low-flush toilet.

A water-efficient toilet uses 1.6 gallons of water for each flush, which is significantly less than the 3-5 gallons used by some old toilets.

By saving water, you’re not only conserving the environment but also saving money. Utilities will only continue to go up, so reducing your water wastage makes sense.

4. Your Toilet’s Wobbly

This is not a good sign. Toilets should never wobble, wiggle, or shift. It’s not about you or something you’re doing.

If your toilet can be moved around without much effort, you should replace it. An improperly sealed and seated toilet might damage plumbing, cause a leak, or even weaken your home’s structural integrity.

Firstly, tighten any loose bolts in the toilet seat. Hopefully, it’s that simple. But if the toilet still seesaws, you should contact a plumber immediately.

Don’t use your toilet until the plumber has looked at it. A professional may be able to repair it instead of replacing it. But it may be time for a new one.

Don’t wait to contact the plumber either – if the toilet isn’t the issue, then it might be the floor below it. You certainly want that fixed as well, and fast.

5. You Notice Visible Cracks

Cracks are usually a good sign you’re about to deal with some leakage if it hasn’t started already. Although porcelain is a fine material, unfortunately, it tends to wear away over time or if it suffers a hard enough blow.

Before you go out to get a new toilet, locate the cracks. If they’re confined to the lid, it should be okay. If the cracks are in the bowl, however, you must stop using the toilet right away and replace it.

Check the area just below the bowl for signs of dampness or water damage. If you see the latter, you should call in a pro to find out how serious the issue is.

6. Ongoing Leaking Problems

Leaks in your home are unpleasant at best and a sign of possible disaster at worst. “Toilet” and “disaster” usually don’t work well together, so if you think there’s a leak (external or internal) in your toilet, you need to attend to it right away.

If your toilet is dripping, it’s an external leak. To diagnose an internal leak, carefully listen to your toilet when it’s not being used.

If you hear a hissing sound, simply put food coloring in the water tank. Wait for around ten minutes and check the toilet bowl. If the food coloring has penetrated, you’ve got an internal leak.

7. Plentiful Repairs

You shouldn’t have to repair your toilet constantly.

If you’re regularly calling in a professional to fix your toilet, it’s time to replace it. Repeated repairs can be costly, so replacing your toilet can save you a tidy sum of money over time.

Or, if the toilet requires numerous repairs at the same time, replacing it may be cheaper instead. Discuss the issue with your plumbing professional, and they can help you weigh the pros and cons of each option.

Replace Your Toilet Today!

Have an old toilet you want to replace? Or other plumbing problems in your home? If so, contact us today.

Our professionals can fix your plumbing issues, examine your toilet and recommend when to replace a toilet.


Is your toilet leaking or clogging on a regular basis? As the top professional plumber in Phoenix, we can take care of your toilet plumbing issues quickly and affordably! Email Hays Plumbing and Drain or call (602) 714-8270 now to schedule an appointment!


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About the Author

Chris Hays

Founder of Hays Cooling, Heating & Plumbing

Chris and Stacia Hays, are the owners of Hays Cooling, Heating & Plumbing; a family owned and operated HVAC company in Phoenix founded in 2001 that services both commercial and residential customers. Chris leads a team of certified technicians who have over 45 years of combined experience and has earned and A+ rating with the BBB and a strong five star rating online. Hays Cooling and Heating focuses on providing support to their customers every step of the way, with exceptional service and competitive prices. If you are looking for top-notch air conditioning and heating service, contact, Chris or Stacia today at (602) 607-1424.