Rebuild or Buy a New Toilet?
If you have a busted toilet on your hands, and what homeowner hasn’t at some point? You’ve gone back and forth about doing a do-it-yourself repair attempt on a toilet tank vs. going straight to buying a new toilet. What jobs can you do quick and inexpensive? Are you a good enough fixer-upper to truly fix it, so it’ll last? For most fixes, a new toilet is not much difference in cost up front and a wiser long-term decision for multiple reasons.
Buy a New Toilet
A Crack in the Tank
Do you have water puddling near the base of the toilet? Unless someone is missing most of the time, you have probably have a cracked, leaking tank. It may even be a hairline fracture, but still leaking. It may be in the very bottom or back of the tank, making it practically impossible to see, let alone work on.
After inspecting the crack, where the fracture is will let you know if a repair is possible. If it’s beneath the usual water line, you will need a tank replacement. At this point, going with a new toilet almost always makes more sense than finding a tank which goes with the rest of the toilet, removing the old tank and installing the new tank.
Hidden or hairline tank cracks can go unseen, yet leak. A professional plumber can find the crack, but then still, most of the time, recommend getting a new toilet.
A hidden leaker
Some leaky toilets can go unnoticed for months. You don’t see a fracture or crack. The tank seems to be working just fine.
You might notice the problem in a huge water bill. If a monthly bill shows a major increase in water usage, check all your toilets for a quiet, hidden leak. The first thing you see may be damaged flooring or subflooring or, if the toilet is on a second or third level water damage to ceilings under the bathroom.
If you have an older toilet and it’s leaking, replacing it is one of the most cost-effective actions you can make.
It Needs Repeated Repairs
Some tank repairs are pretty easy and simple. A handle or a flapper are easy replacements with a little time on a weekend. Once you’re looking at two or more fixes inside the same tank, though, think about the time and money where a new toilet makes more sense.
It Clogs Repeatedly
Are you annoyed because the toilet’s clogged over and over again? You have to keep the plunger right there. The toilet often needs two or more flushes. Is there often a stink? Even when it flushed ok at the moment.
It is not enjoyable to need to mess with the toilet on a regular basis. If it’s constant and not going to get better without a lot of work, by you or a plumber, it’s time to replace the toilet.
You can Save Money and Water with a New One
Even without a leak or break, maybe your old toilet is inefficient and has seen better days. New low-flush toilets conserve water. It’s good for the environment, good for your water bill and might be a nicer look for your bathroom. A water-saving toilet uses less than two gallons of water a flush. Old toilets are 3-gallon or 5-gallon flushes.
The money saved on utilities and no more toilet repairs for the foreseeable future will often make up for purchasing the new toilet in a few months. Utility expenses don’t look to be easing or falling anytime soon.
If you’re planning on changing your toilet or a bathroom remodel soon, don’t spend money on a temporary repair to a toilet part.
It’s Just a Gasket, but
The point of connection between the tank and the bowl is a rubber gasket. It rarely needs replacement. Rubber and the sealant can age, dry out and crack over a long period of time. A cracked gasket means leaking. Changing the gasket sounds simple, until realizing the steps include taking the tank off and reattaching it. For a knowledgeable DIY’r this is standard stuff. It’s also possible, though, you wind up with issues like a hassle of removing bolts which haven’t moved in decades, a poorly sealed new gasket, or a cracked tank. Now, you’ll be buying a new toilet anyway.
Rebuild the Inside of the Tank
The Flush that Never Ends
One of the most annoying toilet problems is the toilet that keeps running. It is water running and running, continuously from the tank into the bowl.
Fortunately, it’s usually one of the easiest DIY fixes a toilet has. There’s the good ol’ jiggling the handle, which sometimes works. The real fix is making sure the flapper valve seals. You’ll usually need to replace the flapper, which is a simple, easy fix and can be done in a few minutes.
While it’s an easy fix, don’t just ignore it. A running toilet wastes a lot of water. It runs up your bill just as fast as a bigger problem.
If a jiggle, then a new flapper, doesn’t solve the never-ending flush, then this could advance to needing professional help. It could be a broken fill valve or another issue in the tank.
South End Plumbing specializes in toilets, leaks, and clogs, so remember, we are just a click away. We also specialize in leak detection – give us a call! South End Plumbing is one of the only companies that will give you a free estimate. Call us at 704-919-1722 or fill out the form online to schedule a visit.