Home » Average Toilet Lifespan & Signs You Need to Replace It

Average Toilet Lifespan & Signs You Need to Replace It

The average person spends approximately ninety days on a toilet seat over their lifetime. With so much time spent in the bathroom, toilets must be durable and function properly. Toilets are simple fixtures that rely on gravity to do most of the work and this simple design allows them to last for a long time. Even new toilets are primarily the same as an old toilet made fifty years ago. However, even the best toilet eventually breaks down and needs replacement. 

What is the Average Life Expectancy of a Toilet?

There’s no hard and fast answer for the average lifespan of a toilet. You’ll hear answers ranging from ten to fifty years, or even a century, depending on who you ask. The truth is, toilets can last for decades if they’re well maintained. The lifespan of a toilet will vary depending on several factors including the level of maintenance and hard water it receives. Usually, the interior components, such as the wax seals and overflow tube, give out long before the porcelain exterior breaks down. Yet, when they do begin to fail, it often makes more sense, economically, to replace the whole toilet rather than pay for extensive repairs. 

It’s safe to say that a good toilet, well maintained, should last at least ten years, if not significantly longer. If you’re willing to invest in a higher-quality model, a toilet can last anywhere between 15 to 25 years and beyond.

Signs You Need to Replace Your Toilet

Your toilet will likely give warning signs before it needs replacement, but not always. If you notice any of these signs, it may be time to hire a plumber to replace your toilet. Here are some of the most common signs that it may be time to replace your toilet:

1. Constant Need for Repair

If you’re spending time every month fixing your toilet, it’s time to consider what your time is worth. Trouble flushing, constant clogging, overflowing, broken components, mineral deposits, loose toilet seats, and any other maintenance problems will add up and can quickly surpass the price of a new toilet before you know it. When ignored, chronic toilet problems can also lead to more significant and costly issues. It’s best to call a plumber and see if it’s time to make the replacement rather than waste money on temporary solutions.

2. Cracks in the Bowl or Tank

Sometimes a toiled works perfectly, yet water continues to collect around its base. There could be a crack in the tank or bowl in these cases. Inspect your toilet for visible cracks or add colored dye to the water in the tank and bowl and see if the colored water ends up on the floor. If there’s a crack below the water level, you’ll likely need to replace the toilet tank or toilet bowl, at which point it’s worth having the entire toilet replaced.

3. Leaking or Wobbly Toilet

Toilet leaks can be hard to detect and may occur for long periods before being discovered. Long-standing leaks can cause damage to the floor beneath the toilet and might even reach the ceiling below if left long enough. If you notice that your toilet seems unstable or wobbly, this could be a sign that there’s a leak damaging the floor below. Likewise, if your utility bill is higher than usual, a leaking toilet may need to be replaced.  

4. High Monthly Bill

As mentioned above, a high water bill may indicate that your toilet is leaking. But that’s not always the case. Older toilets installed before 1994 use more water, with 3.5 to 8 gallons of flushed water per flush. After 1994, federal guidelines changed that amount to 1.6 gallons per flush. Needless to say, replacing old toilets could make your utility bill more cost-effective and save you money while conserving your water supply.

The Cost of Installing a New Toilet

Most toilet replacements start around $150 for a basic replacement, but we recommend spending a bit more to get a toilet that’s comfortable and will last a long time. Prices can range between $350-$800 if there are damages or additional plumbing work such as a clogged drain pipe. Likewise, smart toilets that include luxury features like heated seats, built-in bidets, and air dryers will be more expensive. Installation can take anywhere between 1-3 hours, depending on the type of toilet and work required. Although it’s relatively simple to replace a toilet, we strongly suggest hiring a qualified plumber to ensure proper installation and repair.

We Can Offer Professional Toilet Replacement Services in Sacramento

Let Sacramento Plumbing Solutions do the time consuming work of replacing your toilet when the time arrives. We’ll send a qualified plumber who can answer any toilet related questions to help determine your needs. We offer repair services, traditional and high efficiency toilet installation, as well as bidet and urinals in either your home or business. Give us a call today!

Mike Grijalva

Mike Grijalva

Owner & Lead Plumber

I’ve been a journeyman plumber for over 15 years and opened my own plumbing company in 2011. I’m highly qualified and offer the best prices in the Sacramento area. I’ve done plumbing in every aspect possible, inlcluding new construction, service and repair, commercial, sprinkler service, and custom homes. I take great pride in my work.  You can feel comfortable trusting someone highly skilled with integrity for all your plumbing needs.

CSLB License #963048

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