do toilets go bad

How To Know When To Replace Your Toilet: 5 Signs It’s Time

do toilets go bad_There comes a time when your toilet needs too many repairs. At that point, it may be cheaper to buy a new one than to keep throwing money down the drain.

If you’ve had your toilet for a long time, or it came with the house when you bought it, then it could be well past its usefulness.

How do you know when it is time to replace it or if you should just repair it? 

There are a number of factors involved in the decision. This guide will give you some warning signs that your toilet lifespan has come to an end.

Read on to see if your toilet is nearing the end of its life. Then keep reading to see the best toilets to replace it with.

Can a toilet go bad? How long does one last?

Toilets are far more durable than you think and can last over 50 years. So, the answer is essentially that the toilet itself will not ever wear out. 

The design of the toilet itself is as simple as it gets so there is nothing that goes bad. The inside of the tank has a lot of parts that need to be replaced however. Those are usually cheap, like the lever and flapper.

The bowl itself can get cracked, however. In this case it should be replaced immediately as there is no fix for that. 

So, if your toilet is very old but otherwise working fine and has no signs of damage, then you are fine.

If you are experiencing weak flushes, frequent clogging or bad odors, then keep reading as it may need to be replaced.

Does a toilet go bad? 5 signs it's time to replace it

Replace Or Repair? What To Look For

Your toilet is one of those things that you really never have to think about. It’s just there and works as it should. Once in a while it may need some TLC, but otherwise it is sort of invisible.

When it starts to be a thorn in your side, then that changes. 

An occasional repair is normal. Most you can do yourself if you have tools like a toilet auger (See this one from Amazon), a power plunger and other plumbing accessories. 

If you are seeing the following signs then forget about repairs and look at upgrading your commode.

1 - Frequent clogs

If you have had the plumber over to fix your clogged toilet more than once and it still gets clogged, then it may very well be your toilet. It could be simply that the flush is not powerful enough or it could be your inner plumbing system.

You can actually use an industrial endoscope for plumbing to go way deep inside and take a look at what is happening there. If you don’t see any blockages or mineral buildup on the pipes, then it could be a sign that your toilet is the problem.  

The problem may be that your low flush toilet can’t handle the job. Yes, they save water, but new generation gravity fed toilets and power assist toilets (See end of article for some examples) do a better job and still use low amounts of water.

2 - Weak flush

Some toilets just can never quite flush completely and you have to flush two or three times to get things moving. Often, there is a partial clog that once removed takes care of the problem. Other times the kit in the tank is worn and the parts don’t open or close completely.

If you have done everything you can to improve the flush strength, then it is likely your toilet just isn’t efficient enough. 

In this case, you really should be looking at upgrading to a more modern toilet. 

When you have hard water that has built up on the pipes, then getting rid of it might not be an option and you’ll need a new toilet. And probably a hard water filter to keep the minerals from building up, too.

Got hard poop?

If your poop is hard and big and doesn't flush then check out this article on how to dissolve it!

3 - It’s cracked

No repair is going to solve this problem. A cracked toilet is bound for the garbage heap. Take advantage and look at modern, efficient toilets that save water and require less maintenance.

Cracks and deep gouges can harbor bacteria and lead to an unhealthy situation as well as a toilet that never gets clean. Which leads to the next sign.

4 - It’s hard to keep clean

If your toilet is old, the porcelain may be harboring bacteria. Scratches and porous spots will attract and allow bacteria to grow. It will be a never ending battle to keep the toilet clean.

These germs can then spread to other areas and that is not a good thing to deal with.

It can even be quite smelly if you have a bacteria problem that won’t seem to go away.

5 - It wastes water

Old toilets are notoriously inefficient when it comes to water usage. If your toilet was built before 1994 when efficiency standards were put forth that require a toilet to be low flush, then chances are it uses a couple of gallons with each flush.

Now imagine if you have to flush a couple of times to get things moving and you have a real water hog.

Newer toilets have stronger flushes and still use less water so it pays to spend the money on a new toilet. (See the next section for efficient toilets)

Upgrade your toilet

If you’ve read this far it means you have at least one or several of the signs that it is time to retire your old toilet and upgrade.

Power assisted toilet

If you are tired of weak flushing toilets, then you will love having a pressure assisted one. 

They have an inner chamber inside the tank that allows air pressure to force the water out like a jet and clear your bowl in a fraction of a second. Where a gravity toilet, aka standard toilet with standing water in the tank, has about 12 psi per flush, a power assist toilet has at least 30 psi.

They can be loud, but the noise only lasts for a second. 

Water is not wasted as they use around 1.5 to 1.7 gallons of water.

One of the most popular of these toilets is the Kohler K-3493-0 Highline Classic Pressure Lite.

Dual flush toilet

Around the world, you’ll find a dual flush toilet in just about every house. They are great at conserving water as you use the lighter flush for number 1 and the higher powered flush for number 2.

A very good example of one of these toilets is the WOODBRIDGE T-0019, Dual Flush Elongated One Piece Toilet.

High efficiency flushing toilet

For a standard gravity toilet, you can get one that has a strong flush, yet uses very little water. The Toto MS604114CEFG#01 UltraMax II comes highly recommended as it uses a paltry 1.28 gallons per flush.

It is very low maintenance as it has a glaze on the inside of the porcelain to prevent build up. It also will be tougher to clog because of how easily waste flows out the pipes due to the glazing.


So, do toilets go bad? As we can see they clearly can go past their prime and need to be replaced eventually.

When your toilet lifespan has finally come to an end, then check out those toilets above when you are ready to upgrade.

If you have any questions at all, then let me know by dropping a comment in the box below and I will get back to you ASAP. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Check out our Privacy Policy for more info.

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