How Often Do You Need to Replace a Toilet?

by Shelley Frost
a step-by-step instructional guide to replacing a toilet seat  In a residential home with hardwood floors

The average toilet sees a lot of action, which means it will eventually need to be replaced.

This May Also Interest You: Stop Flushing Money Down the Toilet: Go Low-Flow

Fortunately, you can usually get several decades out of your toilet before you need a new one.

How Long Does a Toilet Typically Last?

On average, a toilet lasts 20 to 30 years, but some toilets can last much longer — sometimes up to 50 years. It often depends on how well you take care of the toilet and how often it gets used. A toilet in a guest bathroom that doesn't get used often might last longer than the one in your main bathroom that gets used all day long. It also helps if you're a little handy. You can easily replace the internal valves and parts to keep the toilet working longer. While cracks can happen, the toilet itself is made of strong material that lasts a long time.

What Are Some Signs of Wear and Tear?

Your toilet gets a lot of use, which can lead to wear and tear that affects how it looks and works. Some signs you'll notice as your toilet gets older include:

  • Scratches or worn patches
  • Frequent clogs
  • Difficulty flushing
  • Constantly running water
  • Water leaking around the base
  • Cracks
  • Rocking toilet
  • Corrosion

Some of these issues are things you can fix yourself. For example, if the toilet runs nonstop, you might need to replace the flapper inside the tank. A licensed plumber can inspect the toilet and let you know if it's an easy fix or if you're better off with a new toilet.

More Related Articles:

What Are Some Signs That You Need to Replace the Fixture?

Minor issues, such as water leaking from the tank into the bowl, can often be fixed when you install toilet replacement parts. However, some things can't be easily fixed. If the porcelain cracks, it's likely time for a new toilet, especially if it causes a leak. It can be difficult to repair a crack to prevent a leak, and the crack can get worse over time.

You might also replace the toilet if it needs frequent repairs. While the internal parts are relatively easy to replace, they can also get expensive if you have to replace them often. If your toilet is an older low-flush model, it might not have enough power behind the flushes to push everything down well. This can lead to frequent clogs, or you might have to flush the toilet multiple times whenever you use it. Replacing the toilet can cut down on clogs and make the flushes more efficient without wasting a lot of water.

Some people choose to replace a toilet when they remodel the bathroom. That avocado green toilet might have been fashionable in the 1970s, but it likely won't fit in with your current decor. Replacing the toilet when you remodel gives everything a fresh look and helps improve water efficiency.