Repair vs Replace Toilet – Important Points to Know

Written by

Paulk Webb


Freddie J. Hagopian

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repair vs replace toilet

Many homeowners are torn between repair vs replace toilet. It’s just normal to be confused as replacement parts are available. Who doesn’t want to save money? When you replace an old toilet, it means spending more. However, there’s also a plumber toilet repair cost to think about. You would likely do it if your toilet doesn’t flush or there’s a continuous flow of water.

You’ll need to replace the toilet if the issue persists. But you may wonder if you’ve done the right move or not. Don’t fret if you can’t decide the exact thing to do as this article will guide you.

Signs to Replace Your Toilet

To determine if you need to proceed with the old toilet replacement, look for these signs.

1. Too many repairs are needed

Water tank items like flappers, fill valves and handles or levers usually cause issues so they need to be fixed. While they’re easy to fix, you will have to invest time and money.

But since you will be spending regardless of whether you are repairing or replacing, it is best to weigh the cost of repairs and the price of a new toilet. Surprisingly, you may find out that you’ll spend less on rebuilding the toilet.

2. Frequent clogging

It’s tiring to use the plunger every week. This will likely happen if you have an old, low-flush toilet at home. Old toilets are prone to blockage. If this issue bothers you a lot then it’s just right to buy another toilet that has lower water consumption. It’s a wise move as it lowers your water bill anyway.

I recommend Toto Drake, Swiss Madison St Tropez, and American Standard 2887218.020. These are popular toilets that have excellent flushing systems and they can help you lower your water bill.

3. Wobbly and loose toilet

Leakage is the main thing you have to deal with when you have a wobbly and loose toilet. You can try to mend it by tightening the seal bolts. But you’ll also need to replace the wax seal on the toilet’s base. When the issue persists, it’s better to buy a new toilet.

4. Cracks

Even though there are only hairline cracks on your toilet, they can cause flooding. Furthermore, porcelain cracks can cause leaks. Check your toilet for cracks frequently so you’ll know ahead of time. Then, you can replace your toilet before you tackle a messy toilet and experience inconvenience.

In this part, you may wonder whether you need to replace the toilet tank or the whole toilet. If you see cracks only on the toilet bowl, you’ll need to observe if there’s a water leak when you flush. If there’s no leak, you will only need to replace the tank. But be aware that leaks also damage the bathroom floor if left unnoticed and unresolved. This reason will compel you to buy a new toilet.

5. Scratches

Porcelain is the base of the toilets. This material gets scratched and wears out over time. It will come to the point that keeping the toilet is difficult. Cleaning the toilet becomes a struggle so the best option is to buy a new toilet.

6. Doesn’t flush at all

You can’t use your toilet if it doesn’t flush. A plumber can try to push the flushing system or have it constantly running. But when these techniques don’t work, you will have to buy a replacement.

Signs You Need Toilet Repair


You don’t have to be complacent about continuous repair as it might be pricier than the cost of rebuilding a toilet. But people are relieved if they know their toilet issue only requires an old toilet repair. Be particular about these signs that tell you to stick with repairs.

1. Running water

This is when the water from the tank doesn’t stop flowing. Aside from wasting water, it causes inconvenience and annoyance because of the noise. There’s more than one method to find the cause of this issue.

The most common way is to test the flapper by pressing it down until water runs out. If it ends up this way, the flapper is not sealing well. Therefore, you have to check the cost of replacing the toilet flush valve.

Read more: Canister flush valve vs flapper: what is the difference?

2. Low water level

A properly functioning toilet maintains the water level in both the bowl and tank. If you notice that it’s lower than usual, thoroughly check the tank and shut off the valve to double-check if it’s not closed.

When there’s little water in the bowl, it’s best to have a plumber diagnose the issue and apply the proper solution. It’s serious if the low level water comes with water on the toilet’s sides or floor.

3. Can’t flush

This case is different from a toilet that doesn’t flush at all. The latter is a hopeless case. But when your toilet can’t flush due to some minor issues like a clog, faulty flapper, broken lift chain, and inadequate amount of water in the tank, you can buy new components. You can also work on unclogging the toilet, but some cases need a plumber.

4. Slow filling up of the tank

You may be annoyed with how slowly the tank of an old toilet fills up. This usually happens when there’s something wrong with the fill valve inside the tank. Normally, a fill valve needs repair and replacement because of continuous use and clogs. You may hire a plumber to check on your valve’s condition. If there’s nothing wrong with it, the float ball in the tank needs to be fixed.

5. Bad smell

A bad smell can form if you do not properly clean and scrub your toilet. If you know that you did a good job in cleaning the toilet, a damaged seal or partially drain clog is to blame. To be sure, you have to let a plumber work on it.


You must know the exact condition of your toilet as your time, money, and convenience are at stake. This comparison of repair vs replace toilet can guide you with decision making.

You can repair your toilet as long as the issue is not persistent and doesn’t require a lot of money. But if you notice that the expenses become high, it’s better to buy a new toilet.

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