24 July Close up of a plumber installing a toilet

How Often Toilets Need to be Replaced

Posted by PlumbWize

The toilet is one of the most important seats in a home. It’s also one of the most long lasting fixtures in the home – so replacements are usually few and far between. Homeowners can be faced with numerous small repairs through the lifetime of a toilet before the need for replacement arises. But of course, toilets still undergo wear and tear over time which can culminate in the need to replace it. However, obvious incapacitating damage to the toilet is not the only factor to think about. 

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve got a home or building to maintain and it has crossed your mind that it could be time for a toilet upgrade. You might also have recently acquired a home or building and wondering if any toilet replacements are necessary. Whatever the case, this article will tell you all you need to know.  We’ll cover how long do toilets last, what damages on the toilet would signal for immediate replacement, and other key considerations on how often you need to replace toilets.  

Without further ado, let’s get started!

How Long Do Toilets Last?

Typically, toilets need replacement after 25 years of use so this can be considered the average toilet lifespan. Some would argue that the porcelain toilet itself has a much longer, and even unlimited, lifespan and that it’s only the components inside that need repairs and replacements. Though it may be true that the porcelain part of the toilet is really sturdy, it is nowhere near indestructible. Whether it’s because of age, physical impact, or both, damages to this part of the toilet may signal an immediate need for replacement.

Furthermore, when the components of an old toilet require extensive repairs, it’s possible that having the whole toilet replaced is far more cost-effective. On top of this, you will be able to benefit from the upgrades that modern toilets have in terms of functionality, ergonomic design, and water efficiency.

Tools on top of a toilet seat

What Toilet Problems Signal The Need for a Replacement? 

There are two main things that can indicate that your toilet needs a replacement. If you’re not sure if you want to replace your old toilet, then look for these two issues. If you experience one or both, then it’s highly recommended that you get a new toilet for your home or building. Unfortunately, once you encounter these issues, it will be all downhill. 

Constant Clogging 

First of all, it’s not normal if your toilet clogs once a month. And if your toilet clogs once a week or more frequently, that is a red flag. Whether or not a toilet clogs depends on the material that is being flushed (or has been flushed) and the cleanliness of its drain pipes.

If you’ve ruled out that nothing out of the ordinary has been flushed down the old toilet, there’s a high likelihood that the drain pipes have a problem. For old toilets, it’s more probable that mineral deposits have accumulated in the drain pipes or at the top of the drain. These mineral deposits tend to harden over time and narrow the drain pipe. It’s possible to have these deposits chipped away but this solution is not always successful. In most cases, it’s necessary to have the toilet replaced so that you don’t have to deal with constant clogging anymore. 

Cracks and Leaks 

Cracks and the leaks that result from the cracks doesn’t really incapacitate your toilet. It’s likely that it will function just like normal but you may run into these two problems:

  • Puddles or damp flooring around the base of the toilet
  • The water is always running, making your water bill go up

There are ways to fix a running toilet but you need to understand that with old toilets, even if you go through the repairs, it may not be the last time that you will deal with this problem. This is because older toilets are more prone to crack. There are also cracks that are too severe to be fixed and you’d really need to get a new toilet.

My Toilet is More Than 25 Years Old and Functions Alright – Can I Still Benefit From a Toilet Replacement? 

So your toilet has passed the 25-year mark, surpassing the regular toilet lifespan, and doesn’t encounter any of the problems that we’ve talked about in the previous section? If so, a new toilet may not be needed immediately. However, you will still benefit from the toilet upgrade.

No More Surface Damages 

Surface damages can be unsightly. These can take the form of scratches or dents on the surface of the old toilet.  These surface irregularities are not only unsightly but can also make it more difficult to keep your toilet clean. So though getting a new toilet without scratches seems to focus on an aesthetic benefit, there’s that practical angle of faster and easier cleaning as well. 

More Efficient Flushing 

Do you know how old your toilet is? Toilets designed and manufactured before 1982 typically use 5-7 gallons per flush. And back then, there was no such thing as the dual flush. So no matter what the reason is for flushing, it would always be 5-7 gallons. And even if, for example, the toilet was purchased and installed a few years after 1982, it’s still possible that it was built using the older design if it had been an old stock of the store where it was purchased.

In comparison, newer toilets can use as little as 1.6 gallons of water per flush. And most, if not all, are equipped with the dual flush function, allowing for more water efficiency.


In recent years, more studies on more ergonomically designed toilets have been made. Some designs now claim to reduce the risk of colon disease. Some have an adjusted height to make it easy for users to sit down. The commonality of all these designs is the promise of greater comfort and a better overall experience. 

Added Functionalities 

There are high-tech toilets available out there with functionalities that used to be just a distant dream. A few examples of these functionalities include heated seats, integrated bidets, no-touch flush, automatic deodorizer, air-dryers, a touchscreen remote, and even a bluetooth speaker. The times have changed, indeed. Now it’s your choice if you want to benefit from these high-tech upgrades.

Is DIY Toilet Replacement Recommended? 

The short answer is no. Many people believe that DIY will always save them money but this may not be the case with plumbing repairs or projects – what more with installing a toilet that has intricate plumbing coursing through it and weights at least 55 pounds? 

It takes both physical strength and significant knowledge of plumbing to get this job done right. A well installed toilet will be able to serve you for years and years without hassle – but it all starts with getting the right experts onboard to do the job well.

A newly installed toilet

Where Can I Get Expert Help? 

Here at PlumbWize, we believe in getting the job done right the first time. Just give us a ring and we can quickly get your toilet/s replaced. We service areas around Burlington, Oakville, and Hamilton. 

We specialize in various plumbing services including residential plumbing services, commercial plumbing services, kitec replacement services, frozen & burst pipes repair services, and more. You can also ring us up in case of plumbing emergencies. Whatever your plumbing needs are, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today!