How Long Does A Toilet Last? When Should You Replace It?

If you are a property owner, you know that good maintenance will help to protect your investment and keep everything functioning correctly. The toilet is an essential appliance in your home, and knowing how to keep it in good running order is essential. But how long does a toilet last? And when should you replace it?

Estimates of toilet lifespan vary from 10 to 100 years, but most sources agree that you should replace your toilet after 25 years. Other reasons for replacing are to install a modern low-flush toilet or if there are issues with cracks, leaks, clogging, wobbling, or frequent, costly repairs.

Many factors can affect a toilet’s lifespan and lead to the need to replace it. While a good toilet will last you many years, various things will happen to it that will result in it needing replacement. Knowing what to look out for can save you from spending excess money on plumbers or extra time and frustration and give you a peaceful and enjoyable bathroom experience.

The Lifespan Of A Toilet

There is so much debate over the lifespan of a toilet because the material from which toilets are made, namely porcelain with a vitreous China finish, is exceptionally durable. Properly looked after, it could indeed last 100 years.

However, how frequently the toilet is used and any misuse that users subject it to can negatively affect its lifespan, leading to a need to replace it sooner. There are also other reasons why upgrading to a newer toilet after a couple of decades makes sense. For this reason, most experts consider the functional lifespan of a toilet to be around 25 years.

Here are the reasons you should consider replacing your toilet.

man repairing a toilet

Replace Your Toilet If It Needs Too Many Repairs

A toilet has many working parts, and as these parts break and need replacing, you will need to spend time and money. Although it doesn’t take a lot of money to fix parts like the handle, the fill valve, or the flapper, the cost of repairs adds up. If you spend a lot of money on fixing your toilet, especially if you face any more severe issues, consider replacing your toilet.

Replace Your Toilet If It Clogs Regularly

Unless you have small children, who delight in flushing strange objects down the toilet, you should not have to deal with a clogged toilet regularly. If you find that you are unclogging your toilet weekly, or even worse, daily, something is wrong, and you should replace your toilet. Older low-flush models were particularly prone to clog, so if you have one of these, replace it.

Replace Your Toilet If It Is Cracked

Although porcelain is a durable material, it is prone to hairline cracking if you knock it. Over time, toilets tend to develop cracks. Although cracks toward the top of the tank or the bowl do not constitute a problem, and you can repair them, if your toilet develops cracks lower on the tank or the bowl, it can cause leaks. What’s more, porcelain already cracked is likely to break further.

the toilet has a leak

Replace Your Toilet If It Has A Leak

A bad crack can lead to a leak. If you find unexplained puddles of water on your bathroom floor, this can signify that your toilet leaks. Try putting dye into the water, and if you find dyed water on the floor, this is a sign that you have a leak. Replace your toilet immediately.

Replace Your Toilet If It Wobbles

If your toilet is wobbling, this may indicate that you need to get a maintenance specialist to tighten up a few bolts. But if the entire bowl is rocking, this could signify that a leak has gone unnoticed and your floor has rotted. You will need to get your floor repaired and replace your toilet as a matter of urgency.

Replace Your Toilet If It Is Scratched

Over time, scrubbing your toilet can wear on the vitreous China surface and lead to scratches. The use of harsh abrasives such as steel wool and cleaning agents such as bleach can exacerbate this process. The result is a scratched surface that traps stains and becomes impossible to clean properly. Replace your toilet to improve its hygiene and appearance,

Replace Your Toilet If There Is Mineral Build-Up

Hard water supply can result in minerals building up in the pipes. Although you can chip some of the deposits away, a bad mineral build-up signifies that you should replace your toilet (and install a water softener).

the toilet is badly corroded, rust in toilet bowl and tank

Replace Your Toilet If It Is Badly Corroded

If you have problems with corroded components in your toilet, replacing them can save you from having to get a new toilet. However, replace the entire toilet if too much inside your toilet has rusted and you have problems with the toilet not flushing or running constantly.

Replace Your Toilet If It Constantly Runs

If you flushed your toilet an hour ago and it’s still running, there’s a problem with your toilet’s mechanism and one that’s going to cost you a lot in water bills. You could try taking off the tank’s lid and jiggling the flapper valve, but you should replace your toilet if that doesn’t work.

Replace Your Toilet To Save Water

Since 1994, new toilets have, by law, used only 1.6 gallons per flush (GPF). This amount is a considerable improvement over older toilets, which used 3 or even 5 GPF. Newer low-flush models use as little as 1.3 GPF. Advances in swirl patter mean you get the same cleaning effect from less water. Using less water saves money and is beneficial for the environment.

old turquoise colored toilet

Replace Your Toilet To Update Your Bathroom

If you have an old bathroom from the seventies, you may have a toilet in a dated color such as turquoise or avocado. Although it may still work okay (albeit using too much water), it does not add to your home’s selling potential. Replace it with a modern toilet to update the look of your bathroom.

Replace Your Toilet To Improve User Comfort

You can improve the comfort of toilet users in two ways: installing a modern oval toilet instead of an old-fashioned round one and installing a taller ‘comfort height’ toilet rather than a standard height one. Although comfort height toilets are only a few inches taller, that can make all the difference to taller people or those who struggle to get up from a low toilet, such as the elderly.


By now, you should know whether your toilet needs replacing or whether it will still last a few more years.

Some of the reasons you may consider replacing your toilet are to save water or user comfort, but many have to do with preventing costly repairs. If you think that your toilet is causing severe problems, rather don’t delay and replace it as soon as possible.

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