One of the most frustrating things that can happen in your bathroom is when the toilet stops working. And if you only have one toilet in your home, things can get hectic, quickly. Replacing your toilet isn’t always necessary when it starts giving problems however. You can sometimes rebuild the toilet yourself or get a plumber to rebuild it for you. The cost is usually low for this project and it can be done quickly in most cases. In this article I’ll discuss some of the things that you’ll need to consider when making the decision of should you replace or rebuild your toilet and what you should look for when doing so.
Should You Replace or Rebuild Your Toilet
There are lots of things to consider when deciding on replacing or rebuilding your toilet. Each and every step in the process may be a bit different depending on the type and brand of toilet you have. Most of the inner workings of the toilet are basically the same with minor design differences. If you plan on doing this project yourself then you’ll need to know what brand of toilet you have. Opening the back of the toilet will usually provide this information for you as it’s likely stamped on the toilet itself in the back.
Does Your Toilet Constantly Run?
The most common problem with toilets is they constantly run. They allow water to continually enter the bowl area from the tank. This not only can be frustrating but it can also drive up your water bill dramatically. Consider that you’re basically leaving a faucet on throughout the day. Typically, this is a simple fix.
Most toilets contain a Flapper that allows water to transfer from the tank of the toilet to the bowl of the toilet. Replacing a flapper is not a complete way to rebuild your toilet but it does replace some of the components in the toilet’s tank.
Sometimes the seal of the flapper goes bad and it doesn’t properly seal the tank from the bowl. This is especially common on homes that have un-filtered water. Sand and other contaminants can build on the flapper causing problems. The cost of replacing a flapper is usually less than $10 if you do this yourself. You’ll need to make sure you get the right sized flapper and also the brand for your particular toilet.
Cracks in the Tank or Bowl of the Toilet
Sometimes the toilet can have cracks in the tank or bowl of the unit. Although the unit may not leak water initially it’s likely it will begin to leak later. The crack may also allow air to enter the flushing mechanism and cause flushing problems. If your toilet is cracked then replacing the toilet is necessary. There are patches that can reseal the toilet if the crack is small but they seldom work. Even when they do they don’t last that long. If you have a cracked toilet or tank you’ll need to replace them.
If your toilet is cracked then replacing the toilet is necessary.
Flushing or Filling Problems with the Toilet
Most of the flushing and filling problems can be associated with the mechanism that is located inside the tank of the toilet. When you rebuild your toilet replacing all of these components are usually done. Here is a YouTube video of how to completely rebuild your toilet from start to finish. Be warned however, that you’ll need to make sure the replacement was made for your toilet. Installing parts that are of lesser quality, lower pressure, etc. could lead to problems later.
As you can see from the video there are different models of toilets. The Mansfield toilet that was used in the video for example has 3 bolts that connect the bowl to the tank. Most modern toilets only have two bolts for connecting the tank to the bowl. Make sure you know what your toilet brand is and what size rebuild kit is needed. Here are some of the most common items located in the toilet tank that will need replacing:
- Flushing Lever or Mechanism
- Fill Valve
- Tank Seals
If any of the items above need replacing then getting a rebuild kit can certainly help. You can also get a plumber in your area to rebuild the toilet for you as well.