Not all toilets are created equal. A few high-quality brands are built to provide 20+ years of hassle-free comfort. Many other builder-grade products have a much shorter life span and require constant maintenance. if your toilet falls in the latter category, here are a few factors to consider when determining your need for a new one.

If you frequently see a puddle of water around your toilet, this could be more than a simple leak. You could have cracks in your tank. If the toilet appears to be working properly (flushing, not clogging, not running). But there is water around the bottom of it. That could mean there are cracks in the bowl.

Regardless of whether your toilet is working properly. If you have had the same one for decades you should consider replacing it. Older toilets are likely to be less efficient than new ones. Which means they could be driving up your water bill. Advancements made in the past few years have resulted in toilets that use significantly less water.

Current Federal law requires residential toilets (flush tank type) manufactured and sold in the U.S. after January 1, 1994, to use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush, and some newer toilets use even less. When shopping for a more efficient model, you may want to consider one that offers dual-flush technology. This gives you the option of a partial flush for liquid waste and a full flush for solid waste, so you can use less water while still flushing every time.

A toilet that wobbles or rocks are not normal. If your toilet is unsteady, call a plumber right away to evaluate the problem.

If you’ve had constant repairs on your toilet within the last year, replace it. It will likely save you money in the long run.

Consider replacing your current toilet with an elongated bowl. These types of bowls tend to be more comfortable than round ones because they allow for more seating room. An elongated bowl also stays cleaner and allows fewer odors to escape, according to Consumer Reports. Round bowls do have a slightly smaller footprint, but if you have room, consider making the switch.

Brad Jordan

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