Should You Repair or Replace Your Toilet on Your Own?

Harris Plumbing – Toilets – To Repair Or Not To Repair…

For something with not many moving parts, toilets can be very picky when they don’t want to cooperate.  They are a huge concern when they don’t work properly – and if you only have one, the world stops!

There are many styles and technologies of toilets out there. For do-it-yourselfers, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.  The internet knows all right?  So you check out a YouTube video, and you’re all over this!  Getting the exact right part at the local hardware store is sometimes a challenge, especially when the replacement parts on the shelf are generic, not name brand. So if you want to buy a flush valve for an American Standard toilet, you have a choice of many. Which one do you choose? That’s one issue. But when you either don’t know the brand name of the toilet because it’s worn off or just isn’t anywhere you’re looking, you now need a generic part of which there are dozens!

Now you need to take your selection of parts home and hope that something fits where it should and actually fixes your particular problem. So you spend your Sunday afternoon (‘cause plumbing problems just naturally happen consistently on Sundays) trying to keep your cool (‘cause your kids are watching), and your wife’s in the kitchen laughing (‘cause she told you to call a plumber).

After a couple of hours, you decide that she was right after all.

Q: So do you have it fixed or do you replace it?

That pretty much depends on how old it is, whether or not the parts for it are even available anymore and, you might want to switch to a more efficient model to save money on water.  A professional plumber can advise you on that. Sometimes we find that it is almost as expensive to repair an old toilet as it is to replace it.

The pros at Harris Plumbing suggest that you keep in mind- 1. WATER usage of your current toilet. Older toilets use can use a ton of water – costing you money.  2. Also COMFORT – newer toilet designs are incredibly comfortable. Especially as we age.  Then there is 3. PERFORMANCE -Yup we said performance. Older toilets just can’t handle the load sometimes. High quality newer toilets won’t let you down. You don’t need to be spending your down-time plunging a toilet every morning. 4. DESIGN – New quality toilets like TOTO have smooth “skirted” bases so you don’t see the pipe outline. This makes them easier to clean too.

If you’re thinking about upgrading the look of your bathroom, you may want to consider replacing that old toilet.

TOTO toilet upgrade

Q: Customer-provided or plumber-provided?

Your budget pretty much dictates this one – and possibly how good your back is. Sure you can pick up an inexpensive toilet on sale at the local big box store for a couple hundred maybe a bit less. Let’s say you schlep it home, unpack it, get it ready to install, get the old toilet emptied as best as you can, unscrew the bolts and get it off the floor. Hopefully you have help because they are heavy, and you get it out to the garage or front porch.. ok deal with that later. If the flange and seal are not in perfect condition, they will need attention. Once you’ve got the new toilet in place and screwed down, you cross your fingers and hope no water comes gushing out from under it. Sometimes it goes well.

OR, you could just talk to a quality plumbing contractor like Harris Plumbing about what features you might like and your budget. They get it, bring it, schlep it up the stairs, do the necessary repairs to the floor and flange, install it, test it, warranty it, and take the old one away! No fuss, no muss.

Features you say? Oh yes. Round bowl, elongated bowl. One-piece or two-piece. About ten shades of white! Fifteen-inch height or 17-inch chair height. One-liter flush, 1.6-liter flush, 1.28, and some below 1 liter. In order to save money on water, you want a toilet that doesn’t use a lot to flush but has the technology built in to ensure complete, efficient flushing. Your $100 – $200 toilet using 1 liter will definitely let you down.

Our advice: spend as much as you possibly can on your new toilet. It will be worth it – guaranteed. We will help you make the right decision on a product that fits your family and your needs. A high-quality new toilet like a TOTO, for instance, has the latest tech, quality processes and finishes to ensure complete customer comfort and satisfaction. TOTO toilets are always Harris Plumbing’s go-to first offering. American Standard also offers a quality product line with great warranties.

Bottom line: whether you fix it yourself, hire someone to fix it, replace it yourself, or hire someone to replace it, ensure that your household has the number of a quality plumbing contractor like Harris Plumbing handy for emergencies or regular maintenance. You never know when you’ll need a good, trustworthy, reliable plumber who you can count on.  Hey, what a coincidence.. our motto is “The Plumbers YOU Can Count On!.  How about that.

Best Toilet Guide says “Of the many brands on the list Toto stands out the most, but that isn’t to discount what any of the other brands have done. It should also be noted that the best toilet on the list is also from Toto, so take away from that what you will.”

Download this helpful PDF about water conservation from the Town of Redcliff, Alberta to learn more about reducing water flow in your toilets.