Toilet life expectancy.

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by elocs, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. elocs

    elocs New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    OK, I've read about the lasting for 50 years but I'm at the second time of replacing the innards because the toilet no longer has a good flush and I need to dump water into the bowl to get it to work even remotely well.

    This toilet is 23 years old and the water here is very hard so I'm pretty sure all the little holes under the rim are getting clogged.

    The thing is that I don't want to spend the money to replace the parts inside when ultimately it is the toilet itself that needs to be replaced. I'd rather apply that $20 to the cost of a new toilet if that is what it really needs.

    Thanks in advance for any answers.
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    No matter what your conditions, a toilet can last 50 years. Parts are still available for Case and Standard Sanitary toilets that are 75 years old.

    The 23 year time period makes it a toss up...because it is probably a 3.5 gpf toilet, which was a toilet that really wanted 5 gallons, and they changed the flush mechanism to give it 3.5.

    I would not lose sleep if you decided to replace it. BUT, a little acid bowl cleaner and some tedious work with come pipe cleaners and toothbrushes, will proably have it working. Make sure that someone has not previously replaced the flapper with a 1.6 version...because now you are asking that puppy to do a trick it just cant' do.
  3. elocs

    elocs New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Thanks. The tank is now history so I have to get a new one so perhaps I need to get the whole thing so the gpf matches up with the tank and bowl.

    I didn't have a flapper in it. There was a tube around the overflow which went up and down when flushed instead of a flapper. I'm trying out the vinegar to try and clear out the water holes underneath the rim. But then this would all be moot anyways if I get another toilet.
  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,050
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    If you have a mid 80's bowl that uses 3.5 gallons, then you will have to start over.
    New tanks are 1.6 or less, and will not empty the old bowl.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,689
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    YOu will NOT get a tank which will flush your toilet properly, and in many cases you will not find one which will even attach to your older bowl. IF the poor flush is caused by "problem" water, then it will happen with the new one also, BUT, in most cases the old one could have been repaired. Although it was NOT a problem with the tank, yours could have been rejuvenated for a lot less than $20.00.
  6. elocs

    elocs New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Well, too late now. Such is life.
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,055
    Location:
    New England
    Porcelain can last nearly forever...the rubber/metal/plastic parts won't. Mineral deposits can plug passageways, but those can be removed to restore operation (but it can be a pain and the acid normally used is toxic).
  8. elocs

    elocs New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I removed the toilet and couldn't believe how crudded up with calcium and lime deposits the holes under the rim were. I am sure replacing the toilet was a lot less problems.
  9. Obama the Plumber

    Obama the Plumber Plumber

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Washington DC
    I like the double cyclone by Toto for the lime. Just two large outlets on the rinse.
    Not a lot of those little pin holes that you normally see.
  10. elocs

    elocs New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Well, I can't complain too much since the old toilet lasted 23 years with the very hard water that I have here. The old one was a 3.5 gpf and it would flush fine if water was poured into the bowl when flushing, and it was not clogged because it never overflowed. It sure didn't look like much water could get through those clogged holes under the rim, though.
  11. Obama the Plumber

    Obama the Plumber Plumber

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Washington DC
    You had to pour water in the bowl, because the rim hole had plugged. Yes.........a bucket is handy to flush a toilet. Always keep a bucket next to the stool they say. :)
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