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Thread: Toilet life expectancy.

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member elocs's Avatar
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    Default Toilet life expectancy.

    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. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    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. #3
    DIY Junior Member elocs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    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.
    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.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    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 by Terry; 07-10-2011 at 03:45 PM.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    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.

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    DIY Junior Member elocs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    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.
    Well, too late now. Such is life.

  7. #7
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    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).
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Junior Member elocs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    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).
    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. #9

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    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. #10
    DIY Junior Member elocs's Avatar
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    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. #11

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    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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