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Cracked Toilet: Can it Be Saved?

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Is there any hope for a cracked toilet? If there is, does it make financial sense to attempt to fix it versus upgrading to a new model? Toilets can crack for a variety of reasons — sometimes there’s not even an obvious cause. The degree to which a cracked toilet is repairable largely depends on where the crack is located and how much time and trouble you’re willing to expend getting it done.

What sort of crack is it?

  • Cosmetic cracks around the outside of the tank or bowl that only penetrate the outer veneer of the porcelain are generally not an issue that requires repair.
  • Cracks less than 1/16-inch wide above the normal water line of the tank may be filled using an epoxy porcelain repair kit available at a home or hardware store. Long-term fixes, however, are often unpredictable.
  • Cracks wider than 1/16-inch — or any cracks below the water line of the tank — aren’t worth the expense and effort to attempt repair. Moreover, these cracks can be a sign that the tank may totally rupture without warning, causing severe water damage in the house.
  • Cracks in the toilet bowl are another reason to replace rather than repair. Because the bowl is the main weight-supporting part of the toilet, any signs of defects (other than external cosmetic cracks) is evidence that the toilet is no longer structurally sound and should be replaced.

Replacement vs. Repair

In many homes, the toilet is the oldest fixture in the house. Worn-out internal components such as the float valve and flapper are typically replaced periodically, but the basic porcelain structure remains — often for decades. During that time, far more efficient models have been developed that save water and cut costs. While a toilet from the 1980s or earlier may consume as much as 7 gallons of water per flush, today’s new high-efficiency toilets (HET) consume only 1.28 gallons per flush; one more reason why replacing with a far more efficient toilet now may be a better option than repairing the old model.

For a professional opinion about whether to repair or replace a cracked toilet, contact Apollo Home Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Plumbing.

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