How Long Does a Toilet Last?

After you purchase a new toilet, you may be wondering how long a toilet should last? Frankly, the lifespan of a toilet can vary from model to model, and there is no hard and fast timeline for how long a toilet should last.

how long does toilet last

However, some high-quality toilets have been found to last decades and are properly maintained.

However, most porcelain toilets, the ones most users purchase, have been found to last roughly 10-15 years. Despite the fact you use them every day, toilets are usually surprisingly durable and not especially susceptible to swift wear and tear.

How long does a toilet last? Read on to learn more.

Related: Should I chose Comfort Height or Chair Height for my New Toilet?

What Might Affect My Toilet’s Lifespan?

Toilets are rather durable and usually last a long time, but some factors may influence how long your toilet should last.

Haphazard Maintenance

haphazard maintenance

It is only logical that maintenance will play a key role in the longevity of your toilet, and most experts advise users to clean their toilets once a week. This is mainly to limit bacteria growth in your toilet bowl, which will, in turn, limit grime.

Human waste can negatively affect the grime developing on your toilet, and this is something that regular cleaning sessions will alleviate. Toilets come with a “vitreous China coating” and a nonporous porcelain material that makes them fairly resilient. However, over time human waste will start to damage that coating.

Urine, specifically, is known for leaving stains you cannot scrub away. If those stains start to eat away at your porcelain material, you will need to replace your toilet.

To alleviate these problems and to help avoid future toilet repairs, make sure you properly sanitize your toilet seat and toilet bowl and get rid of any harmful bacteria as often as possible.

Hard Water

Hard water is not particularly good for the health of your toilet. This is because any dissolved minerals in your water will harden over time. In the toilet, minerals usually tend to proliferate near the jets on the rim. It is also fairly common for limescale to grow out as well on the tank’s flushing systems.

Limescale is not that hard to deal with if you use the right cleaning tools. CLR has been proven to help deal with these problems, but this will only alleviate the problems the hard water caused.

Using hard water to flush your toilet could really affect how long your toilet lasts. While you could purchase a water softener to deal with this problem, it may actually end up being cheaper to just replace the toilet.

Scratchy Surfaces

Scratchy Surfaces

If you already have a damaged surface, you will need to replace the toilet much sooner. Toilets should have a nice sleek finish. If scratches are affecting your finish, grime and bacteria will slowly start to accumulate. This will further damage the porcelain, and the scratches will only grow and grow, and eventually, you may have some major problems with the toilet’s structure that can cause major cracks and leaks. At that point, you will have to replace the toilet.

Why Should You Replace Your Toilet?

Even if your toilet can last many years, it still may not be a bad idea to purchase a new one. Here are some reasons you may want to invest in a new toilet even if your old toilet still functions.

Water Efficiency

Because of the energy policy act of 1992, water conservation has become a primary factor in toilet manufacturing. In the past, toilets used to require more than 8 gallons per flush that often put a lot of strain on local hydro systems and personal water bills.

However, since the passing of this legislation, all toilet manufacturers use 1.6 gallons of water or less per flush. If you have a model from before 1992, it may be a great idea to upgrade to a newer model to save on costs and water bills.

Also, while 1.6 gallons of water per flush is rather notable, many toilets do even better than that. WaterSense labeled toilets use 1.28 gallons of water per flush or less, and even if you have one of the post-1992 models, it may be worth upgrading to this newer model to make sure you are not wasting water.


Even if your toilet still functions, you may suffer from frequent clogging and spend days plunging away. Clogging was more common with older toilet models, while new toilets have been equipped with better technology to limit clogging, especially with low-flow toilets. You cannot really repair these poor, out-of-date designs, so swapping a new toilet in may be a great idea.

Constant Repairs

constant repairs

Some users find themselves paying exorbitant rates for repairs to fix cracks and leaks in their old toilets. For example, some plumbers charge up to $250 for their repair services, which is roughly the price you will pay to purchase a new, and likely more up-to-date toilet.

Newer Upgrades

In general, you may just want to purchase a new toilet because while the old toilet still functions, it may not have the newer features that newer toilets have. For example, in the past decade, a dual flush toilet has become more common.

These newer toilets are well known for maximizing water conservation and performance via a two-pronged flush system. Upgrades like these may be worth buying a new toilet and may be worth the investment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Still have questions about the life expectancy of your toilet or when to replace it? Read on for answers to some of the more commonly asked questions.

Is it better to repair or replace my toilet?

The occasional toilet repair is normal and expected, so if there is merely a small problem, then repairing is the way to go. However, if you have a recurring problem, it may be best just to buy a new toilet.

How often should you replace your toilet?

Although a toilet can last for up to 50 years, you will still need to replace it once it becomes worn out. The toilet seat of your toilet should be replaced at least once every five years.

How do you know if you need a new toilet?

If your older toilet has started to degrade and its structure and functionality have been compromised. Also, all toilets made before 1994 were not subject to the Energy Policy Act of 1992, so anything over 30 years old may not be energy efficient, and it may be best to replace them with newer models.

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