5 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Toilet
It goes without saying that, when you venture into the bathroom to use the toilet, you expect the thing to work—and a toilet that is clogged or otherwise malfunctioning is about the last thing any homeowner wishes to encounter. Of course, a toilet—like any in-house fixture of appliance—is not made to last forever. Eventually, toilets need replacing. With that said, there are some steps that homeowners can take to extend the life of their commodes, and also to ensure that they stay free of clogs.
Your Toilet is Not a Wastebasket
The first thing to remember, when it comes to proper toilet maintenance, is that your toilet has one specific purpose—and it is not to be used as a trashcan. You should only ever flush two things down the toilet—bodily waste, and toilet paper—and anything else you put down into the pipes is, eventually, going to cause clogging. Specifically avoid the temptation to flush facial tissues, Q-tips, paper towels, feminine hygiene products, baby wipes, and other forms of garbage.
Clean it Properly
From time to time, of course, you will want to clean out the bowl of the toilet. As you do so, ensure that you are using a toilet brush with plastic bristles. They make brushes with metal bristles, but these scratch the inside of the toilet bowl, and as such they make it impossible to clean or to get looking new again.
Do the Food Coloring Test
From time to time, toilets develop leaks in their tanks. You can test whether your is leaking by putting a bit of food coloring into the tank—a drop or two is sufficient—and watching to see if any of it makes its way into the toilet bowl. If it does, then you have a leak, and probably want to call a plumber fairly promptly.
Test the Shut-Off Valve
Another key test for toilet maintenance is to check—every six months or so—to ensure that the water shut-off valve does what it is supposed to do. Should there ever be a plumbing emergency, you will want to be able to shut the water off fairly promptly. If your valve does not work any longer, it needs to be replaced by a professional plumber!
Finally, note that toilets are designed to be fairly sturdy and resilient, but they are not made to be stood on. When you’re cleaning or dusting in your bathroom, never use the toilet as a step-stool. Doing so can cause it to crack and break.
Toilet maintenance is really fairly easy, and mostly it involves basic common sense. By following these steps, you can extend the life of your commode, while also ensuring that clogs remain scarce. Should you need assistance fixing a toilet that’s already clogged or broken, of course, contact us to learn about the solutions we can offer!