Recently I noticed a small crack in one of my toilet bowls.

by Louise
It's just above the water line. I think you can see it OK in this pix. What would cause that? Should I buy a new toilet? It's in the bathroom I don't often use if that makes any difference.
  13 answers
  • D & K D & K on Feb 27, 2015
    The cause of this is anyone's guess whether or not you should replace it is a resounding YES. Although the crack is just above the water line, every time it's flushed water maybe getting into the cavity between the inner and outer surface. And where does that water go...down to the floor where if the perimeter of the toilet has been caulked (a big no no) it will sit there for weeks if not months, developing all sorts of mildew, mold and odor. Not to mention flooring could easily be ruined or if the subfloor is wood, cause a massive amounts of rot. Well, how would you know until one day the foul smell becomes unbearable or the toilet drops through the rotten subfloor. Regardless of that, the crack isn't going to heal or repair itself and can only get worse and when it does, it's usually at the most inopportune time. My 2 cents worth!
  • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Feb 27, 2015
    Think about it this way. Wouldn't it be better to replace it when you have the time and resources than to have an "oh, crap (literally) moment" and have to scramble to clean up a watery mess, or worse? Not the kind of task that is fun on the best of circumstances, but worse when you don't anticipate it.
  • Louise Louise on Feb 27, 2015
    Thanks, guys. I'll go buy a new toilet tomorrow. I've wanted a chair-height one, anyway, and one that's more water efficient. This one was installed when the house was built in 1979.
  • Patricia Patricia on Feb 28, 2015
    Yes, replace it. I just had to replace mine and got a great deal at Home Depot. American standard round bowl for $100.00 plus tax
    • See 1 previous
    • Patricia Patricia on Feb 28, 2015
      @Louise That is fantastic. I live in a high rise apt. building so the old toilet was leaking from the tank. No damage to my place or beneath me. I am grateful we caught it early and the fix is not too expensive.
  • Deborah mapes Deborah mapes on Feb 28, 2015
    My toilet upstairs backs up to the outside wall and I was told mine cracked (probably) because of the temperature differences. It wasn't my toilet bowl, it was the tank. One day it just gave up the ghost and sent all 5 gallons down through the walls and into the kitchen and hallway downstairs. It did $10,000 worth of damage. The upstairs bathroom had to be taken down to the studs and kitchen cabinets had to be removed. Downside, big mess. and $2,000 deductible plus the changes I'm paying for, tin ceilings, clawfoot tub, antique pedestal sink, penny floor, beadboard chair rail, custom moulding etc. to the tune of $5,000. Upside: I'll get the kitchen and bathroom I've always wanted. Don't hesitate, get that toilet replaced today!
  • Betsy Woolford Betsy Woolford on Feb 28, 2015
    I would replace it. It could be leaking small amounts of water now, but the cumulative effect could cause damage to your floor. Toilets can be bought for as little as $100.
  • Bernice H Bernice H on Feb 28, 2015
    oh my...I read an experience years ago, a young lady was on it ,the toilet cracked and broke and cut her up badly. And trauma to her, she was/is Asian , new to the country , new to plumbing.
  • Louise Louise on Feb 28, 2015
    OK, another question. The guy who does these things for me can't come over for a few days. I'm going to buy another toilet today but wonder if I should remove the water from it. I'm not positive how to do it, however. I know I should turn off the water behind the tank. Then, does just flushing remove it all?
    • Laura Laura on Feb 28, 2015
      Yes, turn off the water to the toilet and flush, the tank wont refill. Ive used a small container to get out the small amount left. I'm glad to see youre being safe & smart by replacing it now
  • Jo Barnier Jo Barnier on Jan 02, 2016
    Always replace a toilet as soon as you see a crack of any kind, even hairline cracks. I worked 18 years in the plumbing dept. at Menards. That toilet can let go anytime, if you're at work or on vacation. The shut-off valve does not know the toilet is broken so it just keeps on running non-stop. People have had VERY serious water damage from a toilet that let go when they were out of town or just at work for 8 hours.
  • Louise Louise on Jan 02, 2016
    Thanks. I replaced it a few months ago. Got a chair height one and love it!
  • Dennis Leefarr Dennis Leefarr on Jun 25, 2016
    'Obviously replace it'
    • Louise Louise on Jun 25, 2016
      It was replaced a day or so after this was posted many months ago -- with a chair height toilet. Love those!
  • Folkert B Folkert B on Aug 20, 2016
    Time for a new toilet. Don't let the water rot out the floor under the stool.
  • Louise Louise on Aug 20, 2016
    It's been replaced. The post is nearly a year old. Wonder if Hometalk could add dates to posts?