What Causes a Toilet Bowl To Crack?

Have you recently noticed a fracture or crack in your toilet? Small cracks located above the waterline may be easy to miss unless you are very observant. Fractures below the water line often result in a messy leak that is difficult to ignore. Before you learn how to fix a toilet bowl fracture, take a moment to learn what caused the problem in the first place. When you have a good idea about the cause of the damage, proactive steps to prevent a future crack are necessary. What are the causes of the toilet bowl fracture in your bathroom?

crack at back of toilet

Old Age

Modern toilets are generally made out of durable porcelain, but older toilets were made from a combination of cement and other materials. Cement is prone to degradation over time. As it degrades and shrinks, it leaves behind cracks. A small crack in an older toilet today could easily become a large, deep, and problematic crack tomorrow. Replacing the toilet rather than repairing the crack is often the best solution in this situation.

Manufacturer Defects

New toilets are not immune to cracks even though they are usually made from strong porcelain. If your toilet is new and none of the other factors listed here apply, the damage is likely caused by defective processes or materials during manufacturing.

Drastic Temperature Changes

If the toilet is introduced to either extremely hot or extremely cold temperatures, then that can cause the porcelain to crack. For example, pouring boiling water into the toilet bowl could damage the pipe. If the toilet is located along an exterior wall of the home and outside temperatures plummet, freezing pipes leading to the toilet could impact the porcelain.

Physical Impact

Physical damage to a toilet is more common than many people realize. This type of damage often comes from the toilet lid. Some toilet lids are heavy, and the action of slamming the lid down can be forceful enough to damage the toilet bowl. Home renovation projects and related mishaps can also damage the bowl. While the damage may look like a hairline fracture, the force of a solid impact often can result in a shattered or chipped toilet.

Previous Repairs

Do you recall repairing a toilet bowl crack in the same area a few years ago? If you recently moved into the home, does it appear as though the previous homeowner attempted to repair a fracture? There are many reasons why a previously repaired fracture will return. One reason may be that the repair work was not completed properly. Perhaps the forces that caused the original fracture returned or were never dealt with properly.

Should You Repair or Replace Your Toilet?

As you decide whether to replace or to repair the damaged toilet bowl, two primary questions must be answered: Is the crack or fracture small enough to repair, and can you address the cause of the damage properly so that the issue does not return? Generally, a hairline fracture that seems to be superficial can be repaired. Severe damage or a deeper fracture that penetrates through the bowl dictates the need for a full toilet replacement.

In most cases, the cause of the toilet bowl crack is obvious. An issue caused by age will never improve and will instead worsen over time. Therefore, an older toilet should be replaced. If the damage was caused by a temperature change, insulating the wall before repairing the toilet is a smart idea. There are a few other reasons to replace a toilet as well. For example, if you were planning to replace the toilet soon anyway, this is your opportunity. Replacing a toilet is the perfect way to update the bathroom’s décor and upgrade to a water-saving model.

Even a small toilet bowl crack requires your prompt attention. Some fractures that are located above the bowl’s waterline can be monitored as long as they are not deep. Deep cracks, however, impair the structural integrity of the toilet and impact your ability to safely use the toilet. If you decide that the issue requires a prompt solution through the replacement of the toilet, utilize the online resources at Toiletsman.com to identify a new model that lives up to your expectations in all relevant areas.

2 thoughts on “What Causes a Toilet Bowl To Crack?”

  1. Had toilet bowl crack & leak water, had to replace
    Had a real cold March this year but toilet faces outer wall.
    Then heard crack this 8-16 day.
    Can be
    No repairs done

    • It sounds like it could be a temperature issue, or perhaps an accident. Has there been any drastic temp fluctuations?


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