6

I just noticed these cracks in the bowl of my toilet. It is not leaking water. Can I assume that these are just cosmetic cracks in the glazing? Or, should I worry about a catastrophic failure?

I installed this toilet myself about 20 years ago. It is on tile over a concrete slab; it is solidly mounted, there is zero rocking. It is an expensive pressure-assist toilet so I would rather not replace it.

enter image description here

Edit: Found a crack on the outside.

enter image description here

Edit 2: Finally got my replacement toilet (special order and they got the order wrong the first time). Pulled the old toilet, now I can see the underside.

There is a crack, but the location doesn't match the top bowl cracks. What is most interesting is that it looks like glazing was added during manufacturing. I am guessing that during inspection they noticed some tiny cracks, and rather than scrap the toilet, they tried to repair the cracks with glazing and re-fired the toilet.

enter image description here

  • 2
    Those look pretty scary. Are there any cracks on the bottom of the toilet in that same area? – JACK Oct 17 at 1:02
  • 1
    @JACK - looked more carefully, found a crack on the outside, see edit. The toilet is in an alcove, so it is not easy to see. – Mattman944 Oct 17 at 7:51
  • Can you contact the manufacturer and ask them? – Steve Wellens Oct 17 at 14:27
  • 1
    The exterior crack does seem to lead to the bolt hole, suggesting that it might have been just a wee bit too tight and started cracking there. It's a difficult judgment call, and even plumbers get it wrong sometimes. Too loose and it moves, too tight and it cracks. – Ecnerwal Oct 17 at 18:11
  • Is the toilet siting on a flat level surface or uneven tile ? – Alaska Man Oct 17 at 20:53
18

Worry.

There's no reason for "cosmetic surface cracking" 20 years on that doesn't come with sub-surface structural issues. Something is not right in there, and it will come apart one of these days - tomorrow or 5 years on, we don't know, but it's likely to be inconvenient, messy, and quite possibly involving an embarrassing trip to the emergency room for cuts sustained in the failure.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    I agree. While it's feasible that the cracks are cosmetic there's really now way to be even somewhat confident in that fact. – isherwood Oct 16 at 20:20
  • 1
    The location of the cracks is especially worrying: three of them are radiating from stress-concentration points. – Mark Oct 17 at 0:11
  • Definitely agree. It's not worth the risk. – JACK Oct 17 at 1:02
  • Given the fixture it's also pretty much guaranteed to fail precisely when you're suffering food poisoning from the dodgy greasy spoon diner. – whatsisname Oct 17 at 1:59
  • 6
    Yeah, the thought of sitting on the floor with porcelain shards in my butt has crossed my mind. – Mattman944 Oct 17 at 7:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.