Ask a Plumber: Fix It or Replace It?

Gone are the days of the one-income family and a 35-cent gallon of milk. Today, families are budgeting more than ever and taking on more DIY projects. Your Lebanon CT plumber understands that times have changed. When you have an unexpected plumbing problem, it can be stressful. Here are some tips to help you decide when to fix it or replace it.


The most common toilet problems we hear about involve leaks, rocking, and constant running. We also listen to concerns about cracking and inefficiency.

toilet-replacement-manchester-ct-plumberFix it: If your toilet is running, the flapper may be worn out. Lift off the top of your toilet tank and look inside. The flapper is the rubber plug that sits on top of the drain, at the bottom of the tank. Over time, minerals in the water will wear out the flapper. It will crack, and won’t close properly. This loose seal will cause your toilet to run. Replace the flapper to stop your toilet from running.

Replace it: Older toilet tanks used five to SEVEN gallons with each flush. In 1994, a federal law was passed that restricted the toilet tank size to 1.6 gallons. It was a start, but those toilets often required two flushes – which defeated the conservation purpose! If your toilet is from 1994 or older, it’s time to replace it. Other signs that it’s time to replace it:

  • There are cracks or scratches in the tank or bowl.
  • You’ve “rebuilt” it multiple times.
  • You’re constantly clearing clogs.


A faucet is one of the workhorses in your home. It can be the the focal point of your bathroom or kitchen. Whether you love it because of its functionality or its design, it’s


Circa 1930s faucet

a bummer when it doesn’t work. We receive calls when a faucet is leaking or if there’s really low water pressure.

Fix it: If you notice really low water pressure in only ONE of the faucets in your home, that means the issue is with that faucet itself. An easy fix is to remove and clean the aerator. The aerator is the small screen where the water comes out of the faucet. It may be clogged with minerals or food. This will cause low water pressure.

Replace it: We repair plumbing in a lot of the historic homes in Lebanon CT. A lot of these home have original fixtures, or 30-year old fixtures. We perform some plumbing miracles but unfortunately, some parts just aren’t available anymore! If a faucet is leaking and the repair part is no longer made, the faucet will have to be replaced. A Rapid Service plumber will help you choose a faucet that fits your home’s style and your family’s budget.

Water heater

Your water heater is pretty happy to just sit in a corner of a basement, providing hot water whenever you want it. When it’s not happy? That’s when we hear from our Lebanon CT homeowners! From leaks to rotten egg smells, we’ve seen [and smelled] it all!

Fix it: A water heater should be serviced at least every other year. This can protect the warranty from the manufacturer. It can also protect your home [and wallet!] from major damage. If you notice a rotten egg smell coming from your water heater, it’s time to have it serviced. It’s likely that the anode rod needs to be changed. Please read our previous blog – Why Water Heater Maintenance Is Important – to learn how it can extend the life of your water heater.

Replace it: A hot water heater is only meant to last about 10 years. You may get a few more years out of it IF you have it serviced regularly AND you have good water quality. After 10 years, it becomes a ticking time bomb. Water has corrosive minerals and eventually the tank will rot. You may see a leak, or it may just burst. It really is that unpredictable! You should replace your water heater BEFORE the 10-year mark.


Your local Lebanon CT plumber

As a benefit of being a Rapid Service LLC customer, we offer a plumbing walkthrough once a year. This is a valuable resource to you because it’s your time to pick the brain of an experienced, local plumber! You can point out any concerns and find out what options you have. This preventative visit will help you budget for repairs and replacements without the pressure or stress of an emergency! Please call 860-228-1036 to schedule your walkthrough today.

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