Cracks can appear anywhere on your toilet. Knowing the causes can help you prevent them, but you also need to know how to fix the issue if a crack does occur.

1. Cracked Lid

Damage to the toilet lid is likely the most common type of crack. Replacing the lid crookedly or with too much force can cause it to break in half or chip around the edges. Fortunately, there is no need to replace the entire toilet unless your model is so old that a replacement lid can't be purchased. Small chips along the edges can sometimes be ignored if they don't pose an aesthetic issue.

2. Tank Crack

A crack in the tank itself can be more problematic. These are typically caused by impact damage, damage during a repair, or if the toilet is not sitting level. Small hairline cracks that are above the water line can be patched as long as they are not growing. Just make sure the toilet is level so new cracks don't appear. Those below the water line can't be patched successfully, so you will need to replace the toilet.

3. Seat Cracks

If the seat cracks, you can simply replace it. If the crack is to the top of the bowl where the seat hinges screws into place, you can use a patching compound or washers to repair the holes so that a new seat can be installed. Just make sure there is no raw porcelain showing at the site, as this can absorb water and cause further damage. Porcelain paint over the chipped bolt holes solves that problem.

4. Bowl Cracks

A cracked bowl usually means it is time to replace the toilet because even with a quality patch a leak will eventually reform. Cracks can appear on the inside or outside of the bowl or both. The cause could be because of impact, but it is more likely that they formed due to toilet age or an out of level base. You can postpone replacement only if the crack is well above water level and not in the path of any of the water fill valves.

5. Base Cracks

Cracks on the exterior of the base are often an aesthetic issue if they don't interfere with the level of the toilet or the wax ring that seals the toilet to the ground. These can be patched with a porcelain compound or painted over with porcelain paint to prevent staining. You will need to replace the toilet if the cracks do interfere with the level or seal, or those that leak.

Contact a plumbing service in your area if you notice any cracking on your toilet.