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Even with the best care and attention, plumbing fixtures wear out eventually. A plumbing fixture is a piece of equipment that is attached to a plumbing system to exchange water, either delivering from the main water supply or draining from your home into the sewer system. These can include essential anything that gives your water or takes it away, including faucets and sinks, toilets, showerheads and showers, bathtubs, and, less commonly, bidets. Each of these fixtures may have different longevity, so knowing when it’s the time to replace the fixtures can reduce the chances of them breaking or your water becoming contaminated.
If it’s been a while since you’ve updated your plumbing – or if you can’t remember the last time you did – then a professional inspection from a plumbing service may be in order. The certified plumbers from bluefrog Plumbing + Drain can identify any issues with your current plumbing fixtures and make recommendations for ones that may be more water-efficient and enhance your experience in your home.
Average Plumbing Lifespans for Common Plumbing Fixtures
Each kind of fixture is different, and the lifespan of your plumbing can depend on a few things. First, the wear and tear on the fixtures themselves – if people are rough on handles, they may snap, or the amount of use that fixtures have on a daily basis can affect their longevity. The guest bathroom in your home, for example, may never need to have fixtures replaced, while your kitchen sink faucet may need replacement or upgrades every several years. The quality of water in your home can affect fixtures, too – hard water may damage fixtures, especially faucets and showerheads, faster.
Here’s a quick reference guide to how often these common plumbing fixtures should be replaced by a reputable plumbing service:
- Toilet: the entire commode, bowl and all, only really needs to be replaced if it’s cracked. Different parts may need replacement more often, but the entire apparatus has quite a long lifespan. Plus, you can extend the life of the toilet by keeping the more breakable parts in good working order or replacing them on schedule.
- The toilet handle should be replaced if you have to jiggle it to make it stop running, or the toilet won’t flush unless you hold the handle completely down. Or, if the water is running in the toilet without flushing the toilet, you may need to replace the handle. Often this can solve many issues with a toilet not flushing properly.
- Flappers, trap level, fittings, and fill valves typically last about 4 to 5 years, although excess wear and tear can cause them to wear out quicker. Plus, if you replace your toilet handle, you may wish to check out the flapper, too, as that could contribute to the “running” when the toilet isn’t being used.
- Wax seals can last up to 20 years, with care, although it’s important to check for cracks or dryness periodically.
- Traditional water heaters have a life of about 10 to 15 years, and as they get older, it’s extremely important to check for leaks. In addition, older water heaters may explode, which can be very dangerous. With the right maintenance, however, water heaters may even last up to 20 years. You may have to replace the water heater if:
- The pilot light flickers out constantly.
- The burners or heating element are failing.
- The circuit breaker constantly trips.
- The valve is sticking.
- There are leaks or rust around the heater itself.
- The valve sticks.
- Tankless water heaters can last a lot longer than traditional water heaters since there isn’t a worry about the tank leaking or corroding. In fact, with good maintenance, the tankless water heater can last almost 20 years!
- Garbage disposals typically last for about 10 years, although it’s important to preserve the integrity of the “teeth” of the disposal by not putting large chunks of food down the rain, or other things like coffee grounds, banana peels, or eggshells. Not only will these wear out the disposal itself, but these items will also cause clogs in your pipes, necessitating emergency plumbing service, or plumbing service to snake, hydro jet, and clean the drains. Some other indications that your disposal is on its last legs are:
- There is a lingering odor that won’t go away (this can indicate clogs in your kitchen pipes, too)
- Frequent clogs and back-ups when running water
- The food you put down the drain takes a long time to break down
- You have to reset the disposal frequently
- Washing machine supply hoses should be replaced every 3 years. Many people forget the laundry room when doing a self-inspection of the home, but it’s important not to neglect this area! The washer drains can become clogged with fabric pieces or debris from the washers, and without changing the hoses, your washing machine may wear out and need to be replaced, as well. Even if you replace the hoses regularly, there are a few things to watch for:
- Seeing or feeling bubbles in the hose
- Cracks, discoloration, kinks in the hose, or crimps in the hose leaks, or visible rust
- Faucets: These are often replaced not because they’re broken, but for an upgrade, whether it’s to improve an outdated style, or for better ease of use. Plus, faucets incorporating new technology, such as ones that result in less water waste, washer-less cartridges, and those that are easier to repair are popular upgrades.
bluefrog Plumbing + Drain, Your Comprehensive Plumbing Service
Whether you need to replace plumbing fixtures due to age or disrepair, or if you need to replace them in order to upgrade for more efficient use, bluefrog Plumbing + Drain is your best bet. We’re a team of professionally trained plumbers, certified, licensed, and bonded. No matter what kind of plumbing repair or upgrade you need – we can handle it! Give us a call or visit us online to find the bluefrog Plumbing + Drain closest to you!