Plumbing fixtures or fittings include a wide range of hardware including pipes, faucets, and the joints that connect these fixtures. Ensuring that these fixtures are in the best condition is critical in ensuring a continuous water supply and a properly working drainage system.
Average Lifespan of Plumbing Fixtures
Like any other equipment, plumbing fixtures have a lifespan during which they work effectively. Some of the warning signs that a plumbing fixture may be at the end of its lifespan include water stains and warped ceilings, walls, and floors. Other telltale warnings may include
slow-draining water or strange sounds coming from the pipes. Average industry standards are:
- Copper water lines: 50 years
- Traditional water heaters: 10-15 years
- Garbage Disposals: 10 years
- Washing Machines supply hoses: 3 years
- Faucets and spray hoses: 15-20 years
- Supply pipes: 40-70 years
- Brass pipes: 50-70 years
- Copper pipes: 20-30 year
- Galvanized steel pipes: 40-50 years
- Well pumps: 15 years
- ABS and PVC waste pipes: 50-80 years
- PEX: 40 years
- Saunas/steam rooms: 15-20 years
- Toilet, bidets, and urinals: 50 years
If you don’t know how old your fixtures are you should schedule a once-a-year plumbing inspection for careful analysis of all your pipes and fixtures for possible cracks or holes.
Benefits of Replacing Aging Fixtures
- Reduce Utility Costs – Older fixtures use more water, causing higher water bills.
Energy-saving fixtures, as well as upgraded shower heads, faucets, toilets, and water heaters are all designed to use significantly less water than older models. For example, installing a faucet with the Water Sense label can save 2.2 gallons per minute without affecting performance. Even replacing an old shower head with a new model designed for low flow or installing an aerator in your current faucet can make a big difference in water savings.
- Eliminate Plumbing Problems – Broken fixtures, toilet clogs, leaky faucets, and other plumbing problems can be annoying. They can also waste a lot of water and require multiple repairs. Replacing old and damaged fixtures can eliminate your repair issues and save both time and money in the long run.
- Increased Risk of a Burst Pipe – Worn-out plumbing fixtures put you at a higher risk for emergency plumbing problems. A pipe that has been broken down due to age and wear and tear can burst and cause significant damage. Seals and valves also wear out which can affect water pressure and lead to leaks.
- Improved Functionality – The changing needs of your household may require new fixtures in a bathroom. A growing family with little children may want a combination shower and bathtub to make bathing easier. Older adults might want a comfort-height toilet and additional handrails to improve bathroom safety. A roll-in shower makes bathing easier for older adults or people with physical limitations.
- Increase Resale Value – When it’s time to sell your home, new plumbing fixtures in bathrooms and kitchens will add value to your property.
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