A drain spout on a water heater

How Long These Plumbing Features Will Last

How Long These Plumbing Features Will Last

No one wants to think about their plumbing failing, but the fact is that it will happen at some point – especially if you don't take care of it. The good news is that there are things you can do to prolong the life of your plumbing features.

Here's a look at how long some common plumbing elements last and what you can do to extend their lifespan.

Fixtures

The lifespan of your fixtures will depend largely on the material they're made from.

For example, a porcelain sink can last up to 30 years, whereas a stainless steel sink may only last for 15 years. The lifespan of a typical sink faucet is about 15 years, while a showerhead lasts around 20 years. Of course, a few additional factors can impact how long these plumbing features will last, like the quality of the materials and how often they are used.

You can prolong the life of your fixtures by:

  • Wiping them down regularly with a soft cloth
  • Avoiding abrasive cleaners
  • Not letting water sit in them for long periods

Appliances

Depending on quality, maintenance, and use, your plumbing appliances will also have different lifespans.

The average lifespan of a water heater is about eight to twelve years. However, this number can vary greatly depending on the type of water heater, how well it is maintained, and the water conditions in your home. For example, if you have hard water, your water heater will not last as long as it would in soft water.

If your water heater is over ten years old, it is probably time to start thinking about replacing it. You may be able to extend its lifespan by having it serviced and maintained regularly. However, eventually, all water heaters will need to be replaced.

Garbage disposals can last for a long time. If you have a well-made one, it could last up to 15 years if you are using the unit correctly and avoiding harmful waste.

You can help extend the life of all your appliances, including dishwashers, ice makers, and washing machines, by using them as directed and scheduling professional maintenance.

Pipes

Pipes are the lifeblood of your plumbing system, so it's essential to know how long they will last. The average lifespan of a plumbing pipe is about 50 years. However, many factors can affect this number. Material, water quality, and installation all determine how long your pipes will last.

If you're concerned about the longevity of your pipes, talk to a professional. They can help you assess the condition of your pipes and make recommendations for replacement or repair. With proper care, your plumbing system can last for decades.

Hard Water is Making Your Life Harder

Water that is too hard can damage plumbing components and equipment. The water becomes hard when it contains a high concentration of minerals, like calcium and magnesium. These minerals can build up over time in your pipes and fixtures and cause the water to flow more slowly or even stop flowing altogether.

This can lead to all sorts of problems, like clogged pipes, dirty fixtures, and low water pressure. Not to mention, it's just a pain to deal with hard water. You have to use more soap and shampoo to get the same amount of suds, and your dishes never seem to come out as clean as you'd like.

There are two main ways to soften hard water: chemical and physical. Chemical methods involve adding chemicals, like sodium carbonate, to the water to bind with the minerals and make them less likely to stick to pipes and fixtures. Physical methods use devices, like filters or ion-exchange systems to remove the minerals from the water.

By softening your water, you can do wonders to extend the life of all your plumbing elements.

Your Reliable Plumbing Partner

If you're concerned about the longevity of your plumbing system, talk to a professional, like the members of the Integrated Plumbing Solutions team. We can help you assess the condition of your pipes and make recommendations for replacement or repair. Give us a call today at (770) 343-7370!