Last time on the Economy Plumbing Service blog we talked about how to identify and hopefully repair a leaky garbage disposal. And that got us thinking! This time on the blog we’re going to give a rundown of all the plumbing fixtures in your home and some basic facts about them. If you’ve wondered how long your toilet is likely to last, or when to replace shower heads – this blog is for you!
Plumbing Fixture Lifespans and You
First a quick definition, just like school used to teach us. A plumbing fixture is an exchangeable device which can be connected to a plumbing system to deliver and drain water. Thanks Wikipedia! Now on with the show.
You know a bathtub is! These are in most homes, some even have two! They are made up of thermoformed acrylic, porcelain-enameled steel, fiberglass-reinforced polyester, or porcelain-enameled cast iron.
Expected Lifespan: Depends entirely on the material! Acrylic tubs are likely to get you 10-15 years of good use out of them.
The hose bibb is the fixture outside of the home that allows you to connect a hose to.
Expected Lifespans: A hose bibb should last you 15 to 25 years easy – but there are certain complications that could decrease it. Heavy use, inclement weather or having a winter freeze can all cut years off them.
Kitchen or otherwise. Sinks are also called washbowl, hand basin, wash basin, and simply basin. Used for washing hands, doing dishes and other purposes. They have taps that supply cold and hot water, may include additional faucet attachments as well. Sinks can be made out of all sorts of materials including: Ceramic, Concrete, Copper, Enamel over steel or cast iron, Glass, Granite, Marble, Nickel, Plastic, Polyester, Porcelain, Resin, washbasin, Soapstone, Stainless steel, Stone, Terrazzo, Wood.
Expected Lifespan: Again, this is largely dependent on the type of material used in making the sink. If it’s made from an acrylic, expect it to give you a good 50 years of use. Copper, glass, stone, or porcelain might last a bit longer than 20 years.
Showers feature a few common components. A drain in the floor, a showerhead and/or adjustable nozzle. Showers are most commonly made using the same materials as bathtubs (many in fact combine the two) such as fiberglass, acrylic, PVC, solid surface materials, steel and cast iron.
Expected Lifespan: Showers made of tile can last a good 20 years but they’ll need regular (yearly) maintenance. Showers made of prefabricated acrylic or fiberglass can stil get you plenty of life at about a decade with less upkeep.
The means by which water gets from the supplies to the fixtures and from the fixtures to the sewer and drain lines. We’ve talked a ton about pipes in the past. In fact, we’ll just include a link to those pieces here and here. Pipes can be made out of a few different materials including copper, PVC, pex, and others.
Expected Lifespan: Copper pipes can last up to 70 years, galvanized steel pipes even longer! Pex tubing and piping in your home has a life expectancy of about 50 years – thankfully they’re incredibly easy to replace!
Those lifespans might seem like so long you have nothing to worry about but just think when your home was built, and when those pipes were install… right?
Tapware is an industry term for plumbing fixtures consisting of faucets or tap valves (or taps for Brits!) and their accessories, such as water spouts and shower heads. Tapware can be made of all sorts Plastic, Zinc and zinc alloys, stainless steel, brass are common options.
Expected Lifespan: Tapware is handled constantly and because of this heavy usage it is more likely to need repair or replacement before it’s run its natural lifespan (based on materials), otherwise you can expect a good 10 years.
We really don’t need to describe these do we? Toilets are likely to be made up of ceramic, concrete, and plastic.
Expected Lifespan: The toilet can last 50 years easy – but that’s not without upkeep! You’ll need to replace flappers, seals, and other components that have a shorter lifespan than the solid construction of the toilet itself.
This has been just a brief rundown on some of the more common plumbing fixtures (there are plenty more!) and their expected lifespans. With proper maintenance and upkeep you can get many years out of most fixtures – so make sure you stay on top of it!
Not sure if your fixtures need some TLC? Call in a local experienced plumber to get your sorted out!