Everything ages, and that includes your household plumbing. Fortunately, most piping materials and appliances have long extended lifetimes. If you live in an older or historic home, however, you may be wondering how much time you have before your vintage plumbing springs leaks.
Check out these expected lifespans of your household plumbing.
The pipes that run behind your walls and deliver water to faucets, showers, spigots, washing machines and dishwashers may seem out-of-sight, out-of-mind, but even the highest quality materials eventually sprout pinhole leaks or start to rust. Lifespan will depend on the material, the quality of water, whether the pipe is above or below ground, and whether it is a supply pipe (under pressure) or a drain pipe (not).
With these parameters in mind, check out these common household piping materials and their expected lifespans.
- Iron: 60-100 years
- Stainless Steel: 100 years
- Copper: 50+ years
- PEX: 40+ years (at least)
- PVC: 50-80 years
- Galvanized Steel: 20-50 years
- Lead: 100 years
- Brass: 50-75 years
Some appliances have shorter lifetimes than others, depending on their use, the temperature of the water they deal with, and the pressures involved. Check out some common household appliances and fixtures below and their approximate lifespans.
- Hot Water Heaters: 10-15 years
- Sump Pump: 7 years
- Toilets: 100 years
- Toilet Tank Components: 5-10 years
- Faucets and Spray Hoses: 15-20 years
- Whirlpool Tub: 20-50 years
- Dishwasher: 7-12 years
- Washing Machine: 11-14 years
It’s always a good idea to do a yearly inspection of the pipes throughout your household as well as any appliances under stress, particularly hot water heaters, sump pumps, and anything that uses a hose such as dishwashers and washing machines. An ounce of prevention can save you lots of dollars.
If you have any concerns about the integrity of an appliance, fixture, or piping material, don’t hesitate to contact your local plumber.