Faucet Lifespans | Repair or Replace?
February 16, 2018
Faucet fixtures are designed to last. Modern kitchen and bathroom faucets can serve you well for decades depending on what kind of faucet you have, how hard your water is, and other factors.
What is the average lifespan of a faucet?
Modern faucets can easily last 15 to 20 years; however, there are many contributing factors:
- Frequency of use
- Faucet make and model
- Water hardness/quality
- Proper installation
- Plumbing maintenance
Repair or Replace Faucet?
Many times, the decision to replace faucets is an aesthetic one. When remodeling a bathroom or kitchen, it’s important to match the sink, shower, and tub sets to the rest of the design.
In addition to taste and style concerns, there are also plenty of practical reasons to replace your faucet as well.
- Cracked, discolored, chipped, or otherwise damaged
- Worn out or corroded parts, making repairs difficult or impossible
- Replacing things like washers, aerators, nuts and bolts doesn’t fix the problem
- Faucet repairs are over 30% of the cost for full replacement
- Replacing a sink, tub, or shower
- Ugly and outdated (aesthetic reasons)
If you are replacing a sink, tub, or shower, it’s a good idea to replace the fixture as well. Replacing a faucet, however, does not necessitate a fixture replacement. You can add new faucets without having to replace any other plumbing parts.
Whether your faucet has outlived its usefulness or attractiveness, speak with a professional plumber about your options. If you have an older home, you may need to make some changes to the internal plumbing or at the fixture outlet to accommodate newer models.
Picking a New Faucet
When repairing or replacing your faucet, the first thing you want to do is identify the type of faucet you are dealing with.
Most bathroom and kitchen sink faucets are deck mounter, which means they are attached to the sink or countertop through drilled sink holes.
Sometimes, the faucet is directly connected to supply pipe, wall-mounted stubouts located above the sink.
Switching from deck-mounted faucets to wall-mounted faucets and vice versa is a complicated, expensive plumbing job. Consider different styles and options before switching faucet types.
Single-Lever, Washerless Faucets
Single-hole, lavatory style faucets have one lever and no washers.
If you already have multiple drilled sink holes, there are models that will cover the extra holes. Single-hole, one lever faucets are best for smaller sinks and spaces.
Before shopping for a new faucet, speak with a professional about your options. In order to choose the right faucet, careful measurements need to be made. There are also many brands to choose from.
When replacing a beyond-repair faucet, there are a few options to consider:
- Handle inserts on modern faucets are changeable.
- Spray hose and soap dispenser can be added to kitchen faucet.
- Single-handle tub and shower faucet
- Antique-style, two-handle faucet.
Whether your faucet is made of stainless steel, porcelain, fiberglass, or something else, you can help keep them shiny and operable for years to come:
- Regularly wipe down the fixture with a damp cloth and dry with a soft dry cloth.
- Clear out mineral buildup from faucets and showerheads by filling up a plastic bag with vinegar, submerging the faucet/showerhead inside, and then tying the bag to the spout with a rubber band. Leave the bag on overnight and remove in the morning for a cleaner, more powerful faucet or showerhead.
- About once a year, remove and clean your faucet aerators. Nearly every faucet has an aerator at the very tip of the spout. While vinegar can help maintain a clean aerator, it’s a good idea to clean your aerators every year to remove mineral buildup.
- Schedule a professional plumbing tune-up once a year. Better yet, sign up for a home maintenance plan so you never forget about your plumbing, which often remains out of sight, out of mind.
Learn more kitchen and bathroom plumbing maintenance.
- DIY Kitchen and Bathroom Plumbing Maintenance
- 4 Easy Ways to Lower Your Water Heating Bill
- 8 Earth-Friendly Bathroom Tips for Health and Efficiency
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