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When to Replace Your Plumbing Fixtures

Everything has a lifespan, even plumbing fixtures. Most people don’t give much thought to the age of their toilets or faucets, if it works it works and its out of sight out of mind. What many people fail to realize is that plumbing fixtures like toilets and faucets have may inner working parts that can wear out over time. While the fixture itself is holding up perfectly, the parts within only last so long before they need to be replaced. Here are some tips on when to replace your plumbing fixtures.

Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposal typically last about 10 years. As with most things, if you follow operating procedures for your garbage disposal, it will last longer. This means watch what goes down the garbage disposal, don’t overload, always use with running water, and stay up to date on maintenance. Some signs your garbage disposal need to be replaced are: it takes a long time to process, you find yourself frequently resetting it, its prone to clogs, or it smells bad even after deodorizing it.

Water Heaters

Just like your garbage disposal, your water heater won’t last forever. Tank storage water heaters last about 10-15 years, while tankless water heaters last about 20. Of course proper maintenance will prolong the lifespan of both tank storage and tankless water heaters. Tank storage water heaters should be drained and flushed annually to remove sediment buildup. Tankless water heaters also should be flushed annually, and they too are susceptible to mineral deposits. Replacing a water heater can be a costly event, so it’s a good idea to be prepared for it. Some signs your water heating is thinking about calling it quits are: its not producing hot water, the pilot light keep flickering out for tank storage water heaters, the circuit breaker keeps tripping in your tankless water heater, you notice leaks and excess sediment buildup around the tank, or you hear loud banging sounds when the heater is engaged.


The toilet itself can last a really long time. It really only needs to be replaced if you notice a crack in the bowl or tank, or if you have a really old toilet that uses a lot of water. However, the working parts inside the toilet will need to be replaced at regular intervals to prevent problems. Some common parts you may find you have to replace include the handle, flapper, trip levers, fill valves, and wax seals. If you notice you have to hold the handle down with each flush or jiggle the handle after each flush, it might be time to replace the handle. If you notice your toilet running phantom flushing you may need to check the flapper or trip lever. In addition, the wax seal at the base of your toilet lasts about 20-30 years, however if you notice pieces of it missing or its falling apart, you may want to go ahead and replace it.


Faucets have lots of working parts within that can fortunately be replaced without having to replace the entire faucet. If your faucet is leaking you may want to replace the gaskets, escutcheons, or flanges. Cleaning or adding an aerator can help your faucet conserve water and even improve the flow of water. Usually, a plumber will only recommend to replace a faucet if it is beyond repair. However, if you are looking for a simple way to modernize your space, replacing the faucets is a quick and inexpensive way to do so. In addition, if you are looking to conserve water, many newer faucets require a lot less water to operate.

Do you need to replace your plumbing fixtures? Schedule a plumbing inspection today. A lot of the time, by replacing old, worn out, and outdated plumbing fixtures, households see a great reduction in the amount of water they consume which in turn lowers their water bill. For more information on when to replace your plumbing fixtures contact Courtesy Plumbing today!

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