What’s the Life Expectancy of Your Home’s Plumbing System?

What’s the Life Expectancy of Your Home’s Plumbing System?

Plumbing systems have a lifetime during which they function at an optimum level. Once that time has been reached, its functionality decreases and they become prone to damage. Every plumbing feature has its own average life span and if you want to avoid running into an avoidable emergency, you should know what those life expectancies are.

The expectancy is affected by usage, weather, installation, maintenance and quality of those items. Let’s take a look at different plumbing fixtures in our homes and what their average life is:

Supply Pipelines

This refers to pipes that are used to supply water to our homes. They are most commonly made of either copper, brass or galvanized steel and have varying life spans. A copper pipe can last for 50 years or more while a brass pipe has an average life of around 40–70 years. Pipes made of galvanized steel can last up to 20–50 years.

Drainage Lines

Drain pipes are usually made of cast iron or PVC. Those made of cast iron are more likely to be found in older buildings and can last between 75 and 100 years. As for PVC lines, they are mostly found in relatively new structures. PVC pipes are larger in diameter and can last a lifetime if used for drainage systems. Sometimes, PVC is also used in supply lines in which case they last at least 75 years.


Toilets and urinals can last about 10 years. But make no mistake; while the structure of a toilet may remain intact and solid, smaller components like the handle or the fill valve may need some plumbing touch ups (or even replacement) once in a while.

Faucets and Sinks

The quality of materials, the usage and the manufacturer behind a toilet, sink or faucet have a major role to play in how long each of these things last. If made from acrylic, your kitchen sink should last around 50 years but if it’s made of copper, porcelain or glass, then you can expect it to last for a shorter time period—around 15 years. Some sinks like enameled sinks may only last for about a decade while others like soapstone ones may last forever. As for faucets, a good quality faucet should roughly last for 5–8 years.

Washing Machines and Dishwashers

Speaking of washing machines, their average life span may vary depending on each machine’s average cycle per day.

Front or top—loader, given a washing machine runs 1 cycle per day, it should last around 15 years.

As for dishwashers; your dish washer should be able to serve you for good 9 years, unless it has taken damage outside the normal wear and tear events. Quality and manufacture, along with consumption style, are again important factors that affect the longevity of both items.

There are several other plumbing fixtures that go into a house. Each of these features has an average life span beyond which they fail to function properly. Keeping track of where these items stand in their respective lives can help avoid unexpected problems like pipe bursts or toilet malfunction.

If you think you may have used some of your things beyond the above-mentioned time frame, then perhaps it’s time you have them replaced or at least inspected.

Pro Serve Plumbers is a trusted plumbing company in Fort Worth TX and offers all kinds of plumbing services. Visit our website to see the various services we offer. Give your plumbing fixtures the care they deserve and hire one of our experienced plumbers to help you help your home’s plumbing system.