When Is It Time to Replace Bathroom Fixtures?
Any time a part of your home is underperforming, you’ll face the question of whether you should repair the offending element, replace it, or make do. When it comes to your bathroom fixtures, it’s important to consider your choice carefully. Upgrading bathroom fixtures and features can increase your home value, reduce your utility expenses, and enhance your daily experience in this part of your home.
Learn more about the benefits of upgrading your bathroom fixtures and you’ll know how to watch out for signs that it’s time to take this step. At the right moment, choosing new bathroom fixtures can make a dramatic change in your home.
When They’re Too Inefficient
Your plumbing fixtures are not a one-time expense. These installations determine how much water you use on a daily basis. There are new innovations coming out all the time that can help you reduce your water usage for a more affordable and eco-friendly home. If you’re interested in improving your efficiency in this area, it’s worth exploring your options to see how much you can improve your water usage with upgraded fixtures in the bathroom.
Some options that you might consider include:
- Low-Flow Shower Heads: The average family uses almost 40 gallons of water a day just for showering. While a standard shower head typically uses 2.5 gallons of water per minute (gpm), products with the WaterSense label use 2 gpm or less. For the average family, a WaterSense shower head can reduce water use by 2,700 gallons a year. This also reduces the demands on your water heater, saving over 330 kilowatt hours of electricity as well.
- Water-Conserving Toilets: Older toilets can use up to 6 gallons of water for each flush. The current federal standard for new toilets is just 1.6 gallons per flush, so upgrading to any new model is an improvement if you have outdated fixtures in your bathroom. You can go beyond this with a water-conserving toilet that uses as little as 1.28 gallons per flush or less. This upgrade can reduce your family’s water usage by as much as 60%.
- High-Efficiency Faucets: Standard faucets typically have a flow of at least 2.2 gpm. Upgrading to a WaterSense labeled faucet for the bathroom sink can reduce this to 1.5 gpm or less, reducing your water usage here by 30% or more.
If you’re looking for a great way to go green, new bathroom fixtures may offer just the option you’re looking for. Water conservation is important because it can help preserve the environment and minimize the effect of water shortages, as this is a finite resource.
When Functionality Is Compromised
If your plumbing isn’t working as it should, you’ll need to decide whether it’s time for a repair or a replacement. Talking to an experienced plumber can help you assess your options. However, you may want to replace your fixtures with something new if:
- Your sink or bathtub regularly struggles to hold water.
- The surface of the tub or sink suffers from stains that are impossible to clean.
- Your faucets leak from the base or handle and not the spout.
- The porcelain in your toilet is cracked.
- You need to upgrade to a disability-friendly toilet.
When Repairs Are Frequent
The occasional plumbing repair is to be expected when you own a home. However, you shouldn’t have to deal with repairs too often. If you’re repeatedly calling a plumber for the same problem within a few months of your last repair, you may want to start thinking about a new fixture.
You may also want to replace your bathroom fixtures if the price of the repair is more than a third of the cost of a replacement. Expensive repairs often aren’t worth it, particularly on older fixtures that cost more in terms of water and energy use. Consider the potential cost savings due to improved efficiency if you upgrade, and include this in your calculations as you’re deciding whether or not that repair is really worth it.
When They’re Nearing the End of Their Lifespans
Each plumbing fixture has its own expected lifespan. It’s helpful to know about how long you can expect your fixtures to last, so you’ll know how much more time you’re likely to get from repairs that you invest in now. In general, the lifespan for your bathroom plumbing fixtures is:
- Stainless steel sinks: 15 to 30 years.
- Porcelain sinks: 20 to 30 years.
- Acrylic sinks: 50 years.
- Faucets: 15 to 20 years.
- Shower enclosure: 50 years.
- Shower head: 100 years.
- Shower door: 20 years.
- Toilet tank components: 5 years.
- Toilet: 15 to 30 years.
It’s important to note that these lifespans pertain only to fixtures that are properly maintained. A shower head can last you a lifetime if it’s cleaned regularly to prevent calcium deposits from building up. Soaking the showerhead regularly in vinegar and baking soda can help you keep it in good condition. If you neglect to care for our plumbing fixtures, they’ll fail much sooner.
When You Want a New Look
A bathroom remodel is a great way to add luxury, comfort, and value to your home. Everyone in your family uses this space, and upgraded fixtures can dramatically change your experience. Adding something like a steam shower, shower speakers, or a therapeutic bathtub to your bathroom can transform it from functional to truly pampering. When you replace ordinary fixtures with enhancements like these, you’ll enjoy a lot more comfort from your space.
Upgrading your bathroom fixtures is also a great way to change the overall appearance of your bathroom. Some bathroom remodels recoup as much as 100% of their initial cost when the home is resold, so switching to a more modern appearance can pay off significantly, whether you’re planning to stay in your home or not.
Upgrading your bathroom fixtures is a great investment at the right moment. Whether you’re interested in saving the environment, saving your wallet, or just saving time on repairs, new fixtures can offer the answer. Check out our bathroom products at Allied Plumbing & Heating Supply Co for new and improved installation options.