Plumbing Component Lifespan: Pipes, Toilet, Faucets

Lifespan is a major factor for numerous fixtures and appliances throughout a given home or building, and plumbing is no exception. Anytime you get a new plumbing fixture installed, or even have a repair completed on an existing component, you’ll naturally wonder how long you can expect it to last while functioning optimally.

At My Buddy the Plumber in St. George, we’re here to help with numerous plumbing services, from basic plumbing repair up through installations of important components like tankless water heaters and many others. Because we’re often asked by clients about lifespan for various plumbing components, we figured we’d go ahead and lay out some general factors and variables that impact the lifespan of your most important plumbing elements – this two-part blog series will go over each of the important areas to be aware of as you maintain your home’s plumbing over the years.

plumbing component lifespan toilet

Plumbing Pipes

First and foremost, knowing the type of plumbing pipes present in your home is paramount to understanding how long it will last. You should have this information from your home inspection report or new home documents, or possibly from a home warranty if you have one. If you can’t find this information or it was never presented to you, you can also pay for a basic inspection to determine pipe material.

If your pipes are brass, iron or steel, you can expect their lifespan to run between 50 and 70 years depending on care. For copper pipes, this range is closer to 70-80 years. PVC plastic piping, on the flip side, has a lifespan closer to 50 years on average.

Toilet Materials

A toilet itself is meant to last around 50 years, but it’s important to note the difference between the toilet (usually a porcelain material) and its interior components, of which there are about a dozen. It’s normal to replace at least a few of these components during the lifespan of a given toilet, and you should not concern yourself if this happens much more often than once every 50 years. However, if you have a decades-old toilet and are seeing cracking issues or concerns with normal flushing, it could be time for a replacement.


While the precise lifespan of your faucet will vary somewhat significantly between manufacturers and the care you give it, the average here tends to be about 12 years across popular kitchen faucet models. One possible issue that may crop up a few times within this period is mineral deposits – these do not require replacement of the faucet itself, but rather of the affordable cartridge within it. However, if you have rust or major leak issues taking place, especially if your faucet is over 10 years old, it could be time to consider an upgrade.

For more on the expected lifespan of several important plumbing components, or to learn about any of our plumbing or HVAC services, speak to the staff at My Buddy the Plumber today.