How Often To Test And Replace Different Plumbing System Parts

Different parts of a commercial, industrial or residential plumbing system have different average lifespans. It is important to become familiar with these lifespans so that parts can be tested and replaced before they unexpectedly fail and cause a major leak or necessitate turning off the water supply for extensive repairs. Routine NYC backflow preventer testing and testing of other plumbing components are key ways to avoid a catastrophe.

Backflow Preventers And Other Valves

The lifespan of valves depends on their location and the material from which they are made. Most valves are made of stainless steel, brass or galvanized steel. Valves made of either stainless or galvanized steel should either last for 40 to 50 years under typical use or 35 to 40 years under heavy use. Brass valves should last for 40 to 70 years.

Supply Pipes

Water and sewer supply pipes also have variable lifespans based on their material type. Assuming the lines are under constant pressure and usage, those made of PVC have an indefinite lifespan. However, PVC could split or crack because of shifting soil or exposure to tree roots. Iron or copper supply lines should last for at least 50 years. Galvanized steel or brass supply lines should last for about 40 years.


Plumbing fixtures also have some variability in their lifespans. How often they are used and what type they are play roles in how long they last. Water heating tanks last for 8 to 12 years, while water heaters without a tank could last for 15 to 20 years. Indoor faucets may last for 15 to 20 years. Outdoor water spigots last for about 20 years if they are properly winterized. Sinks and toilets should last for 30 years or longer, but newer models are more efficient.