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One question that we get from a majority of homeowners who call us for peace of mind is, “how long should my plumbing appliances last?” In this article, we’re going to dive into the average lifespan of some of the most common plumbing equipment found in Cincinnati homes. We hope to give you a bit more peace of mind about the quality and safety of your home’s plumbing, but if you have any other questions about plumbing problems, we invite you to call us anytime!

Water Heaters

Water heaters last, on average, 7-12 years. That’s a pretty wide range, but it depends on the type of water heater you get, the demands put upon it, and the care it receives.

Water Lines

Galvanized steel – Average lifespan is 20-50 years, and again this is dependent on the quality of workmanship when installed, and whether they have been subjected to any type of damage over the years.

Copper – Can last as long as 50-70 years, but has been reported to fail in as little as 2 years due to poor construction and workmanship during installation.

Brass – We usually only see brass pipes in older homes, and they have similar lifespans to copper pipes. Brass pipes can last 40-70 years or more, if cared for.

Lead – There are still quite a number of neighborhoods in Cincinnati where lead water pipes are prominent, and that’s probably because we’re an older area. Lead pipes were predominantly used in the early 1900s, and these pipes can have a lifespan of up to 100 years. (A side note is that if you are concerned that your lead pipes might be dangerous or present health risks to your family, it is important to get your water tested.)

Sewer Lines

Cast iron – These are what are found most commonly in homes, and usually last up to 75-100 years.

PVC – Can last indefinitely. Since PVC pipes are relatively new to the plumbing world, there isn’t actually an estimated lifespan yet.


Flexible gas lines (corrugated stainless steel tubing – or CSST) usually last up to 30 years, whereas the traditional black steel pipes can last up to 75 years or more.


Toilets should be able to last up to 50 years under normal conditions.

Keep in mind that some drain cleaners are actually caustic and can ruin toilets and pipes if used on them, so these lifespans can be easily affected by other factors.

Garbage DisposalMost garbage disposals of average quality will last about 10-12 years, if properly cared for (not abused, and given occasional maintenance).

Sump PumpsSump pumps have an average lifespan of 10 years.

FaucetsLower end faucets usually last between 13 and 15 years, whereas higher quality ones should last you 15-20 years or more, if well preserved. These numbers are obviously just averages, but if something isn’t working quite right in your home, one of our licensed plumbers will be able to inspect it and assess the situation to help you determine what’s really needed, and what isn’t. A simple leak doesn’t always equal replacement. With over 30 years of A+ service to the Cincinnati community under our belts, BEST Plumbing Service of Cincinnati is here to give peace of mind and keep your home in top shape, year-round. Give us a call today!

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