Women calling Greenville Plumber for broken dishwasherIt is not always easy to know when to repair or when to replace plumbing fixtures. It can be really frustrating to find out  that a major household appliance is broken beyond repair. This often means that the  job will cost a lot more than you had planned.

The homeowners plea is often “Can’t you just fix it?”. There are times we can fix the problem however sometimes it is not in the best interest of the homeowner that we do so. The cost of some repairs for many appliances and fixtures is continually getting closer to replacement.  There are also times when a repair is only a temporary solution and due to age or other problems with the plumbing fixture another repair may be needed in the near future. If it is your best interest we will always  go with the lesser cost of the options available.

When considering whether replacement or repair is the best option keep these things in mind


A dishwashers typical lifespan is about 10 years. This is another instance were if the unit is nearing that age or in need of repair that you should consider upgrading to a more energy efficient model.  Especially with dishwashers it often makes sense to replace in terms of cost rather than repair. You can buy a new dishwasher for anywhere between $400 and $600 dollars.  Repairs can run $150 and up. If your dishwasher is near the end of it’s average lifespan and in need of repair it could mean that more then one component could be going out. It would not take many service calls to equal the cost of a new dishwasher.

Bathroom and Kitchen Faucets.

Unless your faucet is tarnished or nicked and you want to replace it based on cosmetic reasons you should not need to replace your faucet. Leaks can be repaired by replacing a cartridge, washer or other internal component.

A good faucet will last at least 5 years before any repairs need to be made.  Repairs and maintenance can keep them operating almost forever. With the relatively low cost of  a new faucet it is often more desirable to replace your faucet  rather  than repair them.

Plumbers typically replace more faucets than they repair nowadays.

Water Heaters.

A water heaters average life span is around 12 years. That lifespan can be extended considerably with regular maintenance and routine repair. If your water heater is getting near that age and/or is in need of repair you should seriously consider upgrading to one of the more energy efficient models currently available. The energy savings can pay for the cost of the unit in 3 to 5 years.

The point of no return when you have no choice but to replace your water heater is when the tank rusts through. Other components on the water heater can be fixed or replaced except for the tank.

You can prevent your tank from rusting by replacing the sacrificial anode rods every 3 to 4 years. If your water is softened you will need to replace the rods more frequently.

Water Heaters also fail due to overheating from sediment build-up inside the tank. We will be glad to inspect the anodes and sediment periodically as part of an annual service agreement or when we come on a service call.

Garbage Disposals.

Your disposal can usually be repaired except when the motor burns out or the blades break. At that time you will need to replace it.


This is the one fixture in your home that may never need replaced unless you crack the porcelain. What commonly does need replaced or repaired are the flushing mechanisms which are comprised of moving parts. Leaks are generally due to the wearing away of the wax ring seal by the floor and that to can be replaced without replacing the whole unit.

Some reasons you may consider upgrading your toilet are to to conserve water, bathroom remodeling, or a quieter flush. In regards to water conservation  modern toilets operate with 1.6 gallons per flush or less, compared with 3.5 gallons for older standard models.  Depending on water rates, sometimes you can save money by replacing a toilet. If you are remodeling your bathroom often you may want to opt for a toilet that fits the style of the rest of the bathroom.

If you need a repair or a replacement on any of your plumbing fixtures your friendly neighborhood Greenville plumbers are a phone call away at 864-304-1551.

When to Service and When to Replace Plumbing Fixtures was last modified: by