Plumbing checklist for possible repairs

Plumbing checklist for possible repairs

Submitted by David Heffner of Heffner Plumbing in Indianapolis, Ind.

Below is a list of things to think about for possible plumbing repairs/replacement in 2012:

Water heaters: The average life is seven to 14 years relative to use and water quality. If you do not have a thermal expansion tank on your heater, life expectancy can be reduced down to five years or less.

Garbage disposals: The average life is five to seven years. Sometimes a disposal will "tell" you when it’s getting ready to quit based on the noise made while running it. And sometimes it will start leaking without any warning.

Sump pumps: The average life is three to five years, but some have been known to be 12 years old and still running. A battery back-up system will let you run the primary pump until it dies, but that becomes an individual choice. Better to be proactive especially with a finished basement.

Sewage ejector pumps: For those that have finished basements with bathrooms, you will more than likely have a sewage ejector pump. Average life is seven to 10 years. However, feminine hygiene products can be a show stopper for any age pump.

Faucets: Longevity is really based on the quality of the faucet, hard or soft water, and the type of use that it gets. Most faucets can be repaired by replacing internal parts.

Toilets: Customers with older homes can have 60-year-old toilets. Not nearly as efficient as the toilets made today, but some people do not want to part with fixtures that are in keeping with the original architecture and design of the home. Most toilets need fill valves and flappers replaced every five to seven years.

Batteries for sump pump backup systems: The battery life can vary for the brand of system, but some can last up to 10 years by adding distilled water to the cell on an annual basis. Expect around five years as you would a car battery.

David Heffner is a licensed plumbing contractor in the state of Indiana and is bonded and insured. Heffner Plumbing is a highly rated company with Angie’s List and has received the Super Service Award every year since 2004. Heffner received the 2009 Contractor of the Year Award by the Greater Indianapolis Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors (GIPHCC).

As of Jan. 6, 2011, this service provider was highly rated on Angie’s List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie’s List.

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