Your kitchen faucet is an integral part of the space. Without it, washing dishes, cleaning, rinsing produce, and many more everyday tasks would become much more complicated. So, having a functional kitchen faucet is essential. But like our bathroom faucets and other fixtures around our homes, these faucets don’t last forever.
After a few years, or maybe a few decades, the faucet might begin to wear out. Components might start to fail, eventually leading to chronic issues with the tap, such as leaks, mineral deposits, or rust. But how do you know when to replace the faucet (or if you should fix it instead)?
Let’s find out.
How Many Years Do Kitchen Faucets Last?
The average kitchen faucet lasts anywhere from fifteen to twenty years. However, this lifespan might be longer or shorter – it depends on the quality of the faucet and how well you maintain it. With regular care and maintenance, a kitchen faucet might last even longer than the high end of the lifespan (20 years).
On the other hand, if you don’t care for the faucet well, it might not even last fifteen years. On top of that, the quality of the faucet’s components plays a significant role in the lifespan.
For example, a poorer-quality faucet with plastic components might only last a few years, whereas a high-quality faucet with metal components might last upwards of 20 years. It all depends on its composition and maintenance.
Some faucets last a bit longer than others based on the simplicity or complexity of the design. For example, a pull-down kitchen faucet might tap out earlier than a basic single-handle faucet. The docking mechanism in the spray head might wear out, causing it to dangle from the spout. With a basic kitchen faucet design, there are fewer components (like a separate spray head) that can fail, so it might last a bit longer.
That said, we’re not saying you need to stick to basic, run-of-the-mill faucet designs. If you like a beautiful, high-arc pull-down kitchen faucet, go for it!
How Do You Know When You Need A New Kitchen Faucet?
Sometimes, it’s painfully evident when your kitchen faucet is ready to retire. However, in other cases, it might offer much more subtle signs that it’s time to replace it. Here are a few common signs that it’s time to invest in a new faucet:
It’s Getting Old
As mentioned, most kitchen faucets last between 15 and 20 years. If your kitchen faucet has been around for longer than this lifespan and is beginning to show its age, it’s probably time to replace it. In many cases, the handle will become stiff and hard to move, water pressure will decrease, rust and minerals will take over, and leaks will become a constant issue.
Of course, there’s no need to replace a faucet that still works perfectly, but if your faucet isn’t performing as well as it should, it might be time for it to retire.
Rust And Mineral Deposits
Hard water and rust are two common enemies of the average kitchen faucet. The faucet may wear out as the years pass, becoming more susceptible to rust. Once rust takes hold, it often spreads because water can get into places it shouldn’t.
On top of that, mineral deposits often plague faucets (new or old) in homes with hard water. The mineral content in the water supply is left behind when the water evaporates from the faucet’s components, leading to crusty, whitish buildup on and in the faucet. As it builds up in the internal components, these deposits can create quite an issue for the tap, greatly impacting its function.
While you can get rid of mineral deposits in certain parts of the faucet, cleaning the internal components, where deposits may be built up, can be tricky. So, if your kitchen faucet is overrun with whitish mineral deposits and rusty patches, it’s probably time to invest in a new faucet.
Note: You can combat hard water issues with a water softener. However, if the mineral deposits are already built up within the faucet’s components, it might be best to invest in a new faucet and a water softener. This way, your new faucet will pull softened water throughout its lifespan, lessening the chances of hard water and mineral buildup issues.
Constant Issues With Leaks
If leaks constantly plague your kitchen faucet, it might be time to replace it. In some cases, fixing the tap might be the most logical solution, but in others, buying replacement parts to repair the issue might be more expensive.
So, if your kitchen faucet continues to leak despite your best efforts, it’s time to send it on its way and invest in a new faucet. While we recommend fixing the faucet if it’s a logical solution, we would avoid pouring money into a leaky faucet that’s on its way out. In some cases, replacing the faucet altogether might save you money in the long run (replacement parts, plumber costs, etc.).
Decreasing Water Pressure
As a faucet becomes overrun by corrosion and mineral deposits, its function might decrease rapidly. Rusty components will fail to deliver a strong, even stream of water, leading to decreased water pressure through the faucet. While these problems are sometimes fixable, it’s usually best to replace the faucet when rust takes hold.
Should I Fix My Kitchen Faucet Or Replace It?
The answer to this question varies, as every situation is different. For example, if your kitchen faucet is dangling from what was supposed to be its docking mechanism, leaking, and overrun by rust, it’s probably best to replace it altogether. Repairing the entire faucet, piece by piece, would likely be more expensive than purchasing a new faucet, so replacement is ideal.
However, repairs might be the best course of action if the issue is minor. For instance, let’s say your faucet’s spray head isn’t offering as much pressure as it should, or the spray patterns aren’t working right. Sometimes, the fix might be as simple as soaking the spray head to dissolve mineral deposits, which could alleviate the problem.
So, in this particular case, replacing the entire faucet isn’t the logical solution. Even if you needed to replace the spray head, it’d still be cheaper than buying a new faucet. Of course, you might choose to replace the entire faucet if it’s relatively old and components are failing one by one.
It all hinges on the scenario; ultimately, it’s up to you!
How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Kitchen Faucet?
Replacing a kitchen faucet can be pricey, depending on what style and type of faucet you choose. For example, lower-quality kitchen faucets may cost less than $100, whereas luxury kitchen faucets may cost upwards of $1,200. However, most good-quality kitchen faucets cost anywhere from $160 and $500.
If you choose to install the faucet yourself, you can expect to pay less for the entire project than if you had a professional install the new product. Or, if you prefer to outsource the project to a professional (handymen, plumbers, contractors, etc.), you can expect to pay between $100 and $600. The range comes from the variation in projects and the potential complexity of the installation.
For example, if your project involves rerouting pipes to accommodate the faucet’s plumbing, it might be on the costlier end of the spectrum. Or, if the project is a simple installation with a quick in-and-out nature, it’ll likely be less.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Long Do Kitchen Faucet Cartridges Last?
The cartridge is an essential piece in a kitchen faucet. This part of the faucet controls water flow – you turn the handle, and the cartridge activates the water flow. Generally, these cartridges boast a similar lifespan to the faucet.
So, if you have a good-quality faucet, you can expect the cartridge to last around 15 to 20 years. You might get between two and eight years out of the tap if you have a budget faucet. Or, if you have a high-quality faucet, the cartridge might last longer than 20 years.
However, sometimes the cartridge will unexpectedly fail, leading to leaks, water temperature regulation issues, and other issues. When this happens, it might be a premature issue, occurring long before the faucet’s lifespan is up. If you purchased a good-quality faucet, there’s a great chance it features a solid warranty.
Major brands like Delta, Kohler, and Moen offer drip-free guarantees on their products, so if the cartridge fails and leads to this issue, it might be covered under warranty. So, if your faucet’s cartridge fails unexpectedly and prematurely, contact the brand’s customer support for warranty assistance.