Although a kitchen faucet is a relatively small piece of the puzzle in your kitchen, it serves a vital purpose. We use our kitchen faucets daily for various tasks, such as rinsing fresh produce, washing dishes, or cleaning our hands. So, when your faucet is malfunctioning, it can throw a curve into your daily plans.
While repairs are imminent for most faucets, when is it time to stop repairing the faucet and replace it altogether? For many folks, this deciding factor can be tricky. If you’re stuck on whether you should repair or replace your faucet, continue reading for a few helpful points.
Is It Better To Repair Or Replace My Kitchen Faucet?
Generally, it’s best to replace a kitchen faucet when repairing it costs more than (or close to) purchasing a new faucet. For example, if vital components on the tap are failing and it costs several hundred dollars to repair, it might be best to invest in a new faucet.
Of course, you can always choose to repair the faucet, but in some cases, folks might deem it better to replace the entire setup. Most faucets last between 15 and 20 years with proper care and maintenance (some might last longer). So, if your faucet is nearing the end of its lifespan and has a crop of issues, it might be time to replace it.
However, if your faucet is relatively new and has issues (leaks, pressure issues, etc.), it might be more cost-effective to repair it. Most industry-leading manufacturers offer excellent warranties on their products, so if the faucet proves defective, you can get replacement parts for free. In some cases, the company may choose to send you an entirely new faucet at no cost.
So, if your faucet is relatively new, it doesn’t hurt to contact the manufacturer for warranty support. It’s important to note that many brands require you to provide several pieces of information in a warranty claim, including proof of purchase, usually in the form of an original sales receipt.
When Is It Time To Replace A Kitchen Faucet?
Sometimes, deciding whether it’s time to replace your kitchen faucet can be tricky. Luckily, a few key factors can help you determine when it’s time to retire the old model for a newer faucet.
It’s Getting Old
Like any other fixture or appliance in our homes, our kitchen faucets eventually reach the end of their lifespans. When this happens, they usually exhibit various symptoms and signs of wear and tear, like constant leaks, rusty parts, low water pressure, and much more.
Most faucets last 20 years or less, so if your faucet has been around for about that amount of time (or longer), it might be time for it to retire.
Mineral Deposits Have Taken Over
Mineral deposits are a constant problem in homes with hard water. The water supply contains high amounts of minerals, so when the water pools on a surface and evaporates, it leaves crusty deposits behind.
While these deposits are easy to clean from the faucet’s exterior, they can become problematic when they build up inside the faucet. If the deposits build up around the spout, base, and handles, you can easily rid them using white vinegar and patience. However, when they build up inside the faucet, they can clog its components, including flanges, gaskets, and filters.
If your faucet is relatively old and overrun with mineral deposits (inside the tap), it is a good time to replace it. Investing in a water softener (either one for the faucet or the whole house) might be a good idea, as the problem will persist even if you buy a new one.
Rust Is A Persistent Problem
Given the function of a faucet, it’s no surprise that rust becomes a problem after a while. Over the years, rust may build up inside the tap (or enter the faucet from old plumbing). Eventually, it can begin to cause issues.
Even though it might not be visibly rusty, the internal components could be corroded. Generally, the faucet will start to rust around the spout and base, so you can guess what the internal parts might look like.
A rusty faucet usually exhibits a few symptoms. You might notice flecks of rust in the water from the tap, the handle might be hard to move, and water might take a while to come through the faucet after you turn the handle on.
While you can remove rust from the faucet, it’ll likely leave damage on the faucet’s finish and internal parts. So, if rust has overtaken the tap, it’s probably time for a replacement.
A leaky faucet is a nuisance – not only does it constantly drip, but it also wastes water as it remains on when unused. Of course, a few drips per minute isn’t a ton of water, but over the long term, this can translate to quite a bit of water waste.
In many cases, people can easily repair faucet leaks by replacing the cartridge or tightening loose components. However, if the faucet continues to leak, it’s probably time to replace it. Continuing to pour money into replacing the faucet could be expensive over the long term, so it’s usually better to replace it.
If you’re regularly repairing your kitchen faucet, it’s probably time to invest in a new model. As faucets reach the end of their lifespans, they usually become more problematic. You might notice common issues with leaks, squeaky parts, malfunctioning components, low water pressure, and other problems that come with age.
One after another, O-rings, washers, seats, gaskets, flanges, and cartridges may fail until you’ve replaced nearly all of the internal parts. Since repairing your faucet regularly can quickly become expensive, it might be best to buy a new faucet.
What Is The Average Cost To Replace A Kitchen Faucet?
On average, replacing a kitchen faucet costs between $150 and $400. Of course, the installation might cost less than these estimates (or more) based on a few things.
The exact cost of replacing a kitchen faucet varies based on a few factors, including the faucet model you choose. Kitchen faucets range in price from a few hundred dollars to well over a thousand dollars, so the model you choose plays a major role in the final cost of your new setup.
On top of that, the installation itself will tack on additional costs. If you DIY the installation, you won’t need to worry about paying a professional for this aspect of the project. Usually, replacing a kitchen faucet is a straightforward process, especially if you’re replacing the old one with a similar model.
For example, if you’re replacing a single-hole kitchen faucet with a similar model, you shouldn’t need to worry about drilling extra holes in the sink deck or countertop. In some cases, you might need to adjust the plumbing to accommodate the new setup, but it’s usually as simple as purchasing longer or shorter water supply lines.
However, in other cases, the installation might be trickier. For example, let’s say you decide to purchase a wall-mounted faucet to replace a deck-mount faucet. Since these faucets require a different plumbing setup, you’ll need to reroute the plumbing to accommodate the new faucet.
Since this project can be tricky, you might outsource it to a professional. If you hire a professional to handle the process, it could cost anywhere from $50 to $4,000 or more. The drastic price range is due to the variation in project difficulty. The simpler the project, the faster the plumber can get it done, so the cheaper it’ll be.