When Carrie returned from her sunny beach vacation last year, she opened the door to more water. During her absence, an upstairs toilet’s shutoff valve malfunctioned and her home was flooded. Water was still raining down from above and her ceilings lay in crumpled sodden messes atop ruined carpets. She left home for another 6 weeks – on a longer, far more expensive and definitely unplanned trip – while her drywall and flooring were completely replaced.
Plumbing fixtures quit on us unexpectedly in ways large and small, and many homeowners are unaware of the danger until they have a disaster on their hands. The age of the fixtures, mineral buildup from hard water, lack of maintenance – all can cause slow leaks that quietly rot large swaths of sub-flooring or massive gushers that lay waste to a home in a few hours.
One of the biggest factors in the longevity and performance of plumbing fixtures is their quality. Durable, long-lasting fixtures require precision-engineered components, and while they’re pricey, these choices hold up for the long term. Retail-grade (or builder-grade) fixtures, on the other hand, aren’t built to last and often contain plastic components that deteriorate or break quickly. These retail-grade items are the lower priced units found on the shelf at local home improvement stores, and unaware bargain shoppers snap them up without knowing they may last just a few years. New homes are frequently equipped with retail-grade fixtures as well.
Water quality challenges fixtures as well. Hard water is common across Florida and it’s notoriously rough on fixtures, causing washers to leak and toilet flappers to seal poorly. Many of these issues can be solved by replacing components. Even so, fixtures won’t last forever and replacement is inevitable. Look for clues that your plumbing fixtures might be aging out:
Keeping an eye out for anything abnormal can save you from a living room that suddenly doubles as a swimming pool. Need help with your plumbing fixtures, whether maintaining them or replacing them altogether? Service America keeps your home dry and your wallet full with money-saving offers.
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