How Long Will It Last?

Posted

Didn’t we just replace the water heater?

Is it time for a new roof?

Every part of a home has a life expectancy, and they vary greatly by product, maintenance, location, etc. If you’re a seller, buyers will look for records on when the items were purchased or installed and how well they’ve been maintained over the years. Homeowners should record these dates (going back as far as possible). If you need help, I can provide you with a handy template for documenting what you did and when.

Here is a general guide to how long you should expect the systems, appliances, and components of your home to last. Be sure to check the notes where applicable.

Heating Systems
Heat Exchangers – Steel(1)
Gas-fired: 15 – 30
Oil-fired: 18 – 30
Heat pump compressors: 10-15

Burners
Oil: 20 – 30
Gas: 30 – 40

Boilers(1)
Cast iron: 30 – 60
Steel: 30 – 50

Heating Pipes
Steel: 70 – 100
Copper: 60+

Other Components
Circulators: 20 – 30
Fans: 25 – 40
Oil tanks (inside): 30 – 50
Expansion tanks: 35 – 50
Zone valves: 10 – 14

Air Conditioning
Electric
Compressors: 10 – 15
Coils: 15 – 20
Fans: 15 – 20

Electrical Systems
Service entrance cables(2): 20 – 40
Fuses/circuit breakers(2): 20 – 30

Interior wiring
Armored cable / plastic-sheathed: 70 – 100
Knob + tube: 60- 90

Plumbing SystemsWater Service (Public)
Lead: 60 – 100
Steel: 40 – 75
Copper: 70+
Plastic: N/A

Well Equipment (Private Water Service)
Submersible pump: 15 – 22
Above ground pump: 13 – 20
Steel pressure tank: 15 – 25
Fiberglass pressure tank: 25 – 50

Septic System
Steel tank: 20 – 40
Concrete tank: 35 – 50
Leaching fields(3): 10 – 60

Interior Water Pipes
Steel: 40 – 60
Copper: 70 – 100
Plastic: 100+

Drainage Lines
Galvanized steel: 40 – 60
Copper: 60 – 100
Cast iron: 50 – 90
Plastic/PVC: 35+
Lead: 50 – 90

Water Heaters
Gas: 10 – 12
Electric: 10 – 12
Oil: 10 – 12

Fixtures
Builder’s grade faucets/fixtures: 20 – 35
Higher quality faucets/fixtures: 30 – 60
Builder’s grade tub, toilets & sinks: 40 – 60
Higher quality tub, toilets & sinks: 50 – 90

Roof Coverings
Fiberglass reinforced(4)
Asphalt shingles: 15 – 25
Built-up roofing, 3/4 ply: 10 – 15
Slate: 50+

Metal standing/welded(4)
Seams: 50 – 90
Cedar: 10 – 30

Gutter and Downspouts(5)
Aluminum: 20+
Galvanized: 15 – 20
Copper: 50+
Plastic (PVC): 25+

Siding and Veneers(6)
Vinyl: 35+
Aluminum: 20 – 30
Hardboard or composition: 20 – 40
T1-11-Plywood siding: 20 – 40
Stucco without paint: 50 – 70
Stucco with paint: 50 – 100
Brick veneers: 100+

Masonry(7)
Masonry walls: 100

Windows
Wood: 30+
Vinyl: 15 – 40
Aluminum windows: 15 – 20
Aluminum storm windows: 20 – 30

Interior
Ceramic Tile (tub/shower walls)(8)
Wet bed (cement) or “WonderBoard” backing: 40 – 90
Mastic system (adhesive): 14 – 20
Plaster walls: 70 – 120
Plaster ceilings: 60 – 90

Drywall (sheetrock)
Walls: 50+
Ceilings: 30+

Appliances
Refrigerators: 10 – 13
Dishwashers: 7 – 9
Gas ranges: 12 – 15
Electric ranges: 5 – 13
Garbage disposal: 10 – 12
Humidifiers: 5 – 8
Dehumidifiers: 8
Washers: 10
Dryers: 10 – 13

(1) Replace heater if boiler (water) or heat exchanger (air) fails.

(2) Subject to exposure/sun/moisture.

(3) Subject to soil and maintenance.

(4)Roof surfaces facing south (sun) wear more quickly; installation procedures and regular recoating can substantially extend life. Slate life affected by hardness/quarry source, cedar life affected by wood quality/maintenance. Metal roofs are mostly tin and will remain functional with re-coating every five years.

(5) Subject to slope/cleanliness

(6) Aluminum siding should be repainted as required. Board sidings subject to finish/exposure to sun/maintenance. Brick may require periodic maintenance.

(7) Subject to proper structural design and maintenance; exceptions include salmon brick, cinder block (instead of concrete block) and serpentine stone.

(8) Life subject to carpentry framing/type of plaster lath.