How Often Do You Need to Replace a Bathroom Faucet?

by Shelley Frost
white bathroom sink with metal faucet and stopper drain and running water

You use your bathroom faucet daily to wash your hands, brush your teeth and handle other personal care tasks, but — unless you were the one to install it — you probably couldn’t hazard a guess at how long it has been there.

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You might start to take notice, though, if the faucet on your bathroom sink stops working well or looks like it belongs in your great-grandma's bathroom.

How Long Does a Bathroom Faucet Typically Last?

Lots of factors go into how long your faucet lasts, but you can expect to get anywhere from five to 20 years from one. The quality and durability of the materials in your faucet impact how long it lasts. How often it gets used and how careful you are with the handles can also affect its life. A bathroom faucet in a busy shared bathroom might wear out faster than the one on a guest bathroom sink that only gets used occasionally. If you turn or pull on the faucet handles aggressively, they might break or wear out faster.

What Are Some Signs of Wear and Tear?

As it gets used, your bathroom faucet will start showing signs of wear and tear. While you might need to replace the faucet if it shows these signs, you can sometimes replace bathroom faucet parts to get more life out of your existing hardware. Some potential signs of an issue include:

  • Dripping or leaks
  • Decreased water flow or pressure
  • Rust or mineral deposits
  • Leaking at the handle bases
  • Spitting or sputtering water
  • Worn finish
  • Loose handles
  • Strange noises

You can sometimes make some minor fixes to your existing faucet to avoid replacing it. For instance, if the water is sputtering or the water flow seems restricted, replacing the aerator could fix the issue. If the bathroom faucet is dripping, it could be due to a bad gasket, washer, O ring or valve seat. You can replace those parts to stop the leaking in some cases.

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What Are Some Signs That You Need to Replace the Fixture?

Knowing when to replace bathroom faucet parts versus the entire faucet isn't always easy. If your bathroom faucet is outdated, you might decide to upgrade to something more fitting for your current bathroom style, whether or not it's showing other signs of issues.

You might also decide to replace your faucet if it shows any of the previously listed issues and you don't want to attempt repairs. If you try to fix the issue and the faucet still doesn't work properly, it could be time to replace it, especially if it's five years old or older. A professional plumber can evaluate your bathroom faucet and give you recommendations on what to do. They can also complete repairs or replace it with new hardware.