The shower valve is one of the essential fixtures in the bathroom, as it controls the water pressure, flow, and temperature of the water coming out of the showerhead. Different valves perform different functions, and you can select them depending on the design of the shower assembly.
How Long Do Shower Valves Last? The shower valve can last 12 to 15 years, depending on the water nature, quality and material, installation, excessive usage, cleaning and maintenance, and type of valve. You can make it last longer by regular cleaning, using water filters, checking for leaks, and avoiding hot water.
Modern valves feature advanced functions and can be expensive, but they can last for a long time. In addition, they can enhance the appearance of the shower area and add convenience and a stylish look.
How long can a shower valve last?
It can last for more than 12-15 years, depending on the quality and usage of the fixture. However, it can wear out soon and last for a short time if you select cheap, low-quality products for the shower area.
Different products have different durability, and an expensive and high-quality valve can last for approximately 20 years if you use it properly.
You can repair the damages in its components and increase the lifetime of the plumbing fixture instead of replacing the entire assembly.
The faulty and damaged fixture causes noise when you turn it on, and it is the sign to repair it before it worn-out completely, such that it can last long after certain repair work.
What factors affect the durability of shower valves?
Various factors affect its durability, and it can wear out soon if you do not consider the following factors listed below.
Hard water contains different mineral and acidic compounds that can affect the working and durability of the fixture.
I have a hard water supply in my faucets, and it causes mineral and limescale deposits on the valves and other components of the fixture. It becomes difficult to move it in any direction due to the mineral accumulation inside the valve.
The long-term use of hard water can cause the acids to corrode the internal metal parts and can last for a short time. Therefore, water quality is one of the essential elements to consider for the fixture’s durability.
Quality and material
Different quality materials are available for the shower valves, such as copper, brass, stainless steel, and strong plastic.
The lifetime of the fixture depends on the material, as high-quality copper has long durability and better water pressure than other materials.
Stainless steel components can also last longer because they are resistant to rust and corrosion. The choice of brand for the shower assembly also affects its lifespan because of the technology and the experienced working staff.
It can worn-out soon if you do not install the fixture properly and causes leakage and water dripping from the rubber washers.
Improper installation decreases the fixture’s durability, and you need to replace the components or hire a professional plumber to solve the problem.
The loose fixing and the incorrect sealing can reduce its lifetime and cause different problems in the working. Therefore, accurate installation and fitting are essential to enhance its durability.
The durability also depends on its usage and how much traffic you have in this place to use this fixture.
It can last for a short time if you have a single bathroom in the house and all family members use the same bathroom for a shower.
The kids can turn the handles more often with much force, which causes the internal components to damage soon.
The improper use and turning of the handles in the wrong direction can cause the rubber rings to wear out and decrease the plumbing fixture’s lifespan.
Cleaning and maintenance
Using harsh and abrasive cleaners can cause corrosion and rust on the valve and affect its durability.
The chemicals in the cleaning products affect the polish and finishing of the fixture, and it becomes more prone to corrosion and rust accumulation.
It can damage soon if you do not clean it properly with appropriate cleaning items, and poor maintenance causes it to last a few months.
The durability decreases if you do not use the correct techniques and chemicals to remove the calcium deposits inside the valve.
Cartridge or flapper
The cartridge and the flapper inside the shower valve are the essential components that control the water pressure and are connected to the outer trim handle.
The damage to these complements causes the handle to work poorly and reduces its durability.
The flapper and cartridge quality also influence the fixture’s lifespan, and you can change them if you notice a leakage in it.
The long-term and improper use causes the cartridge to crack, and you may have to replace the entire fixture assembly if you do not fix the problem at the start.
Type and design of valve
Various types and designs of valves are available, and the durability depends on the design and the technology used in the manufacturing.
Compression valves are less expensive, can last 6-10 years, and are made using rubber washers.
The ceramic disc shower valve is more expensive than the compression one but can last 9-16 years and use two ceramic discs to control water flow.
Thermostatic shower valves are the most durable than others and last for 16-22 years. They have thermostats to control the temperature and water flow from the faucets. You can select these styles depending on the plumbing system and your budget.
How can you make the shower valve last longer?
You can make them last longer using the following techniques that make the fixture more durable than its original lifespan.
Cleaning these with suitable cleaning products can make them last longer because the dust and mold accumulated around the fixture influence durability.
It is better to clean it once or twice a week if the family members take showers more frequently and you open the windows for proper ventilation.
The dust particles can collect on the wet handles, and regular cleaning makes the fixture work well for a long time.
Using water filters
You can install a water softening system or filters in the shower area, reducing the risk of mineral and rust accumulation.
I have installed a water filter for the bathroom plumbing system, and the plumbing fixtures in this place do not have mineral deposits or corrosion.
These filters can enhance the lifetime of the shower valve, and you do not need to worry about the functioning and durability of the fixture because of the hard water.
Check for the leaks
It is better to check for leaks and breaks in the valve to enhance its lifespan because it can cause it to wear out in a short time.
Make sure to fix the leaks and change the damaged parts as soon as possible to prevent more damage to the fixture.
I had a problem with water leakage in the fixture, and after examining it properly, I noticed that the valve is loose and needs to be repaired. However, changing the flapper and rubber made it work amazingly well, and I did not have to get a new valve for the shower.
Avoid using hot water
Many people want to have a hot and steamy shower in winter or to fill the bathtub with hot water for cleaning. The high water temperature causes the rubber rings and washer inside the valve assembly to break or loose.
It is better to use standard water temperature or less hot water to enhance its lifespan. However, the hot water can also cause the cartridge to get cracks and lead to wear and tear of the components.
Which way should bathroom faucets turn?