Zurn Blog

Should I Repair or Replace My Restroom Fixtures?


Learn the Basic Guidelines for When to Repair or Replace Your Restroom Faucets and Flush Valves.

Are you wondering if you should repair or replace your restroom fixtures? Let’s cover some guidelines about when it is time to choose the repair or the replace option for your restroom faucets and flush valves.

Ultimately, the decision revolves around time, money, and organizational priorities. You may have other factors that affect your repair or replace decision today, so take this input for what it is, guidelines that help you think through your own situation.

In general, you want to ask yourself three questions:

  1. How old are the current fixtures?
  2. Do the current fixtures help to create a good restroom experience?
  3. Do the current fixtures help you comply with local laws and organizational sustainability initiatives?

How Old is the Fixture?

Fixtures in commercial restrooms work hard, and after ten years in a moderate to heavy use restroom, many fixtures are getting to the end of their life expectancy. In a busy restroom, some valves can easily see over half a million activations in ten years, so it is not hard to see why ten years is a good, long run for a commercial faucet, flush valve, or other fixture.

In general, you will be better off replacing a faucet after the ten-year mark, because several of the parts are probably at or near the end of their life. You may replace one part to find another part breaks next week. Even with gentle use, eventually valves will start to leak, clog, or corrode. The age issue is especially true if you live in an area where the water is hard on the valve.

Flush valves less than ten-years old are normally in the repair category, unless the valve has given you a lot of trouble over the last few years or it has been damaged due to an accident or vandalization. When you get to the fifteen-year range, generally you can repair it and get at least another five or more years of use from the fixture unless it is in an extreme environment. If your flush valve is over 20 years old in a moderate use restroom, it is a good time to change out the whole unit.

Does the Faucet or Flush Valve Create a Positive Experience?

Beyond ensuring the faucets and valves function properly, you need to ask about whether or not they create a good experience. It may sound like a silly idea, but after the pandemic, people feel uncomfortable with old, corroding valves, and people really do not like to touch the manual faucets and flush valves.

When people feel you have a clean, hygienic restroom, customers spend more, and employee satisfaction is likely to be higher. If you don’t have the budget to completely redo the restroom, upgrading one valve at a time when they no longer work properly may be an acceptable alternative.

When it comes to improving the restroom experience, you may also choose a flush valve retrofit kit over replacing the whole valve assembly that goes with the toilet. Kits are available that reduce the time and cost of going from a manual flush valve to an automatic flush valve making an upgrade worthwhile compared to a full fixture replacement.

Do the current fixtures help you comply with local laws and organizational sustainability initiatives?

Some states and municipalities require low flow fixtures, so replacing outdated fixtures is an obvious choice. Beyond local laws, many organizations have made sustainability an organizational initiative, which often includes a water conservation component. If water conservation is important to the organization, then an early upgrade to reduce water usage makes sense.

With those guidelines, you should be well on your way in the decision to repair or replace your fixtures. Remember to consider your unique situation and include things such as expiring budgets, limited time government incentives, or labor availability. Find links below for long lasting replacement parts or water saving fixtures for whatever decision you make.

Long Lasting Repair Parts

New Products that Conserve Water

Water Savings Calculator