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Building Component Life Expectancies


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In surfing for information on built up roofs to write a commercial building inspection (a restaurant) I ran across this pretty impressive chart of building component life expectancies.

http://www.oldhouseweb.com/how-to-advic ... ancy.shtml

In case Mike needs to wipe out the link, it can be found on oldhouseweb.com and search "life expectancy"

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That link does have some useful information but I would also take some of it with a gain of salt.

If you look at the source of the information for each section you will notice that with many of them the source organizations product is listed as outlasting the others. A good example are ceramic tiles lasting a lifetime and granite countertops 20+ years.

Countertops Life in years

Laminate 10-15

Ceramic tile, high-grade installation Lifetime

Wood/butcher block 20+

Granite 20+

Sources: AFPAssociates of Western Plastics, Ceramic Tile Institute of America

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That link does have some useful information but I would also take some of it with a gain of salt.

If you look at the source of the information for each section you will notice that with many of them the source organizations product is listed as outlasting the others. A good example are ceramic tiles lasting a lifetime and granite countertops 20+ years.

Countertops Life in years

Laminate 10-15

Ceramic tile, high-grade installation Lifetime

Wood/butcher block 20+

Granite 20+

Sources: AFPAssociates of Western Plastics, Ceramic Tile Institute of America

Si, Scott. And I've never used 11 - 13 years on a gas water heater. I'm thinking more like 15 - 20 years and more. They seem to do quite well.

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That link does have some useful information but I would also take some of it with a gain of salt.

If you look at the source of the information for each section you will notice that with many of them the source organizations product is listed as outlasting the others. A good example are ceramic tiles lasting a lifetime and granite countertops 20+ years.

Countertops Life in years

Laminate 10-15

Ceramic tile, high-grade installation Lifetime

Wood/butcher block 20+

Granite 20+

Sources: AFPAssociates of Western Plastics, Ceramic Tile Institute of America

Si, Scott. And I've never used 11 - 13 years on a gas water heater. I'm thinking more like 15 - 20 years and more. They seem to do quite well.

In my area a gas water heater will last on the average 8-10 years! Mostly due to the high amounts of minerals and the hard water we have.

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That link does have some useful information but I would also take some of it with a gain of salt.

If you look at the source of the information for each section you will notice that with many of them the source organizations product is listed as outlasting the others. A good example are ceramic tiles lasting a lifetime and granite countertops 20+ years.

Countertops Life in years

Laminate 10-15

Ceramic tile, high-grade installation Lifetime

Wood/butcher block 20+

Granite 20+

Sources: AFPAssociates of Western Plastics, Ceramic Tile Institute of America

Si, Scott. And I've never used 11 - 13 years on a gas water heater. I'm thinking more like 15 - 20 years and more. They seem to do quite well.

In my area a gas water heater will last on the average 8-10 years! Mostly due to the high amounts of minerals and the hard water we have.

That's interesting. I always figured that it was maybe the higher heat with a gas water heater that somehow prevented condensation between the insulation and the tank or some such thing. Of course, I do understand that water heaters on well water in general need more routine maintenance and don't last as long. I assumed that gas water heaters, in general, across the country probably outlast electric ones, but apparently not. Gas water heaters here seem to last a very long time with no significant problems. Like Bic pens, they take a lickin' and keep on clickin'.

Now, to the contrary, I posted photos here in a thread called "They Don't Make 'em like they used to", back in January of 2007, of an electric Westinghouse water heater in service for over FIFTY YEARS and still working fine. She was a beauty!!!

https://inspectorsjournal.com/forum/top ... IC_ID=3960

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Hi,

Around here, water heaters seem to last about 10 to 15 years before they go. I too, however, have found them older. I remember once finding two of them over in Coupeville that were made the same year I was born and were still going strong. I told the clients in each case that if the tank failed as I was backing out of the driveway I wouldn't be the least bit surprised and recommended a preemptive strike to avoid all-out utility room Armageddon.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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That link does have some useful information but I would also take some of it with a gain of salt.

If you look at the source of the information for each section you will notice that with many of them the source organizations product is listed as outlasting the others. A good example are ceramic tiles lasting a lifetime and granite countertops 20+ years.

Countertops Life in years

Laminate 10-15

Ceramic tile, high-grade installation Lifetime

Wood/butcher block 20+

Granite 20+

Sources: AFPAssociates of Western Plastics, Ceramic Tile Institute of America

Si, Scott. And I've never used 11 - 13 years on a gas water heater. I'm thinking more like 15 - 20 years and more. They seem to do quite well.

In my area a gas water heater will last on the average 8-10 years! Mostly due to the high amounts of minerals and the hard water we have.

That's interesting. I always figured that it was maybe the higher heat with a gas water heater that somehow prevented condensation between the insulation and the tank or some such thing. Of course, I do understand that water heaters on well water in general need more routine maintenance and don't last as long. I assumed that gas water heaters, in general, across the country probably outlast electric ones, but apparently not.

https://inspectorsjournal.com/forum/top ... IC_ID=3960

Water with high mineral content will leave a lot of deposits on the bottom of the tank. This adds a layer of insulation on the bottom of the tank. Now when you add heat from a burner on the bottom of the hot water tank there isn't sufficient water to carry the heat away and you end up burning out/cracking the bottom of the tank = leaks. Electric tanks outlast gas because of this.

I use to see this a lot in boilers too especially when the circ pump is pumping into the boiler instead of pulling out. It would make the safety valve weep and cause a constant water make-up. Same thing would happen ending with a cracked heat exchanger.

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Here's a funny on a gas water heater.

The buyer was at the inspection with me. Ran a bunch of hot water and then went to the water heater. Sounded like a bunch of rocks bouncing around in the tank.

Told em to have a plumber make the other repairs that were necessary and check out the rocks bouncing but warned them that it was likely time to replace it.

Explained the minerals in the bottom of the tank thing about having to get heated before water started heating, etc.

They called me back in a day or so and said the seller had their plumber friend come over and look at it. Said it was fine. Asked me what they should do.

I gave the typical "get it in writing on the plumber's letterhead, he's the expert".

They called back in a day or so and told me the seller was putting in a new water heater.

Seems the plumber wouldn't put it in writing. Go figure!

-

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Here's a funny on a gas water heater.

The buyer was at the inspection with me. Ran a bunch of hot water and then went to the water heater. Sounded like a bunch of rocks bouncing around in the tank.

Told em to have a plumber make the other repairs that were necessary and check out the rocks bouncing but warned them that it was likely time to replace it.

Explained the minerals in the bottom of the tank thing about having to get heated before water started heating, etc.

They called me back in a day or so and said the seller had their plumber friend come over and look at it. Said it was fine. Asked me what they should do.

I gave the typical "get it in writing on the plumber's letterhead, he's the expert".

They called back in a day or so and told me the seller was putting in a new water heater.

Seems the plumber wouldn't put it in writing. Go figure!

-

I love that one myself, "Then I'm sure your contractor will have no problem offering that assurance in writing for the purchasers." ... NOT!... Yeah, I didn't think so.

Similarly, I've had my clients tell me that the local power company said that a low main service entry was just fine. I tell them to send a certified letter confirming that they brought the matter to the attention of the power company. All of a sudden miraculously the power company decides that it needs to be raised after all. Sometimes ya just gotta go formal. [:-tophat]

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I copied the link to that chart into my link library but the truth is that I'm unlikely to ever use it. There are too many variables involved. As an example, a split AC system on my mother's house lasted over 35 years.

Marc

My personal favorite was the AO Smith water heater from 1973 I found 2 years ago. It still had the paper instructions for flushing it hanging from the drain cock. The same house had a portable dishwasher installed as a built in that I guessed predated the DWH.

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