question about toilet tank rubber washers

Just a question I was wondering about as I was replacing a toilet this weekend...how long (on average) do those rubber washers that help connect and seal the toilet tank to the bowl last? The toilet I replaced was almost 30 years old and I know in the 10 years we've lived in the house they've never been replaced and I'd "suspect" the previous owner may never have replaced them either. Anybody have an idea on a life expectancy for these washers?
Thanks in advance, Tony
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I am not a plumber, just a homeowner, but my impression is that they tend to last a very long time if they have wide brass flanges or washers on their top side, as they are sealed between porcelain and brass, with the rims constantly submerged, slowing oxidation and stiffening, unlike washers or tires exposed to air/ozone/pollutants. When they do leak, in my experience, they begin failing as a slow leak, for unlike washers and hoses under house pressure of 50 psi or so, these washers are under pressure of less than 1/2 pound psi.. Nevertheless, if I am going to change the flush valve, flapper, and guts, I tend to also change the washers - and bolts if they show corrosion.
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