One of the more frustrating things in service plumbing these days is the influx of hundreds, perhaps even thousands of sub-standard plumbing products coming to our shores from all over the world. These types of goods are available in every hardware store, big-box store, or on-line vendor with little or no technical support for the product other than a “lifetime” warranty. These products come in the form of faucets, toilets, and hardware as well as all kinds of accessories for the kitchen and bath. Once the transaction is complete and you have had the product installed in your home or business, you are lucky to be able to find technical support, replacement parts, or even sympathy when the time comes for repairs. And, rest assured, that time will come. Nothing lasts forever, especially those products made only to look pretty without much concern from the manufacturer for quality control. Every day we here at Biard and Crockett Plumbing encounter customers for whom the time has come to find parts. It can be frustrating for even those like us, who are trained in plumbing parts recognition, as well as the homeowner. Your average service plumber is going to be intimidated by the scarcity of knowledge and support for these type of products. So, instead of spending hours and hours, miles and miles, and lots of dollars looking for repair parts that may not even exist, the advice will often be to replace the entire fixture. And, if the fixture is a shower valve installed behind a beautiful tile, marble, or solid surface shower surround, this is definitely not what a homeowner wants to hear.
So, what to do? You can get help from professionals who are able to direct you toward well established and supporting manufactures with products that are proven to last. Often these products will cost a little more on the front end, but considering the aggravation that inevitably will come, it is definitely worth it. The old adage of “you get what you pay for” still stands. Purchase products from well established professionals, like Biard and Crockett Plumbing, who know the different reputable manufacturer’s standards for quality, product lines, and service records. Come on in and ask questions, get reliable answers and advice from experienced people who have “been there and done that” before. We have many working displays where you can take a “test drive” before you make a selection. If not, you take a risk of installing a product in your home that will inevitably, in the near future, consume your spare time and cause unnecessary frustration. As we say around here, when it comes to a search for parts for those kind of products, “…before starting that plumbing job, first fill up your car with gas, you may need it!”