Let’s talk about plumbing. Not all plumbing is made alike. As much as we’d like to think we’re just getting a better deal by shopping for plumbing fixtures at Big Box retailers versus plumbing supply houses, that really isn’t the case. Sure, the price is better at the Big Box, but the product really isn’t the same there as what one can purchase at a plumbing supply store. “Wait!” You say. “The manufacturer and the model name are the same.” That may be true, but the part numbers are not. When one digs deeper into the two competing products, one will find that often the guts of the faucet or valve coming from the Big Box are made of plastic. Whereas the guts of the ones from the plumbing supply store are brass or some other very durable material.
Why is this important you ask? Brass guts last longer and can withstand more abuse. They wear better and longer than plastic ones. Sure, in residential use one may not really notice that the faucet with plastic parts starts leaking sooner than one with brass parts – especially if the home is occupied by empty nesters or it is a second home with only occasional or moderate use. However, what if that second home is also rented out on VRBO and is in use almost continuously? Plus, we know renters never treat things in a rental home with the same loving kindness they do their own. The few dollars saved on that Big Box faucet may quickly be spent on plumbing bills to keep the faucet from leaking.