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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
They’re forcing us to use box stores.

A few months ago I got a call from a customer who wanted a basic kitchen faucet. I called the supply house for a chateau with a side spray. Back ordered for at least three months. Installed an Adler.

Needed a stick of 4” foam. $87. Menards, about $45.

Called about a SS kitchen sink in a heavy gauge. None available for a few months.

Master called me to see if I had a long shank PRV for a heater. He could only buy a short one, last one in stock company wide. $40!

For the past six months I’ve been telling customers to just go buy what they want from the box store because my supply house has no supplies. Bunch of BS!
 

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Thankfully ours is good. Although they last sent me blue teflon tape instead of grey, and a couple weeks ago they sent me zurn parts instead of sloan. A second order stating no zurn got me my sloan parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thankfully ours is good. Although they last sent me blue teflon tape instead of grey, and a couple weeks ago they sent me zurn parts instead of sloan. A second order stating no zurn got me my sloan parts.
Rule #1, always check your order! Can’t tell how many times we get 22s instead of 45s…..
 

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I recommend Toto and Gerber, Mansfield is my third choice. They do make a good toilet. Plus you can install a larger (volume wise) flush valve. I don’t remember the part number off the top of my head….
Just use a 2" flapper flush valve like a pro57 and stick a big orange flapper on it.
 

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Picked up a new flushometer for a urinal. The one they gave me was missing the flush lever. Of course, I never noticed until I got on site. Thankfully the one I was replacing had a brand new handle on it.

I'm starting to notice more "returned" items missing parts from supply houses. Almost makes me prefer the box stores where everything is taped shut and I know if it's been gone through. And hate cheap people even more.
 

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Picked up a new flushometer for a urinal. The one they gave me was missing the flush lever. Of course, I never noticed until I got on site. Thankfully the one I was replacing had a brand new handle on it.

I'm starting to notice more "returned" items missing parts from supply houses. Almost makes me prefer the box stores where everything is taped shut and I know if it's been gone through. And hate cheap people even more.
We’ve seen this a good bit too with faucets and flush valves. Missing an o ring or a trim ring or has a piece that’s been marred up by a wrench. We started defacing the boxes because more than once we’d send it back and they’d tape it shut it send it right back to us.
 

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Like it or not, big box stores are the big boys on the block. They have the pull and purchasing power to make a manufacturer bow to their will. For example, the Depot or Lowes will tell a W/H mfg. to make a W/H at a certain price for us or we won't buy it. And the mfg. of W/H's falls into line. That's why the W/H from the supply house has a brass drain valve, and the ones that Lowes and HD sell have a plastic drain valve.

Faucets from HD and Lowes have a lot of plastic parts. The supply house faucets not as much.

Look at PO assemblies form HD and Lowes; all plastic which by the way strip easily if you are heavy-handed like me and like to really snug things down. The supply house still stocks them and supplies me good old fashioned chrome-plated brass.

There is no other reasonable explanation why the products at the big box stores are cheaply made and the plumbing supply house products are not. But I am open to suggestions.
 

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Supply houses no longer stock Moen faucets, maybe one place and only one tub model, they sell no name junk and I've had a few break in my hands installing them. Even if you special order a Moen from the supply house it's the same thing as HD and more expensive too.

Most stuff is cheaper at the suppliers except copper pipe. The supplier I go to tells people they will not sell to them if they aren't a pro. Illegal as heck but I won't complain!
 

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I'm lucky to still have a locally own supply house, Heatwave Supply. I get amazing service there. Can get me pretty much anything and will deliver anywhere anytime. I buy from Menards sometimes(online only as there are not in my area), but hate going to Lowes or Home Depot even if they are cheaper sometimes. With the way the market is now, I don't really waste much time anymore trying to get the best price. I get what I need, then add it up. It is what it is. It's the price of the job. My work and expertise is what I charge for, not the cheapness of my materials. Materials are what they are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I prefer a Mansfield. Menards and my supply house stopped selling them, only Lowe’s is where I can buy them which is a shame as I refuse to buy ANYTHING from BLowe’s.
The Mansfield I put in instead of a Toto was from one of my three supply houses. With a wood seat it was $230 with tax. I’m still surprised that Menards dropped them.
 
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