Q: What is the best way to get Plumbing Fixtures?

A: The supply chain for plumbing fixtures consists of manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. In our world of new construction or remodeling the plumber is the installer of plumbing fixtures.

The plumbers have close relationships with the manufacturers and wholesalers. It is common for a plumber to be known as a ‘Delta’ or ‘Moen’ guy. These relationships have been developed over a long period of time. The plumber wants consistency, reliability and service. The product is sold from the manufacturer to a wholesaler. Wholesalers do a great job in supporting the plumbers. The wholesalers are set up to order products from the manufacturer, distribute them to the jobsite and have retail showrooms for the public.

Local wholesalers like Keller Supply, Fergusons, and George Morlan have great showrooms and sales people to help with the selections process. What gets confusing is their pricing system. They will present you with a retail price. The actual price will come from the plumber.

Retailers like Home Depot, Lowes, and other big box stores do indeed sell plumbing fixtures. We get requests to get product there. Unfortunately, the plumber will not support products that are purchased there. Why?

Plumbers will not warranty product from a big box store. They will on those provided by a wholesaler. The actual product from a big box store can be different than those provided by wholesaler.

The kitchen faucet is a good example. They may look the same from the outside but the internal mechanisms can be different. The components can be plastic or brass. Plumbers like brass. It lasts longer. Typically the brass product is provided by the wholesaler not the retailer. Hence, it costs a bit more upfront but will last longer.

I also enjoy reading the paper daily. Thank you for doing so.

Next week I will discuss more on plumbing fixtures.

Please submit questions to jon@quailhomes.com Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800. Tune into Green Building with Jon Girod on 1550 a.m. on Saturdays at 9 am. See you next week!