Vet needs help with quality of bath fixtures based on supplier.

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by USAF Veteran, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. USAF Veteran

    USAF Veteran New Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    I am working on getting an ADA retrofit of my master bath. A conversion to a roll in shower, hand held shower head, etc.
    I picked out fixtures from the online Moen catalog.
    At this point I need to get three estimates, as I qualify for a handicap allowance grant from the
    VA due to service connected disability. The VA reviews the plans etc before awarding the grant.

    One of our contacts is a CKD, CBD designer at a local Lowe's store.
    Lowe's then farms the job out to their contractor of choice, with Lowe's acting as the supplier.
    The other contacts are local contractors are those who specialize in bathroom remodeling with no connections to the big boxes.

    The contractors (not affiliated with Lowe's or HD) tell us the the quality of any fixture purchased through Lowe's or HD
    (if it is a regularly stocked item in the Lowe's or HD inventory) is inferior to a like item purchased through a contractor
    or plumbing showroom such as Ferguson's.
    They said that when Lowe's or Home Depot orders up thousands of these, Moen does a special manufacturing run,
    and are made with more plastic and less brass than a like item from a regular Moen supplier. They say they are
    lighter in weight so some substitutions have been made internally. Thinner brass, more plastic parts, etc.
    The warranty is the same, but the overall quality is somewhat less.
    Has anyone out there in the trade encountered this, and if so, is there any truth to this.
    It could change who I contract with to do this remodel.
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Bothell, Washington
    There appears to be some truth to that.
    We don't buy our parts and material there. Been burned too many times.
    I have also found that "returns" go back on the shelf, sometimes after parts have been robbed.
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  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    I think you will find that they are exactly the same faucet, but the problems are with quality control without a "final inspection" to weed out defective units. They expect YOU to be the final inspector and return any items that are deficient.
  5. Bill Shack

    Bill Shack 30years plumbing 10years plumbing inspector

    Mar 10, 2014
    montreal quebec Canada
    the quality of faucets for big box store is not the same as quality for item purchased at a quality plumbing store. For example moen faucets purchased at big box stores do not say moen on the cartridges, wheres as faucets purchase at quality plumbing store do . What this means is that the cartridges are not guaranteed if the name is not on the cartridge. I remember installing a belanger lav faucet once and after installing tried to remove the aerator, it was glued on I called the plumbing store and they told me that they received the shipment for a big box store by mistake. Imagen glued on aerators to save what 50 cents no wonder stuff is cheaper at big box store not the same quality.
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