Here are some plumbing secrets from the pros

HOUSTON – As long as there is running water, we usually don’t pay much attention to our bathroom and kitchen faucets. But the next time you need to replace yours, think about where to buy them.

“A lot of people don’t realize that there is a big difference between what you can get at a large checkout store and what you can get at a plumbing store,” said James York, owner of Southern plumbing

In particular, York says the faucets sold at Home Depot and Lowes are not the same as the faucets sold at plumbing warehouses.

York bought a Delta faucet from Home Depot and an almost identical Delta faucet from a plumbing store.

The chain store versions almost always come with plastic parts inside, including the drain and pop-up that can crack easily.

Plumbing stores have tougher metal drains.

“If you have a metal drain, you can tighten it almost as well as you want and you know it’s not going to leak and you’re good,” York explains.

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In fact, the stock storage cranes feel sturdier because they are heavier. You pay more for the higher quality faucets. The Home Depot Delta faucet costs $ 40 and the plumbing store Delta faucet costs $ 70.

York says this is one case where you get what you pay for. You can expect the more expensive faucet to last longer. York says the same is true of water heaters sold in large-box stores versus plumbing stores. The chain store’s hot water boilers have plastic drains. If you need a toilet or a toilet tank, York says there really is no difference no matter where you buy them.

Plumbing experts say major chains are telling manufacturers they only want to pay a certain amount for faucets and water heaters to make them more affordable to the masses. Manufacturers are getting prices lower by cutting back on the internal components of the equipment (for example, by using plastic instead of metal).

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