Redoing bathroom this weekend: Fixture question

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Old 06-09-16, 09:56 AM
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Redoing bathroom this weekend: Fixture question

Ok, so plumber will be installing new mixing valve in the shower/tub and replacing the tub

We have selected the Moen Banbury shower head/mixing valve/tub faucet, etc. Included the Positemp mixing valve

My plumber is telling me that the fixtures at Home Depot are inferior quality, the innards are plastic versus buying a mixing valve from him (for 2-3x cost) would be all metal construction.

I called a plumbing supply house and they echoed this claim (but only $75 more than HD, not 2x price). I am thinking about returning my HomeDepot purchases and buying from supply house, but the 'trim' (Banbury) we selected is a Home Depot exclusive.

Ive bought into this claim (supply house = better) before, but I am now seeing numerous discussions on the web where someone contacted Moen and they flat out deny there is an inferior line just for home depot vs supply house.

Whats the consensus here? We like teh look of what we bought, but I dont want problems in the new bathroom either

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Old 06-09-16, 11:04 AM
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I've argued this point several times before on this forum. I also talked to the manufacturer. THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE of products of the same model number. Note...no difference of the same model number. I can't say that often enough. There can be and are differences of the same brand of different models. Peerless faucets are very good. They are made by DELTA. They are not as good as DELTA brand!
Why do plumbers prefer to purchase and install? Most likely the same reason an auto repair shop or dealer will not accept a part from you that may well come from the same distributor that Autozone or Advance Auto parts gets them from. They want complete assurance that they know exactly what they are installing. And there is no possibility of tampering or substitution of parts. If and when there is a warranty problem they will have complete confidence in what and where the product came from. What bothers me is the lie they perpetrate that the products are different. There is no reason to lie to the consumer. And the manufacture has no reason to make sub-standard parts of the same model product. It's self defeating.

Edit... There is a possibility that a manufacture will produced an exclusive product for a chain store like HD. Then that product is a stand alone and will stand on it's own merits. That does not mean its inferior. It may have plastic parts. Plastic is not necessarily inferior and can be better in some cases than metal. I think a plumber has every right to refuse to install an item of this nature. But again do not lie about the quality or product substitution.

Add Edit... In most cases the trim is exactly that, trim. The mixing valve and cartridges are the same across a whole series of models. You might want to contact the manufacture and ask if the innards are the same for the model you have from HD vs the innards of the model the plumber wants to install.
 

Last edited by Norm201; 06-09-16 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 06-09-16, 02:16 PM
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thanks! very informative. Supply shop said the valves arent interchangeable, but I'll ask Moen directly
 
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Old 06-09-16, 02:44 PM
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FWIW I agree 1000% with Norm. IMO he is absolutely correct. I too have talked to manufacturers (Price Pfister and Moen) and they adamantly contend that P/N for P/N the materials they sell to BigBoxes are no different than the stuff they sell to Joe Sh*tbird's local plumbing supply house.

It's the same old internet crap as local suppliers struggle to compete with the big boxes. JMO but my guess is that your plumber is looking to make a couple of bucks on the "pass through".

As an aside - why is "plastic" necessarily inferior?
 
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Old 06-16-16, 01:04 PM
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follow up

So, I opted to return the Home Depot Moen kit and bought a Posi Temp valave and trim kit from direct from a pluming supply (not the plumber).

The plumber illustrated the bog difference (at least here in NJ): the Home Depot version of the PosiTemp valve doesnt have individual shutoffs for hot and cold-- the Plumbing Supply place does. He said, once installed, the Home Depot one wouldnt meet code, as those are required.
 
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Old 06-16-16, 01:23 PM
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I agree that items with the exact same part number are identical. Problem is, the part numbers may appear to be identical except for a prefix or suffix code that may be a numeral, a letter or even a punctuation mark. The presence of a suffix or prefix changes the part number and could signify significant product differences.
 
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Old 06-16-16, 03:12 PM
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Agreed_____________________________________
 
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Old 06-17-16, 09:20 AM
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On my recent bathroom remodel I was able to figure out the differences in the retail grade/plumber grade part numbers and found that the plumber grade parts didn't cost much more online through Amazon. I did go down to my local supply house to give them a shot at the deal. When I told the woman who helped me how much cheaper they could be bought online she said that she was well aware of the price desparity and that she herself would buy them at Amazon even though she works there. I guess their business model pretty much just excludes the DIY/retail market so I felt zero guilt about buying elsewhere.
 
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