What Plumbing Brands Should You Buy?

By expertplumbing | Featured

Sep 22

So you want a new faucet or water heater or sump pump or toilet? But which one? You can go on line to look up brand ratings and get so many mixed reviews you feel more confused than when you started.

First, there are many exceptionally made product that I don’t use.  Not because I don’t like them but because of demographics.



My 24/7 shop is in Naperville Il.  And in Naperville Il. I only use 2 faucet products, Moen and Kohler.

I use them because of reliability.

Moen creates faucet design around 1 repair cartridge.  Easy to fix, easy to find and 90% of the time the repair is the same.

Kohler has style and though their parts list is massive, 70% of the time they will send them, to you, for free.

These are product I can sell with reasonable promise of function. These are products I can get parts for at any hardware or big box store. I don’t need angry calls in the middle of the night. I also don’t want to tell people they have to wait 2 weeks for parts.

But there are other good product I never use like American Standard.  They have style and reliability but, in Illinois, good luck finding parts.  At the time I’m writing this they list Lowes and one of my competitors and the only place to get parts in my area.  And I have looked, they don’t have much.

Price Pfister makes a great economic product but, every year they change styles.  Five years later, good luck finding the repair parts you need.  Almost everyone I know just buys another Price Pfister faucet.  Maybe that’s what they count on?


For pumps I use Metropolitan and Pro Series.  There are many good pump products but sadly the bad ones outnumber the good 3 to 1.  Metropolitan and Pro Series are local.  I can drive to their warehouse to get my pumps.  I have used Zoeller, Hydromatic, Little Giant and many others but one day some corporate genius comes along with a way to save 3 cents a pump and the float switch stops working or the impeller is out of round.  Basically they become, without warning, unreliable.  Your basement floods because the casing shield is now made of plastic instead of rubber.

When I go to the local brand they tell me instantly when something has changed so I can keep an eye on it.

Water Heaters

For Water Heaters I currently use Bradford White.  For many years I would not because of their unreliability.  Right now they are ranked number one in my book.  But things change, often overnight.

For 40 years we used A.O. Smith water heaters.  I visited their factory in Tennessee.  Took their trainings and seminars.  Then they started buying up other small manufactures and became 2 to 3 times larger.  Shortly after this jump we started having issues with their gas valves.  Customers were calling buy the dozens.  Many of these heaters were only months out of warranty.  And I understand the warrantee length.  1% to 2% is acceptable but,  20% to 30% is unacceptable.  People get mad at me when a product, I recommended, fails just after warrantee.


For toilets I always recommend Kohler.  But only the Kohler Cimmeron or the Wellworth.  Before these Kohler models came out and you could not count on a clean flush takeaway if you get my “drift”.

Toilets, like sump pumps, have more unreliable brands than reliable.  American Standard had a recall on their champion.  Really?  The homeowner should bring in their toilet?  Again, I don’t sell American Standard because I can’t get parts when I need them.  I also recommend Gerber Products.  In my opinion they are simply made and always reliable.  However, Gerber, is not as attractive, in my opinion, as Kohler.


The bottom line of this article?  Tour local professional, who is not selling you the product,  knows exactly which products you should buy today.


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