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You might save now but you'll pay later

When it comes to purchasing new plumbing fixtures for your home, there's a lot more to consider than just the shelf price.

John Nelson, owner and the name behind local plumbing company, John the Plumber, has some helpful tips on the topic.

"My wife was shopping at Costco and saw what she thought was a really cool faucet at a great price. She sent me a photo of it and asked me what I thought. My reply to her is the same that I give to all my customers: 'looks great but where are you going to find parts?' This particular item was made in Europe. My 30 plus years in plumbing has taught me to always research availability of replacement parts as things break down," he said.

With the popularity of big box home improvement stores and the plethora of DIY videos, more and more homeowners are attempting their own repairs, something John is totally supportive of.

"There are many things that the average person can do on their own, skill-wise. The problem is there are things that they don't know, if you know what I mean," John laughs. He explains, "For example, there are contractor grade faucets that look pretty decent and they are substantially cheaper than Moen or Kohler products. What many homeowners don't realize, however, is that when their contractor grade faucet breaks, there are no parts available or, if they are, they are so costly that you might as well just buy a new unit. Moen and Kohler are more expensive to purchase but they come with a lifetime warranty."

Another issue that homeowners frequently run into has to do with warranties on water heaters.

"The big box home improvement stores sell water heaters directly to the consumer but they don't carry replacement parts," John said. "They also don't handle the exchange of a defective water heater directly. The customer must contact the manufacturer themselves and often the manufacturer will require a diagnosis from a licensed plumber before authorizing a part to be sent or allowing a complete replacement. Recently, I was seeing a lot of the same issues with a water heater sold from one of the home improvement stores so I decided to carry extra parts on my truck, but the manufacturer refused to sell me extra parts. This is why we only install American Standard water heaters. I can get parts quickly and if a unit that I purchased and installed fails, then I can replace it without a bunch of run around."

John is always happy to help out a Do-It-Yourselfer so don't hesitate to call him before you attempt your next plumbing project.

"I think everyone should know how to do at least basic plumbing jobs and I have no problem sharing what I've learned the hard way," he said.

You can reach John the Plumber at (760) 373-7050 or (661) 822-8031 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Any other time, just leave a message and you'll get a call back within 24 hours.