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Thread: Plumbing Supply House

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member
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    Default Plumbing Supply House

    I am looking for a plumbing supply house. I would like to find a local plumbing supply business that will sell direct to me for my upcoming basement sewage pump installation. I am near Downers Grove IL zip 60523 which is 30 minutes outside of Chicago.

    I would like to buy from such a place, b/c I believe they would be the best place to recommend a good pump/pit combination and have some (a lot) of knowledge about what they are doing, compared to the employees at the Big Box stores.

    Thanks a lot for any recommendations.

    -Linc

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Tried the Yellow Pages?

  3. #3
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    Default Yes

    Yes I had. I was just looking to see if anyone here had good experience with a particular business.

    Thanks,

    Linc

  4. #4
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Default Let your fingers do the walking

    I would shop around the internet or here and find something like a Zoeller system and get the specs. Then, I would call a few places in the yellow pages and find out if they have them and get prices. Get the name of the guy you talked to.

    Then go to the place at some non-busy time and ask for him, get your information, and get the best deal you can.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob NH
    I would shop around the internet or here and find something like a Zoeller system and get the specs. Then, I would call a few places in the yellow pages and find out if they have them and get prices. Get the name of the guy you talked to.

    Then go to the place at some non-busy time and ask for him, get your information, and get the best deal you can.
    Thanks for the tip Bob, I'll try it.

    -Linc

  6. #6
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default supply house

    A "good" supply house might not, and should not, sell to someone who is not a plumbing contractor.

  7. #7
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hj
    A "good" supply house might not, and should not, sell to someone who is not a plumbing contractor.
    ...then I don't want to hear any complaints about the big box stores "stealing" business from them.

  8. #8
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    There are supply houses that will only sell to the professional trade, but there are also many that go both ways and are highly regarded. You do have to exercise caution at box stores as not all of their products are of the best quality, but there are times when the cheap-o stuff will suffice.

  9. #9
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default stores

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey
    ...then I don't want to hear any complaints about the big box stores "stealing" business from them.
    If the big box stores sell the materials at the suggested list price then they won't hear about it. But in most cases with the BB stores you get what you pay for.

  10. #10
    DIY Senior Member chefwong's Avatar
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    Somewhat OT....but what is the price comparatively on supplies anyhow from the BB stores as opposed to the a plumbing supply shop...

    I get all my electrical goods from a electrical supply shop this particular shop treats every customer as fair and prices are the *same* each and every time - whereas alot of these trade shops fluctuate day2day on the same item depending who's at the counter ! Prices and selection will definately be cheaper than the big box except for spools of romex/bx 250 feet, etc which I find is the only thing cheaper at the big orange.

    At the plumbing supply shops around me, while I prefer to go there since I feel they carry better quality stuff, (black pipe made in usa) vs. black pipe bought in big box stores that's all rusty when you pick it up .....quality *dahl* valves in any configuration u want, etc - but if you're not a house account....I've yet to come across a plumbing supply shop that was fair to a regular consumer.

  11. #11
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default stores

    How do you define "fair to the consumer"? A contractor has a lot of overhead that has to be covered by his markup on his supplies. If the homeowner can go to a plumbig supply store and buy the material at the same price the contractor can, then why would he want to get it from the contractor and have to pay more for it? That is why the supplier is a competitor of the contractor if he sells directly to the consumer. If he charges the consumer the "list price" which is usually higher than the plumber would have to charge, then it is "fair" to both of them, since the consumer does not have licenses, insurance, taxes, etc. to pay. Also, if you buy from companies that use computers, then the price does not change depending on the salesperson's attitude that day.

  12. #12
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Default

    chefwong's experience is similar to mine. Prices and treatment at local electrical supply and HVAC houses have been fair to me, and the counter guys helpful. The plumbing houses have been wildly variable, from fair and helpful to one Ferguson branch where the counter guy flat-out told me to go buy my stuff at Home Depot. I buy a lot of stuff on the Web as well, and have never had a complaint. ... Well, there was a used car salesman on **** who was pretty sleazy, but we're talking plumbers here.

    As for the tradesman I hire, I'm willing to pay him the same price I'd pay for the same product at Lowe's or HD, in general. I am willing to pay him for his time, knowledge, and specialized tools, because that's the real reason I'm hiring him -- I'm lacking one or the other and can't do the job myself. I think he deserves something for having the part with him when it's needed, but I don't think it's fair to be charged a markup above retail, when he's already gotten a "trade" discount somewhere.

    Every time I get ripped off by a tradesman who's done shoddy work and/or charged outrageously for it discourages me from risking it again. I for-sure won't hire him again, and will do my best to discourage others from doing so. OTOH, if a guy does good work, fairly priced, (or even outstanding work with a premium price) I offer him return business and make darn sure the world knows about him.

  13. #13

    Default

    This is again a little OT, but something I'm really curious about. Here is Seattle, the Lowe's and Home Depot near my house doesn't carry 4" PVC DWV Pipe or 4" DWV fittings. I find that really strange! The guy in the plumbing department even thought it was weird.... man I hate Home Depot sometimes!

    I'm just a lowly Homeowner trying to do some plumbing, but I was under the impression that PVC was the latest and greatest, all they carry is ABS and that COEX Styrene drain stuff. It's kinda scary considering that I'd bet big money that a less than observant Homeowner will probably going to end up grabbing a Styrene fitting to try to fix his PVC drain line!

  14. #14
    DIY Senior Member chefwong's Avatar
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    Default

    I don't recall saying I wanted pricing at the supply house at contractors pricing.....All I was *venting* was my frustration with finding a good plumbing supply shop that likes to deal with consumers. It's not as if I walk up up the counter and ask for this X that will fit into this Y, etc. I just want quality materials and I'm willing to pay for it at *normal* rates. What irks me is that some of the pricing I have recieved is just OUTRAGEOUS and maybe it's a brooklyn NYC thing but if anyone knows of great plumbing supply house, please make some recommendations !

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