Do you want to build up your plumbing toolkit in case your toilet clogs without mercy one of these days and you want to DIY the problem? Or do you need to stock up on things like plumber’s tape and pipe insulation? A great way to keep your costs low on these items is to shop where your plumber gets his or her supplies.
Big Box Stores
Did you know that you can buy many plumbing fixtures for a great deal at your local big box stores? In fact, you can get a better deal here than at the professionals’ supply company, in many cases. Look for brands like Kohler, American Standard, and Toto to know you are getting professional quality. You can expect to pay up to 15 percent less at a big box store than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP).
Big box stores also carry basic plumbing supplies to repair your pipes or fixtures. You can find plumbing rough-in material and other products for these projects. At your big box store, you can also order fixtures and trim directly from a manufacturer’s catalogue. After researching the model number and list price, simply ask someone in customer service for help.
Your Local Hardware Store
Your local hardware store offers just about everything you might need for DIY plumbing projects. However, they rarely sell enough of these items to offer great discounts. But in a pinch, you can certainly find what you need.
Where these stores offer their best value is in their faucet and fixture sales. You can find cheaper options at fairly competitive pricing. But if you want upgraded quality or real bang-for-your-buck, it is best to go to the hardware store as your last resort.
Industrial Supply Houses
If you are buying in bulk, you can get a great deal at industrial supply houses. But you cannot buy one item, such as a water heater, at a great discount here. These businesses thrive by selling in volume. That is why plumbing pros shop here when they need several dozen units of the same item. These stores often provide contractors with accounts and discount options. But you must be a licensed pro to get those deals.
Where the industrial supply house provides value for you is when you need repair parts like faucets, flush valves or fittings. You can also find a wide variety of necessary tools. If you struggle to find a particular part, the supply house can order it from their distributor network for you.
Professional Plumbing Supply House
The professional plumbing supply house is a wholesaler to industry professionals. These houses are part of a supply chain between manufacturers, factory sales reps, distribution agencies, and the wholesaler, who then sells to licensed plumbing companies and contractors. These are complex relationships not typically open to individuals or unlicensed DIYers. We asked the plumbers at Calgary plumber and drains where to find these supplies, and they provided some easy answers for us.
Ecommerce and Online Specialty Stores
One of the best places to shop for your plumbing supplies is online. This is also where many plumbers get their tools, equipment and supplies. If you know what you are looking for, a simple search and price comparison can save you a lot of time and money. You can find niche specialty stores that focus on one type of product, such as tools, faucets, drains, or pipes. Looking online is a great way to compare brand names, attributes, features and quality before your plumber performs remodelling, renovation or installation work, too.