Folks, after a lifetime of working as a plumber and now that I’m working making a few repairs around the house, I just have to say it: America’s best days might be behind us in some ways, but we’re still the best in the world when it comes to plumbing fittings and equipment.
Whenever I used to work on other houses, I made a rule of buying American wherever and whenever possible. I always told my clients, you want to pay a few dollars more up front so that you don’t have to have me come back and do this all over again. I still believe in that today.
I think you have to care about getting it right in this life: if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right. After years of fighting communists and dictators overseas, I can’t stomach the idea of sending my Jacksons to people who run sweatshops and churn out garbage for our consumption.
I also believe that politicians come and go, but the most democratic thing you can do in this world is to vote with your dollar. Support American steel, and you’re supporting your neighbors putting bread on the table, you’re investing in a free country, with fair justice and an objective press.
The more I take a wander through the Home Depot and look at some of the garbage on those shelves, the more it all makes sense to me why people don’t like being homeowners. If you look at those kinds of stores, you don’t see anything good. It breaks, it leaks, it’s hard to figure out. No wonder people hate plumbing.
Folks, trust me. This doesn’t have to be rocket science. The main reason your plumbing’s giving you grief is that you’re using bad components. Doesn’t matter how good a plumber you use if the parts are going to fail.
It’s simple: buy American. Plumbing equipment is one of the few industries left where you can get just about everything made here.
American parts fit like a glove because they’re made with care by people who’ve been working on them all their lives. Chinese parts never match up right, so you always end up with leaks, because the people who are making them don’t have any idea how they’re supposed to end up, and they don’t get paid enough to make them care.
Whether you’re talking pipes, wrenches, or rubber seals, not to mention water heaters or toilets, the big stuff, the stuff that’s made here lasts the longest and works the best. It’s a reminder to me that we can still get it right, if we get people to care enough about the things they’re buying and about the folks who are making them.
I encourage my readers to shop local, and support your mom and pop hardware store, especially if they make an extra effort to carry American-made products. If they don’t ask them to. Take it from me, nothing else is anywhere near as good.