The Faucet

By
Real Estate Agent with McGraw Realtors

My New Kitchen Faucet by Bob HaywoodI bought a new kitchen faucet the other day.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  Doesn't knock you off your seat, right?  It didn't me either...until I was actually shopping for the faucet at the home improvement store. 

After I got over the sticker shock, I began looking around.  I had certain things I was looking for.  While these involved color and height, it also involved brand.  We have 25 year old Delta faucets in our house and they still work great!  Last weekend I had to change out washers in two of the faucets that had begun to drip.  The parts were under $10 for both faucets and the project was extremely easy.  I was pleased.

So, needless to say, after such a fine performance, I was inclined to buy a Delta faucet.  But my selection process narrowed down to two.  A Delta and another brand that looked really nice and was less expensive.  But I had never heard of this other brand.  And I've had bad experiences with "off" brands in the past.  It seems like to me that "off brand" stuff just doesn't last very long.  I keep thinking about the off brand bread that Diane buys sometimes.  You have to eat it on fast forward in order to get as many slices gone as you can before it molds!

So I turned over the box and sure enough, it was made in China. I picked the Delta faucet and saw that it was made in the USA.  Ever since the China drywall mess, home products made in developing countries kind of scare me now.  I have what is probably an irrational fear.  I don't want to install a faucet made in some third world country only to find out later that the stuff inside the faucet causes cancer.

You probably think I'm very prejudiced against China, but I'm really not.  I'm just cautious.  And for good reason.  You see, this past Tuesday I did the funeral of a man who died of Mesithelimoa.  He had been a welder of metal doorframes for most his working years.  When he would lay the doorframes down on the ground to weld them together, he would use a mat that was made of asbestos.  Today we know that exposure to asbestos can cause cancer.  One suspects that exposure to the mat over time or possible exposure to buildings with asbestos siding and/or asbestos insulation eventually caused this horrible disease to develop in him.  The loss to the family is heartbreaking.

Lead based paint impacts children!So China is not alone in manufacturing potentially dangerous products.  It seems like to me that it is in the early days of a country's getting going or of a new product development that the potential for problems is the highest.  Ask any Realtor about lead based paint.  That stuff was used all over the place in our country in the last 50+ years.  Today we know that lead based paint is dangerous.  In fact, you have to have proper training to remove it now.

The lesson here is not, "Don't buy China stuff," but rather be careful what you buy.  We cannot protect ourselves from every unknown danger in the world, but we can be smarter consumers.  Read the label.  Consider the production source.  And then consider price verses value verses health.

In this case, I think I'll take regulation.

Kid in tub photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/familymwr/4929686071/

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Bob Haywood
Bob Haywood
Owasso, Oklahoma REALTOR®

Tulsa, OK REALTOR®/ McGraw REALTORS®
Bhaywood@mcgrawrealtors.com
(918) 272-7272

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Comments (12)

Ellen Mantel Pfann
McDevitt Sotheby's International Realty - Pinehurst, NC

Good point Bob. I'm very cautious about things like Pet treats --- we only buy USA.

PLUS, it's good for our economy!

Sep 23, 2010 03:11 AM
Katherine Fornale
REMAX REALTY 9 - Howell, NJ
SFR, GRI

Good lesson Bob, thanks for posting.

Sep 23, 2010 03:13 AM
Cindy Smith
Century 21 Nachman Realty - Elizabeth City, NC

I agree with you.  We should buy USA made products and support our county and the people who work here.  The bottom line for the big businesses is how much money they can put in their pockets.  Buy USA.

Sep 23, 2010 03:15 AM
Susan Laxson CRS
Premier Sotheby's International Realty - Naples, FL
The Michelle Thomas Team

I think experience and recent events have taught us to be more careful in the products we buy and feed our family - thanks for the reminder!  ~ Susan

Sep 23, 2010 03:38 AM
Glenn Roberts
Retired - Seattle, WA

I worry about all products that go into the building of homes these days. We used to have only wood for just about anything, but we've pretty much used that up. I worry about the furniture that goes into homes as well and I often wonder which will last longer: the furniture, the home, or the mortgage?

Sep 23, 2010 03:58 AM
Bob Haywood
McGraw Realtors - Owasso, OK
BobHaywood.com

Glenn - well said!  There might be a blog in those words of wisdom!

Sep 23, 2010 04:03 AM
Leslie Ebersole
Swanepoel T3 Group - Saint Charles, IL
I help brokers build businesses they love.

A little more caution and a litle less consumption would have been good for us all over the past two decades. Now many people are slowing down and thinking a little more about what they buy. Thanks for the advice.

Sep 23, 2010 04:11 AM
Jeanna Martinez
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX

Bob - I agree 100%! We have to be careful with what we bring into our homes and lives.  It just takes a little bit of effort to pay attention to how and where things are made! =) I hope you are having a great week!

Sep 23, 2010 07:04 AM
Chris Alston
Chris Alston (Keller Williams Realty, Silicon Valley, California) - Campbell, CA
Silicon Valley, California
It was a fun read, hearing about the process that your mind took in buying what you bought. And it is okay to feel the way you do, it didn't come across as negative!
Sep 23, 2010 08:54 AM
Bill Wilson
Paradigm AdvantEdge - Edmond, OK

For 20 years, Delta had a plant in Chickasha, but it closed in 2006.

Sep 23, 2010 01:14 PM
Don Sabinske
Don Sabinske, Sabinske & Associates Inc. - Zimmerman, MN
Sabinske & Associates Inc.

I try to buy the best that I can afford every time I make a major purchase.  I hate having to replace things constantly.  It seems to be cheaper in the long run to buy the best instead of consistently buying cheap. 

Sep 24, 2010 12:25 AM
San Antonio Texas New Homes for Sale
www.sanantoniotexasnewhomesforsale.com - San Antonio, TX
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hill Country

 

 

Hi Bob,

 

 Quality is a bargain ..... in so many ways ..

Buy USA ......Jobs, money gets circulated many times over,...there's so much for this and more !

Sep 24, 2010 02:53 AM