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The Cheapening of Products.

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  • The Cheapening of Products.

    Sometimes it pizzes me off when products are covertly cheapened in my opinion.

    Here's an example of a plumbing fitting (3/4" swt x pex female adpt.). The picture is of one I recently bought vs. one I had. Supposed to be the same brand.

    See the difference? Someone is sitting in a little room multiplying x times y and doing this.

    I don't like that guy.

    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    Re: The Cheapening of Products.

    Here's another one. These are brake pads off my work truck.

    The brake pads on the exact same truck 10 years later are smaller & wear quicker.

    Every time I get brake pads, every auto parts store gets all confused and tries to give me the smaller pad they've been accustomed to seeing. Computer seems to always be wrong.

    These are off of one caliper. It's not uncommon for them to be different sizes. I'll try to get a picture of the later model truck pads for comparison sometime.

    Just my opinion, but if you're driving what most of us drive and carry the amount of weight associated, you need at least this much surface area contact.

    Click image for larger version

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    • #3
      Re: The Cheapening of Products.

      Originally posted by BobsPlumbing View Post
      Here's another one. These are brake pads off my work truck.

      The brake pads on the exact same truck 10 years later are smaller & wear quicker.

      Every time I get brake pads, every auto parts store gets all confused and tries to give me the smaller pad they've been accustomed to seeing. Computer seems to always be wrong.

      These are off of one caliper. It's not uncommon for them to be different sizes. I'll try to get a picture of the later model truck pads for comparison sometime.

      Just my opinion, but if you're driving what most of us drive and carry the amount of weight associated, you need at least this much surface area contact.

      Click image for larger version

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      On the pads, is your truck a heavier weight class than the standard truck in that model? There are probably two pads listed for different load capacities and unless you tell them they will assume the lighter/smaller class pads.
      ---------------
      Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
      ---------------
      “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
      ---------
      "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
      ---------
      sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The Cheapening of Products.

        Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
        On the pads, is your truck a heavier weight class than the standard truck in that model? There are probably two pads listed for different load capacities and unless you tell them they will assume the lighter/smaller class pads.
        I always tell them the exact truck it is, and then point to it through the glass of their place. It's really ok if they have a little trouble finding them to me. There's a million parts they have to cover and some are bound to cross over, get lost in the system, or get mixed up somehow.

        The point I was trying to make is we have the exact same truck in a later model. Same size, engine, wheels, bed, etc. And it's brake pad & caliper are smaller.

        Result? It has less stopping power (longer distances) and wears the pads out quicker.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The Cheapening of Products.

          I know what you mean and hate it also. I just bought a new Weber Kettle Grill and it's nowhere near the quality of the old one I had before. The older one was built like a tank and the new one like a cookie tin.
          Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The Cheapening of Products.

            Originally posted by BadgerDave View Post
            I know what you mean and hate it also. I just bought a new Weber Kettle Grill and it's nowhere near the quality of the old one I had before. The older one was built like a tank and the new one like a cookie tin.
            I've been on jobs several times and measured "2x4's" that measured around 1-3/8" on the short side. Hate to be the conspiracy theorist, and people don't think that to be much at all, but when you're running a million board feet every so many days.....I bet the mill operator knows it and how much a benefit it is to them.

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            • #7
              Re: The Cheapening of Products.

              I can recall talking to somebody about how motor leads seemed to be getting shorter a few years ago and was told that if they take off just 1/4 inch on each lead that's 1/2 inch of copper they save on each motor. And at the price of copper that's real money so they probably take more off.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The Cheapening of Products.

                Originally posted by BobsPlumbing View Post
                I always tell them the exact truck it is, and then point to it through the glass of their place. It's really ok if they have a little trouble finding them to me. There's a million parts they have to cover and some are bound to cross over, get lost in the system, or get mixed up somehow.

                The point I was trying to make is we have the exact same truck in a later model. Same size, engine, wheels, bed, etc. And it's brake pad & caliper are smaller.

                Result? It has less stopping power (longer distances) and wears the pads out quicker.
                Got it now. I missed what you were getting at the first time around. Yes, it adds up and saves money and somebody pays the price and as usual its the consumer.

                So you don't like being short-changed huh; getting less and paying more; neither do I.

                I want all the Social Security monies they kept telling me I earned when they were taking my money for the past 45 years of working.

                Oops, don't read that last line Frankie, your blood pressure will go up.
                ---------------
                Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                ---------------
                “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                ---------
                "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                ---------
                sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: The Cheapening of Products.

                  Too late Bob, the blood pressure up and staying there! I have noticed all these things and more. The wiring on lamps, space heater, etc keeps getting thinner to the point where it almost burns up like a fuse in some cases! Recently had to change a sway bar end link on my daughter's 1997 explorer, only did the job one year ago! Autozone gave me a free replacement but it is still wasted time and effort and proves how cheaply things are made. The gallon of icecream is now 1.5gallons, the one pound of kielbasa is now 14oz, 5lb bag on sugar is 4lbs!!!! We are paying more money for less product and cheaper made product to maintain profit margins against inflation. I saw a portable hvlp paint sprayer on one of the shopping channels last night and did a search for product reviews. People had nothing but bad to say, such as it lasted only 5 minutes before breaking, made in china garbage, customer service was in india, some guy got charged 4 times on his credit card and everyone had trouble getting a refund. We are losing time and money. I gotta take a pill now, not sure where that's made or if it even helps, they probably watered down the strength? I'm angry!!!!!!!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The Cheapening of Products.

                    Ran into this the other week. Many or most have seen this. Another example of the cheapening of things. I have no idea why this has become accepted as one of the standard connections and plumbers have accepted it.

                    Click image for larger version

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                    • #11
                      Re: The Cheapening of Products.

                      Looks overtightened by the wrench marks. All the new ones have wings built in and its just a hand tightening now. Some even have a ratcheting torque limiter built in.

                      I have some old stock with chrome plated brass nuts. Those are actually more of an issue on plastic shanks.

                      Of course all the lav connectors have chrome plated brass nuts. So if the shank is plastic, then the connector should be plastic.if brass, then brass connector.

                      Try buying spaghetti and beading tools and they won't even know what you're talking about.

                      In fact when I buy a replacement side mount fluidermaster kohler ballcock, it comes with a water flex. Of course it's a 3/8" comp x bc connector out here 1/2" sj is the norm.

                      Rick.
                      phoebe it is

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: The Cheapening of Products.

                        Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                        Looks overtightened by the wrench marks. All the new ones have wings built in and its just a hand tightening now. Some even have a ratcheting torque limiter built in.

                        I have some old stock with chrome plated brass nuts. Those are actually more of an issue on plastic shanks.

                        Of course all the lav connectors have chrome plated brass nuts. So if the shank is plastic, then the connector should be plastic.if brass, then brass connector.

                        Try buying spaghetti and beading tools and they won't even know what you're talking about.

                        In fact when I buy a replacement side mount fluidermaster kohler ballcock, it comes with a water flex. Of course it's a 3/8" comp x bc connector out here 1/2" sj is the norm.

                        Rick.
                        Looks mean nothing. The slight wrench marks mean nothing. There is zero evidence that it was "cranked down" on to the shank. But let's say it was just for sake of argument.

                        What's the proper torque for this nut? On a plastic shank valve? On a metal shank valve? The wrench that exerts the proper torque reading?

                        It's garbage. Just another example of cheapening something because someone sat in a room and said "Hey were selling millions of this. If we eliminate $2.00 nut from our product and keep the price the same, we can make millions more because we've established the brand."

                        I'm aware of Fluidmaster's torque limited nut supply. Was given one and gave it a try. Then watched it leak after properly installing it.

                        But it makes me ask a question. Why would they be inventing something like it in the first place? Because people are "overtightening" an inferior nut that shouldn't be there in the first place I'm guessing.

                        For the record I've seen all brands of flex hoses leak at the swivel or top just as probably most have within 5 to to 7 years. Our old hard lines often would last much longer depending on water chemistry, contact with the top seal, or external damage to them.

                        I have never, ever, seen a PEX line have failure at the head, the ferrule, or the line when properly installed. I've even asked anyone around the U.S. to please post a picture or tell of situations where it was going on 'cause I don't want liability either. And if anyone has pics or stories of failures please put them here.

                        The best combination I've found for a connection to a toilet valve is a metal nut, PEX supply. (Yes, I've aggravatingly cut the metal nut off as well when necessary.)

                        That plastic nut is junk that should have never been accepted or introduced. Regardless of how many millions or billions that are installed supposedly not giving trouble.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: The Cheapening of Products.

                          I have observed what I believe is not only the improper use and applications of plastics replacing metals, but the failures of certain plastics. I don't even know if there are inspections to check for quality control between batches because it seems that some plastic parts of the same item have more or less strength or flexibility, while others are either made or become prematurely brittle. The spray control handles on my old pump sprayers were brass and lasted twenty years, the new plastic ones last two or three! I have yet to see a plastic part that replaced a metal part in a application that required movement that held up as long. Regarding torque, a powerful man who is experienced with tightening things will cause less damage than a weak man who has no or little understanding and experience in such things. While a population tries to accomodate the frailty of plastic parts we keep taking a hit in the wallet while our enemies grow rich! KitchenAid makers of the old standard kitchen mixers tried to use all plastic gears, and every unit failed under use. That does not mean all manufactureres are willing to switch back to a stronger, proven material. I have seen plastic parts fail on lawn equipment, car parts, appliance parts and all sorts of machinery. Remember the picture I posted of the stainless steel braided 3/8 water extension line and how the barbed end came apart at the crimp? My point is "made in china" seems to be a problem and I say that because of the repeated failure of products I have seen with that label. Generally speaking, things that were made thirty or forty years ago were made stronger, and were made to be repaired, rebuilt, there was less waste. I keep hearing all too often "It doesn't pay to fix it, just replace it with new". CV boots on front end cars used to be replaced if the joint was not damaged, nowadays the entire part, axle shaft and all are replaced. Our children and their children will pay for all the waste, all the garbage generated, all the dollars thrown away! This is just another aspect of a dsysfunctional economy.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: The Cheapening of Products.

                            Originally posted by BobsPlumbing View Post
                            Ran into this the other week. Many or most have seen this. Another example of the cheapening of things. I have no idea why this has become accepted as one of the standard connections and plumbers have accepted it.

                            Click image for larger version

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                            Here ya go!

                            http://www.kullysupply.com/universal...et-supply-line





                            http://www.wolverinebrass.com/downlo...Connectors.pdf

                            Page E-20
                            ~~

                            ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

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                            • #15
                              Re: The Cheapening of Products.

                              Thanks. Everyone I've ever seen leaks at the swivel. in 5 to 7 years. Old hard lines last 20 to 30+. Never ran into a PEX line with the head seal or ferrule seal giving trouble when properly installed. Time will tell whether they make it as long as the hard lines.

                              And remember, that which is easy to install will likely be installed by someone not in the business later. So the 5 to 7 year turnover doesn't benefit you the majority of the time.

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