Lousy Chinese plumbing components

I've just gotten to the point where I won't buy plumbing parts if they're made in China.
I do a lot of my shopping for home repair items at Menard's, and it's pretty rare anymore to find anything American-made (or at least decent) in their plumbing department -- especially for the pipe & fittings.
The last straw was a few pieces I bought since I was there anyhow -- just a 3/4" tee and a 90. Assembling it, the 90 threaded in very easily (too easily) with no progressive increase in force required, and then tightened abruptly. I used tape, but when things don't feel right, you just know there's going to be rework & cursing. With properly made fittings, this job would have been no challenge at all.
Sure enough, it leaked just enough to piss me off. One droplet every 45 seconds, maybe. No amount of torque & teflon tape would keep it water-tight. Rework with US-made items, and everything's fine.
I had to replace some ball valves a while back, and I had already had bad experiences with Menards' "LDF" brand of garbage valves. I went to an Ace Hardware instead and paid through the snout for some Italian made ball valves. It was worth it, because the job had to be done only once, and they've held up just fine since. (I'd still prefer American...).
I've seen these LDF pieces of crap crumble upon installation. They can't even take the force of normal tightening with a wrench. I've seen one with a pinhole leak at the body of the valve! Nowhere near a moving part. That's how thin the material was. Damn! What are they using for quality control?
What these retailers probably don't understand is that for plumbing (and probably many other areas of home maintenance), labor is the deciding factor. If I buy the Menards Chinese crap, it's almost 100% certain that I'll be doing the job twice. Therefore, I'll shop elsewhere, and I'll buy whatever else I need at the same place. So Menards loses the whole purchase, not just the plumbing.
But as for Chinese plumbing parts -- man, I've had it. No more.
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Robert Barr wrote:

Are there not Minimum standards required for electrical and plumbing supplies?
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Of course there are. Now you go to China and enforce them. Lotsa luck! The Chinese have been caught hundreds of times forging UL, CSA, and European approval seals on the garbage they produce. You want to put a stop to it? Write your Congressman and Senator, and demand that the U.S. revoke China's "most favored nation" trading status until such time as it can be proven that the forgeries have stopped.
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Martik wrote:

The answer to that question varies by locality. In Maryland, USA for example it is unlawful to offer electrical supplies for sale that are not listed by an electrical testing laboratory. -- Tom H
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Italy has actually been producing some high quality ball valves, Nibco for instance is made there. As far as fitting go, would not use any more chinese stuff, as a matter of fact, inspectors here in NYC are known to have plumbers re-do work where they find chinse fittings.
good luck
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On Sat, 05 Feb 2005 03:39:59 +0000, Robert Barr wrote:

In the last 12-18 months, I've gone from 1 or 2% defect rates in material and supplies to about 10%. This is across all categories. On inexpensive small parts, I frequently buy multiple items now in case the first one fails. If the first part does not fail, I've got a spare in the tool box for the next job.
Surely there is some organization that can get the ball rolling on this. Writing letters to politicians is a waste of time -- maybe someone that can line the politician's pockets with money will get something done....
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when unethical and/or criminal politicians in a country different than yours colloborate with unethical and/or criminal politicians in your country, you will get defective manufactured goods imported to you
if the politicians in your country care about you they will demand higher quality manufactured goods be imported into your country
lining your politicians' pockets with money will only make them even more corrupt than they already are
your politicians will let more defective goods into your country if they are getting benefits from doing so, whether or not you know about those benefits
many cannot fathom their own politicians doing this to them, and until they can and do, and do something about it, it will continue
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Robert Barr wrote:

I don't blame you. Back when I used to shop at Lowes I bought a couple of galvanized pipe nipples for use outside. They didn't leak, but within two months they were covered solid with rust. Galvanized? I don't think so....
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