I come from an era when BRASS fittings and drains lasted for 30+ years back in
the 40 and 50s.
I changed the toilet bolts that hold the back to the base and the 4 inch long
"brass" bolts were eaten up in about 10 years. Now the new ones are eaten up in
about 4 years. I can feel a DEPRESSION where there was a SLOT in the oval head.
Original bolts lasted from 1951 to 1983 and were not bad. I just figured since
I was redoing the bathroom, I may as well replace the bolts as well.
Is the stuff you buy ( bolts and drains - non plastic ) from a PLUMBER SUPPLY
vs HOME DEPOT any better or thicker ???
I went to a plumber supply and he sold me the same kind of thing as Home Depot.
Many of the packages of parts were the same brand.
I asked it they made them in STAINLESS STEEL and he did not know.
I notice several valve I had to AGAIN replace since they had "pinholes" of
crust coming thru them after about 10 years. The old valves I took out were 30
years old with none of those problems. I just thought since I was redoing stuff
( water heater, new boiler, new water lines, etc. ) , to put in new.
BOTTOM LINE :
Is brass today ( probably made in China ) crap compared to years ago ?
yes its crap.. you have to step up to commercial grade to get something
that is equivalent to what they made 30 yrs. ago.. all of the crap that
is made today is out of china.. when i was looking for brass parts for
plumbing i was told that they dont make it in the US anymore...........
i never used plastic until now, at least with the plastic you get a
better quality unit.. the brass stuff is full of pinholes and is of poor
Good point there, Gary. But I can't help but believe a contributing
factor is product quality. I have seen complete freeze proof hose bibs
with a valve and everything for $2.98 "Made in China". It looks like
brass, but what kind of impurities are in there?
The poster could check the pH of his water very easily. (Check the
hobby shop for a test kit.) My locality publishes water quality
standards with stats on the range obtained in the reporting period.
Regardless, buying better stuff has to help.
Along these lines, why would copper pipe get eaten away?
I just redid some pipes at my Dad's house due to a fire restoration,
and some of the 1/2" copper lines from a plumbing repair from 20+
years ago was very pitted on the inside and sections were paper thin.
The original 3/4" copper pipes from when the house was built (~40 year
ago) was still pristine inside.
I don't know if it was due to copper quality, or galvanic corrosion
(one section I replaced may have had an iron fitting attached - threw
it away before I thought to relook at it).
On 22 Jul 2003 06:11:32 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (Tomcat14)
There are many things that cause it. Some effect horizontal lines and
some get the vertical lines. Some get hot water lines and some cold
water. Most plumbers are not informed about the problem and still hold
on to a misplaced trust in copper. So water treatment dealers are the
ones to talk to about solutions. For the causes you can do a google
search for "pinhole leaks" + copper typed exactly that way.
Quality Water Associates
I'm not into metallurgy but a company here having their stuff made in
China is still going to look at the make up of the product and insure it
meets the standards here. The price is due to many factors but the
predominate ones affecting cost is labor, benefits and taxes. I heard
yesterday that Cal growers of something can't grow it as cheap as it can
be bought and shipped from China. The economies applied to GE and
radios, they made 4 out of every 5 radios in the US back in 1969 and
they closed down their US plants in '70-71. It's called the world
economy and progress. You either join in or get left behind if you're
involved in mass marketed stuff.
Quality Water Associates
Brass items can either be made with virgin metal or from recycled materials
such as shell casings. I'm not sure what the standards are for plumbing
fixtures and fasteners, but I suppose it's possible that these items are
made from recycled materials. If that's the case, then impurities in the
metal might account for the more rapid deterioration.
However, as another poster suggested, it's more likely to be the difference
in the pH of the water.
They dont make much of anything good anymore. Plastic is even worse.
For example, I was just complaining that 2 years ago I bought a toilet
seat, and the other day the plastic hinge broke. Not from abuse
either, I lifted it and it just broke in pieces. My parents had the
same toilet seat for 20plus years, and it had a metal hinge. I
personally hate buying anything made of plastic. particularly anything
that moves, or has stress on it. In my opinion, plastic should be
tossed in the trash BEFORE it is sold in the store. Another good
example. My neighbor was painting his house when a wind came up.
He tried to lower the ladder when the wind caught it and it hit the 2
inch plastic pipe service entrance for his electric. The pipe
shattered, exposing the wires. That could have been a disaster, but
he was lucky, and nothing shorted out. It did cost him several
hundred dollars to have an electrician replace the pipe. That would
never have happened with steel pipe.
The bottom line is that we pay more and more for everything, while
everything gets more and more poorly made.
On 22 Jul 2003 01:24:22 GMT, email@example.com (Conase) wrote:
Brass is brass. That is...
1. An alloy of copper and zinc
2. Attractive if polished. Some like it oxidized too.
3. Easily oxidized
4. Very weak
5. Easily corroded/eaten by acids or galvanic action (electrolysis)
6. Best replaced by bronze.
Where I am (Polk county Florida), copper pipe/tubing is no longer used
by plumbers due to the acidity of the water. Since piss is acidic,
perhaps the acclerated deterioration of your brass fittings is
attributable to poorer aim on your part? :)
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