Saturday, March 5, 2011

Defective Parts

My kitchen faucet was dripping. It's the Delta brand classic with a single handle. I think it is one of the best faucets available. Parts are readily available and it is easy to repair.

With a lifetime warranty I can get free parts from the manufacturer. For most repair jobs this isn't done because it's easier and quicker to pick up new ones at the local hardware.

I carry Delta parts in my inventory. I prefer the name brand ones but sometimes Home Depot is out of those. Such was the case the last time I replenished my supply.

I used the ones I had and planned to call Delta to get warranty parts to replace them. After a simple repair, the faucet still leaked. I made some adjustments and the problem persisted. I wondered what I was doing wrong.

Finally it dawns on me that it might be a defective replacement part; that has happened before. Well, after the Delta brand parts arrived in the mail the problem was solved. The defective part was returned to Home Depot and a lesson was learned.

In the future I will not settle for off-brand parts when precision is required. If this had been a customer's faucet, it would have required a return trip to repair and would have called my competency into question.

My son who is a mechanic has had similar problems. I remember a recent repair where a cooling system part leaked after being replaced. It looked the same as the old part but the o-ring seal was apparently out of spec. To complete the repair the system had to be disassembled again and a new part installed.

The lesson learned is to watch out for off-brand replacement parts. There are times they may work but many times they are not manufactured with the precision required. A problem with them may present immediately or may show up in a premature failure.


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