CONWAY, S.C. — Effective Jan. 1, 2010, California and Vermont have passed new laws requiring a reduction in lead content in potable water systems. Russell Dueger, vice president of sales for Wolverine Brass, headquartered here, noted that his firm’s faucets have used copper waterways since the 1970s. The only change the firm has had to make, Dueger said, is to change the fittings on the supply tubes to low-lead brass.
Wolverine manufactures a complete line of faucets that are exclusively sold to the professional plumber allowing a greater profit to be made.
Its “no-retail” sales policy has been in effect for more than 113 years. “Since 1896, Wolverine has only sold directly to the professional plumbing contractor,” Dueger told CONTRACTOR. “The faucets are not available anywhere else such as retail. That allows the professional plumbing contractor to mark stuff up and not get caught, as would be the case if the faucets were in a home center. With one step distribution going direct to the plumbing contractor, we can put better quality in the product.”
Wolverine silver solders the brass faucet body to the copper waterways, Dueger said.
Because the firm sells directly to contractors, it employs 85 full-time salespeople across the country. It has also partnered closely with Nexstar Network since it was founded as Contractors 2000, and with Quality Service Contractors, an enhanced service group of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors – National Association.
Dueger pointed out that the firm has not raised prices on its AB1953 compliant low-lead faucets. Packaging on the complaint faucets is marked “NL.”