A few years or so ago I bought a low-flow toilet. One that uses less water to get rid of my waste.
It’s made by Kohler.
And it never worked well. From day one it leaked around the “flapper valve”. Not much, but a little. Enough I could hear it. About six months ago it started leaking a lot more. So I bought a new flapper valve. Then another, and another. Still it leaked.
Today I went to Home Depot. They had a dozen flapper valves that all looked alike. I stool like a deer in headlights trying to make a choice. Eventually an employee came us the aisle helping another customer. When he was finished with that customer, I asked for his help.
Although he seemed as if he couldn’t care less that I was a customer he did ask about my toilet – the he found me a flapper valve made for Kohler toilets. And he walked away. OK – the service wasn’t friendly, but it was efficient. I am now listening to no water running at all. Not even a trickle.
But I wonder – flapper valves have been pretty much “designed” for the last couple decades. WTF made Kohler design a “different” one? Why make me take 5 trips to the hardware store? Why not be “interchangeable”?
Of course I know the answer – there isn’t a lot of money in “interchangeable”. The margins are a lot better if you aren’t a commodity. Even if you build potties.