6 Tips for Buying Above-Grade Plumbing Systems Smarter

CAMBRIDGE, ON, July 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Home renovations can be tricky, especially if you want to add a bathroom or kitchen to a part of a home where there’s no plumbing drain, warns Phil WarrenGeneral Manager of Saniflo Canada, a major manufacturer of plumbing systems in Canada.

Saniflo Canada

“Adding plumbing to basements, attics, garages, and unfinished spaces typically requires drilling into concrete or performing a major structural renovation that can compromise the structural integrity of a home,” notes Warren. However, above-floor plumbing systems, such as macerating toilets and sump pumps, can significantly simplify home improvement projects.

There are many above floor toilets and other maceration technology products on the market today, but not all are created equal. Warren suggests six critical factors to keep firmly in mind when purchasing a macerating pump system for a new addition or to replace an existing system.

1. Go for quality

Home renovations can be expensive. It can be tempting to go for cheaper options, but they can cost more if they break or cause damage to the home. This same principle applies when purchasing above ground plumbing systems. “While there are cheaper options, it’s important to research all options and choose a product known for its quality performance,” says Warren.

2. Known product source = higher reliability

Where a product is made can have a significant impact on its quality. In-house manufacturing means a company can ensure the highest possible quality control, which is not guaranteed or easy to verify when manufacturing is outsourced.

Why is this important? Knowing where a macerating pump is made is directly related to its quality and reliability. For example, a well-known manufacturer of macerators such as Warren’s Saniflo brand — the inventor of the concept more than 60 years ago — is entirely manufactured and assembled in-house near the company’s headquarters in France. These products are shipped for distribution to the company’s two headquarters in North America (Canada and United States) and then sold to Canadian professional installers through Saniflo’s national network distribution partners.

“Knowing that the macerating toilet or drain pump has been closely monitored throughout the production and distribution process is the best way to have peace of mind,” comments Warren.

3. Customer support starts at home

Opting for cheaper above-ground plumbing solutions could well lead to a defective product down the line. The inevitable next step would be to call the manufacturer’s toll-free number to resolve the issue. But, chances are that customer service based in another country will be less than helpful or reliable – or just plain difficult to contact.

In contrast, Canada-based customer service agents should be able to provide faster responses, more reliable problem resolution, and more effective communication. Buying from a manufacturer with a Canadian-based sales force should also ensure faster and more efficient customer service.

4. Is the product code compliant?

Determining if a product is manufactured to Canadian codes and standards is critical, especially when it comes to above-floor plumbing. A reputable company invests in testing their products to comply with major plumbing codes. This way the product will be approved to be installed anywhere in Canadawhile protecting the customer from any potential problems.

Maceration technology uses an electrically powered pump, and any electrical product that comes into contact with water is potentially hazardous. As Warren notes, “a product that fails to meet established safety standards is an imminent accident.”

5. Ask for a multi-year product warranty

Many above ground plumbing systems offer a product warranty of up to one year only. This can be a problem if the product breaks down or fails later, leading to costly repairs or replacement. A major brand, such as Saniflo, offers its customers a standard three-year warranty for their macerating pump products. Again, they have offices and multiple warehouses across Canadaensuring optimal availability and distribution, especially during global supply shortage challenges.

6. Make sure it can be insured

As mentioned above, problems can arise with electrical products that come into contact with water. It is crucial that these products are insurable in the event of a problem. But not all brands of macerating pump products can obtain or offer insurance.

“Products must carry some type of third-party certification to ensure their reliability in protecting property, as well as the health and safety of those who use them,” Warren says.

Examples of independent laboratories that test for compliance would be “CSA” and “IAPMO”.

These nationally recognized laboratories test products to comply with ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) standards for code compliance in Canada.

“Without these certifications,” advises Warren, “products could likely be deemed unreliable or even unsafe by insurance companies.”

These six tips will make shopping for an above-floor plumbing system a more reassuring process, resulting in a product that will perform well for years to come. Learn more about the role of maceration technology in home improvement at www.go.saniflo.ca

Handyman connecting toilet discharge extension.

Handyman connecting toilet discharge extension.

SOURCESaniflo Canada