Western Sales Company Newsletter

October | 2019 Issue

Hello & Happy October! In the Bay and surrounding areas, we're immersed in a culture of technological development. We just love our gadgets, don't we? Anything that works better, has a unique design, or is simply just cool. (It's entirely possible that half of Western Sales is being secretly controlled by our "smart watches." We'll never know for sure. Oops! Brb, my watch is telling me it's time to take a walk.) This is what makes our market one of the best for selling the latest developments in plumbing technology. In this month's issue, we want to highlight the technologies and products from our brands that are unique or especially nifty. It can be hard to narrow down when every one of our brands and their products are just so darn fantastic, but we'll do our best. This is the burden we bear. 

Anyway, here are your "I don't have time for this" highlights:

  • Cool & unique products and technologies from our brands
  • New faucet "Quick-Ship" program from GROHE, American Standard, and DXV
  • Updated CEC brochure from GROHE
  • MTI tub-to-shower remodel solution

All this and more, below.


GROHE's Cool & Unique Products | If your client is a techie developer type, you simply must tell them about the new GROHE Blue Chilled & Sparkling 2.0. It's got techie written all over it! As you know, it's a three-in-one faucet that offers the regular functions you want from your kitchen faucet for washing dishes or hands; plus chilled, filtered, and still drinking water; plus chilled, filtered, and sparkling water. Sparkling water straight from the tap is simply luxurious and can be enjoyed for Italian sodas, adult beverages, or simply plain – and yes, it's extremely cool. Read more here.

So we're set with the kitchen. What about the shower? GROHE's SmartActive shower head is two shower heads integrated into a single body – a true rain shower with the PureRain spray for relaxation on the outer part of the shower head and a separate inner shower head with ActiveRain spray for washing out shampoo. (Take a look at the gorgeous photo if you're having trouble picturing how it works.) Paired with a discreet diverter (the rough valve is included with the shower; the trim is sold separately), each shower head flows only 1.8 GPM individually in order to satisfy those tricky California codes. Check out the sell sheet and/or watch this video.

NEW CEC Brochure | This is such a fantastic brochure because it takes second-guessing the compliance of a product out of the equation. Every product featured is good in the Golden State, and now we have an updated version hot off the presses. Take a look here.

NEW Faucet Quick-Ship Program | On the sales side of plumbing, we don't have a lot of emergencies – even if it feels like it sometimes. But if your client "needs their faucet yesterday and they don't mean maybe," check out GROHE's new Quick-Ship program, which can be a fantastic alternative to receiving daily status check-ins from an overly eager homeowner. Read about the program here.

American Standard

American Standard's Cool & Unique Products | There's a reason American Standard can be found in three out of every five homes in the United States: as you've heard us say approximately 1.37 bazillion times before, it's the brand's emphasis on enduring quality and independently tested superior performance. But we believe there's an additional reason: American Standard developes products that make everyday life easier. Take, for example, the Beale MeasureFill Kitchen faucet. In addition to everyday kitchen faucet function, the Beale MeasureFill also features a separate dial that allows the user to measure out a precise amount of water to facilitate cooking and cleaning. If you've ever done the fun exercise of trying get exactly 4 ounces of water for a recipe ("Just a little more water – oops, that's too much – pour out a little – oops, darn it – shoot"), you know how handy this can be. Read more here or watch the video here.

And for everyone's "favorite" chore – cleaning the toilet – American Standard offers the ultimate solution: the Vormax Plus. The Vormax has already been independently tested to flush 2 x cleaner than standard toilets. The Vormax Plus goes a step further by including a Lysol infuser that automatically releases a small amount of cleaning solution every time you flush, effectively cleaning the toilet bowl for you. And anything that cleans itself is going to be pretty eye-catching to – well, everyone. (Now if only American Standard had a way to automatically dust the tank lid...) Take a look here for more info and/or check out the video.

NEW Faucet Quick-Ship Program | Speaking of making everyday life easier, American Standard has introduced a new Faucet Quick-Ship program for those "Oops! Did I say two faucets? I meant four" moments. Read more about it here.


DXV's Cool & Unique Products | For a brand that specializes in stunning design, you wouldn't be surprised to learn that the world's most beautiful shower valve trims are made by DXV (in our not-so-humble opinion). We're of course talking about their gorgeous super slim design thermostatic trims, which can be found in the Modulus, Percy, and Fitzgerald collections. And what do we mean by "super slim"? The trim plate itself is extremely low profile, measuring a slender 1/8 inch. Very pretty, and yes, very cool. As you go through the price book, you'll notice that the two-handle version is available in discreet/non-shared for two or three outlets – making this version fully California friendly.

NEW Faucet Quick-Ship Program | Ideally your customer tells you several weeks ahead of time when they need to you to order a faucet. Ideally. For those less-than-ideal times, DXV is now offering a brand new quick ship program. Once again, you can read all about it here.


Steamist's Cool & Unique Products | If you've used your gym's steam shower, you might have noticed that the steam will loudly "cycle" – turning full on or full off every so often, making the steam shower too hot or too cold (and noisy!). Not the most comfortable or relaxing – but hey, it's what you expect at the gym. Now if you're putting a steam shower in your own home and trying to create your own little oasis from the daily grind – you really want it to be as peaceful as possible. Steamist came up with an ingenious solution with the patented and exclusive dual-sensor control technology + SteadySteam generator technology. The controls and generator work together with accurate temperature reading and continuous steam output instead of on/off cycling. Read more about it here.

Matte Black | As a reminder, Steamist released matte black in a number of products last month, all of which are available to order and ship. If you missed it, check out the sell sheet here.

Amber's Outstanding October

To be fair, I’m riding last month’s newsletter’s coattails with this, but now that we’ve transitioned into autumn and the mornings and evenings are getting (finally) chillier, what sounds better than waking up and stepping directly into a warm steam shower to start your day? And I have lots of fun things that I can brag about with Steamist (like our ShowerSense thermostatic valve or our extremely user-friendly control that lets you set 2 user preferences) but today it’s all about our BiLateral Steam Head. Our what? Yes, our gorgeous linear steam head. And while other companies may have similar products, here’s why ours gets high marks: Not only does our steam head direct steam from both the top and the bottom to achieve an even dispersion of steam, but the installation is EASY! We don’t make you frame special dimensions with your studs, we don’t limit you to what type of finish material you can use due to size restrictions, heck, you know what we do? WE GIVE YOU UP TO AN INCH AND A HALF OF ADJUSTMENT instead of, oh say an 1/8” of an inch. That way when complications arise on the job site, as they do now and again, the rough-in for the steam head won’t be part of the problem. P.S. It comes in all the popular finishes including Matte Black.


MTI's Cool & Unique Products | Ok, now these are just awesome. The MTI Continuum sink utilizes the counter cut-out to create the bottom of the sink for a truly unique, gorgeous design. Available in oval, round, square, and rectangular, we recommend showing these beauties to the client who wants a lavatory design they haven't seen before. Continuum sinks are made of MTI's SculptureStone material and are available in white and biscuit, matte or gloss.

Tub-to-Shower Conversion | Now this is pretty nifty, but it might be more interesting to plumbing nerds than technology nerds. MTI has a way to make a tub-to-shower remodel a breeze (relatively speaking) with this 60x36 offset drain shower pan. Check it out here.


Geberit's Cool & Unique Products |
Another thing that Silicon Valley loves? Touchless, hands-free products. That's just what the Sigma80 is – a hands-free flush plate that also happens to come with an LED indicator in an array of colors for every decor. The only thing that would make these flush plates more high tech would be if you could voice-command it: "Siri, flush the toilet."  Anyway, you can read all about how these bad boys work here.

Product Delay | Geberit announced a production delay on the 115.934.21.1 remote button until some time in November. For a temporary solution, they recommend installing the 115.932.KA.1 or 115.932.GH.1 to ensure rough-in components are installed correctly, until the 115.934.21.1 becomes available. 

Tom's Tech Tip | GROHE 35 016 vs 35 033

A few times a year, I’ll get a call from a showroom or plumber who says “My customer is not happy with their new shower/hand shower set. What can I do to make them happy?" My question is then (even though I’m already sure of the answer), “What valve did you use?” The reply is usually “Why the GrohSafe™ 35 016 000 Pressure Balance Rough-In Valve with Built-In Spring Loaded Diverter, of course!” (or words to that effect).

I’ll reply “Bummer, dude.” Because that's just the kind of sympathetic, understanding person I am.

Because unfortunately, this valve is not made for a shower/hand shower. It’s made for a shower-over-tub-spout, but still people sell them for shower/hand shower combinations. My advice: Don’t!

In “the good ol’ days” with 2.5 gpm shower heads, you could use this as an economical way to make a shower/hand shower combination. But as shower head flow rates have decreased from 2.5 GPM to 2.0 to our current 1.8 or less, the back-pressure on the diverter (from the restricted flow rate) makes it nearly impossible for the user to switch from hand shower to shower, and back again. This means that every time the user turns on the shower valve (because the plumber has installed the hand shower out of the bottom [default] outlet), water comes out of the hand shower. The user tries to pull the diverter button, but can’t (too much back pressure) – and the user is unhappy.

The user can turn off the valve temperature handle, then pull the diverter button, and then turn the temperature handle back on. But this uses two hands and a contortionist.

Oddly enough, I have some thoughts on the subject. (You're shocked, I’m sure…)

If you’re going to use the Grohe GrohSafe™ 35 016 000 Pressure Balance Rough-In Valve (with Built-In Spring Loaded Diverter) for shower/hand shower combination, make sure that the plumber knows to install the shower head from the bottom (default) outlet, and the hand shower from the top outlet. At least that way the water will come out of the shower head when the valve is turned on.

A somewhat better solution is to use the GrohSafe™ 35 033 000 Pressure Balance Rough-In Valve (with Built-In Manual Diverter). With the 35 033, the diverter doesn’t automatically return to the bottom outlet and will stay in the same position that was last used. If you’ve supplied/installed the 35 016 000 automatic diverter model, the 48 008 manual diverter from the 35 033 000 can be purchased as a separate part and installed to change the valve into a manual diverter model.

For my money, a much better valve for shower/hand shower combinations is a dual-function GrohFlex (either PBV or thermostat). The user can rotate the volume control lever clockwise for the shower head and counter-clockwise for the hand shower. Simple, plus it has the advantage of volume control.

The very best valve for shower/hand shower combination is the new GrohTherm 2-handle valve & trim. The user gets absolute control over temperature and volume. And this is why your customer comes to you: For the very best solutions.

And this is why you come to me! For all the Grohe info and wise-guy commentary you can handle. 

Thanks, Tom S

Question: You mistakenly sold a 35 016 000 for a shower/hand shower combination (because you hadn't read this tech tip yet). The plumber installed the shower head from the top outlet, and the handshower from the bottom outlet. The bathroom is finished, but the customer is cranky because water always comes out of the hand shower. Without opening the wall, what’s the best way to make the customer happy?

Send the correct answer to by October 25, 2019, and receive a $5 Starbucks card.
Thanks for reading our newsletter!

Best regards,

Lauren Slankard
Western Sales Company
Copyright © 2019 Western Sales Co, All rights reserved.

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