SHARON, PA. — A survey of contractors by Wheatland Tube Co. here showed a strong preference for American-made products.
Wheatland conducted the American-made products survey from May 1–July 31, 2013. The chance to win an iPad was offered to survey participants as an incentive. Ninety-five percent of survey participants completed the survey in a “blind” manner, i.e., they did not know that Wheatland was the survey sponsor. The company said that it conducted the survey in response to what Wheatland was observing in the field, as its sales team has seen an increase in calls from contractors looking for domestic product to support American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects.
Survey respondents included plumbing, piping, hydronic heating and HVAC contractors.
Wheatland reported that the survey said there is both a perceived and real (based on actual product usage) quality difference between American-made and imported steel pipe. Ninety-three percent of respondents said “American made” pipe is “Superior to Imported Pipe.” Among plumbing and piping contractors, 90% indicated that “Wheatland CW” is “Superior to Imported Pipe,” and 81% said that “it’s worth it” to pay an additional price for American-made steel pipe.
The survey also revealed that the intent to use more American-made steel pipe is high — 78% of respondents either “agree” or “strongly agree” they will use more in the future. Fifty-two percent of respondents agree that American-made pipe is “widely available through distribution.”
American-made pipe was named as the most important domestic product to buy. Among those surveyed, steel pipe was ranked #1 as the most important product to buy, while water heaters were a close second.
The contractors indicated they were “moderately” aware of Wheatland Tube as an American-made product compared to other brands.
Respondents indicate that they plan to use more American-made products and American-made steel pipe in the future. Product performance is important to this audience and one of the reasons they said they would “spend more for American-made.”
When asked to list which products it was “very important” to buy American, 66.5% said steel pipe, 65.6% said water heaters, while pumps and pipe threading equipment and dies were tied at 63.7%. Tools came in fifth at 62.3%.
When asked to name familiar American brands, the contractors listed Bradford White, Kohler, Wheatland, American Standard, Ridgid, Wolverine Brass, Moen and Taco.
Wheatland, a division of JMC Steel Group, manufactures steel pipe for mechanical and fire sprinkler applications, pipe for oil and gas service, and electrical conduit.