BWE Faucets Aquafaucet • Bathlavish • Beatifaucet • BWE • DFI • Greenspring • Homemystique • Homevacious • Rozinsanitary Review & Rating Updated: 05/17/21
No.30, Zhengang Middle Rd.
Zhejiang 325055 China
Warranty Notes:1. Although the company states that it offers "lifetime warranty" and a "5-year guarantee of quality" on its faucets, the "warranty" is not written.In the U.S. a product warranty given to a consumer by a merchant must be in writing, must include minimum content mandated by federal law, and must be available to be read before a sale.
This Company In Brief
Yutong Technology Co. of Wenzhou (wœn-JOH), China, founded in 2014, is a company that designs faucets, showers, tub fillers, and bath accessories. In the little over six years it has been in business it has expanded its BWE brand to most of the world.
The faucets are of exceptional quality for the price. Most sell for under $100 at internet venues. The discount prices do not reflect the quality of the workmanship which is good to very good, nor the impressive components that are used in the products. These are not at all discount faucets. The problem with the faucets, however, is that most have not been certified to U.S./Canadian joint standards of safety and quality.
BWE is a trade name used by Wenzhou Yutong Technology Co., Ltd. to sell faucets, showers, tub fillers, and bath accessories throughout most of the world. The Chinese company, formed in 2014, has expanded its sales rapidly due primarily to the high quality of its products and their low prices. According to the company, North America is its largest market, producing over half of its worldwide revenue.
On its website, the company identifies itself as a manufacturer. Our research found, however, that it is a design and marketing company. It does not manufacture. The faucets are manufactured by what company literature identifies only as its "cooperating company." We could not positively identify the "cooperating company," but it is most likely Zhejiang Catly Sanitary Wares Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Wenzhou Yideli Detergent Tools Co., Ltd. (formerly Huahang Sanitary Wares Co.).
Catly sells sanitary wares throughout the world under the Catly brand. It supplies faucets to U.S. importers, including
BWE's entire North American operation is run from China. The company does not have a physical presence in North America. It has established a U.S. subsidiary: Aquafaucet LLC, formed in 2016 by one of the company's owners, Danxuan Ding (or Daniel Xuan Ding), as a California limited liability company.
Aquafaucet LLC, however, is a shell company. It has no employees and conducts no business. Its address in Temple, California is a mail drop that exists solely to create the illusion of having a physical presence in the U.S. It is shared with several dozen other Chinese-owned California companies as an accommodation provided by an accounting firm for a fee.
There is no North American customer service, no North American stock of replacement parts, not even a North American telephone number. The only contact with the company is by email which will be answered (usually promptly) from China.
It is possible to manage North American faucet sales from offshore, but most foreign faucet companies that sell in North America set up a local subsidiary that stocks inventory and does the actual selling.
|Brand Name Table|
|Retail Website||Brand Name(s) Used|
|Amazon||Aquafaucet, Bathlavish, Betifaucet, BWE, Homevacious, Rozinsanitary|
A few companies, however, do manage North American operations from other continents. Some, like , the English company, do it badly. Others like the German faucet company, do it very well.
The secret is to have a reliable distributor in the U.S. or Canada that can stock replacement parts and take care of warranty issues. In2aqua has a reliable North American distributor, Hudson Reed, and BWE do not. BWE relies on Amazon for the majority of its sales, and while Amazon will do a lot for its hosted companies, it will not take care of warranty claims or provide replacement parts.
The BWE business model is to contract almost everything to do with retail sales in the U.S. and Canada to third parties. It does not sell through its own website and does not sell through brick-and-mortar stores. It sells only through websites like Amazon that host third-party sellers and take care of the entire retailing process for a fee, including warehousing, inventory management, payment processing, delivery, and returns.
BWE does very little other than arranging for the shipment of containers of faucets to Amazon's fulfillment center warehouses and preparing sale listings for its products on the Amazon website. Amazon takes care of everything else. Other sites used for retail sales by BWE operate in much the same way, minimizing BWE's involvement in the sales process to almost nothing.
In addition to Amazon, BWE faucets are sold on BHG, eBay, Overstock, Walmart (online only), and Wayfair as well as some lesser known websites such as NewEgg, WaterSolutions, and EcoSweetHome. They were at one time also sold through Sears and K-Mart until these online stores went out of business with the bankruptcy of their parent company in 2018.
The Faucets are sold under seven registered brand names in addition to BWE. The most common name used is Aquafaucet®, but they are also sold under Bathlavish®, Beatifaucet® (or Beati Faucet), DFI®, Greenspring®, Homevacious®, and Rozinsanitary® brands.
All of these trade names are registered by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to either the company or to individuals (Danxuan Ding, Fegan Ding) associated with the company.
The faucets are also sold by third-party sellers, the most prominent of which is Eyekepper® selling on Amazon.
The faucets are brass with a zinc alloy used for non-critical parts such as handles and base plates.
They are available in seven finishes, including some . BWE finishes include chrome, brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze (ORB), matte black, copper, brushed gold, and polished gold.
The inishes are except matte black and brushed gold which are , and polished gold which is a (PVD) finish. (See the BWE Finishes.)
For more information on the types of faucet finishes and the advantages and drawbacks of each, see Faucet Basics, Part 5: Faucet Finishes.
Almost every faucet is available in chrome, brushed nickel, and ORB. Many are also offered in matte black. A few can be found in copper, brushed gold, and polished gold. On the BWE website and most vendor sites, the finishes available on a faucet are clearly identified.
BWE's oil-rubbed bronze differs from most ORBs. It has copper highlights. Highlights are more typical of antique bronze finishes. They are intended to simulate wear on the finish over time which has exposed the copper beneath the finish. ORB finishes usually do not have highlights.
A buyer who intends to mix ORB finishes across manufacturers should be aware that it would probably be a challenge to match this finish. (Three companies you might try, however, are
BWE designs are original – inspired, the company says, by natural waterfalls and Aladdin's lamp. They differ from the usual run of Chinese faucet designs which are largely unexciting, too often copies of Western styles, and rarely cutting edge. (Although Chinese design is getting better and sometimes even award-winning. (See, e.g. Yatin Kitchen & Bath's Leaf faucet by Yatin's in-house designer Huang Nannan.)
The goal of most Chinese faucet manufacturers is to sell as many faucets as possible, which means keeping designs well within established style boundaries to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible.
BWE designs make generous use of what the company calls waterfall spouts (which used to be called pump spouts) in which the top of the spout is open to create a falling water effect. Falling water is a very popular motif in Oriental design.
To learn more about faucet styles, see Faucet Basics, Part 4: Style and Configuration.
The collection is heavily skewed toward traditional faucet styles, but with a leavening of enough contemporary designs to suit just about any decor preference from Victorian to urban chic. Many of the traditional pump-spout faucets have the feel of Art Nouveau design from fin de siècle France. While not as stylish or as innovative as the Art Nouveau faucets in the they are also not nearly as pricey as these French luxury brands that start around $500 and climb rapidly skyward from there.
Yutong does not skimp on the quality of the critical components of its faucets. Its cartridges are made by Sedal S.L.U. and Weingbo Wanhai Cartridge Technology Co., Ltd., both well-regarded technical ceramics companies.
Its ceramic cartridge is the heart of a modern faucet. The cartridge controls water flow and (in single-handle faucets) water temperature. With a working cartridge, a faucet is a faucet doing what faucets do: metering water in a safe and controlled manner. Without a working cartridge, a faucet is just a strange-looking paperweight. So, it is important that the ceramic cartridge be tough, durable, and long-lived.
Sedal is chartered in Spain but does all of its manufacturing in China. Its cartridges are popular among Chinese manufacturers making faucets for the North American market. Wanhai cartridges are frequently installed in Chinese-manufactured faucets destined for the European Union, where the company sells under the Quore brand from offices in Spain and Italy.
Neither cartridge is considered first-rank, but both companies make responsible products. We judge the cartridges to be reliable. They should give leak-free service for many years. If they do go bad, however, they are easy to replace and widely available from sellers of replacement faucet parts, big box lumber stores like Menards and Lowes, and even from the local hardware store.
To learn more about the types of faucet valves and cartridges and the advantages and disadvantages of each type, see Faucet Basics, Part 2: Faucet Valves & Cartridges.
The faucets also include very good braided stainless steel hoses from Fanski and aerators from the Swiss company, Neoperl®.
Faucet aerators used to be simple devices that merely infused a little air to soften the water stream so it would not splash out of the sink. Today, however, they are precision products used to limit water volume to the lower flows required by conservation laws and, in faucets with pullout sprays, to prevent back-flow that could contaminate household drinking water. It is important, therefore, that this little device, often smaller than a dime, be the best available. And that, almost by definition, is the Swiss-engineered Neoperl aerator.
Stainless steel riser hoses that connect the faucet to the water supply are becoming the universal standard, replacing the old solid brass tubes that are time-consuming to install and require special tools for bending the tube without kinking it. Fanski makes a very good quality hose, comparable to those made by Brasstech and other U.S. manufacturers.
BWE's North American website is well-designed. Navigation is menu-driven and intuitive. However, there is no search function, which impedes finding a particular faucet. A flexible and robust search function is useful, for example, in finding all of the faucets, showers, fillers, and accessories in a particular finish as opposed to the labor-intensive process of searching them out one by one.
The website does not list all of the faucets actually sold by BWE under its various brands. We easily found a dozen faucets for sale on the internet that are not in the BWE website catalog.
If the faucet is on the website, however, the information provided about the faucet is comprehensive. It includes the manufacturer of the cartridge used in a faucet – information that is rarely provided on faucet websites.
The site also identifies the material used in the handles of its faucets – a zinc alloy. Most faucet companies use zinc in parts of a faucet that do not need the strength of brass, but few admit to zinc in their "all brass" faucets.
Zinc used to make unpressurized parts of a faucet such as handles and baseplates saves a few dollars in fabrication costs (zinc is much cheaper than brass) and does not affect faucet quality. It is not a practice of just manufacturers of inexpensive faucets. We see it used in faucets costing hundreds, even thousands of dollars.
Most BWE website faucet listings have a link to installation instructions that are considerably more than just installation instructions. Usually, they are a comprehensive summary of information about the faucet, usually including a dimensioned drawing of the faucet and care instructions along with detailed, step-by-step directions for installing the faucet. Our plumbers rated installation as "easy" on a four-point scale from "very easy" to "very hard".
In addition to the lack of a search function, there are a few other features common on faucet websites that are missing from this one. The most striking is the absence of a "where-to-buy" feature, which, being a company in the business of selling faucets, is information that BWE might want potential buyers to have.
The company has no faucet warranty. The BWE website mentions variously a "five-year warranty", a "limited lifetime warranty, and a "5-year quality guarantee" but there is no actual warranty on the website. The U.S. Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (15 U.S.C. §2301) says it needs to be posted on the website with a conspicuous link to the warranty at each faucet listed for sale so a potential buyer can easily find and read it before making a purchase.
Certified BWE Faucets
As of May 17, 2021
Fifteen basic faucet models, all of them bathroom faucets, are certified compliant with North American standards and are legal to install in a drinking water system. Each model is availale in up to six different finishes, as shown.
We asked customer support for a copy. In response, we were advised "not to worry" about it. We then asked the company's product manager who replied that the company was in the process of reducing its North American warranty to writing.
Whoever is reducing it is the world's slowest reducer. That conversation was over months ago, and we have still not seen a written BWE warranty.
Under U.S. law a consumer warranty must be in writing, so until the BWE warranty is reduced to writing and posted on the BWE website, legally the company has no warranty.
Before a faucet can be installed at your kitchen or bath sink, it must be certified. Certification is a simple concept. A manufacturer submits its faucets to an independent laboratory where they are extensively tested for configuration, reliability, and safety. If they pass all the tests – and there are many of them – they are "listed" in a certificate confirming that they passed all the required tests.
Life-Cycle Testing: One test of faucet cartridge longevity, for example, is to operate the faucet cartridge through 500,000 on-off cycles – equivalent to about 70 years of use in a typical bath or kitchen. The test takes three days to complete. A faucet that fails at any point in the test does not get a certification. (Watch a video showing the operation of the machine that puts faucets through life-cycle testing. Warning: it's very noisy.)
All of us understand the meaning of "UL Listed" when it comes to appliances. It is a guarantee of quality and safety. Faucets are listed in the same way except instead of calling them "listed", they are referred to as "certified." However, unlike appliances for which listing is usually voluntary, sink faucets by law must be certified. If they are not certified, they cannot legally be installed in a drinking water system or cannot be legally sold in the U.S. or its territories, or both.
The legal penalties for installing an uncertified faucet can be severe. At the very least, the uncertified faucet will have to be removed and replaced by one that is certified – at your expense. There may also a fine and, in some cases, a little jail time involved. So, it pays to ensure that any faucet you buy is certified.
After several years of selling uncertified faucets, BWE has begun submitting its faucets to testing and certification. It's a good start, but only a start. Just 15 lavatory faucets have been certified – all of them single-handle lavatory faucets. No two-handle lavatory faucet has been certified, nor has any kitchen faucet. The faucets that have been certified as of the date of this report are identified in the Certified BWE Faucets on this page.
But, even the faucets that have been certified are not fully certified for the U.S. market. BWE has not filed certifications affirming compliance with the water-conservation standards of the federal Energy Policy & Conservation Act (EPCA). A certification must be submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy for any BWE faucet "distributed in commerce" in the U.S. as mandated by 10 CFR § 429.12.
You cannot rely on a statement by BWE that a particular faucet is certified. On the websites at which it sells faucets, BWE regularly identifies faucets as certified when, in fact, they are not. So a claim in the description of a BWE faucet that it is certified cannot be taken at face value and must be confirmed.
Confirmation can be difficult. Certified faucets are identified by the testing laboratory using model numbers. More often than not, however, a BWE faucet offered for sale on Amazon or one of the other e-tail websites is not identified by model number. This is especially true if it is being sold under a brand name other than Aquafaucet or BWE.
Faucets are always supposed to be clearly identified by model number (or model name by those companies that use names instead of numbers). This is a requirement imposed by certifying agencies. Failure to do so can cost the faucet company its certifications.
The requirement ensures that buyers, plumbing contractors, and local building code officials can easily determine whether a faucet is certified. Without the model number, it is difficult and sometimes impossible to tell whether a faucet is certified. The safest course where the faucet cannot be positively shown to be certified is to move on to another faucet.
Because of the high lead content in brass used by Chinese manufacturers to make faucets for the Chinese home market, it is very important that any faucet you buy is certified lead-free to North American standards. (See the sidebar Lead in Chinese Faucets for more information.)
Faucets made in China comparable to BWE in price and quality, but not necessarily in design, include
For a little-used guest bath, a BWE faucet from the list of certified faucets is a reasonable value, notwithstanding the lack of a written warranty. At less than $100 in most instances, the price is certainly right. However, in a well-used master or main bath, the lack of a warranty is an issue. We would wait until the written warranty is available to see exactly what kind of post-sale protection the company offers and for how long.
As a potential buyer, you should also consider the problems associated with getting replacement parts from China. As a manufacturer, BWE can usually supply replacement parts – at least for faucets still in production. But, at best it will take a few weeks to get them by China Post.
If the faucet in your main bathroom is out of commission and waiting on parts, this could be a real inconvenience. The parts problem will not be solved until BWE establishes a stock of parts in North America, something that, as far as we know, it has no immediate plans to do.
There is no legal impediment to buying BWE faucets. It is illegal under the Energy Policy & Conservation Act for BWE to sell a faucet in the U.S. It is not illegal, however, for you to buy the faucet – a little oddity in the law.
Stay away, however, from BWE's uncertified faucets. This means every kitchen faucet, every faucet identified as a "commercial" faucet, and every two-handle faucet. These are illegal for you to use in a drinking water system in the U.S. or Canada and, unlike buying an uncertified faucet, installing an uncertified faucet puts you at risk.
You are the one that will pay any fines, assume the cost of replacing the faucet with a legal product, and be subject to any other (including criminal) penalties imposed by the laws of your State or Province, not BWE which is in China and out of the reach of most local law enforcement.
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with BWE, Aquafaucet, Beatifaucets, DFI, Greenspring, Rozinsanitary, or Homevacious faucets, good, bad, or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.