AWA Faucets Review & Rating Updated: 07/97/21
On its website, AWA devotes and entire page to making the point that its faucets have been certified by the French agency that ensures conformity to French sanitation laws and that the company has received an Attestation de Conformeté Sanitaire issued by the Laboratore Santé Environnement Hygiéne de Lyon.
That certification is all that is needed to sell and install faucets in France. But, French regulations mean absolutely nothing in North America. They are generally much looser than joint U.S./Canadian standards. A French certification does not substitute for the certifications to North American standards.
Warranty FootnotesAWA claims to offer a 1-year warranty on its faucets. However, we have never found a copy of the warranty. And, although we have asked AWA for a copy numerous times, we have not gotten one. We assume that it does not exist.
Learn more about faucet warranties.
This Company In Brief
AWA Faucets, Ltd., is a company organized in Taiwan by a French citizen, Christian Laudet, in 2012. It designs faucets that are then manufactured in China.
The faucets are not supported in North America by any sort of written warranty and there is no source for replacement parts outside of Asia
The company is a black-marketer. It does not sell legal faucets. It has chosen to flaunt U.S. and Canadian laws by selling only untested, uncertified, contraband faucets. None of its faucets has been confirmed to be safe, reliable, or free from unsafe levels of lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury, or other toxins.
AWA Faucets, Ltd., is a Taiwan company owned by a French citizen, Christian Laudet. Mr. Laudet is a former director at Bureau Veritas S. A., a world leader in product testing, inspection, and certification services, and the former CEO of ISMA faucets, a company that is no longer in business. AWA sells stylish, well-designed faucets through hosting websites such as Amazon in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K.
The company is located in Taiwan, but the faucets are made by a contract manufacturer in China. They are designed by what is described in company literature as the "AWA design team", which consists primarily of founder Christian Laudet, a French-trained engineer, who takes credit for most AWA designs. He has a keen eye for good design and two of his designs have wood awards in international competitions. He may have had help early on in the history of the company from Warren Hoy, another product engineer trained in England. Mr. Hoy, however, is no longer associated with the company.
All AWA faucets are single-handle mixing faucets. The company does not offer any two-handle faucets. All are starkly contemporary in style. There is nothing in the collection that is remotely traditional or transitional or that fits any historic period other than the contemporary era. Even the Sherlock, which is supposed to be neo-retro is much more neo than it is retro.
All faucets are brass with some incidental parts in zinc or ZMAC (a zinc/aluminum alloy). The brass, however, is not certified lead-free brass, and while AWA states that it has low-lead brass available, it never states that it actually uses low-lead brass in its faucets.
The basic finishes are the standards: chrome, nickel, and oil-rubbed bronze. Some faucets are also available in matte black or matte white, and some are also offered in The company website notes that other finishes may be available on request. At least one faucet, the Biber, is available with a ceramic handle.
AWA aerators are made by Neoperl®, considered some of the world's best. Faucet aerators used to be simple devices — brass mesh screens — that merely added a little air to soften the water stream so it would not splash out of the sink.
Today, however, they are little engineering marvels that limit water volume to the lower flow rates required by federal and state water conservation laws, and in some cases, to prevent back-flow that can result in the contamination of 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-designed Neoperl® aerator.
The particular Neoperl model used in most AWA faucets is one we like. It has a slot into which you can insert a small coin to remove and replace the aerator without the bother of digging a screwdriver or Allen wrench out of the junk drawer.
The inspection of our test faucets revealed that AWA ceramic cartridges are made by Citec Group, an industrial ceramics company headquartered in Barcelona, Spain but actually manufacturing in China.
Not much is known about these cartridges. They are, as far as we can tell, used by no other manufacturer that sells faucets in the U.S., although they are fairly common in European and in some Asian faucets. The cartridges have been tested to U.S. standards and are certified lead-free and drinking-water safe. By reputation, they are good quality cartridges roughly equivalent to those produced by Sedal, another Spanish cartridge company that also manufactures in China.
The particular Citec cartridge used in AWA faucets has some interesting abilities. Its water-saving feature starts water flow at not more than 50% of maximum volume when the faucet is first turned on and an energy-saving feature that initially dispenses only cold water. To increase the volume of water or adjust the temperature requires a second manipulation of the handle. Both of these features take a little getting used to.
The braided stainless steel hoses (plumbers call them "risers" or "supply lines") that connect AWA faucets to the water supply under your sink appear to be made by Tucai Group, another Spanish company headquartered in Barcelona but doing its actual manufacturing in Ningbo, China. Tucai hoses do not have the reputation of being among the best made in the world but they are known to be reliable and durable.
The company website is well designed and simple to navigate. Information about the company's faucets is sparse, however. Specifications provided for each faucet include its dimensions (in metric), useful for determining whether the faucet will fit the sink, but no information about its cartridges, flow rate, or available finishes.
The site does not provide dimensioned drawings, installation instructions, or exploded parts diagrams. Installation instructions in advance of ordering a boon to plumbers who can determine whether any special difficulty or tools are required. The site offers multiple images of each faucet rather than the single 3/4 view provided by most faucet companies. Multiple views aid in visualizing the faucet from all sides.
Order fulfillment is by Amazon from its many warehouses but customer service in North America. does not exist, and we can find no domestic structure for handling warranty claims. There is no published telephone number by which to reach the company, so the only contact is is by e-mail (see address above), and we can attest from experience that not all e-mails are answered.
We have never seen a written AWA warranty. None comes with the delivered faucet and none seems to be available on the web. We had to contact the company to find out if it had a warranty and if so how long it lasted and what it covered.
Mr. Laudet, in a private e-mail, informed us that the company will take care of an issue with an AWA faucet for one year after purchase. Merely send an e-mail to AWA at the address above with a description of the defect and photos. As AWA does not maintain a parts repository in the Western hemisphere, do not expect replacement parts to be delivered overnight.
This, however, is not a warranty, merely an unenforceable promise. In the U.S. a consumer product warranty must be in writing and must comply with the minimum requirements outlined in the federal Magnuson-Moss Act (15 U.S.C. § 2308) and the regulations published by the Federal Trade Commission to enforce the Act. (See e.g. 16 C.F.R. § 701.3(a).)
Even if the promise were a warranty, it would be very poor by North American custom where the standard warranty is for the lifetime of the buyer. After the expiration of the warranty period, the buyer is on his own for replacement parts, and there may be no replacement parts available.
We have found nothing on the AWA website or in the company literature that suggests the existence of an organized replacement parts system. For a few years the company can get parts by scavenging from unsold faucets but once the faucet model is discontinued and sold out the possibility of spare parts is very remote.
Even though they are being offered for sale in the U.S. and Canada, AWA faucets have never been tested and certified to comply with the North American mechanical reliability and safety standards that are required by law, nor with the stringent North American lead content limits — easily the toughest in the world.
Certification is more than a nuisance academic exercise. No one, not even the most experienced expert, can tell if a ceramic cartridge is reliable just by looking at it. It needs to be put to the test. The standard test for cartridges and valves used in the U.S. and Canada requires operating the faucet through 500,000 on/off, hot/cold cycles under 60 PSI of water pressure (4218 gf/cm2) without a single failure. In other countries, the standard is much less rigorous. The European (EN 817) and Chinese (GB18145) requirement is just 70,000 cycles. (View a video showing the operation of the type of machine that puts faucets through life-cycle testing. Warning: it's very noisy, turn down the volume.)
Nor can even the world's foremost expert can tell by taste, smell, or feel whether a faucet is leaching lead, cadmium, manganese, tin, arsenic, or mercury in your drinking water. Lead, arsenic and dozens of other substances that can be found inside faucets are not good for you, and especially not good for your children. All need to be kept out of household water as much as possible. Faucets have to be tested with sophisticated scientific instruments to find out whether they are leaching toxic substances into your household water.
AWA has what it calls a certification page on its website on which it applauds itself for having gotten its faucets approved by the French Ministry of Health. A French certification, however, means nothing in North America where faucet standards are generally much more stringent.
But, it's what the company does NOT say on its certification page that may be more important. It discloses that "non-leaded brass castings" are available, but does not claim they are used in its faucets. Elsewhere it states the "AWA products can be produced using Low Lead Brass." But, again, it never states is that it uses low-lead brass in the faucets it exports to the U.S. and Canada. If it did use low-lead brass compliant with North American standards it surely would say so.
The fact that these faucets are manufactured in China is of particular concern. China does not have a lead content standard equivalent to the U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act. Chinese faucet testing standards (GB18145) do not include a lead contamination limit. Shi Hongwei, Deputy Director of Quality Supervision for China’s National Building Material Industry, Inspection, and Testing Center indicated in 2013 that China would implement standards for lead content in plumbing fixtures in 2014. But, 2014 has come and gone without action by the Chinese government.
Low-lead brass is expensive and in China is considered a specialty brass rarely used in faucets. We don't, and, in fact, no one knows outside of the company whether the faucets sold by AWA in the U.S. and Canada are actually low-lead products that would likely pass stringent U.S. lead content tests. The only way to know is through testing and certification — the testing and certification AWA has not done. The fact that the testing has not been done suggests that management does not believe the faucets would pass.
There is no reason to buy AWA faucets. They are distinctive faucets, but similar designs can be found in faucets that are certified safe, reliable, and lead-free through independent testing. Consider the following sources::
If you are in the market for a low-cost Asian faucet, one of these companies will provide a faucet that is certified to North American standards and known to be safe and toxin-free.
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with AWA faucets, good, bad, or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.