Bakala & Becola Faucets Review & Rating Updated: January 31, 2023
This company does not provide a warranty.
Learn more about faucet warranties and why consumer warranties in the U.S. must be in writing.
This Company In Brief
Bakala and Becola are brand names under which Wenzhou Bairui Electronic Commerce Co. sells uncertified contraband faucets through online retail sites in the U.S. and Canada that host third-party sellers.
The faucets are of average quality but very stylish and contemporary. They are designed and manufactured by Wenzhou Beijialai Sanitary Ware Co., Ltd, a company that owns numerous design patents in the U.S. and China on faucets and faucet components.
Wenzhou Bairui Electronic Commerce Co. is a trading company that sells Bakala® and Becola® brand faucets in the U.S. and Canada.
Bakala and Becola are trademarks registered in the U.S. Based on the trademark filings, Bairui Electronic Commerce has ambitions broader than only selling faucets and other plumbing fittings in the U.S. In addition to faucets, the registrations cover
"Air fryers; Anti-splash tap nozzles; Automotive lighting headlights for vehicles; Bath installations; Bathroom heaters; Bicycle lights; Commodes being toilets; Desk lamps; Electric holiday lights; Fitted anti-glare devices for automobile headlamps; Hand held shower heads; Infrared lamps; Kitchen sinks; Lampshades; LED and HID light fixtures; Lighting apparatus for vehicles; Lighting apparatus, namely, lighting installations; Motorcycle lights; Searchlights; Shower faucet extensions; Shower head sprayers; Showers; Tap water faucets; Ultraviolet ray lamps, not for medical purposes; Directional lights for bicycles; Headlights for vehicles; Lamps for outdoor use."
The company's Amazon inventory in the U.S. is limited to fewer than a dozen faucets. In addition to Amazon, the faucets are sold on Wayfair.com, Houzz.com, and small independent e-tailers such as Home Accessories and All Fixture.
North American Facilities
Bairui Electronic Commerce has no physical presence in the U.S. or Canada. All Bakala and Becola sales transactions are handled in North America by hosting websites.
Amazon in particular takes care of inventory, warehousing, sales, payment processing, and delivery. Pawo Furniture's sole role in the process is to ship faucets to Amazon warehouses from time to time, ensuring that Amazon does not run out of inventory.
The company attempts to handle post-sale matters from China by email. These include purchases of replacement parts. The attempt, however, is not very successful. (See more below)
Construction & Materials
The faucets are constructed conventionally. The body and spout of the faucets, as well as being decorative, are the components that channel water within the faucet.
The primary material from which the faucets are made is brass.
Traditional (alpha) brass is a blend of copper and zinc with a small amount of lead (1.5% - 3.5%) added to make the material more malleable, less brittle, and easier to fabricate. Brass is the preferred material for faucets for two reasons:
- Brass is strong but easy to work with. It casts, forges, and machines with relative ease.
- Brass is naturally anti-microbial. The copper in brass kills microbes including bacteria, retarding the build-up of potentially hazardous germs inside a faucet.
But, brass has one serious drawback: it may contain lead used to make the alloy more malleable so that it casts and machines more easily.
Lead, however, is now all but banned in North America for use in any drinking water component due to its toxicity to humans, particularly children.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), lead, even in small amounts, causes slowed growth, learning disorders, hearing loss, anemia, hyperactivity, and behavior issues.
To comply with the restrictions on lead, today's faucet brass replaces lead with other additives to reduce brittleness without adding toxicity. The most common is bismuth.
Bismuth is similar to lead – right next to lead on the periodic table of elements – but it is not harmful to humans.
It is, however, very expensive. It is 300 times rarer than lead, even rarer than silver, which is the reason that bismuth-brass alloys are much more expensive than alpha brass.
In China, there is no lead limit in drinking water, and faucets made in China for the domestic market often contain large amounts of lead.
To reduce costs, the temptation, especially among Chinese companies selling low-cost faucets, is to sell those lead-content faucets here.
Whenever we see brass faucets made in China that have not been certified lead-free, we suspect leaded brass is being used. The faucets have not been certified because the sellers know they will not pass lead-free testing.
Zinc & Zinc Alloys
One way of reducing the material cost of a faucet is to replace expensive lead-free brass with lower-cost materials where practical.
The most frequent substitute is zinc or a zinc-aluminum (ZA) alloy. One of the most common is called , a composition containing 4% aluminum.
ZAMAK is not as strong as brass and does not resist water pressure as well as brass. But, its use in non-pressurized parts of a brass faucet such as handles, base and wall plates, and is common even among manufacturers of luxury faucets.
From examination of the faucets, we determined that they include a zinc alloy, probably ZAMAK, for the non-pressurized parts of its faucets. Zinc does no harm when used in these components, and may save consumers a few dollars on the price of the faucet.
Faucet Design & Styling
Bakala and Becola faucets are all contemporary single-handle styles. The company does not sell faucets in traditional styles or any two-handle faucets.
The faucets are stylish, bold, and striking. The designs are creative enough for even the most discerning of the design glitterati. Most feature graceful, sweeping curves or sharp, strong angular lines.
The goal of most Chinese faucet manufacturers is to sell as many faucets as possible, which means keeping their designs well within the mainstream to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible.
Evidently, Beijialai Sanitary Ware has a different goal in mind. The faucets are original and anything but mainstream. Most are patented in China and a few have received U.S. design patents.
The critical components in the faucets are ceramic valve cartridges and aerators.
We inspected several valve cartridges and determined that they are modern ceramic valves in standard configurations of a type that is made by any number of Chinese manufacturers.
We were not able to identify the sources of the company's cartridges. They had no maker marks, and without marks, it is almost impossible to determine which of over a hundred Chinese technical ceramic companies made them.
Bairui Electronic Commerce claims that its valve cartridges have passed the standard North American life-cycle stress test.
This test requires operating the cartridge through 500,000 cycles under 60 psi of water pressure without a single failure. At one cycle per second, the test takes six 24-hour days to complete.
If indeed the cartridge has passed this test, it is a fairly robust cartridge that should give years of leak-free service.
But, since Bairui Electronic Commerce does not identify its cartridges and its faucets are not certified, we have no way to verify its claim.
There are dozens of companies that manufacture aerators and spray-head assembles. Most are a least adequate. But some, like those from the Swiss company, Neoperl®, are little marvels of precision engineering.
Faucet used to be simple devices that merely added a little air to soften the water stream so it would not splash out of the sink.
Today, however, they are also used to limit water volume to the lower flows 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.
Unfortunately, Bairui Electronic Commerce does not identify the source of the aerators used in its faucets. We took several apart to see if the devices had any manufacturer identification, but they did not.
We had to survey the Bakala and Becola faucets currently offered for sale on several different websites to identify the finishes in which the faucets are available. We ended up with Brushed Nickel, Chrome, Gold, Matte Black, and Matte White.
Bairui Electronic Commerce does not disclose the processes used to create its finishes, but from inspection, we believe it uses three processes: electroplating, physical vapor deposition, and powder coating.
involves immersing the faucet and the metal to be used as plating in an acid bath, then applying an electrical charge to both objects so metallic ions are drawn from the plating metal to the faucet.
Bairui Electronic Commerce finishes are multi-layer coatings. One or more undercoats are applied, then two or more coats of the finish metal.
The process is potentially hazardous to the operator and the environment. It involves toxic and corrosive chemicals that must be disposed of safely. No other coating technology even comes close to the dangers involved in electroplating.
The top coat may be polished or brushed. Chrome, a relatively hard metal, is usually polished to a high shine. Nickel, a softer metal, is usually brushed to help hide the inevitable minor scratches.
or PVD is one of the latest space-age faucet finishing technology, rapidly replacing electroplating as the finish of choice.
Although the technology was discovered in the 19th century, it was not used in industry until the 1950s and then only rarely due to its great expense. Its first use was in nuclear reactors. Today, technology is everywhere and the machinery required is getting smaller, faster, and cheaper all the time.
The process itself is almost science fiction.
Load a chamber with unfinished faucet components, remove all the air, and add back a carefully calculated mix of nitrogen or argon and reactive gases.
Add a rod of the metal to be used for the coating. Heat that rod to a temperature so high that the metal dissolves into individual atoms. The atoms mix with the various reactive gases to get the color and finish effects you want and are then deposited in a very thin layer – 2 to 5 microns – on the faucets.
Despite being just microns thick, a PVD coating is extremely dense and, in consequence, very hard and durable. By some estimates, it is up to 20 times more scratch-resistant than electroplated chrome.
From long experience, we know that PVD is nearly impossible to accidentally scratch or mar, never fades or changes color, and resists all forms of soiling.
It can usually be maintained with just an occasional wipe from a damp cloth to remove water spots. (And some PVD finishes are given a final chemical coating that resists water spots, so even the damp wipe is made largely unnecessary. A dry buff will do.)
is usually described as
semi-durable, not as robust as electroplated or PVD finishes, a little more durable than the finish on your car, and requiring more care to maintain a like-new appearance.
Some finishes are more durable than others. Here are the Bairui Electronic Commerce faucet finishes and their durability from most to least durable.
- is the old standby. It is a tough finish that will stand up to most abuse. but its durability depends on the metal used.
- Chrome is durable, nickel less so because it is inherently a softer metal (the reason chrome replaced nickel as the faucet finish of choice in the early 20th century.)
- (PVD) finishes are 10 to 20 times more scratch-resistant than electroplated chrome. They are also not affected by most household chemicals. In our experience, they are largely invulnerable to harm.
- is essentially a paint applied in a powdered form and then heated in an oven to cure. It is considered semi-durable with about the same scratch resistance as the finish on your car.
It is essentially a dry paint in powder form applied using a special low-velocity spray gun that disperses the powder while giving it a positive electrical charge. The particles are drawn to the item to be finished which has been given a negative charge.
Once the powder is applied, the item being coated is baked in an oven which melts and bonds the powder and changes the structure of the coating into long, cross-linked molecular chains.
These chains are what give the coating its durability, reducing the risk of scratches, chipping, abrasions, corrosion, fading, and other wear issues.
Bairui Electronic Commerce does not provide a written warranty on its faucets. The only for-certain protection against a defective faucet is Amazon's 90-day return policy. But even that policy is limited.
Generally, to return a faucet, it must be in its original condition. However, most faucet defects are discovered only after the faucet has been installed, at which point the faucet may not be returnable. In any event, returnable or not, you are probably out the cost of the installation which could be considerably more than the cost of the faucet.
Bairui Electronic Commerce has no presence in North America and that lack of presence includes the absence of a North American-based customer service. Customer service for Bakala and Becola products, such as it is, is through emails to China.
The only contact with Mankote Sanitary is through Amazon. You can't just call a toll-free number and get something done. You have to email, then wait for a response.
Due at least in part to the time difference (China is between 13-16 hours ahead of the U.S.), it typically takes a minimum of 6-9 hours to get a reply, and often as long as 48 hours.
If your Bairui Electronic Commerce faucet is malfunctioning and you need replacement parts, that is far too long.
There is also the language barrier.
Bairui Electronic Commerce customer agents probably speak far better English than you do Mandarin, but English is not their first language
Communication can be slow and difficult with lots of questions and more questions, and explanation after explanation until some sort of understanding is achieved.
We rate the company's customer support as unsatisfactory.
Bairui Electronic Commerce does not have an English-language website. Its Amazon storefronts are as close as it comes.
Many specifications important to an informed faucet buying decision are missing from the company's storefronts and listings. Among the most critical are:
Faucet Valve:No information is provided about a faucet's valve other than the fact that it is a ceramic cartridge. But, in addition to this basic specification, the buyer needs to know the name of the cartridge manufacturer. There are good ceramic cartridges and not-so-good ceramic cartridges. To make an informed buying decision the buyer needs to know the manufacturer. Otherwise, there is no way to judge the quality of the cartridge.
Type of Finish:The type of finish is not disclosed. The type of finish (electroplated, powder coating, PVD, etc.) is important to the long-term durability of the finish and the type and amount of care and maintenance required.
Cartridge Identification:The manufacturer of the cartridges used in Bairui Electronic Commerce faucets is not disclosed. Virtually all modern faucets are built around a ceramic cartridge valve but there are good cartridges and not-so-good cartridges.
- A description of the cartridge as "ceramic cartridges" is not enough information. The only way to determine the quality of the cartridge and, therefore, predict its service life is to know the name of the manufacturer.
- No written warranty: U.S. law requres a consumer product warranty to be in writing and posted at the point of sale so it may be read by a prospective buyer before the sale.
- For online sellers it is sufficient compliance with the law if a written warranty is posted with each faucet listing or a conspicuous link to the warranty is displayed in each faucet listing.
Testing & Certification
Faucets made in China comparable to Becola and Bakala in quality with the same or a better warranty, but not necessarily comparable for design or price, include
Bakala and Becola designs are striking and their prices are low for such original designs. But, despite the eye-catching styless and low pricies, we cannot see a reason to buy uncertified faucets, they cannot be legally installed in NOrth America.
1. Price is not enough. The prices on These faucets make them attractive, but, as the list above demonstrates, a great many other companies sell good quality Chinese-made faucets for about the same price that are fully certified, legal to use in a drinking water system, and backed by a much stronger warranty. Many are guaranteed for the lifetime of the buyer.
2. They have not been certified so the presence of toxic substances like lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury in the faucet has not been excluded. Because these are Chinese-made products, lead is a substantial risk due to the lack of lead regulation in China.
4. Bairui Electronic Commerce has no written warranty on its faucets, suggesting that even the seller does not have enough confidence in their long-term durability to provide an enforceable warranty.
4. The faucets cannot be legally installed in a drinking water system anywhere in the U.S. or Canada. A plumber probably will not install one for you, and if you do it yourself you risk, at the very least, having to replace the faucet with a legal product and the possibility in some jurisdictions of a fine and a little jail time.
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with Bakala or Becola faucets, good, bad, or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.