Bélanger Faucets Bélanger • Essential • H2flo • Nobua Review & Rating Updated: 07/14/23
Warranty Footnotes1. "Faucets are protected for as long as the original buyer owns their home …"2. "All electronic components and plumbing accessories (e.g. flexible connectors, Plumb Pak® items, etc.)."
Download/Read/Print the Bélanger faucet warranty.
Learn more about faucet warranties.
This Company In Brief
If you are in the market for an inexpensive faucet, made by a reputable manufacturer, backed by a lifetime warranty, and supported by excellent customer service, then one of the Bélanger faucet lines may be just what you are looking for.
The faucets are well-made. Most are equipped with a more than adequate ceramic disc cartridge for years of leak-free performance and premium Neoperl® aerators.
They are priced below the average for faucets of similar quality made in Asia. We judge the price-to-value relationship to be very good to excellent.
Oatey Co. is an Ohio corporation founded in 1913 as the L. R. Oatey Co. It imports, distributes, and retails plumbing fittings and supplies, doing business under a variety of trade names.
Bélanger is today merely a trade name. Originally, however, it was its own company, founded in Quebec by Gerald Bélanger in 1966 as Produits Bélanger.
The company was acquired by Keeney Manufacturing Co. In 1993. Keeney is an American manufacturer and distributor of plumbing products and supplies.
Keeney became a division of Oatey in 2019 when Oatey purchased certain assets" of Keeney Manufacturing. The division has been directed by Daniel Mercier since 2020.
Bélanger markets faucets, other fittings, and supplies to the plumbing industry primarily in Canada. It does business under the registered brand names Bélanger®, H2flo®, Quik®, Essential®, Plumb Pak®, and Keeney®.
The company introduced its Bélanger line of faucets in 1986 and H2Flo faucets in 2007 followed by the Essential and Essential Style in 2010.
H2flo, H2flo Luxx, and Nobua are the company's premium brands, Bélanger its mid-priced brand, and Essential its economy line. There is, however, no crisp, bright line of demarcation among the various brands. They overlap considerably in pricing and style. Essential Style faucets, for example, are similar in styling and price to some Bélanger faucets. A few Bélanger faucets cost as much as some higher-end H2Flo and Nabua products.
Where to Buy
The faucets are distributed in Canada by Bélanger. Distribution in the U.S. is through Keeney Manufacturing.
Nobua and J2flo Luxx brands are sold only through what the company calls its "boutique" retailers – brick-and-mortar supply houses and design centers.
A store locator on the Bélanger website identifies most of the boutique sellers, all of which are in Canada.
The other brands are more widely available They are sold at Keeney-supplied plumbing supply houses and over the internet at Home Depot, Lowes, and Menards lumber stores in the U.S., and in Canada at Home Hardware, RONA, and Reno Depot.
A limited selection of faucets is also sold through general internet retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Wayfair
Keeney manufactures some of the products it sells but it does not manufacture faucets. They are made by manufacturers in China and Taiwan including:
- Jiangmen Anmei Industrial Co., Ltd., a Chinese manufacturer of stainless steel faucets and accessories.
- (Xiamen) Easo Co., Ltd. a Runner Group company located in Fujian, China that manufactures a broad assortment of sanitary fittings for the export market.
- The company is known for its technical innovations. It has won numerous design awards including Red Dot awards for the design of faucet quick installation kit and for its instant heating kitchen faucet.
- Easo also manufactures
- Globe Union Industrial Group, Ltd., a Taiwanese company that manufactures in China. It makes the majority of the faucets sold under the Essential brand. It also sells faucets in the U.S. and Canada under its own trade names:
- Globe Union is an manufacturer, supplying faucets to a host of other companies that sell faucets in North America, including private brands for
- It also manufactures faucets for major brands such as
- Huayi International Industrial Group Co., Ltd., a Chinese company that is part of the giant Huayi Group. a collection of companies involved in some manner in metal fabrication.
- Huayi also manufactures for other North American faucet sellers, incluiding the
- Meijie Faucet Co., Ltd., a Chinese company specializing in manufacturing for North America that makes faucets for
- NCIP Inc., a manufacturer headquartered in Taiwan but manufacturing mostly in China. It manufactures for a number of other faucet companies, including
- Xiamen Runner Industrial Corp., Ltd., a subsidiary of the giant Runner Corporation, Ltd. of China that manufactures faucets for
- (Xiamen) Zhongyu Hardware Industry Co., Ltd. (also trading as PPI Xiamen Industry Co.), a Chinese manufacturer that sells under its own PPI® brand in Asia and manufactures some of the
These may not be all of Belanger's manufacturers. The company changes suppliers from time to time, so these may not be its manufacturers when you read this report. We believe, however, that these are the company's principal faucet manufacturers as of the date of this report.
The faucets are not original designs. They are neither designed by nor expressly for Bélanger. The faucets are straight out of each manufacturer's
Some Essential faucets look like products from the 1980s. Bélanger and H2flo faucets are more stylish, but none are innovative designs.
Buying Rule for
Smart Faucet Buyers:
Never buy a faucet unless you know the type of cartridge used in the faucet and who made it.
Its cartridge is the most critical part of a faucet. It is the component that actually controls water flow. Without a working cartridge, a faucet is no longer a faucet.
Companies that use good-quality cartridges in their faucets usually disclose the cartridge source on their websites. Those that don't will happily identify the cartridge in a call to customer service.
If the company refuses to reveal the sources of its cartridges (because it is a "trade secret"), you can confidently assume it is not one of the better brands and prehaps should be avoided.
Chinese faucet styles tend to be conservative designs targeting mass-market customers. An original design that proves popular in the European or North American markets will ultimately be copied by Asian factories. The lag time is normally three to five years behind the Western prototypes, by which time any new styles are no longer new.
For more information on faucet style categories, see Faucet Styles & Configurations.
Belanger does not identify the valve cartridges used in its faucets. From inspection, however, we believe the cartridges used in the single handle faucets are KCG cartridges manufactured in Taiwan by Kuching International, Ltd. KCG cartridges are not considered one of the top-drawer ceramic cartridges but they are more than robust enough for all but heavy residential use.
Most two-handle faucets include the newer ceramic disc stem cartridge but some still use the old-style compression valve. The website entry for each faucet identifies the type of cartridge used in each faucet but does not identify the actual manufacturer.
The aerators used in many but not all of these faucets are from Neoperl®, considered some of the world's best.
Aerators 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 nickel, be the best available. And that, almost by definition, is the Swiss-made Neoperl® aerator.
Bélanger's standard faucet finishes are the basics: chrome and nickel.
Some faucets are available in matte black, the up-and-coming designer color. Other finishes include oil-rubbed bronze, stainless steel, black stainless steel, and matte gold.
Some finishes are more durable than others. Here are the Moen 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.
Chrome or stainless steel can be found on nearly all kitchen faucets. Black stainless steel is also available. Oil-rubbed bronze and matte gold are found only on bathroom sink faucets.
Chrome and nickel are finishes. Black stainless steel is most likely a ((PVD) finish. Matte Gold and oil-rubbed bronze are probably .
A powder coat is essentially a dry paint in powder form applied using a special low-velocity spray gun then baked in an oven to melt and set the powder.
These finishes are considered "semi-durable" coatings requiring more care and maintenance to retain their appearance than metallic finishes.
Electroplated and PVD finishes are durable finishes, although, of the two, PVD is the more durable. By some estimates, it is 10-20 times more scratch-resistant than the standard: polished chrome.
For more information on the types of faucet finishes and their advantages and drawbacks, read Faucet Basics, Part 5: Faucet Finishes.
While the body and spout of most faucets are brass, ancillary metal parts such as handles may be zinc or a zinc-aluminum alloy. Pull-out and pull-down sprays on kitchen faucets are plastic as are many of the less critical parts such as escutcheon plates and aerator caps.
Some of the less expensive Essential faucets are made entirely of zinc or a zinc/aluminum alloy. Zinc faucets are fine for low or moderate-use applications. The material, like brass, is corrosion-resistant but not as durable as brass and wears out more quickly.
Zinc faucets are usually described by Bélanger as "metallic" faucets — a sure clue that they are not brass. If they were brass, the description of the faucet would include the word "brass".
Other Bélanger faucets are plastic, described as "non-metallic". We suggest that unless you have a special requirement such as for a laboratory faucet, a faucet for an RV, or you live right on a seacoast where salt corrosion is a problem, avoid plastic faucets entirely.
The spray heads on pulldown and pull-out kitchen faucets are also likely to be plastic.
Plastic spray heads ("wands" in faucet-talk) are quickly becoming the norm because the material does not transmit heat like brass, and does not get uncomfortably hot in use.
Our Faucet Reviews Do Not Include …
- Faucets not intended for installation in drinking water systems such as beer taps and keg spigots,
- Faucets intended for RVs, trailers, boats or other vehicles,
- Plastic faucets,
- Specialty faucets such as filtration and instant hot water faucets
- Commercial faucets, unless otherwise specified, or
- Faucets intended for outdoor use such as hose bibbs, sillcocks or garden hydrants.
We strongly urge you to consider a Belanger plastic faucet only if you have a special requirement that only a plastic faucet will satisfy.
Even upscale manufacturers such as have started using them. But, they typically have lots of problems and generate a lot of complaints. Engineers have made great strides in improving the durability of plastic wands, but the problems have not been entirely resolved.
Metal spray heads are getting hard to find and are typically more expensive but worth the extra cost to sidestep almost certain problems down the road.
The warranty on these faucets is limited to defects that cause a drip or leak and defects in the faucet finish. If the defect does not cause a leak and is not a defect in the finish, the fault is not covered by the warranty. A defect that does not cause a leak is rare, but it does happen. For example, a handle snaps off.
The warranty lasts for "as long as the original buyer owns their [sic] home." It is not transferable to a subsequent owner. This is the standard for the North American market. Warranty support is good to very good, and bilingual — just in case your preferred language is French.
The warranty has problems, however.
It does not conform to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (15 U.S.C. §2301), the federal law that governs the content and form of consumer warranties in the U.S.
Although the warranty purports to be limited, it does not meet the criteria for a limited warranty. To be limited, a warranty must include the word "limited" in its caption or title. Otherwise, the warranty is full or unlimited. The caption of the Bélanger warranty is just "Warranty", the word
limited is nowhere to be found.
A full warranty gives the consumer many more rights, including the right to be reimbursed for the labor required to install replacement parts or a new faucet – making Bélanger's attempt to exclude labor costs null and void.
Bélanger's attempt to exclude consequential and incidental damages and state law warranties of merchantability and fitness for purpose has two problems.
- First, Magnuson-Moss explicitly prohibits any attempt to exclude state law warranties.
- Second, consequential and incidental damages cannot be excluded unless the exclusion is qualified using the certain specific language required by the Act. Bellanger's failure to include the required language voids any attempted exclusion.
Certain exclusions from the lifetime warranty coverage are ambiguous. For example,
"E]lectronic components and plumbing accessories (e.g. flexible connectors, Plumb Pak® items, etc.) are guaranteed for one (1) year."
We have no idea what accessories or components are included in the word "etc." and neither would anyone except the individual who wrote the warranty. "Etc." does not meet the Magnuson-Moss requirement that components that are not covered by the warranty must be "clearly" identified. "Etc." is not a clear identification of anything.
The definition of lifetime – "for as long as the original buyer owns their home" – is also ambiguous. Does it mean their current home or just any home? If the buyer moves to a new home, then another new home, then a third new home, is the warranty still in force?
The answer is probably
yes. The ancient and hoary doctrine of contra proferentem requires ambiguous wording to be interpreted against the writer of a legal document. So, owning a home – any home – probably meets Bélanger's requirement of "owns their home" to determine the duration of the warranty, which means that the warranty may last until the original buyer dies as long as he or she continuously owns a home during his or her lifetime.
We don't know who wrote the warranty. Hopefully, it was not a U.S. lawyer. But, if it was, he or she needs a refresher in U.S. warranty law. In Canada, the warranty may be legally sufficient although, as there are no Canadian lawyers on our panel, we can't be sure of that. Maybe some McGill graduate can help us out.
The Bélanger website is designed for ease of use by trade professionals as well as consumers. Navigation is intuitive and the site contains basic information about each Bélanger faucet including its certifications, type of cartridge; maximum flow rate, available finishes, and whether or not it qualifies under the Americans with Disabilities Act as a design suited for use by persons with physical limitations.
Specification sheets can be downloaded in universal .pdf format. These include dimensioned drawings and exploded parts diagrams for each faucet, Downloadable installation instructions are easy to follow. Our plumbers had no problem installing the test faucets and rated installation "easy" on a four-point scale from "very hard" to "very easy".
Finding a faucet is made much easier through the use of filters that screen faucets by brand, use (bathroom, kitchen, laundry, etc.), finish, and availability (in Canada, U.S., or both), among other factors. The filters work well, but every time you select a new filter the search refreshes and the site sends you back to the top of the page. You have to scroll down repeatedly to select successive filter items. This could be solved with an "Apply Filters" button that refreshes the search only on command after you have had a chance to set all your filters.
The website's search function has some limitations. It did not always find pages that should have matched the search criteria. The online chat is convenient but not always manned, so you will not get a response and are never told why. Bélanger does not sell faucets on its website, so prices are not provided. To get Bélanger's wholesale price list, you have to be a dealer. (We got a copy, but then, we know a guy who knows a guy …)
Testing & Certification
Faucets manufactured in China and Taiwan comparable to Bélanger faucets include:
We like these faucets. They are not stylish enough for the design giltterati, but for us "just folks" they are pleasant enough. For what you get, the Bélanger prices are very reasonable.
If you are truly not interested in style, you can buy a brass Essential faucet for under $40.00 USD ($50.00 CAD) with a ceramic cartridge that is not the best but good enough. But, you had better be truly disinterested in style because most faucets at this price level look like they fell out of a circa 1965 Delta catalog.
If mid-century modern is your style preference, then you may have found a treasure trove of well-made, inexpensive retro-style Bélanger and Essential faucets that would be a great addition to your post-war retro kitchen or bath.
For a few dollars more, but still less than $200.00 ($250.00 CAD) you can buy a faucet with enough style to suit almost anyone in several modern finishes. In a moderately used guest bath, prep station, or bar, it should give trouble-free service for many years. And, if the faucet does spring a leak, replacing the cartridge is very easy and requires no tools other than those a handy homeowner already has in his tool bag. Under Bélanger's lifetime warranty, the cartridge itself is free.
There are a couple of cautions, however:
If you are buying a faucet that costs less than $100.00 ($126.00CAD) check with Bélanger's customer support to confirm that it is equipped with a ceramic cartridge. Some of Bélanger's economy faucets include compression or washerless valves rather than the newer ceramic technology. Unless you are comfortable replacing seat washers and silicon-rubber seals every two or three years, this may not be the type of cartridge you want.
Stay away from plastic faucet unless you actually need the corrosion resistance of a plastic faucet. Plastic faucets are usually identified by Bélanger as "non-metallic." But, if you are not sure whether a faucet is plastic, look at the weight. Any faucet that weighs less than 2 lbs. is almost certainly plastic. Or, you can telephone customer service and ask, which is what we do.
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with Bélanger, Essential, Nabua, or H2flo faucets, good, bad, or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us at email@example.com or post a comment below.