KES Faucets Review & Rating Updated: 09/08/22
333 Nathan Rd, 10/F
Hong Kong, China
(No North American Telephone)
A Subsidiary of
Keshili Sanitary Ware, Ltd.
No.6 Taihe Rd.
Dongxi Developm. Zone A
Guangdong 529000 China
Warranty Footnotes:1. "All parts of the KES product are warranted to the original consumer purchaser to be free from defects in material and workmanship ("Defect") for a period of one (1) years [sic]."
Download the KES warranty.
Learn more about faucet warranties.
This Company In Brief
KES is the brand under which Keshili Sanitary Ware, a manufacturer in Heshan, China, sells its faucets in North America, primarily through Amazon and other websites that host third-party sellers.
The designs are weighted heavily toward contemporary styles but a few traditional faucets are included in the mix.
The faucets are of reasonable quality and reasonably priced, but the sub-standard one-year warranty and inability to obtain replacement parts is a major detriment to a worry-free purchase.
Keshili Sanitary Ware is a Chinese company that does business under several names. It is identified as Heshan Cesar Industries on its English website and on its Chinese-language website refers to itself as Kaixin Zhizao.
Although it appears to trade through a subsidiary, KES Home (US), Ltd., chartered in Hong Kong, KES Home is little more than a shell hosted by an accounting firm on Nathan Road. We have found no indication that any actual business is done in Hong Kong. Its sole purpose appears to be to give Keshili a Hong Kong address which is perceived as more acceptable to Western buyers than a Chinese mainland address.
KES Home (US) also goes by several names. The translation of its Chinese language name is Cox Home Furnishings (USA) and it frequently trades as Koshi Home Furnishings.
Its address near Los Angeles is a mail drop shared with several dozen other Chinese-owned California companies as an accommodation provided by a law firm that seems to specialize in forming and hosting Chinese-owned shell companies for a fee.
There is no North American customer service, no North American telephone number, not even a stock of replacement parts other than the few sold on Amazon. The only contact with the company is by e-mail which will be answered from China – eventually, maybe. The company is not very prompt with its answers if it answers at all.
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, does the actual selling, and provides after-sale customer and warranty support.
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, KES does not. It 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 KES business model is to contract almost everything to do with retail sales in the U.S. and Canada to third parties. It sells primarily 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.
KES does very little other than arranging for delivery 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 KES operate in much the same way, minimizing KES's involvement in the sales process to almost nothing.
Keshili is certified to the standard, a minimum requirement for Chinese companies manufacturing for the export market. Keshili owns the KES trademark in the U.S. both as a graphic logo (see above) and as the word-mark "KES" (without the graphics). In other countries, it trades as Keshili, Kes.hili, and Nebia. Nebia in the U.S. is owned by brands on Amazon and similar hosting websites. All of these brands, unlike KES, are uncertified black market faucets.
The faucets are brass with a zinc alloy used for non-critical parts such as handles and base plates. 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 economy faucets. We see it used in faucets costing hundreds, even thousands of dollars.
KES also uses plastic in its faucets, notably for the spray heads (the industry term is "wands") on its kitchen faucets all of which are ABS plastic. Unfortunately, plastic wands are becoming the norm. They do not get hot like metal wands when in use, but they are also much more fragile than metal wands and more subject to defects and failures.
There is a design flaw that affects most KES faucets. The hose connection at the bottom of the faucet is recessed making it nearly impossible to tighten the hose enough to prevent it from leaking. We have received several complaints and adverse comments about this one issue. There seems to be no good purpose for this design, so we do not understand why the faucets are made that way.
Our solution when installing our test faucets was to thread a nipple into the hose connection and tighten it securely, then connect the hose to the nipple. A suitable nipple, however, is not included with the faucet. You have to buy it at the plumbing supply house or local hardware store. Be certain to take the faucet and hose with you to make sure the nipple fits. There are many sizes of nipples.
Faucets are available in seven finishes: brushed nickel, chrome, oil-rubbed bronze, matte black, brushed gold, gold, and polished gold. The finishes are except matte black and oil rubbed bronze which are , and the golds which are the very tough finishes.
The gold is not true gold, of course. It is titanium or zirconium made to look like gold. The result is very convincing. These metals have some major advantages over actual gold. First, and most important, they are a lot less expensive than gold. Second, gold is very soft and scratches easily while titanium and zirconium are very hard – nearly as hard as a diamond – and can be scratched only with a determined effort. So, for practical, everyday use, ersatz titanium or zirconium gold is the better choice.
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 gold, brushed gold, and polished gold. On the KES website and on most vendor sites, the finishes available on a faucet are clearly identified.
Buying Rule for
Smart Faucet Buyers
Never buy a faucet until you know the type of cartridge used in the faucet and who made it.
Its cartridge is the heart of a modern faucet and should be your very first consideration when making a buying decision.
It is the component that controls water flow and temperature. Its finish may fail, and the faucet will still work. It may be discolored, corroded, and ugly, but water still flows.
If the cartridge fails, however, the faucet is no longer a faucet. It is out of business until the cartridge is replaced. It's important, therefore, that the cartridge be robust and durable, lasting for many years.
KES's oil-rubbed bronze differs from most ORBs. It has copper highlights. Highlights are more typical of what are usually called 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 homeowner who intends to mix ORB finishes across manufacturers should be aware that it would probably be a challenge to match this finish. (Some companies you might try, however, are all made in China and all offering a similar ORB finish with copper highlights.)
Keshili designs are original with the company but do not differ substantially from the usual run of Chinese faucet styles – too often copies of Western styles, rarely cutting edge, and largely uninteresting. (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.
To learn more about faucet styles, see Faucet Basics, Part 4: Style and Configuration.
The KES collection is heavily skewed toward contemporary faucet styles, but with a leavening of enough traditional designs to suit just about any decor preference from Victorian to urban chic.
Keshili does not skimp on the quality of the critical components of its faucets. The mixing cartridges for its single-handle faucets are made by Sedal S.L.U. a well-regarded technical ceramics company chartered in Spain but manufacturing in two large factories in China. Sedal cartridges are popular among Chinese manufacturers making faucets for the North American market.
Sedal is not considered a first-rank cartridge but is a respectable product. We judge it to be "reliable". It should give leak-free service for many years. If it does go bad, however, it is 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.
The KES Home website is primitive and does not seem to be quite finished. It has been not quite finished for a long time now. It has no search function and while many of the company's products are displayed, many are not. For example, the tab for "Kitchen Pull-out Faucets" does not list or display faucets, just replacement spray heads. There is no place on the site where the faucets that belong to the spray heads are displayed. It shows only five of the more than 30 bathroom faucets the company offers for sale on various retail sites.
The entire site gives the impression that it is something KES cobbled up just so could show that it had an English language website. It does not seem to have any other purpose.
Even if the faucet is displayed on the website, it is not accompanied by enough information for an informed and intelligent buying decision.
There is, for example, no link to installation instructions, no dimensioned drawings, and no exploded parts list.
Installation instructions are good to have so a plumber can see if there might be installation problems in the location that the homeowner has selected for the faucet.
Dimensioned drawings are useful to determine whether the faucet will fit the sink with which it is to be paired, and an exploded parts list is invaluable for identifying replacement parts.
The type of cartridge used in the faucet is identified only generically (e.g. "ceramic cartridge") without identifying the manufacturer of the cartridge.
The KES one-year faucet warranty is woefully substandard for the North American market and has two critical legal problems.
More likely its very short warranty duration has less to do with the quality of the faucets than the fact that KES does not have the facilities in North America to service a multi-year warranty. In China where it has a customer service structure, Keshili offers a 5-year warranty on these same faucets. For China that is a very substantial warranty.
The warranty is written in language that is "simple and easy to understand by the average consumer" as required by the federal Magnuson-Moss Act (15 U.S.C. § 2301 et seq.). It guarantees against defects in "all parts" to the "original consumer purchaser" for one year. It excludes "incidental and consequential damages" including labor charges by a plumber for removing, repairing, and reinstalling the faucet – often the most expensive part of repairing a broken faucet.
Unfortunately, however, the warranty does not comply in all respects with the minimum legal requirements for consumer product warranties specified in the Magnuson-Moss.
It does not modify its limitation of consequential and incidental damages with the following required statement:
"Some States do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitation or exclusion may not apply to you."The KES warranty contains the following language:
"The above limitations or exclusions apply to you UNLESS the law of the places that you purchased KES product prohibit such limitations or exclusions."The modified language does not comply with the law. Magnuson-Moss requires the exact language of the statute – no variations. In consequence, KES's attempt to limit its liability for consequential and incidental damages damages is almost certainly invalid.Consequential and incidental damages are those other than the defect in the faucet itself. For example, your KES faucet leaks and damages your cabinets. The leak is a "direct damage" to the faucet. The damage to the cabinets is a "consequential damage". If you need to hire a lawyer to take your case to court, the attorney's fees are an "incidental damage". Collectively, consequential and incidental damages are called "indirect" or "special" damages;
The warranty does not include the following statement, required to be in every consumer warranty:
"This warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may also have other rights which vary from State to State"Absent this required language, it is likely the entire warranty is void, including its limitations on warranties implied by law. The consequence is that the consumer would probably get the benefit of the stronger statutory implied warranties of merchantability and fitness that have no one-year limitation.
Learn more about the requirements and interpretation of faucet warranties and about how to enforce a product warranty
KES sold its faucets for years in the U.S. and Canada without having them tested and certified to North American standards. We identified the company in an earlier report as a seller of black market faucets – faucets that are illegal to sell or install in the U.S. or Canada. Subsequently, the company set about having its faucets certified.
Faucets made in China comparable to KES in price and quality but not necessarily in design, with the same or stronger warranty, include
These are not the best faucets made by any means, but they also don't have the hefty price tag of some of the best faucets made. These are reasonable quality faucets, many priced at less than $100.00. We judge them to be a fair value. For an infrequently used guest bath or kitchen prep station, they could be entirely suitable. If the company offered a better warranty, we would probably rate them a good or even very good value depending on the terms of the warranty. At present, however, the best we can do is "fair".
If you buy a KES faucet be prepared to shoulder all of the costs of repair or replacement after one year and to accept the risk that replacement parts may not be readily available.
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with KES faucets, good, bad, or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.