Novatto Faucets Review & Rating Updated: 05/21/21
3533 East Corona Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85040
This Company In Brief
Novatto is a sink company that also sells kitchen and bath sink faucets, bathroom furniture, and some accessories, all imported from China. The faucet collection includes a generous selection of faucets designed to be used with vessel sinks to complement the company's extensive collection of vessel sinks for the bath.
Novatto sells through showrooms and plumbing supply houses such as Briggs; big box lumber stores like Sutherlands, Lowes, and Builders Warehouse; and online through ATG Stores (a Lowes affiliate), Faucet Direct, Build.com, Amazon, Wayfair, and discount sites such as CyberMonday and NinjaSteals.
The faucets are of reasonable quality but with no design distinction. They are largely indistinguishable from faucets sold by any number of importers of Chinese-made faucets.
Novatto, Inc. is a South Dakota corporation organized in 2011 by Robert Mark Vander Waal. Its principal business address, however, is in Phoenix, Arizona. It is primarily a bathroom and kitchen sink company that also sells bathroom and kitchen sink faucets, bathroom furnishings, and some accessories. All products, so far as we can determine, are imported from China.
Notatto's principal faucet supplier appears to be Wenzhou Haijun Sanitary Hardware Co., Ltd., a Chinese manufacturer that also supplies a few
The faucets are designs owned by Haijun, neither created for nor exclusive to Novatto. For example, the Novatto GF-136 Eclipse faucet, pictured above, is in the Haijun general catalog as the 81H36 faucet.
The faucets are fairly conservative, ranging from traditional to contemporary. Chinese faucet designs tend to be conservative.
Chinese factories make money selling mass-market faucets to mass-market customers, and to reach the widest customer base keep their designs well within conventional design limits. There are few design adventures in China and none in the Novatto collection.
Novatto Retail Sources
Novatto sells through plumbing supply houses and showrooms such as Briggs Kitchen and Bath; big box lumber stores like Sutherlands, Lowes, and Menards; and online through Amazon, Wayfair, and Overstock. A "showroom locator" on the website facilitates finding a retailer by zip code, but it is not always up to date.
The company's forté appears to be selling vessel sinks with matching vessel faucets as a set. This is a niche market, but probably a successful niche since it is thinly occupied.
At our last update, we noted that the company gave the impression of one that was not quite ready for prime time. A lot of things were seemingly left undone including the website which was incomplete with many features that did not work and links that lead nowhere.
Things have improved. The website seems finished. All of its features work. The search function is accurate and efficient. The information provided about individual faucets is better, but still not sufficient for a truly informed buying decision.
Faucets are illustrated with several images, including one or more of the faucets installed in a bath or kitchen setting. Several images make visualizing the faucet much easier than a single image.
Even better are the 360° views provided by companies such as Clicking on the 360° icon displays the faucet in a box that allows the viewer to rotate the faucet with the mouse to view it from any angle.
The finishes available for each faucet are shown in a drop-down menu so the preferred finish can be easily selected. The usual finishes are chrome, brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, and matte black.
Some of the time finishes are listed in plain English. For many faucets, however, finishes are displayed in code. Why? We have no idea, but it is certainly not very handy.
To make a finish selection, you have to know, for example, that "NBF-01OORB" means oil-rubbed bronze or that NBF-084BN is brushed nickel.
Additional information about the faucet is displayed under four tabs. The "Details" tab is the default, displayed initially when the page is shown. The other tabs are displayed only if you click on them.
- Details: or Product Details: Basic information about the faucet including number of mounting holes, number of handles, overall configuration, material (usually brass), and certifications.
- Description: Provides some additional information about the faucet, but also duplicates much of the Details tab in narrative form.
- Specs: Dimensions, weight, and spout reach.
- Product Guides: Portable document format (.pdf) files that may include a specification sheet, installation instructions, a care and maintenance guide, and the warranty.
The installation instructions are useful to have in advance of purchase so your plumber can identify any problems that may occur at installation in the particular location you have chosen. The link to warranty information is not only useful but required by recent additions to the Federal Trade Commission's consumer product warranty regulations.
The .pdf Specification Sheet is not a true specification sheet, which is used to provide very detailed information about the faucet usually including a dimensioned drawing and possibly an exploded parts diagram. This "specification sheet" is what the world of interior design and architecture calls a which duplicates much of the information under the Detail tab but in a form that can be easily printed.
Novatto Valves & Cartridges
Missing in this cornucopia of information, however, is the identity of the ceramic cartridge used in the faucet. The cartridges we examined are clearly of Chinese origin but contain no maker marks that identify the manufacturer. These could be from any of a dozen manufacturers, some making good cartridges, some not so good.
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 is tough, durable, and long-lived. Without knowing the origin of the cartridge, it is not possible to determine its quality. Generally, companies that sell faucets with top-line cartridges are not at all shy about advertising the fact. Companies that don't use top-quality cartridges are more hesitant.
If the cartridge is not identified, we assume it is not one of these top-drawer cartridges.
Legal Defects in the Novatto Warranty
The Novatto faucet warranty does not meet the minimum legal requirements for a consumer warranty mandated by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (15 U.S.C. §2308).
- The first, and probably insurmountable problem with the warranty is its caption. It is clear from the text of the warranty that Novatto intends to offer a limited warranty, but its caption is just "Warranty". However, Magnuson-Moss requires a consumer product limited warranty to be clearly and unambiguously "designated" in the caption with the word "Limited". Without the word "Limited", a warranty is automatically converted to a full warranty irrespective of any actual intent of the company. (15 U.S.C. §2303(a), 16 CFR §700.6)
A full warranty gives the consumer many more rights, and these rights arise whether or not they are stated in the warranty (and even if they are specifically excluded by the warranty). Here are a few but by no means all of the additional rights:
- Novatto cannot limit the transfer of the warranty. A full warranty is transferable to any subsequent owner of the faucet during the warranty period.
- Novatto is liable for all of the direct costs of restoring a defective faucet. These include labor, materials, shipping, handling, packaging, and any other cost reasonably necessary to restore the defective faucet to service. So the company's disclaimer of liability for such costs as labor is simply void since it cannot be included in a full warranty.
- Novatto cannot limit the coverage or duration of implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for purpose arising under state law. The duration of these implied warranties is independent of the duration of Novato's written warranty. The Novatto warranty may end when the faucet buyer no longer owns his home, but the implied warranties continue for the reasonable lifetime of the faucet no matter where it is or who owns it.
- The Novatto warranty attempts to deny liability for " … loss of profits or any such loss, or any direct or indirect, special, incidental or consequential damages howsoever incurred or designated arising out of any breached claim of warranty."
Magnuson-Moss permits disclaimer of special, incidental, or consequential damages in a product warranty if, and only if, the warranty also includes the following qualifying statement. 16 C.F.R. § 701.3(8)
"Some states, provinces, and nations do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitations or exclusions may not apply to you."
- The Novatto warranty does not contain the qualifying statement. Without it, the attempted disclaimer of special, incidental, or consequential damages is ineffective and will be ignored by any court considering the matter.
The warranty also attempts to limit the applicability of state implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for purpose, although the language is itself awkward:
" Except as provided by law, this warranty is in lieu of and excludes all other warranties, conditions, and guarantees, whether expressed or implied, statutory or otherwise, including without restriction those of merchantability or of fitness for use."
This language tries to reach too far. Magnuson-Moss considers a company's written warranty to be a supplement to and an extension of implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for purpose arising under state law. The implied warranties cannot be "excluded", they are the bedrock warranties covering any consumer product. What they can be, in limited warranties only, is shortened in duration to the same term as the company's written limited warranty, in this case, "for as long as the original consumer purchaser owns their [sic] home." However, no limitation of any kind is allowed unless the warranty also contains the following statement.
16 C.F.R. § 701.3(8)
"Some States do not allow limitations on how long an implied warranty lasts, so the above limitation may not apply to you."Without this disclaimer, the limitation attempted by Novatto is void, and the Novatto warranty does not have it.
The warranty must contain the following mandatory language designed to alert the consumer that he or she also has remedies for a faucet defect other than the Novatto warranty. 16 C.F.R. § 701.3(9)
"This warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may also have other rights which vary from State to State"The Novatto warranty does not include this mandatory language and this omission alone makes it unlikely that any U. S. court will find the warranty valid.
Possible manufacturers include Sedal S.L.U. and Weingbo Wanhai Cartridge Technology Co., Ltd..
Sedal is chartered in Spain so it is frequently referred to by the manufacturers that use it as a European cartridge. But, the cartridges are made in China. They are popular among Chinese manufacturers making faucets for the North American market.
Wanhai cartridges are more commonlyy used in Chinese-manufactured faucets destined for the European Union where the company sells under the Quore brand from offices in Spain and Italy. However, some are starting to appear in Chinese-made faucets sold in North America (See e.g. BWE faucets.)
For more information on the types of faucet valves and cartridges and advantages and drawbacks of each type, see Faucet Valves & Cartridges.
The Novatto warranty is the standard North American limited lifetime warranty pioneered a half-century ago by If anything breaks, the company promises to provide the parts required to fix it.
The warranty is offered only to the original purchaser, and only as long as the original purchaser "owns their [sic] home." All of this is standard in the U.S. and most Canadian "limited lifetime" faucet warranties.
There are some defects in the warranty, however. It does not meet the minimum legal requirements for a consumer warranty mandated by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (15 U.S.C. §2308).
Testing & Certification
The certification information listed for Novatto faucets on the company website:
"cUPC and AB1953 low lead compliant, NSF 61 and NSF 372 certified"
Novatto faucets are not NSF61 or ANSI/NSF 372 certified and do not comply with cUPC or AB1953, which require testing and certification to ASME A112.18.1/CAS B125.1 and ANSI/NSF 372. Novatto faucets are not certified to either standard. (For more detailed certification information, see below.)
In our initial review of this company in 2016, we noted that the faucets were not certified and therefore illegal to install in the U.S. or Canada. The company owner told us that Novatto was in the process of certification. In 2018 when we last revised this report, we were told by a company spokesman that the company was in the process of certification. Two years later Novatto faucets are still not certified, and while certification can often take a few months, it does not take four years.
Chinese and Taiwanese faucets comparable to Novatto but which are fully certified to U.S./Canadian standards and legal to sell in both countries include
There is no reason to buy Novatto faucets. They are off-the-shelf Chinese faucets of no particular distinction and with no unique characteristics. Similar, if not identical faucets that are certified safe, reliable, and lead-free through independent testing are imported by any number of other faucet companies as the list above shows.
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with Novatto faucets, good, bad, or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.