Steam Valve Original Faucets Review & Rating Updated: 06/12/21
Durst Corporation, Inc.
129 Dermody Street
Cranford, NJ 07016
Hornbeam Ivy Limited
Marston Trading Estate
United Kingdom BA11 4BY
Warranty Footnotes:1. For as long as the faucet is owned by the original consumer-purchaser.2. "To secure warranty performance, the original consumer purchaser must have the fixture properly and professionally installed in accordance with all codes and installation instructions."3. The warranty is missing quaifying language required by the U.S. Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (15 U.S.C. §2301). However, the missing language does not diminish the rights of the faucet buyer, and in may actually strengthen those rights.
Download/Print the Jaclo (Steam Valve Original) faucet warranty.
Learn more about faucet warranties.
This Company In Brief
Steam Valve Original is a line of faucets manufactured by Hornbeam Ivy Limited in England and distributed in North America by Durst Corporation. The line includes kitchen, prep, and bar faucets. It does not include bath or utility faucets.
These are striking, well-designed luxury faucets with prices to match. They are available in polished and brushed stainless steel which can be mixed to produce a The quality is very good, but not exceptional for the price. Nonetheless, we feel the line is worth a look if you are considering a traditional or transitional faucet to complement your kitchen or bar decor.
Hornbeam Ivy is a British manufacturer of decorative fittings for kitchen and bath. It was founded in 1986 as Imagefax Limited. The name was changed to Hornbeam Ivy later that same year. Its original product was a line of liquid soap dispensers. It ventured into making faucets in the late 1990s.
Its faucets include a line of bath faucets and accessories sold under the trade name "Hollys of Bath" and a collection of stainless steel kitchen faucets under the "Steam Valve Original" brand which Hornbeam describes as
[A] range of beautifully handcrafted taps that combine modern technology with retro styling. …
Only the Steam Valve Original collection is distributed in the U.S. and Canada by Durst Corporation through its catalog and in participating showrooms. Hollys of Bath faucets are not sold on this side of the big blue pond, which is too bad. These are nice faucets.
Durst Corporation was established in 1988 as a New Jersey corporation. It claims a heritage of "five generations of industry experience" as the successor to Durst Manufacturing Co., founded in 1901 by P.E. Durst to sell "plumbers sundries."
The original Durst was based in New York City. The 1915 Engineering Directory shows the company at 88-90 Reade Street in Manhattan. By 1922 it had relocated to a then-new building at 119 Chambers Street in Tribeca and in 1949 it could be found at 466 Broadway in Brooklyn.
Despite the word "manufacturing" in its name, Durst Manufacturing for most of its existence was a distributor, manufacturing nothing, but supplying plumbers nationwide with all manner of fiber and rubber washers, gaskets, fuller balls, brass closet bolts, rubber bulbs, riser hoses, closet flanges, rubber elbows, rubber stoppers, all made by others.
In 1960 the Federal Trade Commission acting on a complaint filed in 1956, determined that the use of the word "Manufacturing" by Durst and its subsidiary Lafayette Brass in their corporate and trade names was a "deceptive act and practice" and ordered the companies to cease using the word within sixty days. The company changed its name to Durst Industries, Inc.
Now reorganized and renamed once again, Durst Corporation is still supplying plumbing sundries and is a well-known name in the plumbing industry. Its offerings have expanded to include almost everything a plumber or steamfitter might possibly need in the way of materials, tools, components, or fittings from a 320-page catalog and through independent plumbing supply houses.
Durst markets its high-end decorative plumbing products under the Jaclo label through a separate Jaclo catalog and website.
Steam Valve Original faucets are original designs and very English, featuring several variations on the bridge faucet, a perennial British favorite. It also includes wall-mounted faucets, pot fillers, single-hole two-handle faucets, and single handle mixing faucets. The designs are clean and crisp with just enough decorative detail to ensure they are at home in any kitchen decor from Victorian to contemporary.
The finishes available are polished stainless steel, brushed stainless steel, and a in which polished and brushed steel appears on the same faucet. These are not applied finishes like chrome over brass. Steel is the fabric of the faucet and the "finish" is a treatment of the outer surfaces of the steel. The polished steel is not quite as gleaming as polished chrome. It shows scratches and fingerprints more readily than brushed steel, something to keep in mind if you have a very active kitchen.
Durst's bath faucets are assembled in New Jersey from components manufactured in Asia. faucets are reviewed separately and are not included in this report.
These are good quality, stainless faucets made with the usual English attention to detail. The faucets we examined appeared to be all steel and weighed between 7 and 8 lbs. Steel is a little lighter than brass, so a heavy-weight faucet in steel indicates a heavy-duty fitting.
Steam Valve Original faucets are available from Durst with as many as four handle options including the steam valve handle for which the collection is named. The handle options expand the range of appearances available from its dozen or so basic faucets. The website helps the user visualize a handle choice by displaying the faucet with the selected handle.
Durst's Jaclo website shows the Steam Valve Original faucets available in North America. The site is well-designed with easy, intuitive navigation. However, Steam Valve Original faucets do not seem to have been fully integrated into the site. A search on "Steam Valve" produces no results. Nor is Steam Valve is shown as one of the site's Collections. To get a list of Steam Valve faucets you have to click on Products then on Kitchen Faucets - Steam Valve Original.
The information provided about each faucet is comprehensive, including the finishes available on the faucet, flow rate options, handle choices, composition, mounting hole size, and spout reach, all useful in making an intelligent buying decision.
What's missing is the identity of the ceramic cartridge manufacturer. The term "ceramic cartridge" does not provide enough information. There are very good and very poor ceramic cartridges made in this world. The best will last a lifetime, the worst a few years at most, which is why the actual identity of the cartridge-maker is good to know.
From our visual inspection, we identified cartridges from German and Italian manufacturers. To confirm our findings, we asked Hornbeam Ivy to identify the manufacturers of the ceramic cartridges used in Steam Valve faucets, which it did.
Two-handle Steam Valve faucets are equipped with stem cartridges from Flühs Drehtechnik, GmbH, a German firm located in Ludenscheid, Germany since 1926. Flühs is world renown for its precision machining and is generally thought of as the manufacturer of the world's best single function stem cartridge. Flühs (sometimes spelled Fluehs for English speakers) valves are heavy-duty products with an established reputation for leak-free reliability.
Faucet lines known to use Flühs cartridges include to name just a few.
Single handle mixing cartridges are made by Hydroplast, S.r.L. an excellent Italian cartridge maker that supplies ceramic cartridges for some well-known faucet brands including
Its cartridge is the heart of a modern faucet. It's 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. But, if a cartridge fails, the faucet is out of business until it is replaced. So, the cartridge is important to your buying decision.
Each faucet page provides a link to a downloadable .pdf cut-sheet that summarizes the faucet's features — essentially a printable version of the website faucet page — and a link to installation instructions also in .pdf format. The installation instructions are useful in determining whether there would be any difficulty in installing the faucet in the location planned for it.
The installation instructions are also useful in this case because they contain Jaclo's written faucet warranty.
Stainless steel faucets, especially polished stainless steel faucets, are not actually "stain-less".
Stainless steel is an alloy of steel and nickel that corrodes very slowly but is not corrosion-free. It also tends to show fingerprints and water spots. Nearly daily cleaning is usually recommended to preserve the "new" look and aid corrosion resistance. Unlike some other faucet finishes which can be damaged by overzealous cleaning, stainless steel thrives on frequent cleaning.
Most dishwashing soaps and detergents contain chlorides which can promote corrosion. Chloride, for those that don't know, is the active ingredient in bleach. It is corrosive. Without regular cleaning, a stainless steel faucet in regular contact with chloride will show surface rust over time.
Rinsing your faucet at least daily with hot water is strongly recommended. Weekly cleaning with a mild detergent and soft cloth or sponge will remove even stubborn water spots. Some manufacturers recommend using a mild abrasive cleaner such as Bar Keepers Friend®. Others suggest avoiding any form of abrasive altogether. Always follow the manufacturer's recommendation. Once cleaning is complete, rinse the surface immediately. Rinsing in clean hot water leaves stainless steel shiny and germ-free. Never us Brillo® or any other steel scrubbing pad or brush, and never use a scouring pad like ScotchBrite™.
After any cleaning, wipe the surface completely with a clean dry towel so that the water does not evaporate and leave water spots. Drying your faucet after every use works wonders to prevent watermarks.
For that extra sparkle, try a final rinse with club soda rather than plain water. Soak a soft cloth with the soda and wipe your faucet, then dry with an equally soft cloth. Baking soda makes a great stainless steel faucet cleaner because it is abrasive enough to scrub away light hard water deposits and stuck-on grease and food, but not so abrasive as to scratch shiny stainless steel fixtures.
Another option is cleaning your faucet with a paste of baking soda and water. You can then rinse the sink with vinegar, which will bubble and fizz. Vinegar naturally disinfects while helping remove hard water stains. Once your faucet is clean and dry, you can easily add an extra shine by applying a few drops of olive oil to a lint-free cloth and buffing the faucet until it sparkles.
The Jaclo warranty is clearly intended to be a limited lifetime warranty that reads, in relevant part, as follows:
But, it has a few problems. Its major problems are that it fumbles two provisions required by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (15 U.S.Code §2301 et. seq.): captioning and the single document requirement.
A warranty must be captioned either as a "Full Warranty" or a "Limited Warranty". To be a limited warranty, the words "Limited Warranty" must appear at the very top of the warranty document, separated from the text of the warranty and in a "conspicuous" type designed to be noticed by the consumer. Any warranty not designated as a "Limited Warranty" is treated as a full warranty (15 U.S.Code. §2303(a), 16 CFR §700.6) irrespective of the wishes of the warrantor. The caption of a warranty, therefore, is important.
The Jaclo warranty is captioned just "Warranty", so it is presumed to be a full warranty. Many of the provisions in the Jaclo warranty are not allowed in a full warranty and would likely be disregarded by a court in interpreting the warranty.
The written warranty that accompanies a Jaclo faucet does not explain in the body of the warranty how a warranty claim is to be made. It merely refers to Jaclo's "return policy" for that explanation. This arrangement violates the Magnuson-Moss "single document" requirement. All of the required elements of a warranty, including information about making a warranty claim, must be contained "in a single, clear, and easy-to-read document". Instructions for making a warranty claim cannot be outside of the warranty and merely referenced by the warranty.
To obtain "service under the warranty", Jaclo requires that a faucet be "properly and professionally installed in accordance with all codes and installation instructions," a little trap for the unwary do-it-yourselfer.
The provision is reasonable and we don't have a problem with it as long as it is in the warranty document. Industry studies have shown that over half of the problems with a faucet in the first year of use are due to improper installation, mostly from simply failing to read the manufacturer's installation instructions. Requiring a professional installation does not eliminate errors, but it certainly reduces them. Just be aware that installing a Jaclo faucet yourself (unless you are a plumber) may void warranty protection for the faucet.
Durst provides customer service for Steam Valve Original faucets sold in North America. We did not perform our usual customer service tests which for small companies often do not work. Agents quickly figure out they are being tested. We did, however, make inquiries designed to determine the depth of knowledge among service agents about Steam Valve Original faucet products and the agents' helpfulness. We judge it to jut about average — not bad but also not outstanding. In many instances questions had to be referred to superiors for answers. Nor is the company very prompt in answering e-mail inquiries.
However, Jaclo scored a gold star for not using automated telephone answering, one of the most annoying features of our electronic lives. When you call Jaclo, your call is answered by a real, live person and directed to the appropriate recipient without having to listen to an interminable list of options or wait on hold while a recorded voice tells you how "Your call is important to us." For this convenience alone, Jaclo can be forgiven a lot of customer service sins. But, not knowing the identity of faucet cartridges, that's hard to overlook.
Faucets roughly equivalent to Steam Valve Originals in quality, features, and price; and either made or assembled in England include
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with Steam Valve Original faucets, good, bad, or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.