T&S Brass Faucets Review & Rating Updated: 05/06/21
2 Saddleback Cove
Travelers Rest, SC 29690
Warranty Footnotes:1. The term lifetime is not defined, which means the term will usually be interpreted to mean the actual lifetime of the original owner.2. Used in single handle faucets.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.
"To obtain warranty service, products must be returned to T&S Brass and Bronze Works, Inc., … clearly marked to the attention of the Warranty Repair Department. Shipping, freight, insurance and other transportation charges of the returned product to T&S and the return of the repaired or replaced product to the purchaser are the responsibility of the purchaser."
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This Company In Brief
T&S Brass and Bronze Works, Inc. is an American manufacturer of commercial and specialty faucets. It does not manufacture faucets specifically for residential use but a great many of the faucets it does make can be adapted for use in home kitchens. Firmly utilitarian in style, the faucets are generally of exceptional quality.
It manufactures its own faucets but not necessarily in the U.S. It opened a factory in Shanghai in 2004 that manufactures T&S products primarily for the growing Asian market but also supplies components to the South Carolina plant.
T & S Brass and Bronze Works was founded on Long Island in 1947 by George I. Theisen, a Marine veteran of the battle for Iwo Jima in World War II. Its initial product was the pre-rinse commercial kitchen faucet, invented by Theisen that same year. The company moved to Travelers Rest, South Carolina in 1978. It is still owned and managed by the Theisen family. The current CEO is Claude Theisen, and its marketing director is Eva-Marie (Theisen) Fox, two of several children of the founder who died in 2004.
The company manufactures and sells faucets, fittings, and specialty products and accessories for foodservice, industrial, and laboratory markets. It manufactures its own faucets but not necessarily in the U.S. It opened a factory in Shanghai in 2004 that manufactures T&S products primarily for the growing Asian market but also supplies components to the South Carolina plant.
We have found no indication of finished faucets being imported from China. Several thousand T&S Brass products qualify under the Buy America Act. Not all of these are faucets but almost every faucet qualifies. The Buy American Act requires that a product complying with the Act (1) be manufactured in the U.S. and (2) and that at least 50% of its components also be manufactured in the U.S.
Most faucets are truly made in U.S.A. and meet the stringent rules for advertising "Made in U.S.A." status established by the Federal Trade Commission, which requires the following:
- The faucet's last assembly take place in the U.S. That assembly must be transformative, that is, the product becomes a faucet as a result of the assembly whereas before the assembly it was not a faucet.
- All or substantially all of the parts and components used in the faucet were also made in the U.S.A. The Commission permits minor parts and components from other countries under its de minimus rule. Any foreign content must be very minor and not critical to the functioning of the device. For example, the "hot" or "cold" button on a faucet handle but not the handle itself.
Faucets that are Made in the U.S.A. are identified on the company website and in promotional materials with a "Made in U.S.A." emblem.
T&S does all of its design and engineering in-house and will design and engineer a faucet for special requirements, for a price, of course.
The company invented the pre-rinse faucet, a style now found in almost every commercial kitchen and a growing number of private homes. It is, in many ways, still the backbone of its line of commercial faucets. T&S makes more of them in more variations than any other manufacturer, including the gantry-style pre-rinse faucet shown above.
A great many other companies have copied the style but none has improved on it. In fact, many models designed specifically for residential use have a plastic sprayer rather than the all-brass sprayer used with T&S models. Brass is better. The replaceable spray head is plastic of some sort but these are more or less standard for commercial rinse stations, designed to be easily replaced when they wear out which, in a home kitchen, is not likely.
Many of the T&S pre-rinse units are not suitable for home use. Some are too tall (taller than the ceiling in most kitchens) or require more water pressure than is normally found in a residence.
The company does not make any single-handle faucets. All of its faucets are the traditional two-handle style. Its standard cartridge is the quarter-turn Eterna, a compression cartridge that requires just 1/4 of a turn of the handle from full-off to full-on. Despite the implication of its name, it is not an eternal cartridge. Or, if it is, it is being short-changed by the company warranty which guarantees it against defects for just one year. By comparison, the Quaturn™ compression cartridge made by its rival, the is guaranteed for five years.
The T&S guarantee does not include replacing the compression seat washer from time to time, which is considered ordinary maintenance, not a defect. Compression valves like the Eterna are often the preferred valve in restaurant, hotel, and institutional kitchens where the ease of replacing the seat washer outweighs the nuisance of having to replace it more often.
An Arby's or McDonald's kitchen cannot shut down for a day waiting for a replacement ceramic cartridge to arrive by FedEx, it needs to be able to get a malfunctioning faucet working again right now, and replacing the compression seat washer — which typically takes about 10 minutes and uses parts carried in every plumber's toolbox — usually does the trick.
For residential use, however, a more maintenance-free ceramic cartridge is preferred. The T&S upgrade cartridge is a ceramic stem cartridge that it calls the Cerama. This cartridge is guaranteed for a lifetime and is available as an option in every T&S faucet.
For a more in-depth look at faucet cartridges, go to Faucet Valves & Cartridges. For a video on T&S cartridges, click here.
The company makes dozens of faucets aimed at special requirements, including faucets for laboratories, pet grooming salons, convenience stores, and health care facilities.
Some T&S faucets you will rarely see in residential use, like wash-down reel units, glass fillers, tin-lined faucets with snap-on hose connectors for chemical laboratories. Some, however, have residential applications like faucets with wrist blade handles designed for hospitals but useful in home kitchens to operate a faucet when your hands are covered in soapy water or salad dressing. Because they were developed for hospitals where hygiene is king, the wrist blades are anti-microbial — coated with a microbe-killing barrier.
The T&S website is aimed at the architects and engineers that specify faucets for commercial uses. It is filled with details about each faucet. These include comprehensive specifications, dimensioned drawings, installation instructions, the standards to which the faucet has been tested and certified, the material from which the faucet is manufactured, flow rates available, handle options, aerator options, and any special features. The extent of detail provided is a model that other faucet companies would be smart to follow.
There is no choice of finish, however. All faucets are finished in heavy chrome and only heavy chrome except for a few utility faucets plated in rough zinc.
The weak spot in an otherwise sterling operation is the company's faucet warranty. It's fine as a warranty for faucets in commercial use, but woefully short of the typical lifetime warranty on all faucet parts used in residential applications.
Most parts of T&S Brass faucets are guaranteed for just three years. The Eterna compression cartridge is guaranteed for just one year and ceramic mixing cartridges for a single-handle faucet for just 2 years. And, while the Cerama ceramic cartridge is warranted for a lifetime, the term is not defined, so we don't know which lifetime is the measure of the duration of the warranty.
Lifetime could mean the lifetime of the buyer, the lifetime of the faucet, even the lifetime of the company. The term is not self-defining. It needs to be explained. The ambiguity resulting from failure to provide a definition is a violation of Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (15 U.S.C. §2301), the federal law that dictates the minimum content and form of consumer product warranties. It requires the duration of a faucet warranty to be clearly defined. (15 U.S.C. §2303(a), 16 CFR §701.3(4))
This is, unfortunately, a common mistake in warranties not written by a lawyer, and sometimes in those written by a lawyer who needs to go back to school for a little warranty law refresher.
Magnuson-Moss has a solution, however. It requires the application of the doctrine of contra proferentem which requires, in this case, an ambiguous term to be given the meaning most favorable to the consumer – probably the actual lifetime of the buyer.
Companies selling commercial aucets in the U.S. and Canada comparable to T&S faucets include
Central Brass, Elkay, and Fisher faucets are made in Taiwan and China. Chicago faucets and Symmons commercial faucets are made or assembled in the U.S.
If you are in the market for a solid, reliable faucet, especially a pre-rinse faucet, T&S is worth a look. Not particularly stylish but durable and reliable, T&S faucets will give you years of trouble-free service.
If buying a T&S pre-rinse faucet, however, keep these thoughts in mind:
- Commercial sprays can put out a lot of water, probably more than you will want in your home kitchen. Specify a 1.42 gallon per minute (g.p.m.) flow rate or the faster 4.0 g.p.m. rate but not any greater or you will have water everywhere. For most kitchens, the 1.42 rate will blast all but the crustiest burnt-on food particle from a dish or utensil but it's splashy. Combine it with a deep sink to contain the splash.
- As an alternative, select the 4.0 g.p.m. model. It uses more water but puts out a softer stream that does not splash as readily. However, many states and localities do not allow a 4.0 g.p.m. water flow from a kitchen faucet. Check your local plumbing code before proceeding. You may have to install a flow arrester to reduce the flow to the national maximum of 2.2 g.p.m.
- Always opt for a separate spout. Pre-rinse faucets in commercial kitchens are usually at a dedicated pre-rinse sink. With no need to fill the sink, they do not have a spout. In a home kitchen the pre-rinse sink is also the wash-up sink, so a separate spout is needed for filling the sink (and cookpots). Two versions are available, flat and high-arc. The high-arc version is more suited to a home kitchen. It is easier to get tall pots under the spout.
- Some models are stabilized by being attached to the wall behind the faucet with a bracing rod. If you have a window over your kitchen sink, these models will not work for you.
- Choose the ceramic Cerama in preference to the Eterna compression cartridge. Ceramic requires less maintenance and has a longer warranty.
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with T&S Brass faucets, good, bad, or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.