|Source • Brands||
Price • Origin
AWA Faucet, Ltd.
14F.-3, No 57, Fuxing N. Rd.
Taipei 10595 Taiwan
(AWA does not have a North American customer service telephone number.)
(Far Below North American Standard)
This Company In Brief
AWA Faucets, Ltd., is a Taiwan company formed by a French citizen, Christian Laudet, in 2012. The company is a black marketer, selling contraband faucets that are not legal to install in a drinking water system in the U.S. or Canada through Amazon.com as a third party seller on the internet.
AWA Faucets, Ltd., is a Taiwan company owned by a French citizen, Christian Laudet. Mr Laudet is a former director at Bureau Veritas S. A., a world leader in product testing, inspection and certification services, and the former CEO of ISMA faucets,, a company that is no longer in business. AWA sells stylish, well-designed and well-fabricated faucets through hosting web sites such as Amazon in the U.S., Canada,, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K.
The faucets are manufactured in Taiwan. They are designed by what is described in company literature as the "AWA design team", which consists primarily of its founder Christian Laudet, a French-trained engineer with a keen eye for good design. He may have had help from Warren Hoy, another product engineer trained in England. Mr. Hoy is no longer associated with the company.
Mr. Laudet's designs have won several international design awards, including two prestigious Red Dot awards for faucet designs in 2010 while he was employed by ISMA Creative Faucets in Taiwan, and two more after he founded AWA: for the Ophir in 2013 and Sydney faucet in 2015. These are clean, attractive contemporary faucets. There are others we like better, including the Jun, pictured above, which has not won a design award, but probably should.
AWA faucets are single-handle mixing faucets. The company does not offer any two-handle faucets. All are starkly contemporary in style. There is nothing in the collection that is remotely traditional or transitional or that fits any historic period other than the contemporary era. Even the Sherlock, which is supposed to be neo-retro is much more neo than it is retro.
All faucets are brass with some incidental parts in zinc or ZMAC (a zinc/aluminum alloy). The basic finishes are the standards: chrome, nickel and oil rubbed bronze. Some faucets are also available in matte black or matte white, and some are also offered in The company web site notes that other finishes may be available on request. At least one faucet, the Biber, is available with a ceramic handle.
AWA aerators are made by Neoperl®, considered some of the world's best. Faucet aerators used to be simple devices — brass mesh screens — that merely added a little air to soften the water stream so it would not splash out of the sink. Today, however, they are little engineering marvels that limit water volume to the lower flow rates 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 dime, be the best available. And that, almost by definition, is the Swiss-made Neoperl® aerator.
The particular Neoperl model used in most AWA faucets is one we like. It has a slot into which you can insert a small coin to remove and replace the aerator without the bother of digging a screwdriver or Allen wrench out of the junk drawer.
The inspection of our test faucets revealed that AWA ceramic cartridges are made by Citec Group, an industrial ceramics company headquartered in Barcelona, Spain, but actually manufacturing in China. Not much is known about these cartridges. They are, as far as we can tell, used by no other manufacturer that sells faucets in the U.S., although they are fairly common in European and some Asian faucets. We do know that they have never been tested to U.S./Canadian standards — which are far more demanding than European and Asian standards. The cartridges are, therefore, unproven. By reputation, however, they are good quality 5-year cartridges roughly equivalent to those produced by Sedal, another Spanish cartridge company that also manufactures in China.
The particular Citec cartridge used in AWA faucets has some interesting abilities. Its water-saving feature starts water flow at a not more than 50% of maximum volume when the faucet is first turned on and an energy saving feature that initially dispenses only cold water. To increase the volume of water or adjust the temperature requires a second manipulation of the handle. Both of these features take a little getting used to.
The braided stainless steel hoses (plumbers call them "risers") that connect AWA faucets to the water supply under your sink appear to be made by Tucai Group, another Spanish company headquartered in Barcelona but doing its actual manufacturing in Ningbo, China. Tucai hoses do not have the reputation of being among the best made in the world, but they are known to be reliable and durable.
The company website is well designed and simple to navigate. Information about the company's faucet is sparse, however. Specifications provided for each faucets include its dimensions. useful for determining whether the faucet will fit the sink, but do not include dimensioned drawings, installation instructions or exploded parts diagrams. Installation instructions in advance of ordering are important to plumbers who can determine whether any special difficulty or tools are required. The site offers multiple images of each faucet rather than the single 3/4 view provided by most faucet companies. Multiple views aid in vidualizing the faucet from all sides.
Order fulfillment is by Amazon from its many warehouses, but customer service in North America. does not exist, and we can find no domestic structure for handling warranty claims. There is no published telephone number by which to reach the company, so the only recourse is by e-mail (see address above).
The warranty is for one year, very poor by North American custom where the standard warranty is for the lifetime of the buyer. Mr. Laudet, in a private e-mail, informed us that the company will take care of an issue with an AWA faucet for one year after purchase. Merely send an e-mail to AWA at the address above with a description of the defect and photos. As AWA does not maintain a parts repository in the Western hemisphere, do not expect replacement parts to be delivered overnight.
After the expiration of the warranty period, the buyer is on his own for replacement parts, and there may be no replacement parts available. We have found nothing on the AWA website or in the company literature that suggests the existence of an organized replacement parts system. For a few years the company can get parts by scavenging from unsold faucets, but once the faucet model is discontinued and sold out the possibility of spare parts is very remote.
Even though they are being offered for sale in the U.S. and Canada, AWA faucets have never been tested and certified to comply with the North American mechanical reliability and safety standards that are required by law, nor with the stringent North American lead content limits — easily the toughest in the world.
Certification is more than a nuisance academic exercise. No one, not even the most experienced expert, can tell if a ceramic cartridge is reliable just by looking at it. It needs to be put to the test. The standard test for cartridges and valves used in the U.S. and Canada requires operating the faucet through 500,000 on/off, hot/cold cycles under 60 of water pressure (4218 gf/cm2) without a single failure. In other countries the standard is much less rigorous. The European (EN 817) and Chinese (GB18145) requirement is just 70,000 cycles. (View a video showing the operation of the type of machine that puts faucets through life-cycle testing. Warning: it's very noisy, turn down the volume.)
Nor can even the world's foremost expert can tell by taste, smell or feel whether a faucet is depositing lead, cadmium, maganese, tin arsenic, or mercury in your drinking water. Lead, arsenic and dozens of other substances that can be found inside faucets are not good for you, and especially not good for your children. All need to be kept out of household water as much as possible. Faucets have to be tested with sophisticated scientific instruments to find out whether they are leaching toxic substances into your household water.
The fact that these faucets are manufactured in Taiwan is of particular concern. Taiwan does not have a lead content standard equivalent to the U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act. Taiwan's Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection (BSMI) promised lead standards in 20151 but, as of the date of this report, there are no lead content limits in effect for faucets in Taiwan. AWA may use low-lead brass in its faucets, but this is considered a specialty brass and is not the brass normally used to manufacture faucets in Taiwan. We don't, and, in fact, no one knows outside of the company whether the faucets sold by AWA in the U.S. and Canada are actually low-lead products that would likely pass stringent U.S. lead content tests. The only way to know is through testing and certification — the testing and certification AWA has not done. The fact that the testing has not been done suggests that management may not believe the faucets would pass.
Imported Asian faucets comparable to AWA include
These are nicely designed and well-made faucets using quality components. If they complied with U.S. and Canadian laws and regulations and were tested and certified to North American standards, we would have no hesitation giving the company a thumbs-up. But they do not comply with the laws and regulations governing the construction, content, operation or design of faucets in the U.S. and Canada. They cannot be legally sold in the U.S. or in most Provinces of Canada. They may not be lawfully used in a drinking water system anywhere in North America. They are not marked with a recognized certification mark and there is a is a very good chance that your plumber will not install an AWA faucet (if he or she wants to keep his or her license, that is), and your plumbing inspector will probably refuse to allow an AWA faucet to be installed in your house water system.
Because they have not been tested and certified to comply with North American standards, there is no way to tell whether AWA Faucets are safe or reliable, and for that reason we suggest you avoid them. We see no reason to take a chance on a faucet of unknown safety or reliability when so many other well-designed and well-made faucets known to be reliable and safe are available in North America. (For more information on illegal and black market faucets sold in North America, see Illegal & Black Market Faucets in North America.)
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with AWA faucets, good, bad or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.
1. "Government to put forward new regulations for faucets" China Post October 25, 2015. Web. August 27, 2016.