Review & Rating
trading as Belanger UPT
6520, rue Abrams
Footnotes:1. "Faucets are protected for as long as the original buyer owns their home (the "Warranty Period" for residential use). Belanger UPT warrants that its faucets will not leak or drip, and that the faucet finish will be free from defects in material and workmanship."
This Company In Brief
If you are in the market for an inexpensive faucet, made by reputable manufacturers and backed by a lifetime warranty supported from an well-established company, then one of the Belanger faucet lines may be just what you are looking for.
They are, for the most part, not for the style conscious, but are well-made faucets, most of which are equipped with a more than adequate ceramic disc cartridge for years of leak-free performance and premium Neoperl® aerators. They are priced below the average for faucets of similar quality made in Asia. We judge the price to value relationship to be very good to excellent.
The faucets have been extensively tested and are certified to meet or exceed all North American reliability, safety and lead-free standards, but the statement required by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act certifying that the faucets comply with U.S. water conservation standards is not on file with the Department of Energy. In consequence, Belanger, Essential and H2Flo faucets are not legal for sale in the United States. Canadian sales are not affected.
Founded in 1966, Tubular Industries is a Canadian manufacturer of plumbing fittings doing business under the registered trade name Belanger UPT. It is wholly owned by Keeney Manufacturing Company, a privately held manufacturer of plumbing fittings chartered in Connecticut in 1923. Keeney is well-known in U.S. plumbing circles for its high quality fittings and Tubular Industries enjoys the same reputation in Canada.
Despite being manufacturers of lots of different plumbing fittings, neither company manufactures its own faucets. The faucets sold under the Belanger, Essential and H2Flo brands are made by manufacturers in China and Taiwan including:
Xiamen Zhongyu Hardware Industry Co., Ltd., a Chinese manufacturer that sells under its own PPI® brand in Asia. It also manufactures some of the faucets sold by in the U.S. and Canada.
NCIP Inc. a manufacturer headquartered in Taiwan but manufacturing mostly in China. It manufactures for a number of other faucet companies, including
Long Tai Copper Corp., Inc., a Taiwanese company that also manufactures faucets for
Xiamen Runner Industrial Corp., Ltd., a subsidiary of the giant Runner Corporation, Ltd. of China that manufactures faucets for
Meijie Faucet Co., Ltd., an Chinese company specializing in manufacturing for North America that makes faucets for .
The faucets are distributed in Canada by Belanger and in the U.S. by Keeney.
Although described by Keeney as designer faucets, they are anything but. The faucets are basic Chinese and Taiwanese faucets straight out of each manufacturer's The cartridges are ceramic in most faucets. The Belanger single handle faucets we examined included what appears to be KCG cartridges manufactured in Taiwan by Kuching International, Ltd. This brand is not considered one of the best ceramic cartridges, but is more than adequate for residential use. Some two-handle faucets include the old-style compression valve, but most include the newer ceramic disc stem cartridge. We could not identify the specific manufacturer(s) of Belanger's stem cartridges. The website entry for each faucet identifies the type of cartridge used in each faucet, but does not identify the actual manufacturer.
Belanger faucet finishes are the basics: chrome and nickel. While the body and spout of most faucets are brass, ancillary metal parts such as handles are usually zinc or ZMAC, a zinc-aluminum alloy, and pull-out and pull-down sprays on kitchen faucets are plastic as are many of the less critical parts such as escutcheon plates and aerator caps.
Some of the less expensive faucets are all zinc or a zinc/aluminum alloy called ZAMAC. The material, like brass, is corrosion-resistant, but not as durable as brass and wears out more quickly. These are usually described as "metallic" faucets — a sure clue that they are not brass. Others are plastic, described as "non-metallic". If the description of the faucet does not include the word "brass", you can assume it is not brass. But, to be safe, telephone Belanger customer service and ask. Zinc faucets are fine for low or moderate use applications. We suggest that unless you have a special requirement such as for a laboratory faucet or one for an RV, avoid plastic faucets entirely.
The spray heads on pull-down and pull-out kitchen faucets are plastic. Plastic spray heads are quickly becoming the norm in the industry because the material does not transmit heat like brass, and does not get uncomfortably hot in use. Even upscale manufacturers such as have started using them. But, they typically have lots of problems and generate a lot of complaints. Avoid them if possible. Brass or zinc spray heads are getting hard to find and are typically more expensive, but worth the extra cost to avoid almost certain problems down the road.
The aerators used in many of these faucets are from Neoperl®, considered some of the world's best. Faucet aerators used to be simple devices that merely added a little air to soften the water stream so it would not splash out of the sink. Today, however, they are also used to limit water volume to the lower flows 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 nickel, be the best available. And that, almost by definition, is the Swiss-made Neoperl® aerator.
The warranty on these faucets is for as long as the original owner owns the home in which the faucet was first installed. The warranty is not transferable to a subsequent owner. This is standard for the North American market. Warranty support is good to very good, and bilingual.
The Belanger web site is clearly designed for trade professionals rather than consumers. It is not at all flashy, but it is easy to use with intuitive navigation and plenty of detail about each faucet including its certifications, type or cartridge; maximum flow rate, available finishes and whether or not it qualifies under the American's with Disabilities Act as a design suited for use by persons with physical limitations. Specification sheets include dimensioned drawings and exploded parts diagrams for each faucet, and the installation instructions are easy to follow. Our plumbers had no problem installing the test faucets.
The website search function has some limitations. It did not always find pages that should have matched the search criteria. The on-line chat is convenient, but not always manned, so you will not get a response and are never told why. Belanger does not sell faucets on its website, so prices are not provided. To get Belanger's wholesale price list, you have to be a dealer.
The faucets are sold throughout Canada by Home Hardware, RONA and Reno Depot and on line at The Tool Store. Distribution in the U.S. is through Keeney. The faucets are available at Keeney-supplied plumbing supply houses and internet retailers like Amazon and Houzz.
Faucets manufactured in China and Taiwan comparable to Belanger, Essential and H2flo faucets include:
For what you get, the prices charged for these faucets are very reasonable. If you are not interested in high style, then you can get a brass Belanger kitchen faucet for under $40.00 U.S. with a ceramic cartridge that is not the best, but good enough. But, you had better truly be disinterested in style because the faucet may look like it fell out of a circa 1955 Delta catalog. Of course, if mid-century modern is your style preference, then you may have found a treasure trove of well-made, inexpensive retro-style faucets that would be a great addition to your post-war kitchen or bath.
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with Belanger faucets, good, bad or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.