Review & Rating
c/o Apex Granite Outlet
1020 Holland Ave.
Clovis, CA 93612
This Company In Brief
Cadell is an importer that buys decorative plumbing products, including faucets and sinks, from Chinese and Malaysian OEM/ODM manufacturers and sells them on proprietary websites, on general merchandise sites that host small businesses such as Amazon. Overstock, and Wayfair, and at company-affiliated retail stores in California. The faucets are not, however, on the MAEDBS list of faucets approved by the California Energy Commission for sale in California, and may not be legally sold or installed in California.
Cadell Faucet, LLC (formerly Calise Faucet, Inc.), is one of a group of companies owned by members of the Raymond Lieu family in California.
In addition to Cadell, the enterprise includes:
Apex Building Material Supply Inc. trading as Apex Kitchen & Bath Supply and as Apex Kitchen Cabinet & Granite Countertop; and
Apex Granite Outlet, Inc. with retail showrooms and warehouses in Clovis, Fresno and Bakersfield in the California Central Valley, and in Vernon, a suburb of Los Angeles.
All Apex retail stores appear to sell Cadell faucets, but the primary outlet for the brand nationally is through internet venues such as Amazon, Overstock, and Wayfair that host third-party sellers.
There are serious problems with these online hosting sites. All of them sell faucets that have not been certified safe, reliable and lead-free to North American standards. Such faucets are usually illegal to sell in the U.S. and in most of Canada. Despite the promises made by these sites not to sell contraband products, they do not do much to investigate the legality of faucets and protect customers against the sale of potentially dangerous illegal faucets.
This lack of vigilance makes these sites attractive to sellers like Cadell that take advantage of the lack of attention to sell contraband faucets on what has become an enormous online black market in the illegal products. Well over 70% of the faucets offered for sale on Amazon are uncertified contraband and, therefore, illegal to sell or install in North America.
The fact that most of these illegal faucets are Chinese in origin makes them of heightened concern because China has very loose standards in general and no lead standards at all. Lead poisoning is epidemic in China (see sidebar), in part because the government denies that lead poisoning is a problem. Uncertified faucets have not been tested for lead, so the likelihood online that these black market faucets contain dangerous levels of lead is very high. (See Illegal and Black Market Faucets for more information.)
We have not found Cadell faucets to be offered for sale by any national plumbing equipment distributor, and probably won't since the faucets are not certified for installation in drinking water supplies in the U.S. or Canada. Plumbing supply stores will generally not stock uncertified products. The "Find a Dealer" link on the company's website does not work, which makes identifying dealers a little more difficult.
On its website, Cadell claims to be
"....one of the world's leading manufacturers of decorative kitchen and bath plumbing products [with] a rich company tradition of faucet manufacturing expertise...."We have not, however, found any manufacturing facility owned by Cadell or other evidence that the company manufactures any decorative plumbing products of any kind, and especially not faucets.
Cadell is an importer. It buys decorative plumbing products, including faucets and sinks, from Chinese and Malaysian manufacturers, including:
Zoje Kitchen & Bath Company Ltd., a Chinese manufacturer that sells faucets under its proprietary Suneli brand in Asia and parts of Europe;
Guangdong Holatz Plumbing Fittings Industry Co., Ltd., a part of the Chinese Weiqiang Group that also manufactures faucets as Guangdong Calise Sanitary Ware Industry Co., Ltd., and sells its own Calise brand faucets internationally; and
Taikun Sanitary Wares Co., Ltd., manufacturing faucets in Taizhou, China that it sells under the AquaLife brand.
At least some of the stainless steel sinks sold by Cadell are acquired from JKY Sink Sdn Bhd a Malaysian manufacturer trading as Symbol Sink. The company almost certainly has other sink suppliers, but as we are not particularly interested in sinks, we did not track them down.
We found the Malaysian supplier interesting as evidence that a lot of stainless sink manufacturing that was formerly done in China is shifting to other Asian countries as a result of the 60% to 84% U.S. anti-dumping penalty being imposed on imported Chinese-made stainless sinks after an unfair competition complaint by Elkay Manufacturing, the largest American stainless sink manufacturer, was upheld by the Department of Commerce in 2012.
None of Cadell's faucets are designed by Cadell or appear to be available exclusively from Cadell. All faucets are taken straight out of the of the Chinese companies that make them.
For example, the Cadell Model 70400 stainless steel pot filler kitchen faucet (shown above) appears in the Zoje faucet catalog as the Suneli 11AS1200400A kitchen faucet. Similarly, the Cadell 2070070 faucet is made by Taikun and sells as the AquaLife 70700 kitchen faucet in most of Asia.
The same or very similar faucets are available from other North American importers that buy from the same Chinese manufacturers. Holatz/Calise, for example, supplies faucets to
Cadell faucets are in traditional and modern designs. They do not, however, exhibit any particular design originality. While some are very striking, others are right out of the 1970s, complete with acrylic fluted handles common on "modern" faucets of the post-war period. None are leading edge designs. Chinese designs rarely are. They tend to be middle-of-the-road and to follow the pack rather than lead it. The goal of Asian faucet manufacturers is to sell as many faucets as possible, which means keeping their designs well within the mainstream to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible.
Designs are often adopted from Europe and North America. A design that sells well in these major markets will often be imitated by Asian factories. The lag time is usually 3 to 5 years, so by the time a design appears in a Chinese faucet, it is no longer new and has been supplanted in the inventories of designer faucet companies in the West by even newer designs.
The company website is well designed and easy to navigate. But, the information provided about each faucet is not adequate for an intelligent buying decision.
Typically the faucet is briefly described and one or two images of the faucet are shown, but there are no detailed specifications, dimensioned drawings, parts diagrams or installation instructions available for most of Cadell's faucets. Cartridges are identified only as "ceramic" without an indication of the source of the cartridge.
Most faucets are available in polished chrome and brushed nickel. Not every faucet is available in both finishes. Some are finished only in chrome, some only in nickel. The finishes are plated and not the more durable (physical vapor deposition) finishes. Nonetheless, plated finishes are durable enough for most kitchens. Although Chinese finishes often get a bum rap, it has been many years since "China chrome" could be scraped off with a fingernail. Chinese electro-plated finishes are now as robust as the plated finishes from any other country. Some kitchen faucets are stainless steel, so stainless is the finish as well as the structural material.
The Cadell faucet warranty is poorly drafted — clearly not written by a lawyer. The federal Magnuson-Moss warranty act requires a written warranty to be entitled as either a "limited" or a "full" warranty. This warranty is not entitled, so it is by default a "full" warranty, which gives the consumer many more rights, especially under California warranty law. Thee warranty refers to Calise Faucet Company as the guarantor. That company no longer exists.
The company offers a three-year warranty to residential customers that is not transferable to subsequent owners and expires if the original owner ceases to own the faucet by, for example, selling the house in which the faucet is installed. The warranty claim must be made at the store where the faucet was purchased, and not to Cadell customer service directly.
This warranty is far below the "lifetime" warranty that is the standard for faucets in North America and does not evidence much confidence by company management in the quality or longevity of its faucets. You as a potential buyer should be aware that if the faucet breaks after three years, you are completely on your own. Cadell reserves the right to discontinue any faucet at any time, and we have found no indication that it stocks an inventory of repair parts necessary to fix broken faucets, so even replacement parts may not be available after the three-year warranty period.
Cadell claims that it's faucets are "ANSI/ASME A112.18.1 Certified, CSA B125 Certified, IAPMO UPC Certified." We have found no evidence, however, that Cadell faucets have ever been tested and certified as complying with these basic standards.
There are seven organizations approved for testing and certifying faucets for compliance with U.S./Canadian standards, and not one of them has heard of Cadell faucets.
The fact that Cadell faucets are made in China, where safety standards in general are very loose, and where safety standards for toxic materials such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic exist not at all, heightens the concern over the potential hazards of these products. No one, not even the most experienced expert, can determine whether a faucet contains dangerous amounts of hazardous substances just by looking at it. Only extensive testing can do that — the very testing that Cadell has not done.
Imported Asian faucets comparable to those sold by Cadell but certified lead-free and compliant with North American reliability, safety, and conservation standards, include:
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with Cadell faucets, good, bad or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.