|Source • Brands||
Price • Origin
Some Julien faucets are certified to comply with all U.S. and Canadian plumbing standards and are accepted by all U.S. and Canada plumbing codes. But, many are not. Your problem is a buyer is that the uncertified faucets are not identified by the company and cannot be easily recognized.
A company spokesperson indicated to us that Julien is in process of having its faucets tested, but many are still in process. Nonetheless it offers the uncertified faucets for sale on its web site and through its retailers, although it is not legal in either Canada or the U.S. to sell or offer to sell faucets that cannot be shown to be lead free, and illegal to install faucets that have not been certified to comply with ASME A112.18.1/CSA B125.1.
935, Rue Lachance
Quebec G1P 2H3
(Below North American Standard)
Julien, Inc. was founded in 1946 by Leo T. Julien as Accessoires de Cuisine, Ltd. to sell commercial kitchen products to restaurants. Within a few years the company had opened a sheet metal fabrication shop, working mostly in stainless steel, to manufacture custom equipment for restaurants.
On Mr. Julien's death in 1973, the company was purchased by Somesco, Inc., a consulting and investment group, and reorganized as Les Enterprises Julien, Inc. In 1998 the company, renamed Julien, Inc. and under new ownership by its former managers, branched out into residential kitchen sinks under the trade name Julien Home Refinements®.
The company's main business is stainless steel fabrication. It still manufactures custom products for the restaurant industry in Canada, and fabricates stainless steel sinks in 16 gauge stainless steel for commercial use and lighter 18 gauge steel for residential use. It will also craft a stainless steel counter top to match its sink, and where appropriate, meld the sink into the counter top in a seamless construction.
The company advertises its stainless sinks as being made from 304 (18/10) stainless steel, an excellent grade of stainless, "using recycled American stainless steel", but without any indication of just what percentage of the steel used is actually recycled steel. It could be anything from a fraction of 1% to 100%.
Although Julien identifies all of its sinks as "hand crafted in Canada", it is clear from import records and bills of lading that a good many Julien stainless sinks are made in China by Shenzhen KeHuaXing Industrial, Ltd., a company not at all known for "hand crafting" sinks in its state of the art production facility. KeHuaXing Industrial also makes stainless steel sinks for the U.S.-based (which does not claim the sinks are "hand crafted").
It is not clear from the company catalog or web site just which sinks are made in China, and which are made in Julien's factory in Canada. Company literature boasts of its ties to German and Italian manufacturers, but is completely silent about its Chinese connection. It's almost as if management is trying to conceal the fact that some of its pricey products are merely Chinese imports.
To supplement its stainless steel sinks, Julien offers fire clay sinks, kitchen faucets and faucet accessories — at present limited to matching soap and lotion dispensers. It manufactures none of these. Its fire clay sinks are made by Shaws of Darwen in the U.K., a company well known for its high quality clay products. Most of its faucets are purchased through and made in Italy by IB Rubineterie S.p.A. an established Italian manufacturer that sells a broad collections of faucets, fittings and accessories throughout Europe and most of the rest of the world. However, at least one pre-rinse kitchen faucet is, according to the company, made in Germany. We have not yet identified the actual manufacturer, or confirmed that it is indeed German.
is an importer of Italian faucets which it normally sells at retail under its own brand over the internet and through showrooms. Julien buys faucets and renames them, then also sells them at retail. The relationship relieves Julien of the burden of cultivating relationships with overseas factories and provides a well organized source of faucet parts that Julien does not have to manage. So, on the one hand, this was probably a canny move on Julien's part. But, on the other, the addition of another middleman adds to the cost of a Julien faucet. For example, the Julien Abyss kitchen faucet, shown above, has a street price of about $829.00 (all prices in U.S. dollars). The street price of the Spray Joy, its twin in the inventory, is right around $500.00. Amazingly, however, the price of the same faucet in Europe is even higher. IB Rubinetterie sells the faucet in Europe as the Loft (LO387). No matter where you go to buy the Loft in the Euro-zone, the price is exactly €639.00 or $871.02. Evidently IB Rubinetterie does not encourage discounting in its home market.
The faucets are offered in a limited number of styles in two collections: Contemporary and Traditional. Only two finishes are available on most faucets, polished chrome and brushed nickel. The styling is contemporary Italian, and the quality of the Italian faucets is good to very good. We have not had an opportunity to examine the company's German faucets, and so reserve judgment.
Some Julien faucets are certified to comply with all U.S./Canadian plumbing standards and are accepted by all U.S. and Canada plumbing codes. But, many are not. A company spokesperson indicated to us that the company is in process of certifying all of its faucets, but some are still in process. Nonetheless it offers the uncertified faucets for sale on its web site and through its retailers, although it is not legal to sell or install uncertified faucets in either Canada or the U.S.
Julien's certified faucets have been tested by the Canadian Standards Association or Intertek Canada and found to comply with ASME A112.18.1/CSA B125.1, a standard required of faucets installed in all public, and most private, water systems in North America. Some Julien faucets, but not all, have been certified lead free under the very rigorous standard required by ANSI/NSF 61.9, which allows no more than 0.25% lead content in the waterways of a faucet, and lead leaching of not more than 5 parts per billion.
So, before you buy a Julien faucet, make certain it has been tested and meets both the ASME A112.18.1/CSA 125.1 standard and the ANSI/NSF 61.9 standard (both of which are applicable in both the U.S. and Canada).
• illegal under the U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act to "introduce into commerce" a faucet that is not lead free,
• illegal to sell or offer to sell a faucet that is not certified to comply with the maximum flow rate for sink faucets specified in the U. S. Energy Policy and Conservation Act,
• illegal in Canada to "lease or sell" a faucet that is not lead free, and has been since 2008, and
• illegal to install a faucet not certified to comply with ASME A112.18.1/CSA 125.1 in any place in North America governed by a plumbing code.
The only way to be sure that a faucet is legal and safe, for domestic use is to see the actual certificates issued by the certifying authority that lists the faucet model you are considering for purchase. If you are not absolutely sure your Julien faucet is certified, contact us and we will find out.
Some Julien faucets, but not all, are approved for installation in Massachusetts. Absolutely none are approved for sale or installation in California.
The U.S. Energy Policy and Conservation Act requires that sink faucets be tested in accordance with ASME A112.18.1/CSA 125.1 and certified to comply with a maximum flow rate of 2.2 gallons per minute. Regulations at 10 C.F.R. §429.12 require that Julien file an annual statement with the Department of Energy attesting that its sink faucets offered for sale in the U.S. have been tested and found to comply. As of the date of this review, Julien does not have the required statement on file. Failure to file may result in substantial civil penalties of up to $440.00 per day for each model of faucet for which a statement is not filed, and the DOE can look back to the date the faucets were first offered for sale to impose retroactive penalties of several hundred thousand dollars.
The Julien faucet warranty is woefully sub-par in North America where the standard "lifetime" warranty is for as long as the original purchasers owns the house in which the faucet is installed. It is hard to comprehend the logic behind the warranty because the warranty offered by its faucet supplier, on the same faucets is the standard lifetime warranty on mechanical parts and chrome and brushed nickel finishes.
Customer service is good to very good. Customer service agents handled our requests for information quickly and accurately. We scored it 3.75 our of 5 possible points. Anything above 4.0 is good.
Our overall judgment on these faucets is that they are a risky purchase. You cannot tell if a Julien faucet is certified from the company web site or any company literature. Some faucets are identified on the web site as certified when, in fact, they are not. You should not buy a Julien faucet without seeing the actual certificate that lists the model of faucet you are buying by model number and/or name. Our experience is that Julien customer service agents do not have ready access to certificates, and it takes several days for the company to produce one; or admit it does not have it.
If you buy one, you'd better hope that, if its going to break, it does so within the first year, or you are on your own with no help from the company. You can usually get a better price on the identical faucet from with a much stronger, lifetime, warranty.
In sum, Julien sells faucets largely identical to faucets for a higher price than Aquabrass charges. It does not offer any additional value on its faucets that justifies the higher price. In fact, with its anemic 1-year warranty, and failure to certify many of its faucets, Julien faucets actually offer less value than Aquabrass faucets which carry a lifetime warranty are are all certified to both Canadian and U.S. standards.
Foreign-made faucets comparable to Julien include
We are still researching Julien, so if you have had an experience with a Julien faucet, — good, bad or indifferent — that you would like to share, please let us know.