Review & Rating
31 Brooks Drive
Braintree, MA 02184-3804
Footnotes:1. "Symmons warrants to the original consumer purchaser/end-user that any Symmons product will be free of defects in material and workmanship during normal domestic use for the life of your home...."
This Company In Brief
Symmons makes some of the best American faucets that you have never heard of.
A family owned and managed business founded in 1939, Symmons Industries is headquartered and manufactures in Massachusetts, USA. It only recently began advertising to the general public on a very limited scale. So, if the brand is unfamiliar to you, don't feel neglected. It's completely unknown to most people
Within the building trades, however, Symmons is well known as the inventor of the pressure-balanced shower control that prevents scalding when the cold water suddenly fails. Symmons is still the pressure-balancing valve against which all others are measured. The invention is considered by Plumbing and Mechanical Magazine the well-respected industry trade journal, as one of the most important milestones in plumbing history, on par with the flush toilet. (I don't think we can go that far, however. The siphon toilet is one of the four cornerstones of civilization, along with electricity, the Philly cheese steak sandwich and baseball).
The company's traditional stock in trade are its stalwart restaurant and hotel fixtures. As befits their heavy-duty commercial lineage, these traditional Symmons faucets will stand up to brutal treatment for a long, long time. The one thing the they do not have, however, is style. The company finally realized in 2007 that if it was to compete in the residential market, its faucets would not only have to be not just nearly indestructible, but also stylish. So it decided to create a new line of more style-oriented faucets for residential kitchens and baths.
Symmons claims that over 80% of its products are made in the Massachusetts, but this leaves 20% of its products that are imported. Some of these are faucets. It also imports components used in its faucets.
Foreign manufacturers or distributors known to supply faucets and faucet components to Symmons are
Imported faucets and faucets assembled from foreign components are identified as such on the box. Symmons makes no secret of the fact that some of its wares are imported or made from imported parts, unlike other faucet companies, some of which go to extremes to disguise the foreign origin of their products.
If the company's standard faucet lines are not exactly what you have in mind, then Symmons Design Studio, a custom design service, enables designers, architects, owners, and developers to create customized products just for them. Useful if you are buying a few hundred faucets for your hotel chain or casino project.
Symmons buys its ceramic cartridges from Kerox Kft, a Hungarian manufacturer, and Geann Industrial Co., Ltd. of Taiwan that supply single-handle mixing cartridges. Kerox over the past 10 years has become the preferred mixing cartridge of European-made faucets, and Geann has likewise become a preferred provider to Taiwanese and Chinese manufacturers as well as the the U.S. luxury faucet manufacturer, Symmons also buys cartridges from Seagull Kitchen & Bath Products Co., Ltd. of Guangzhou, China for the retail versions of its Allura™ faucets.
Four standard finishes are available: Polished chrome, Brushed Bronze, Satin Nickel and Matte Black. Finishes available on some faucets include Polished Bronze, Oil Rubbed Bronze, Polished Graphite, Polished Nickel Seasoned Bronze and Stainless Steel. Not every faucet is available in every standard finish, but most are available with chrome and satin nickel finishes.
The Symmons warranty is about standard for the North American market, offering lifetime parts for or replacement of a faulty faucet. The warranty lost in scoring for its requirement that defective parts may have to be returned to Symmons at the homeowner's expense for inspection before they will be replaced. Very often the cost of shipping is more than the cost of the part, and this is a provision frequently abused by faucet companies to discourage warranty claims. We don't like it, so we downgrade a company's warranty score if it is present.
We are not sure what to make of some other, rather odd provisions in the Symmons warranty. One provision requires that a replacement part must be installed "by the purchaser only". We think it would be better if it were allowed to be installed by someone a little more qualified, like a plumber, for example; especially in those instances where the purchaser has little knowledge of plumbing or when the purchaser's use of common hand tools creates a known danger to himself and others within shrapnel range of the work being done.
Customer service and warranty support is superior, as would be expected of an old-line American faucet company. In our tests, Symmons customer service scored over 4.0 for product knowledge and effectiveness, which is a very good result. Anything above 3.5 is passing.
Symmons enforces an internet minimum advertised price (IMAP) policy. Internet sellers cannot advertise a Symmons faucet at a price below the minimum price set by Symmons. They can sell the faucet below this price, they just can't advertise it.
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with Symmons faucets, good, bad or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.