5 ways faucets, analysis of a (bad) Asian copy

21 June 2018

A 5 ways faucet produced with price cut, not always a good deal: low quality and health risks

Made in Italy and Made in China 5 ways faucet

What is hiding behind low quality copies of a 5 ways mixer tap produced in Asia for water dispensers?
We analyzed with our own hands a low cost reality of imported faucets.
We bought some economic models, clearly imported from asia, and we compared them with authentic Italian production, not only regarding the aesthetic point of view, we also disassembled them and analyzed every single particular.

We will employ some technical terms that are used in the field of faucet production, don’t get scared, they are easy to understand.

So here we have two faucets that seem to be quite similar, if you happen to buy them on Amazon you could not tell any difference by the pictures provided (design excepted, of course).

Comparison between 5 ways faucet body “cross”

Rubinetto a 5 vie: la croce

Let’s take into consideration the “cross”: the primary body of 5 ways faucet. It is produced by fusion or by mold, then finished with tool manufacture, then chromed.

Rubinetto a 5 vie dettaglio della croceAs we see in the picture, they look very similar, excepted the brushed finish, dimensions and geometries are the same, but yet some things jump to the eye: the asian model shows a questionable colour, so here we have the first detail of 5 ways faucets – in the asian model, even if new, the brass seems already altered while in the italian model the finish is shining. The choice in using a metal bead instead of a thread to lock the faucet’s neck is not coincidental.

We might look closer now to the inside part of the cross of 5 ways faucets where the neck is supposed to lock.

Rubinetto a 5 vie: la croce
In the italian model we can see no questionable marks or spots, while in the asian model an expert eye can realize severe issues coming up: always in the pursuit of low costs of manufacture we can clearly see possible contact zones between water and nickel.

Always on the body cross, let’s take a look to the side part, where the cartridge is supposed to be plugged – the cartridge is the mechanism that steers the 3 type of filtered water: cold, sparkling and ambient water received by the under counter dispenser.
We can clearly see in the asian model a massive presence of chemical nickel stains where they ABSOLUTELY should not be present. The nickel, used to ease the procedure of chrome plating, has not to be put in contact with water intended for human consumption. It has no sense spending money in a water treatment system in order to have healthy and clear water and then get exposed like this to nickel ingestion.

Sfiammata di nickel su rubinetto 5 vie

Both faucet have just been produced, just been issued from the factory.

Now let’s take a look to the cartridge for non-filtered cold and hot water of 5 ways faucets.

Cartucce a confronto nel rubnetto 5 vie

The plastic covering ferrule will not be long lasting – not by casualty in the italian model this part is in chrome plated brass (concerning the cartridge we can only say that one is made in China, the other one in Hungary)

Comparison between the necks on the 2 models of 5 ways faucets

Canne del rubinetto a 5 vielet’s go forward analyzing the neck of the faucets, we can clearly see the colour difference. In the italian model, the brass is treated to remove lead and avoid his migration into the water. It is an expensive but also important treatment. We may not go further explaining the difference of quality between the two models, many other things could be told, but applying to a wide range of customers our interest was giving some clarification about price differences, also knowing that not all that glitters is good for our health. 5 ways faucets are complicated to manufacture: a long experience reached by some italian producers and care for details can guarantee the safety of consumers.

If we follow the flow of water we can analyze the final part of the 5 ways faucet neck, where we find 2 aerators: one for hot and cold non-filtered water, the other for cold, sparkling and ambient filtered water.
Pictures can say a lot, we can clearly see that the asian model is assembled with low quality aerators, the weave of honeycomb structure has some occluded spots while the italian model shows Swiss precision and quality. Beyond this matter, it is well known and patent that metal parts can lead to oxidation and rust.

Areatori del rubinetto 5 vie

We could go on for many other topics, for example the complete absence of certifications, but we think these are enough evidences to understand the price differences between these two models of faucets. The final customer can now make his own aware choice: if he just wants to show off with a water treatment system he can always look for the best price opportunity, but if he wants healthy and safe water for himself and for the ones he loves he knows where to turn to.