Chinese Kitchen & Bathroom Taps

Are they worth it?   Or perhaps that should read,  ‘Blimey, they’re cheap, what’s the catch?’

Like so many Asian/Oriental imitations they look the same but are they?  When a good quality tap, or faucet, can cost £50 and up to £200+  seeing, what looks like, the same thing at £12 is seriously tempting and yes, I was tempted once, maybe twice, no it was three times.  In my defence each time  it was a different sort of tap

Bathroom refit

Waterfall tap
Waterfall tap

I thought it would be nice to have one of those waterfall taps with the single lever that are so modern.  So when I spotted one at the right price (cheap) I ordered it up.  Fitted it with not too much fuss and then turned it to see the lovely waterfall. And yes there it was for a whole 20 seconds then it slowly faded away never to be seen again. Something must be blocking it I thought. So  I took the tap apart cleaned it out but I found nothing.   Fitted it back on, nope that water was not going to come through in any volume ever again.  So that got sent back and I told myself I won’t do that again.

Time to Replace the Kitchen Tap 

Swivel Tap
Swivel Tap

This time I wanted a monobloc, twin lever swivel swan neck thingy.   There was nice one in B&Q but it was £128.  On eBay the same tap was £16!  So I ordered it up feeling quite confident this was as good as the chain store product and feeling quite smug that I had done B&Q out of another sale.

It arrived and although it felt a little light weight I fitted it and yes!! it worked pretty good.

En-suite refit

Yes here we again.  Nice new basin and toilet from B&Q  for £115 bargain. But they want almost that amount again for a tap!  It’s just a bit of polished metal with a hole through it and a screw down to stop the water coming out, isn’t it.  That kitchen tap is doing just fine.  So onto the internet again and yes for £18 I have my self a nice single lever modern looking tap.

Fitted it no problem, turned  on the cold water side,  Hmmm okay, it’s kind of coming out fast enough to wash your teeth with.  But what’s that whooshing going through the pipes?  Now try the hot water, Ohhh no! it’s dire, merely a dribble coming out!  Cheap chinese #@%p!  What have I done?

Kitchen tap goes a whobly

After 4 months use the valves have worked lose and the levers are all whobling around and the taps dripping! I have to take the the valves out and fit a shim washer inside to fix it.

The tap valves
The tap valves

I also notice that the Viakal lime scale remover has started removing the chrome!

Bar Pressure and Gravity

Now, I do have a gravity fed system and I am bit more aware now of bar pressures and head but some of these taps state that they will work with 1/2 bar pressure, I don’t think so.

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