Grohe Bridgeford (33870) Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet Review by Celinda Solecki
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Like many of the company’s models, the Grohe 33870 faucet offers style and function to please a wide variety of buyers. This pull-down model has the kind of appearance, durability, and features – combined with Grohe quality – to please anyone.
The Grohe 33870 – also known as “the Bridgeford” – is chock-full of the features this long-time expert at faucet design is justly famous for. We’ll take a look at those in detail below. But even the basic design is superb.
That starts, for example, from the inside with the Grohe SilkMove ceramic cartridge. Two precisely manufactured discs slide past one another very smoothly as you change from cold to hot. Hard and well-sealed, you won’t suffer from those annoying leaks so many faucets exhibit a year or two after installation. This one will act like new for a long, long time.
That superb design extends to a dual-flow rate feature that is very welcome. It can be set to an ample 2.2 GPM (at a robust 45 PSI) or a true gush at 2.5 GPM (at 80 PSI). The combination of flow rate and pressure at the latter setting will make short work of even the most difficult to clean pans. It will fill a large pot in seconds, always a welcome feature for busy chefs.
The exterior features are equally impressive. That includes a single lever handle with variable positioning. It’s attached to a central stem that permits the spout to swivel a full 360 degrees. Naturally, that presupposes it’s not blocked by a wall but that’s true of an increasing number of kitchens these days.
The spray wand works smoothly and easily but does have one aspect I personally don’t care for much. The trigger works fine but you have to hold it continuously to keep it at spray. Let go and it reverts to the default setting (stream).
Some prefer that style of spray wand. After all, there is some advantage to not having to manually switch back and forth. But it sometimes causes me hand fatigue. Let your personal preference be your guide here.
Also, I generally favor pull-out type spray wands, but that’s a matter of personal choice and circumstances. Many buyers, quite reasonably, prefer the pull-down method. There’s certainly a lot to like here, given that the wand bulk is a “Goldilocks size” – not too big, not too small.
It’s never likely to get clogged up either, which would reduce the flow and look unsightly. Grohe’s SpeedClean anti-lime system helps minimize the build up on the nozzles. That defeats one of plumbing’s most common “enemies”: hard water (containing calcium carbonate). The spray head will stay clean-looking and function well with minimal maintenance. Simple wipe of the hand is enough to keep them free of buildup.
And, I am happy about what it’s attached to – a 56″ extractable hose that is steel braided. Many manufacturers use vinyl tubing these days. That’s often adequate; they’re very well made these days. But they’re not quite as sturdy or flexible as steel-braid hoses. The latter simply work better. They are a bit heavier, though, so the advantage is partly offset by the added weight.
Like most Grohe faucets, the 33870 is a breeze to install. Part of that is the result of the single-hole design. No need to worry about measuring distances or getting things lined up just so. But the major reason is simply the quality of the parts and the well-balanced design.
Some faucets are so top heavy you need an assistant to hold the above-the-sink portion steady in order to put on the retaining nuts. Others have such short or kinked undersink hose(s) that you struggle to get things out of the way so you can even reach the retainer.
No worries about any of that here, thanks to Grohe’s QuickFix Plus installation technology. The phrase may sound like marketing twaddle but it’s pretty accurate here. With fewer parts, even a somewhat clumsy do-it-yourselfer like yours truly could install this model in half an hour.
Size and shape are part of the style of a faucet, of course. In this case, that means a maximum height of 14 1/8″ (measured from the countertop to the peak of the neck). The spout height (the distance from the countertop to the spout) is much more modest, just 7 2/3″. But, of course, style is judged mostly by overall appearance.
Naturally, appearance is a matter of personal taste. It’s also driven, in part, by having to integrate the faucet into an overall kitchen décor of a particular kind. In this case, if your kitchen cooperates, the Victorian-influenced design of the Bridgeford is one excellent option.
I love that style, especially when you can get the faucet in oil rubbed bronze (33870 ZB0) patina, as is the case here. The internal components are a very hardy brass. There are also brushed nickle (33870 EN0) and chrome versions (33870 000) for those who want to combine a traditional shape with a contemporary finish.
By the way, that chrome upper layer is girded by sub-layers of copper and nickle, which provides a supporting surface that gives the chrome even more sheen than usual. Grohe has even a name for it: Starlight. Grohe also ensures that it stands up to cleaning for decades. They claim to have tested it to withstand 60,000 wipes from an abrasive cloth. I can’t verify that, of course, but long experience proves that Grohe faucets do stay looking new for many years.
The Grohe Bridgeford 33870 pull-down faucet won’t be to everyone’s taste. No model is. And, it’s certainly on the high side price-wise. But for that extra money you get very high quality in a unit that will suit those interested in a Victorian-themed design.
Incidentally, there’s a very similar model – the Bridgeford 33870 E (a WaterCare version) with a thrifty 1.5 GPM flow rate – designed for those who want to conserve water. It comes in the same finish options (chrome 33870 00E – brushed nickle 33870 ZBE and oil rubbed bronze – 33870 ENE).