Plumbing Products

Photo: 

Note: Each of the plumbing products has a separate product page: faucets, showerheads, urinals, and water closets (toilets).

THE PRODUCT:

Plumbing products include showerheads, lavatory and kitchen faucets, faucet aerators, metering faucets, toilets, and urinals

THE STANDARD:

In the 1980s and early 90s, multiple states adopted standards setting maximum water use levels for showerheads, faucets, toilets, and urinals. Based on these standards, Cognress adopted national standards on these products in the Energy Policy Act of 1992. The following standards took effect in 1994:

Product

1994 Federal Standard

Showerheads 2.5 gpm (gallons per minute) at 80 psi (pounds per square inch)
Lavatory and kitchen faucets 2.2 gpm at 60 psi
Faucet aerators 2.2 gpm at 60 psi
Metering faucets 0.25 gpc (gallons per cycle)
Toilets 1.6 gpf (gallons per flush)
Urinals 1.0 gpf

Under the law, if the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) revises these standards, DOE is obligated to review ASME's action and consider revising the federal standards. If ASME does not revise the standards within five years, states are free to set more stringent standards themselves. ASME had not revised the standards by 2010 when DOE officially waived preemption for plumbing products, allowing states to set standards provided that they are more stringent than the 1994 federal standards.

In 2007 California set standards for various plumbing products followed by Texas. In April 2015, after the California Governor declared a state of emergency because of severe to extreme drought, the California Energy Commission adopted more stringent standards for plumbing products as noted in the table below.

Product

California 2015 standards (stanards represent maximum level unless otherwise noted)

Effective date

Showerheads

 

Tier 1: 2.0 gpm (gallons per minute) at 80 psi (pounds per square inch)

Tier 2: 1.8 gpm  at 80 psi

All showerheads shall have a minimum flow rate of 60% of maximum flow rate at 20 psi

All showerheads shall have a minimum flow rate of 75% of maximum flow rate at 45 psi

July 1, 2016

July 1, 2018

 

 

Lavatory faucets and aerators

1.5 gpm at 60 psi

1.2 gpm at 60 psi

September 1, 2016

July 1, 2016

Kitchen faucets 1.8 gpm with optional temporary flow of 2.2 gpm at 60psi January 1, 2016
Public lavatory faucets 0.5 gpm at 60 psi January 1, 2016
All water closets (toilets) 1.28 gpf (gallons per flush) January 1, 2016
Trough-type urinals Trough length (in inches)/16 January 1, 2016
Wall-mounted urinals 0.125 gpf January 1, 2016
Other urinals 0.5 gpf January 1, 2016

In 2006, EPA launched WaterSense, similar to ENERGY STAR but focused on helping consumers identify water-efficient products.

KEY FACTS:

According to EPA's WaterSense, a family of four uses about 400 gallons of water every day.

Timeline

Federal Date State
Test Procedure - Last Revised - Active Mode 2013
1st Federal Standard Effective 1994
EPACT Initial Federal Legislation Enacted 1992
1st Federal Standard Adopted (Congress) 1992

Timeline reflects state standards from 2001 to present; federal standards from inception to present.

Appliance Standards Awareness Project - 45 Bradfield Ave - Boston, MA 02131
info@standardsasap.org - Phone: 339.933.8140
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