Sacramento Plumbing Company Describes How California Works Towards Better Plumbing Efficiency

California has been enduring its most severe drought in state history. Low levels of snow in the mountains and significantly lowered water levels in standing bodies has created concerns leading to the state’s first mandatory water restrictions. These restrictions aim to reduce water usage by 25%. Contact a Sacramento plumbing company who can help you reduce your water usage and have a more efficient home.

Governor Jerry Brown signed an executive order on April 1, 2015, which mandated emergency regulations regarding the efficiency of water appliances. This executive order permitted the agency responsible for efficiency standards, the California Energy Commission, to quickly approve new water appliance standards. Instead of having to wait another month for the slow machine of government to move, the California Energy Commision was given the authority to adopt these new energy standards just a week after the executive order was released. The California Energy Commission was also able to implement a temporary statewide rebate program on these appliances. Due to the emergency situation, the California Energy Commision was able to prohibit the sale and installation of toilets, urinals, and faucets that do not meet the new minimum water efficiency requirements as of January 1, 2016. The date of manufacture for these appliances does not have an effect on their prohibition.

New Efficiency Standards

The new efficiency standards establish new maximum flow rates for toilets and faucets in existing buildings and buildings to be built. By consuming less water while maintaining the same function, it’s a very easy way to decrease water consumption without disrupting daily life. Since these regulations target toilets and faucets, the changes should not be very dramatic to the average Californian.

As of January 2014, there were over 45 million faucets, 30 million toilets, and 1 million urinals in the state of California. The use of these appliances results in the consumption of around 443 billion gallons of water each year. Minimizing this consumption is pivotal in California’s overall strategy to reduce water and energy use. A Sacramento plumbing company can help implement the best appliances to reduce excessive water use.

The below limitations were approved of in 2015. Their effective dates are January 1, 2016. This means that any appliances listed below must meet the following regulations in order to be eligible for sales.

  • Flow from urinals decreased from 0.5 gallons per flush (gpf) to 0.125 gpf – Urinals in mental health facilities and prisons are exempt from this rule. Toilets and urinals in prisons and mental health facilities have their own regulations for health and safety purposes.
  • Toilets are not to consume more than 1.28 gallons per flush. Toilets also should have the capability to remove 350 grams of waste in a single flush. – Toilets in mental health facilities and prisons are exempt.*
  • Flow rate from residential faucets decreased from 2.2 gallons per minute (gpm) to 1.2gpm
  • Kitchen faucets’ gpm decreased from 2.2 to 1.8 with a short-term capability to increase to 2.2 gallons per minute for filling pots and pans, etc.
  • Private restroom faucets may not have a flow rate exceeding 1.2 gallons per minute.
  • Public restroom faucets may not have a flow rate exceeding 0.5 gallons per minute.

There also are new regulations regarding shower devices. This includes hand showers, showerheads, and body sprays and jets. As of January 1, 2016, they were permitted a flow rate of 2.0 gallons per minute. As of January 1, 2018, the maximum flow rate will be 1.8 gallons per minute. These regulations and dates of effect relate to the manufacturing practices of these appliances. This allows vendors to sell non-compliant appliances past the listed dates. It is only the manufacturing, not the sales, that are affected by these new regulations. Contact a Sacramento plumbing company for more information.

There are three main companies that manufacture and distribute compliant products, should you need to purchase a new toilet, urinal, showerhead, kitchen faucet, etc. These are Brizo, Delta, and Peerless.

Due to this new regulations, California is leading the country in plumbing efficiency standards. These regulations are more stringent that the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense Program, aimed to prevent the waste of water in everyday life. These new limitations could save over 10 billion gallons of water in the first year and eventually more than 100 billion gallons each year, according to the California energy Commission. This is more water than what the City of San Francisco uses in a year.

Call a Sacramento Plumbing Company to Help Reduce Your Water Usage

Clarke and Rush is a family-owned company with over 5 decades experience providing the best plumbing services for your home. Give us a call at (916) 609-2667 for all your plumbing needs.