Water-saving products are important for homeowners looking to be greener. However, they are also part of new building requirements for California. In fact, California was the first in the nation to mandate green building codes through the CalGreen program. Included in this are requirements for water-saving plumbing products in new construction and remodels of existing buildings.
Why Choose Water-Saving Products
Water-saving plumbing fixtures can drastically cut down on the amount of water required. This feature is greatly needed in drought-stricken California. For instance, low-flush toilets can reduce water usage by 20%, and new faucets cut water requirements by up to 31%.
The CalGreen program has a design to reduce the total environmental impact of homes and businesses, both new and existing. These building requirements seek to both reduce the water and energy needed, lowering the state’s overall consumption. By reducing the water needed for homes and businesses, CalGreen requirements allow for a more conscientious use of the state’s valuable resources.
Requirements for New Construction
New construction projects have requirements for their plumbing components. Generally, CalGreen regulations for plumbing products installed in new construction projects require using Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) WaterSense products. These have been certified by the EPA to use less water than older standards. Some common water-savings products and their requirements in the regulations are as follows:
- Showerheads cannot exceed 1.8 gallons per minute (GPM)
- Toilets must use no more than 1.28 gallons per flush
- The standard flow of kitchen faucets cannot exceed 1.8 GPM with temporary flows up to 2.2 GPM allowed
- Bathroom faucets must have a flow rate no less than 0.8 GPM and no more than 1.2 GPM
Yes, Existing Buildings Count, Too
The CalGreen rules also apply to existing structures. Before the sale of an existing home, the seller must upgrade the plumbing to meet the current CalGreen water-saving standards. Therefore, homeowners may need plumbing contractors to conduct the upgrades if they want to sell or remodel their homes.
Choose Plumbing Contractors from Plumbing Concepts Who Are Well-Versed in Installing Water-Saving Products
At Plumbing Concepts, we’ve long promoted green living through the installation of water-saving products. We do this in both new construction projects and in remodels that require upgrading to the new standards. Contact us for more information about our new construction or remodeling contractor services.