Frequently Asked Questions
Q. "How do pressure balance shower systems work?"
A. A pressure balancing valve mixes your hot and cold water together to get the right temperature and help keep hot water temperatures from becoming too hot. Thus, it helps prevent accidental scalding or "shower shock" when the water suddenly turns freezing cold because the water pressure changed (i.e., someone flushed the toilet or turned on a faucet in the kitchen). Additionally, most units feature an adjustable stop screw beneath the cover that prohibits the valve handle from being turned to excessively hot temperatures.
Q. "What is a thermostatic shower and how does it work?"
A. The thermostatic valves within these tub/shower systems work by controlling the flow of hot and cold water to maintain temperatures. When the water coming from the hot water inlet is too hot, the valve will expand and adjust the amounts of hot and cold water coming out of your tub spout or hand shower to keep the temperature constant and help prevent accidental scalding. Note that they do not actually heat the water, and can only maintain hot water temperatures as long as there is sufficient hot water coming through the pipes.
Q. "What are the new California Energy Commission water efficiency standards and how does this affect me?"
A. Effective January 1, 2016, certain plumbing fixtures will be required to comply with new California Energy Commission requirements for flow rate and water efficiency. Since the program began in 1976, it has continually worked to develop standards for energy- and water-using appliances and fixtures that will help Californians to conserve energy and water. To help the state deal with current and future drought conditions, only water-saving plumbing fixtures will be legally available for sale in California. Products like faucets, toilets, urinals, and shower heads are all affected by the new regulations.
Sold after January 1, 2016:
Sold after July 1, 2016:
- Public lavatory faucets & aerators must have a maximum flow rate of 0.5 gallons per minute or less (at 60psi)
- Kitchen faucets & aerators must have a maximum flow rate of 1.8 gallons per minute or less (at 60psi) - dual function faucets may have an optional temporary flow of 2.2 gallons per minute
- Toilets must use a maximum 1.28 gallons per flush or less - or a dual-flush effective flush volume of 1.28 gallons per flush or less
- Wall mounted urinals must use a maximum 0.125 gallons per flush or less
- Other urinals must use a maximum 0.5 gallons per flush or less
Sold after July 1, 2018:
- Lavatory faucets & aerators must have a maximum flow rate of 1.2 gallons per minute or less (at 60psi)
- Shower heads must have a maximum flow rate of 2.0 gallons per minute or less (at 80psi)
- Shower heads must have a maximum flow rate of 1.8 gallons per minute or less (at 80psi)
What this means for the average consumer is that you can rest easy knowing that the product you're getting is compliant with the law - and will help you do your part to save water, our most precious natural resource. Additionally, it is important to note that current EPA WaterSense program requirements are not as stringent as the California Energy Commission requirements. Thus, not all WaterSense products may be compliant with the new laws in California. Please be sure to review the specifications of the product you're purchasing prior to placing your order as we cannot ship non-compliant products to our customers in California.
Q. "Why should I choose a WaterSense labeled faucet?"
A. Well, the numbers can speak for themselves: It is estimated that by installing WaterSense labeled faucets and accessories, the average household can save more than 500 gallons per year. Most of us know that we can conserve water by turning off the tap when not in use, but many may not know you can save water while using it with the right water saving faucet. The WaterSense partnership program is sponsored by the EPA which provides water conservation and quality guidelines for participating manufacturers. All products with the WaterSense label have had complete third party certification and testing to ensure they meet the criteria, which is to reduce water use by 20-30 percent with out sacrificing performance and also maintain high quality standards. Please note that due to state low-flow regulations, we cannot ship non-WaterSense certified lavatory faucets or showerheads to customers in Colorado. Please check to ensure the product you're selecting is WaterSense certified prior to ordering to help avoid any delays or problems with your order.
Q. "What kind of products are WaterSense labeled?"
A. Bathrooms are by far the largest water users in the home, accounting for more than half of all the water that families use indoors. Thus, you can find a wide range of lavatory faucets, showers, and toilets available with the WaterSense label. Just look for notes on the product page for the item(s) you've selected to find out which products we offer that carry WaterSense certification.