a federal regulation, the ASME/CSA standard has been incorporated into both the
International Plumbing Code (IPC) and the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC), two of the
major plumbing codes adopted in many states and jurisdictions across the United
States. Despite code requirements, many public-use faucets still have higher flow
rates, typically between 2.0 and 2.5 gpm.
The U.S. Energy Department (DOE) adopted a 2.2 gpm at 60.0 psi maximum flow rate
standard for all faucets, including kitchen faucets, in 1998 (see 63 FR 13307; March
This national standard is codified in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
at 10 CFR Part 430.32. Thus far, codes and voluntary standards have not attempted
to further address the efficiency of kitchen sink faucets because their uses may be
Sinks present in some facilities have purposes other than traditional kitchen or
lavatory uses. These sinks can be found in janitorial closets, laundries, laboratories,
classrooms, or other areas. There are no federal regulations limiting the flow rate of
these faucets, but flow rate should be carefully considered with the intended end
use, expected performance, and water efficiency in mind.
Operation, Maintenance, and User Education
For optimum faucet efficiency, test the system’s water pressure to make sure that it is
between 20 and 80 psi. This level ensures the faucet delivers the expected flow and
performance. In addition, consider the following:
Periodically inspect faucet aerators for scale buildup to ensure flow is not being
restricted. Clean or replace the aerator or other spout end device, if necessary.
If installed, check and adjust automatic sensors to ensure they are operating
properly to avoid faucets from running longer than necessary.
Post materials in restrooms and kitchens to ensure user awareness of the facility’s
water-efficiency goals. Remind users to turn off the tap when they are done and
to consider turning the tap off during sanitation activities when it is not being
used (i.e., when brushing teeth or washing dishes).
Train users to report continuously running, leaking, or otherwise malfunctioning
faucets to the appropriate personnel.
If looking to retrofit an existing faucet fixture to increase water efficiency, consider