High-Efficiency Bathroom Sink Faucet Questions
How was the final specification for high-efficiency faucets developed?
All WaterSense specifications are developed through a market research, technical review and stakeholder input process. In developing the specification, EPA collaborated with interested parties representing industry, water utilities, and water-efficiency advocacy groups. EPA industry and product research, as well the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) A112.18.1/Canadian Standards Association (CSA) B125.1 standard for Plumbing Supply Fittings, form the basis for the WaterSense bathroom sink faucet specification.
What are the details of the specification?
The WaterSense specification sets the maximum flow rate of faucets and aerators at 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm), tested at a flowing pressure of 60 pounds per square inch (psi, common water pressure in most households). The specification also includes a minimum flow rate of 0.8 gpm, tested at a flowing pressure of 20 psi, to ensure performance across a variety of different household conditions.
Who will certify that products meet the specification?
All WaterSense labeled, high-efficiency bathroom sink faucets and aerators must be tested and certified by an independent, EPA-approved licensed certifying body. Manufacturers can use the WaterSense label in conjunction with faucets and aerators that are certified by licensed product certifying bodies to conform to WaterSense criteria for both performance and efficiency. Only faucets and aerators that are certified through this process can bear the WaterSense label.
What types of products can earn the WaterSense label under this specification?
Provided the products meet the WaterSense specification, bathroom sink faucets and aerators (or other faucet accessories, such as laminar flow devices) can be certified to meet EPA criteria and labeled under this specification. This specification applies to bathroom sink faucets or aerators intended for private use, such as in residences or in private restrooms in hotels and hospitals.
Faucets that are not eligible to earn the WaterSense label under this specification include metering faucets (those that dispense a pre-determined volume of water or operate in the "on" position for a predetermined period of time); bathroom sink faucets intended for public use (those found in office buildings, restaurants, airports, and stadium restrooms, etc.); and residential kitchen sink faucets.
What is a faucet accessory?
A faucet accessory is a device that can be added to or removed from a bathroom sink faucet (typically, it screws onto the tip of the faucet spout).
Aerators control flow rate either through flow restriction (narrowing the opening through which the water is discharged from the faucet) or flow regulation (adapting the width of the opening through which the water is discharged from the faucet based upon fluctuations in water pressure to maintain a constant flow rate).
Are bathroom sink faucets that meet the WaterSense specification more expensive than other bathroom sink faucets?
Consumers can purchase WaterSense labeled aerators separately from bathroom sink faucets, and can easily replace existing accessories that do not meet the WaterSense specification.
Aerators can be purchased at retail locations and typically cost only a few dollars. Most high-efficiency faucet accessories that restrict flow are no more expensive that their conventional counterparts. However, pressure compensating faucet accessories that are designed to provide and maintain a constant flow rate despite fluctuations in water pressure typically cost a few dollars more.
If WaterSense labeled aerators are so easy to install, what would prevent their removal?
The water efficiency benefits of aerators, in addition to their low cost and relative ease of installation, outweigh the risk of their removal. Aerators typically cost no more than a few dollars, and using WaterSense labeled faucets or aerators could reduce a household's faucet water use by more than 500 gallons annually.
Additionally, performance is a major component of all WaterSense specifications. The faucet specification accounts for user satisfaction in different situations, including low water pressure, so removal should not be a major issue.