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Best Practice: Kitchen Faucets

    Scope
    Scope

    Installing kitchen sink faucets that are rated a maximum of 2.2 gallons per minute (gpm) may contribute to the 30% efficiency requirements under specific WACMs (WaterSense Approved Certification Methods). All kitchen faucet manufacturers are required by law to mark their products with the maximum flow rate. Although WaterSense does not currently label kitchen faucets, kitchen faucet or faucet accessory marked as a 2.2 gpm fixture can contribute to the 30% efficiency requirement.

    Kitchen Sink Faucets - All kitchen sink faucets shall comply with federal standards for a maximum flow rate of 2.2 gallons per minute (gpm) (8.3 lpm). A flow test does not exceed 0.4 gal.

    See the Compliance Tab for related codes and standards requirements, and criteria to meet national programs such as DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Home programENERGY STAR Single-Family New Homes, and Indoor airPLUS.

    Description
    Description
    Infographic: Replacing faucets and aerators with WaterSense models can save 700 gallons per year - equal to 40 showers worth of water.
    Figure 1. Replacing faucets and aerators with WaterSense models can save 700 gallons per year - equal to 40 showers worth of Water (Source: Courtest of U.S. EPA WaterSense)

     

    Optional: Kitchen Sink Faucets

    Since there is not a WaterSense label available for kitchen sink faucets, this specification relies on the current national standard for kitchen sink faucets--a maximum flow rate of 2.2 gpm (8.3 lpm) when tested at 60 psi (414kPa). There are many kitchen sink faucets available with maximum flow rates significantly less than 2.2 gpm (8.3 lpm). When installing these lower flow models, contractors must be mindful of the difference in use and user expectations between bathroom sink and kitchen faucets. The major drawback of reduced maximum flow rates for all faucets is increased wait times for hot water and the filling of pots or containers. Kitchen sinks are more commonly used for filling containers, and increased wait times might not be tolerated in the kitchen.

    Third party verifiers will obtain a list of the make and model numbers for all bathroom sink faucets and faucet accessories installewd in the home and verify that they have earned the WaterSense® label. The verifier
    will also check the maximum flow rate from all bathroom sink faucets and kitchen sink faucets to ensure that the aerators have not been tampered with or removed. To conduct the test, the verifier will use a small
    bucket under or attach a flow-measuring bag to the faucet spout. turn on the water completely while starting a stopwatch and, after 10 seconds, turn off the water and check the volume of water collected. The volume of
    water should be 0.25 gallons or less for bathroom sinks and 0.4 gallons or less for kitchen sink faucets.

    These criteria apply to all kitchen sink faucets including bar sinks. These criteria do not apply to pot-filling faucets, utility sink faucets, and laundry sinks.

    All faucets and attachable accessories are required by the ASME/CSA performance standard to be marked with their maximum flow rate. Checking the faucet marking will indicate if a bathroom sink faucet meets the
    WaterSense maximum flow rate, but not the minimum flow rate. To determine if the product meets all aspects of the WaterSense specification, look for the WaterSense label on the product packaging and documentation
    (the specification requires these materials to bear the Watersense label).

    As with bathroom sink faucets, kitchen faucet manufacturers are required by law to mark their products with the maximum flow rate. Any faucet or faucet accessory marked as a 2.2 gpm fixture meets the requirements
    of this specification.

    The WaterSense website also provides a listing of labeled faucets and accessories here.

    Testing the flow rate of a kitchen sink faucet.
    Figure 2. Testing the flow rate of a kitchen sink faucet (Source: Courtesy of PNNL).

     

    Success
    Ensuring Success

     Bathroom sink and kitchen sink faucets account for approximately 15.7 percent of indoor residential water use in the United States, or about 1.1 trillion gallons of water used each year across the country. The Energy Policy Act of 1992 originally set the maximum flow rate for both lavatory and kitchen faucets at 2.5 gpm at 80 psi static pressure. In 1994, ASME A112.18.1M-1994–Plumbing Supply Fittings set the maximum flow rate for lavatory (bathroom) faucets at 2.2 gpm at 60 psi. In response to industry requests for conformity with a single standard, in 1998, the U.S. Energy Department adopted the 2.2 gpm at 60 psi maximum flow rate standard for all faucets (both kitchen and bathroom). Other than this maximum flow rate standard, there currently are no universally accepted performance tests or specifications (i.e., rinsing or wetting performance standards) for faucets.

    Residential water use graph.
    Figure 1. Residential water use (Source: Courtesy of U.S. EPA WaterSense).

     

    Climate
    Climate

    No climate specific information applies.

    Training
    Right and Wrong Images
    Image
    Right - EPA WaterSense-certified faucets help reduce water use.
    Right - EPA WaterSense-certified faucets help reduce water use.
    Image
    Right – EPA WaterSense rated toilets reduce water usage.
    Right – EPA WaterSense rated toilets reduce water usage.
    Image
    Right – EPA WaterSense-rated faucets reduce water usage compared to standard bathroom faucets.
    Right – EPA WaterSense-rated faucets reduce water usage compared to standard bathroom faucets.
    Image
    Right – EPA WaterSense-rated showerheads, faucets, and toilets contribute to both water and energy savings.
    Right – EPA WaterSense-rated showerheads, faucets, and toilets contribute to both water and energy savings.
    Videos
    Compliance

    Compliance

    The Compliance tab contains both program and code information. Code language is excerpted and summarized below. For exact code language, refer to the applicable code, which may require purchase from the publisher. While we continually update our database, links may have changed since posting. Please contact our webmaster if you find broken links.

     

    DOE Zero Energy Ready Home (Revision 07)

    Exhibit 1 Mandatory Requirements.
    Exhibit 1, Item 1) Certified under the ENERGY STAR Qualified Homes Program or the ENERGY STAR Multifamily New Construction Program.
    Exhibit 1, Item 4) Water heaters and fixtures shall meet efficiency criteria.

     

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) WaterSense® Home Specification

    Kitchen faucets are not mandatory under the WaterSense Labeled Homes Specification. However, kitchen faucets that comply with the federal standards for a maximum flow rate of 2.2 gallons per minute (gpm) (8.3 lpm) can contribute to the 30% efficiency requirement through specific WACMs. 

     

    Guidance for the measures described in this guide is applicable to both new and existing homes.

    For more information. see the U.S. Department of Energy's Standard Work Specifications regarding Water Use Reduction.

    More

    More Info.

    Access to some references may require purchase from the publisher. While we continually update our database, links may have changed since posting. Please contact our webmaster if you find broken links.

    References and Resources*
    Author(s)
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    Organization(s)
    EPA
    Publication Date
    Description
    Brochure providing information for homeowners, builders, verifiers, and facilities including an overview of program criteria, the certification process, and EPA-approved home certification organizations for water-efficient homes under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) WaterSense...
    Author(s)
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    Organization(s)
    EPA
    Publication Date
    Description
    Document of requirements including checklist that establishes the criteria for water-efficient homes under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) WaterSense program, Version 2.0.
    Author(s)
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    Organization(s)
    EPA
    Publication Date
    Description
    Website providing a description of the WaterSense labeled homes program and a checklist of mandatory requirements for homes to be labeled under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) WaterSense program, Version 2.0.
    Author(s)
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    Organization(s)
    EPA
    Publication Date
    Description
    Webpage from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency describing the EPA WaterSense program including the Mandatory Checklist for WaterSense Labeled Homes, information on how to get certified, and information on finding or becoming a WaterSense Home Certifying Organization.
    Author(s)
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    Organization(s)
    EPA
    Publication Date
    Description
    Resource that provides a directory of individuals that have successfully completed all requirements of at least one WaterSense Approved Certification Method (WACM) through a Home Certification Organization (HCO).
    Author(s)
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    Organization(s)
    EPA
    Publication Date
    Description
    Website providing lists of WaterSense-qualified products for home plumbing and irrigation equipment that meet the requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) WaterSense program.
    Author(s)
    EPA
    Organization(s)
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    Publication Date
    Description
    Resource that provides a directory of individuals that have sucessfully completed all requirements of at least one WaterSense labeled professional certification program.
    *For non-dated media, such as websites, the date listed is the date accessed.
    Sales
    Building Science Measures
    Building Science-to-Sales Translator

    Low Flow Fixtures =

    Image(s)
    Technical Description

    Water-conserving fixtures reduce water usage and the amount of energy needed to heat that water. Faucets and showerheads are designed to save water but provide the same experience as typical fixtures. The WaterSense label (from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) takes the guesswork out of choosing the right fixture.


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