At the beginning of the year, California law imposed a new duty on owners of single-family residential homes. Simply put, the law requires you to install water-saving plumbing fixtures if you own a single-family home built before 1994—whether you are selling your home or not. California Civil Code § 1101.4 is the law’s name, and conserving water is the law’s game.
How does the law work?
The law seeks to make sure that owners of older homes retrofit their homes with water-saving plumbing fixtures. The law does this by requiring homeowners to replace noncompliant plumbing fixtures with water-saving fixtures.
Which fixtures do I have to replace?
· Toilets manufactured to use more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush.
· Urinals manufactured to use more than one gallon of water per flush.
· Showerheads manufactured to have a flow capacity of more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute.
· Interior faucets that emit more than 2.2 gallons of water per minute.
If you have any of these fixtures in your home, the law requires you to replace them.
What do I need to replace them with?
That depends on where you live. The list above tells you what fixtures certainly won’t make the cut, but the law allows cities, counties, and retailers to enact local ordinances or policies designed to produce even greater water savings. As a result, your local rules may require fixtures that are more efficient.
If you are uncertain about whether you need to replace your fixtures or what fixtures you should replace them with, you should contact a plumbing professional. Your local plumber can help you determine whether you’re in compliance and, if you’re not, what fixtures you will need to bring your home into compliance.
What else does the law require me to do?
As of January 1, 2017, if you sell your home, you need to disclose the law’s requirements, in writing, to your prospective buyer, and tell your buyer, in writing, whether any of your plumbing fixtures are noncompliant. The law doesn’t spell out how noncompliance would affect your closing, so there’s uncertainty about whether failing to comply with the law could hold up your closing.
Of course, the most certain course is simply to make sure that your home complies with California Civil Code § 1101.4. Any easy way to do that is to call your local plumbing professional today. Your plumber can help you make sure your home saves water and complies with § 1101.4. Call today!