Washington State New Flow Regulations

New Water Conservation, are you in compliance?

Written by
The Part Works
Published on
July 27, 2021 at 2:45:15 PM PDT July 27, 2021 at 2:45:15 PM PDTth, July 27, 2021 at 2:45:15 PM PDT

Washington State Flow Rate Regulations

On May 7, 2019, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed into law HB1444-2019, a flow rate regulation matching CEC requirements for plumbing products (California Code of Regulations, Title 20, section 1605.3)

With few exceptions, this new code went into effect on January 1, 2021, requiring that products manufactured on or after January 1, 2021 that are sold, offered for sale, or installed in the State of Washington must comply, or face a potential $250 per day penalty.  

Exceptions include:

•Does not apply to new products manufactured in the state and sold outside the state

•Does not apply to new products manufactured outside the state and sold at wholesale for final retail sale and installation outside the state

While there are currently no additional testing reports or submissions required to prove compliance, the department may test products and may rely on the results of product testing performed by or on behalf of other governmental jurisdictions with comparable standards. If products are found to be out of compliance, and after a single warning, the manufacturer can be charged for the cost of product purchase and testing. The violation information can be made publicly available. 

There are a few grey areas that are yet to be litigated out.  

•Is there a distinction between residential and public, especially on lavatory faucets. For example, is a hospital room public or private?

•Food service faucets are exempt, but what is the distinction between a commercial kitchen faucet and a “kitchen faucet”?

•While the regulation applies to new installations on urinals and water closets, if you are not changing the fixture itself, you can still install the appropriate flush valves, for example, a 3.5gpf valve can be installed as long as the fixture itself is a 3.5gpf fixture, a 1.6 flush valve for a 1.6 fixture, 1.5 for 1.5, etc.  

Some of this confusion is that the law is written toward a new construction audience, and is less specific with regard to how it should be interpreted for maintenance and repair, but the general idea is, if you’re installing whole fixtures, you will need to be in compliance. If you are repairing or maintaining existing fixtures, you can use the products designed for the original fixtures.  

It is important to ensure compliance, as the penalties can add up quickly. The Part Works is here to help you identify and source the appropriate replacement parts and fixtures to comply with this new code. Give us a call, 1-800-336-8900.