California codes for shower fixtures

kineiJune 3, 2013

What do the California codes allow in terms of multi-fixture showers? Are we now really only allowed 2 fixtures with only one on at a time? Thanks

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ctlady_gw

You're kidding, right?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 4:56PM
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mongoct

I can tell you what the proposal was for 2013, because for whatever reason I was sent a copy. But I can't tell you if the proposed changes are now implemented into their regulations.

1) Shower head flow restricted to a max of 2 GPM at 80psi.
2) Showers can only have one shower head per shower, unless they are large enough for two. To have more than one head, the shower must be large enough so that the heads can be no closer than 4 feet from one another.
3) If a shower does have more than one head, the total flow of the combined heads can not be more than 2 GPM.
4) If a shower has more than one head, each head must be supplied by its own valve.
5) Supply tubing feeding the valve from the water heater can be no larger than 1/2".

That's the basic part of it.

The problem? Or ONE of the problems? Valves today (pressure-balanced and Thermostatic) are temperature compensating valves. They rely on having a certain amount of water flow through the valve to compensate for fluctuations in the hot and cold water supply into the valve.

Choking down the flow through the shower head to 2 GPM obviously chokes down the flow through the valve to 2 GPM.

While all anti-scald supply valves sold today meet the temperature correction standards when 2.5GPM of water are flowing through the valve, at 2GPM only about 75% of pressure balanced valves and 30% of Thermostatic valves were able to still meet the scald standards.

So by mandating new shower head standards, your essentially mandating new valve standards as well.

Replacing a shower head is easy. Replacing a shower valve? Not so easy.

EDIT: Added "feet" to proposal 2) so it reads "4 feet".

This post was edited by mongoct on Sat, Jun 8, 13 at 9:58

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 5:47PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

I just checked my city's current code, and they are posting the 2010 rules, so that 2013 proposal hasn't been enacted yet. I know we are dealing with water shortages, but reducing the showers to trickles that don't get the soap off your bod is NOT the way to go. We'll see what eventually gets passed. After all, we are in the land of fruits and nuts here in Silicon Valley.

-Babka

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 11:57PM
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