Washington State Law: Multiple Shower Heads in Shower

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Tuttles Revenge

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Got a notification from one of our plumbing suppliers about a change in the law regarding multiple shower heads in Washington state.
51-56-0400
408.2.1 Multiple Showerheads Serving One Shower. When a shower is served by more than one showerhead, including handheld showerheads, the combined flow rate of all showerheads and/or other shower outlets controlled by a single valve shall not exceed 1.8 gallons (6.81 L) per minute at 80 psi, or the shower shall be designed to allow only one shower outlet to be in operation at a time.

Few things come to mind.
Body sprays
Moen U. You can operate all 4 functions simultaneously at up to 14gpm!!
gang showers
bathrooms with 2 separate shower valves in the same shower.. Jack n Jill..
 

Tuttles Revenge

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When I was building new homes, I was installing the Jack and Jill set up. A shower valve and head on opposing walls. One person waiting to use the water seems a bit dumb to me.

Agreed.. will be interesting to see how that plays out.
 

themumfordman

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I have been receiving the same vague information, that several of our normal showerheads and trim kits are no longer "legal" in the state. From what I am reading though, the 1.8GPM law was put into effect back in 2019, and I have not found anything indicating a new standard. Has anyone heard what the actual new magic number is?
 

Reach4

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I have been receiving the same vague information, that several of our normal showerheads and trim kits are no longer "legal" in the state. From what I am reading though, the 1.8GPM law was put into effect back in 2019, and I have not found anything indicating a new standard. Has anyone heard what the actual new magic number is?
https://apps.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=51-56-0400 says
408.2 Water Consumption. Showerheads shall meet the maximum flow rate of 1.8 gallons (6.81 L) per minute measured at 80 psi. Showerheads shall be certified to the performance criteria of the U.S. EPA WaterSense Specification for Showerheads.
EXCEPTION:
Emergency use showers shall be exempt from the maximum water usage rates.
https://sbcc.wa.gov/sites/default/files/2020-11/Combined WSR 20-17-049.pdf appears to be the proposal dated December 2017.
 

Tuttles Revenge

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I was just telling a client that they likely couldn't install a Grohe Grohtherm shower with multiple outlets because more than 1 function could be selected at the same time.. But Grohe sent me some good news.. ish.

Hi,

Thank you for contacting GROHE Consumer Connections. Yes, the 29137000 will be able to have all three functions run at the same time, however, this trim does include a flow restrictor that limits all three functions to 1.8 GPM to make it compliant with Washington restrictions.

If there is anything we can assist you with in the future, please feel free to contact us at 1-800-444-7643, Monday- Friday, 8AM- 7PM ET and a Grohe Consumer Connection Advisor will be happy to assist you.

Thank You,


LIXIL Link to Good Living

GROHE

grohe-29137000.jpg



Hi,

Thank you for contacting GROHE Consumer Connections. Yes, the 29137000 will be able to have all three functions run at the same time, however, this trim does include a flow restrictor that limits all three functions to 1.8 GPM to make it compliant with Washington restrictions.

If there is anything we can assist you with in the future, please feel free to contact us at 1-800-444-7643, Monday- Friday, 8AM- 7PM ET and a Grohe Consumer Connection Advisor will be happy to assist you.

Thank You,


LIXIL Link to Good Living

GROHE
 

Tuttles Revenge

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Just got off the phone with Moen and theirs would have to be restricted to single operation shower valves and diverters. Their U by Moen shower valve which can operate all 4 functions simultaneously up to 14gpm.. has an internal setting which restricts the operation to one output at a time.. but that then still has to be restricted to single outputs.. body sprays will be problematic.

I see body sprays going away unless someone develops a series that regulates the total to 1.8
 

Jadnashua

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Some might like what may amount to a mist when using numerous body sprays when limited to that small of an output...from a practical viewpoint, I don't think many people would like it!

You can get high velocity out of a jet, but to limit that volume, there can't be very many of them and when you get them small enough, they end up being more of a mist rather than a jet.
 

Tuttles Revenge

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OK.. so the Washington state amendments to the 2018 UPC adopted in Feb 21:

408.2 Water Consumption. Showerheads shall have a maximum flow rate of not more than 2.5 gpm at 80 psi (9.5 L/m at 552 kPa), in accordance with ASME A112.18.1/CSA B125.1.

Same as it was in the 2015 UPC adopted in 2016...

While a Washington state law: Noted above but not adopted into the current plumbing code or the Washington state amendments.

408.2 Water Consumption. Showerheads shall meet the maximum flow rate of 1.8 gallons (6.81 L) per minute measured at 80 psi. Showerheads shall be certified to the performance criteria of the U.S. EPA WaterSense Specification for Showerheads.
EXCEPTION:Emergency use showers shall be exempt from the maximum water usage rates.
408.2.1 Multiple Showerheads Serving One Shower. When a shower is served by more than one showerhead, including handheld showerheads, the combined flow rate of all showerheads and/or other shower outlets controlled by a single valve shall not exceed 1.8 gallons (6.81 L) per minute at 80 psi, or the shower shall be designed to allow only one shower outlet to be in operation at a time.

Which has precedence?! Looking at how the code was adopted into law;

WAC 51-56-007 Exceptions. The exceptions and amendments to the model codes contained in the provisions of chapter 19.27 RCW shall apply in cases of conflict with any of the provisions of these rules. Codes referenced which are not adopted through RCW 19.27.031 or chapter 19.27A RCW shall not apply unless specifically adopted by the authority having jurisdiction.

Does this mean that the amendments (2.5gpm showerheads) takes precedence over the law not adopted into the code?
 

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Some might like what may amount to a mist when using numerous body sprays when limited to that small of an output...from a practical viewpoint, I don't think many people would like it!
Speaking of.. We had a client recently who had purchased one of those terrible amazon shower setups for super cheap and I nixed it the second I saw it. So we installed a Delta valve and trim and a Moen Nebia shower head/handhower. I was woried that it was just going to be a unsatisfactory mist.. But it seems pretty effective. I only turned it on and got my arm wet, but it looked good. We will see in the spring when they move back into their condo and after I replace the busted undermount Siligrait sink.
 

wwhitney

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While a Washington state law: Noted above but not adopted into the current plumbing code or the Washington state amendments.

Not an expert in state law, but the link https://app.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=51-56 says it is the "STATE BUILDING CODE ADOPTION AND AMENDMENT OF THE 2018 EDITION OF THE UNIFORM PLUMBING CODE" So I would think that the 408.2 referenced there has been adopted into the current plumbing code as a Washington state amendment. And that the PDF you referenced earlier is simply in error.

Cheers, Wayne
 

Tuttles Revenge

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And that the PDF you referenced earlier is simply in error.
Which gets back to my question.. which one is enforcable? I think its time that I start making some phone calls to chief inspectors to see how they interpret this. To me, the adopted code is more enforcable, but.. like you, my understanding is how the code applies to tangible things.. not in how laws are adopted. Tho, I am pretty good when arguing in court.

Usually I'm trying to wordsmith my way around a cumbersome code requirement like backwater valves. But in this case I'm getting designers who want to install a bunch of showerheads into showers and I would like to have a definitive reading of the law that I can push back with.

I've sent my main contractors designers the Law... but I'm still getting shower designs that have 2 shower valves in a single shower. The latest is a tub to shower conversion which is also not allowed to have 2 operable shower heads. After explaining the implications of installing the drawn design and the possibility and expense of replumbing it with 1 operable head, they opted to go with a single operable head. But then I started down a rabbit hole (Post 9)
 

wwhitney

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Which gets back to my question.. which one is enforceable?
I would start by contacting the SBCC, since their website gets you to two different versions of UPC 408.2. If you start at https://sbcc.wa.gov/state-codes-regulations-guidelines/state-building-code you can either go to https://sbcc.wa.gov/state-codes-regulations-guidelines/state-building-code/plumbing-code-amendments to get the PDF version you quoted first, or you can go to https://app.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=51 to get the HTML version you quoted second.

I was just disagreeing with your assertion that the PDF version is the building code, and the HTML version is a state law not adopted into building code. I think they are both (contradictory) expressions of what the building code is.

I've sent my main contractors designers the Law... but I'm still getting shower designs that have 2 shower valves in a single shower.
To my reading of WA UPC 408.2.1, you can have as many simultaneously operating shower heads as you want, as long as each one is supplied by an individual shower valve and is limited to 1.8 gpm. If any shower valve present has multiple outlets attached, and if the sum of the rating of those outlets exceeds 1.8 gpm, then the entire shower needs to be designed so that only one outlet may operate at once.

Cheers, Wayne
 

Tuttles Revenge

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405.4 Application. No individual, public or private corporation, firm, political subdivision, government agency(we had the city of seattle parks dept. write themselves an exemption to the 1.6gpf toilets back in the 90s), or other legal entity, may, for purposes of use in the state of Washington, distribute, sell, offer for sale, import, install, or approve for installation any plumbing fixtures or fittings unless the fixtures or fittings meet the standards as provided for in this chapter.

I haven't verified where this is in law but this came from one of our vendors.
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.

This doesn't have to be in the code to make this enforcable.. This is why we can't buy 2.5gpm showerheads.
 

wwhitney

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I haven't verified where this is in law but this came from one of our vendors.
I'm not following this statement. Are you making a distinction between the Washington Administrative Code (regulations) and legislation/statute? Per https://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx "Regulations of executive branch agencies are issued by authority of statutes. Like legislation and the Constitution, regulations are a source of primary law in Washington State."

So to my mind, WAC 51-56 is Washington State's Plumbing Code. All the sections under discussion are part of the code. It's just that one source seems to have the wrong version of 408.2.

Cheers, Wayne
 
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