KBB - September 2010 - (Page 59)

Education What’s a Showerhead? PMI speaks out on the EPA’s recent proposal The Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (DOE/EERE) has issued a proposed new interpretation of the term “showerhead.” If adopted, this will dramatically impact kitchen and bath designers and the high-end spa market. Multiple showerhead systems have been manufactured since the 1980s, long before the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct 1992) was enacted to limit their flow rate to 2.5 gpm. Frequently found in health clubs, hospitals, Veterans Affairs clinics, nursing homes, wellness centers, correctional facilities and schools, these products have also been embraced by homeowners seeking a spa-like experience in their homes. In addition to serving an important therapeutic role for many, these high-end products provide a relaxing escape from the pressures of the day. For 18 years, the DOE recognized each showerhead simply as a fixture for directing the spray of water in a shower. Before, during and after EPAct 1992 became law, the industry and homeowners understood the plain meaning of the law’s key term, “showerheads,” to mean outlets for water. It certainly has not been understood to mean the sum of potential outlets downstream of a shower valve. Industry members were active participants in the development of the WaterSense program, which focuses on water efficiency, not merely conservation. The program has resulted in products such as Moen’s Envi Eco-Performance Rainshower showerhead (shown), whose WaterSense label is easy for consumers to identify. PROPOSED INTERPRETATION On May 19, a notice in the Federal Register indicated the DOE was soliciting comments on the agency’s draft interpretative rule to significantly change the definition of “showerhead” with a view toward banning a variety of important—and too often necessary— shower configurations. With only a 30-day comment period and without much considered deliberation, the DOE’s proposed “interpretative” rule would negate the accepted and standard definition of a showerhead and have a number of unintended consequences. The proposed rule states: “The Department concludes that a showerhead may incorporate one or more sprays, nozzles or openings. All components that are supplied standard together and function from one inlet (i.e., after the mixing valve) form a single showerhead for purposes of the maximum water use standards.” It continues to say that showerheads will be deemed noncompliant “if the showerhead’s standard components, operating in their maximum design flow configuration, taken together use in excess of 2.5 gpm when flowing at 80 psi, even if each component individually does not exceed 2.5 gpm.” The effect of such a reclassification will eliminate shower systems with multiple outlets with a combined flow exceeding 2.5 gpm. Per the new language, manufacturers will be required to restrict water flow to one outlet at a time and add valves for multiple outlet operation. As a result, the DOE’s showerhead interpretive rule will impose significant additional costs and burdens on consumers and manufacturers, without a clear enforcement strategy. The Plumbing Manufacturers Institute (PMI) and its members estimate manufacturers will incur more than $400 million in expenses for redesigning and reconfiguring products; packaging and information; retraining personnel; and restocking and replacing products that cannot be sold. The DOE’s proposed rule would force the discontinuation of entire product lines that are otherwise compliant with EPAct 1992’s maximum flowrate-per-showerhead restrictions, including handheld showers, body sprays and shower systems. As outlined in its mission statement, PMI promotes both the efficient use of water and consumer choice in a fair and open marketplace. While the focus of the DOE action, showers should not be the first place targeted for maximizing water savings, as they represent less than 17 percent of the total residential indoor water use. INDUSTRY PARTICIPATION PMI and its members have been active participants in the WaterSense program since its establishment by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). WaterSense focuses on water efficiency, not merely conservation, and includes a consumer satisfaction component. It’s not just about cutting back on water usage; it is about products that Continued on page 60 www.kbbonline.com / September 2010 July 2004 + K BB 59 http://www.kbbonline.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of KBB - September 2010

KBB - September 2010
Contents
Online Contents
Online News
Editor's Note
Trends
Products
Profile
Design
Good Natured
High Design
Practice
Education
Editorial Index
Ad Index
Favorites

KBB - September 2010

https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202301v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202301
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202211
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202209
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202207
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202205
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202203
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202201
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202201_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202111
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202110
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202109
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202107
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202105
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/202102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/202102_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/202101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/202010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/202009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20200708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20200506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20200203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20191112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20190708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20190506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20190203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20180910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20180708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20180506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20180203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20170708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20170506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20170203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20161112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20160708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20160506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20160203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20151112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20150708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20150506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20150203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20141112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20140506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20131112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20130506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20130102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20121112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20120506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20120102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20110506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20110102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20100102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20091112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20090607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200808
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com